The Book of Boba Fett debuted on Wednesday on Disney+, beginning to tell of how Boba Fett takes control of the Star Wars universe’s underworld from Jabba the Hutt’s former palace on Tatooine. The Book of Boba Fett also fills in the gap between the bounty hunter’s apparent death in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and his reemergence in The Mandalorian. The debut episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” makes good on this promise. It reveals how Boba Fett escaped the deadly sarlacc pit, something Star Wars creator George Lucas long envisioned would happen. The means of Boba Fett’s escape in the episode differs from the previous telling in the Star Wars Legends expanded universe.
In The Book of Boba Fett, Fett awakens inside the sarlacc trapped to the creature’s side. He locates the nearby remains of a fallen Stormtrooper. Connecting his suit to the Stormtrooper, Fett siphons the remaining oxygen. He then uses his remaining weaponry to blast a hole in the sarlacc’s inner lining. He then lets loose with his flamethrower into the open wound and climbs through, emerging from the sands around the Great Pit of Carkoon and collapsing. He’s found there by Jawas, who strip him of his armor. Tusken Raiders later find Boba Fett near death and take him as a slave.
Things played out a little differently in the old Star Wars Expanded Universe. Boba Fett first reappeared in the comic book series Dark Empire, years after Return of the Jedi‘s events. In 1995, the Tales from Jabba’s Palace prose anthology included the short story “A Barve Like That: The Tale of Boba Fett” by J. D. Montgomery (pseudonym of Daniel Keys Moran). The tale explained how Boba Fett escaped the sarlacc.
In that story, Boba Fett makes telepathic contact with one of the sarlacc’s earliest victims, Susejo, whose consciousness had fused with the creature. Susejo tells Boba Fett tales gleaned from other victims of the sarlacc. Eventually, Boba Fett concocts a plan to escape. He convinces Susejo to make the sarlacc contract its muscles around Fett’s jetpack, triggering an explosion. The blast frees Boba Fett from the sarlacc’s interior lining. Fett then uses concussion grenades to punch a hole in the creature’s side and escape.
Boba Fett emerges exhausted and near-death, where the bounty hunter Dengar finds him. Dengar nurses Fett back to health, forming a partnership afterward. One year later, Boba Fett returned to the sarlacc, which was still alive, and told Susejo that he’d be back again sometime in the future.
The broad strokes are similar between the two tellings, as there are only so many ways to escape from a living death pit after all. The Book of Boba Fett streamlines the tale, making it more palatable to mainstream audiences and removing some of the sci-fi weirdness that was once more common in the Star Wars universe. In a way, it’s a microcosm of the differences between the two approaches to the Star Wars canon.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Disney+ will release new episodes of The Book of Boba Fett on Wednesdays.