Review: ‘the Book of Boba Fett’ – Chapter 4: The Gathering Storm

One thing that The Book of Boba Fett has done consistently well is that it provides quick, logical answers to questions that have lingered since Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) made his first appearance in The Mandalorian. The first episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” answered the question of Boba’s self-extraction from the Sarlacc immediately, before moving on to explore how he survived for so long.

Going into the fourth episode, “The Gathering Storm,” the last major question outstanding was how did the legendary bounty hunter come to save the life of Master Assassin Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen)? Once again, the answer was fairly straightforward: she sent up a flare for help, he saw it.

Finding her nearly dead — and as we learn later, recognizing her for who she is — Boba takes Fennec from the desert to a mod shop on the outskirts of Mos Eisley. The shop is populated by young people with the same kind of cybernetic modifications we saw on the bike gang we met in “The Streets of Mos Espa,” and their initial attitude is just as dismissive. But as in the real world, money talks, and soon Fennec is up and about, cybernetic parts and all.

Book of Boba Fett
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

While Fennec is initially thrown by her sudden enhancements, she realizes quickly without Boba’s intervention she would have died. Boba tells her he was near death as well, and taken in by the Tuskens until his actions got them killed by the Nikto speeder gang. He then enlists Fennec’s help in recovering his gunship from Jabba’s Palace. She agrees on the condition that helping him there clears her of any debt.

As they prepare to storm Jabba’s Palace, Boba tells Fennec that once he’s reclaimed the ship, he intends to find his armor and take the throne. Though his reasoning is initially just “why not”, it becomes clear over the course of the episode that Boba is tired of working for incompetent crime bosses. This is, after all, what got him nearly killed in the first place.

Fennec, however, is skeptical that a bounty hunter can simply decide when they want out of the life.

Book of Boba Fett
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Together, the two reclaim the gunship, take revenge on the Nikto gang, and check the Sarlacc for Boba’s armor without success. Though Boba reminded Fennec before they took the ship that she would be free to go when the job was done, she goes “along for the ride” for the subsequent jobs as it’s clear they work well together and work is work.

She also states multiple times that she values her freedom and her independence, something Boba does not dispute. He does, however, offer her a permanent position working alongside him in the crime family he intends to start when he takes the throne from Bib Fortuna. He offers her a proper partnership, and she accepts, sticking around of her own free will with no more talk of debt to pay.

In the present day, with the flashbacks now caught up to the season finale of The Mandalorian, Boba is told his bacta treatment is complete. With the necessary context now in place, the focus of the series turns to the war brewing in the streets of Mos Espa. While the Mayor’s majordomo (David Pasquesi) is in custody — and singing like a Yuzzum — the Mayor himself is still missing and the Pykes are still preparing for war.

Book of Boba Fett
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Meanwhile, in town, Black Krrsantan has taken to hanging around the Sanctuary. No longer contracted to the Hutts and spoiling for a fight, he takes out his frustrations on some local Trandoshans. His anger is understandable, as Trandoshans are known for hunting Wookiees. The leader of the Trandoshan family even presented Boba with a Wookiee pelt in the first episode. Nevertheless, the sudden outbreak of fighting is at odds with the upscale atmosphere Garsa Fwip (Jennifer Beals) is attempting to cultivate.

Fwip manages to talk him down for the most part, though one Trandoshan now finds himself short one arm, and Krrsantan finds himself with nowhere to go. Boba catches up with the Wookiee outside the cantina and offers him a job providing security for a meeting of the local crime families.

Book of Boba Fett
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Boba and Fennec point out to the assembled families that joining together against the Pykes could be as beneficial and profitable as their onetime employment under Jabba was. Though they’re reluctant to openly side with Boba, they all agree to remain neutral in the upcoming fight. Now short their expected muscle, Boba and Fennec agree that the time has come to use their funds to bring in some backup, and the episode closes out with a familiar tune that indicates we might be seeing a familiar face — or rather, beskar helmet — sometime soon.

“The Gathering Storm” is firm proof that The Book of Boba Fett shines when it focuses on the characters and allows them to grow. Showing the early days of Fennec and Boba’s partnership provided an organic way to convey Boba’s motivation to the audience. It also neatly subverts the expectation some held last week, that he sought power on Tatooine in revenge for what happened to the Tuskens.

Boba’s reason for wanting the throne also benefits Fennec independently — she is also used to working for incompetent and unforgiving employers — giving her a reason to stay beyond a sense of obligation and elevates them to the equal-footing partnership many believed they already had following their introduction in The Mandalorian’s second season.

Director Kevin Tancharoen achieved the often difficult task of making sure the action scenes conveyed the same degree of partnership and camaraderie shown by the quieter, more dialogue-driven scenes. Oftentimes, chases and fights can too easily fall into rote patterns that feel disconnected from the characters themselves, but every scene in this episode was firmly rooted in who Boba and Fennec are as fighters, as partners, and perhaps sometime over the next three episodes, as something a little more than partners? Hey, a girl can dream.

The Book of Boba Fett airs Wednesdays on Disney+

This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Arezou Amin is a freelance writer with a lifelong love of Star Wars, romance, fantasy, and all things pop culture. She is the host of Space Waffles, a Star Wars-focused podcast on the Geeky Waffle network, where she also co-hosts the flagship show and writes reviews and recaps for the site.