Ever since Boba Fett returned to the Star Wars universe in season two, episode one, of The Mandalorian, fans have been wondering how the hell the galaxy’s most notorious bounty hunter survived what C-3PO described as “a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years” in the belly of the Sarlacc.
In the first episode of Disney’s highly anticipated series The Book of Boba Fett, director Robert Rodriguez and showrunner and Star Wars savior Jon Favreau finally answer the question of how Fett survived, and the scene appears to (unofficially) owe a writing credit to Patton Oswalt, who first described it in a Parks and Recreation episode in 2013.
In a masterful bit of improvisation, the comedian rambles on — convincingly — for nearly eight minutes as he pitches his vision for Star Wars: Episode VII while playing Garth Blundin, a man filibustering a small-town city council vote.
“Pan down from the twin suns of Tatooine. We are now close on the mouth of the Sarlacc pit,” Oswalt says, describing his vision for the scene immediately following the opening text scroll in Episode VII. “After a beat, the gloved Mandalorian armor gauntlet of Boba Fett grabs onto the sand outside the Sarlacc pit, and the feared bounty hunter pulls himself from the maw of the sand beast.”
The impressive and often hilarious nearly nine-minute video is absolutely worth watching all the way through.
The Book of Boba Fett opener, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” picks up with an unconscious Fett — the newly appointed crime lord of Tatooine — undergoing a healing bacta-fluid treatment in the palace that once belonged to Jabba the Hutt and his successor Bib Fortuna, whom Fett deposed in a post-credits scene of The Mandalorian finale. From a closeup of Fett’s face, the scene cuts to a flashback of the stoic bounty hunter’s escape from the belly of the beast he fell into in Return of the Jedi.
Fett punches a hole in the stomach lining of the squidlike Sarlacc and goes full Hershel Williams on the tentacled terror, roasting the subterranean beast from the inside out with his flamethrower like a pissed-off American on Iwo Jima. The scene then literally cuts to the twin suns of Tatooine and pans down to reveal the mouth of the Sarlacc pit before Fett punches through the surface, and “pulls himself from the maw of the sand beast.”
Favreau, who wrote all seven episodes of the new series, hit the mark with the premiere like Luke bull’s-eyeing Womp rats in his T-16. Following Fett’s emergence from the desert monster, the episode ramps up.
Fett is picked up by Tusken Raiders, and Favreau and Rodriguez give the “sand people” — known mainly for waving their arms wildly to braying-donkey sound effects — greater depth. The Tusken Raiders drag Fett along behind their caravan of Banthas — traveling single file to hide their numbers just as Obi Wan described in A New Hope in 1977.
The nomadic people known for their violent raids against moisture farmers keep Fett bound as their prisoner and starved of hydration until he proves himself worthy of water (and hopefully freedom) toward the end of the episode.
If “Stranger in a Strange Land” provides a glimpse of what’s to come in the rest of the series, The Book of Boba Fett is poised to bolster Favreau’s stature as the chosen one and savior of the Star Wars universe.