Let's Talk About The Star War

As I put it on Twitter: I’ve got thoughts about inserting Fett into what would traditionally be a white saviour narrative being offset by Morrison’s Maori heritage. That, and it feels like the series is leveraging, on a metatextual level, the real world solidarity between Indigenous and/or Nomadic peoples in a way that I’m not sure totally lands within the fiction itself (i.e. if it works it’s because of who Morrison is, not so much because of who Fett or the Mandalorians are).

FWIW, my partner - who is Romani/Traveler and runs a Traveler LGBT charity - was relaying the reactions of their group chat on more or less this topic, and the consensus came down mostly positive on the episode and this exploration of Tuskens.

Discourse aside - I thought it was a cool ep. Big, big improvement over the first. Disney probably should have launched these as a two episode starter like they did with Hawkeye. Trains are cool and sci-fi trains with cowardly droid drivers are even cooler.

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I finally got around to watching these!

Boy, that first episode was really forgettable IMO. Nothing really drew me to the screen save for Morrison’s performance. His physical performance is… Interesting. I dunno if it’s the way he’s built, or if it’s something he noticed from the old Boba Fett character, but he gives Fett a very WIDE stance. I kept thinking of the Beastars stance:

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Episode 2 was MUCH better. I am really excited to see distinct, individual Tusken characters too. Usually, we see the Tusken Raiders as one character. The tribe basically talks as one person that interacts with our more fleshed out human characters… But because of brilliant costume design, we get I think 3? different Tusken Raiders that all have their own personality. We get the child of course, and he’s just a kid character so he gets overly excited about stuff and has a dog. Then there’s the martial arts guy, who is my FAV of the bunch. I’m really hoping he joins Boba’s crew as a secondary character. I just need more Tuskens running about. And then of course the leader who gives Boba is GTA V-ass drug trip side mission.

Another thing, I’m applying a he/him pronoun to all these characters but I really don’t know if that pronoun even applies. Hell, I don’t even know if the Raiders have gender… And I LOVE that. Ambiguity around gender is usually kind of applied with gender queer characters or non-conforming human characters in film and TV, which is annoying when used to illustrate a character’s ‘weirdness’, and a lot of sci-fi still likes to apply traditional gender roles onto alien creatures. Most notably Star Trek. Of course, if baby boy Anakin is anything to go by, we know there are ‘men and women’ in the Tusken Raiders, but he could also just be assuming? Nothing is really distinct about how they approach gender in the Tusken’s dress, mannerisms, or how they act which is awesome.

What isn’t so awesome is the copy pasted tropes of indigenous peoples that just feel tired. The space-peyote spirit journey was a low point for me. Anything in sci-fi that can easily be revealed to be used from a real-life example to heighten ‘otherworldly weirdness’ just comes off as hacky to me, and it seemed like the writers couldn’t help themselves on this front. I did hear that the final dance was based on Morrison’s own people’s Maori culture, which is nice, but a friend of mine pointed out that it just feels like Disney is using Morrison’s identity to shield themselves from critique around using Maori/Indigenous culture as a base for their space indigenous characters. Which is lame.

But besides these problems, I am genuinely curious to see how this goes.

Also OH MY GOD IT’S BLACK KRRSANTAN. IS APHRA GOING TO BE IN THIS SHOW??? AHHHHHH

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Morrison is built like my grandfather (a white Romanian construction worker) - stocky, very strong - and my grandfather stood the exact same way, so I imagine that’s just kind of how he stands. Plus I imagine it helps manage the weight of all of the stuff he’s wearing.

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A lot of cool things from this episode. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel this show is much more focused on cool shit opposed to the Mandalorian. I felt Mando was about the story of him and Grogu with some cool stuff sprinkled in. Giant Wookie bounty hunter with electric brass knuckles. Cool! A gang of teens that augmented themselves with droid parts. Cool!!! A baby Ranchor with Danny Trejo as its trainer. COOL!!! If this is the route they choose to take this show I’m down. I don’t need some wild story of how Boba Fett becomes a crime lord. Fett is cool and let’s just put as many cool characters and things around him!

One bad thing though, why did they have to kill the Tuskens? I get it that it shows us why Boba doesn’t like the Pykes. But do we really need that extra step? It already seemed he wasn’t a fan when they took down their train. Also they’re coming for his territory. It wasn’t like he would just be like oh hey come on in we can share. I just was hoping the Tuskens might be incorporated into the present more. After getting to see them as more than just racist stand-ins in this show and also Mando I want to see so much more of them. I’m sure they’ll show up during the finale or something where it seems like Boba’s back is against the wall to come save the day, but I don’t know I just want them to have more of a spotlight so I can learn more about them.

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For all the cool things (of which Danny Trejo and his baby Rancor is clearly the best), this episode also contains possibly the most anemic “fast vehicle chase” I have seen in any drama (at least, where it’s not played for laughs). The “this is really exciting” music just added to the weird dissonance.

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One might even say “now this is podracing” (waka waka)

I have to give it up for Twitter for not totally spoiling this episode for me today.

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I was both bored by the scene’s pace and also charmed by some of its practicality. That speed ramp at the end of the chase was very well done.

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I’ll echo the sentiments about the Tuskens, that race sequence and Danny Trejo. But while the teen gang is very cool they seem to almost be from a different movie, style-wise? Or at least from a different planet? I feel like their clothing and those color-coded KitchenAid hover vespas would be right at home on Coruscant.

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Ok I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that had an issue with the chase. I was just worried I was putting my action bias on that. It felt like the slowest high-speed chase I had ever seen. It was like watching a group of teens case around another all while driving electric shopping carts.

The style of group also does seem to be all over the place. You have the “main” woman who is like a punk. Then the eye guy is just kinda cyberpunky. Then the guy that crashed is like a weird Victorian/steampunk kinda style. It was all over the place. They definitely didn’t feel very Tatooiney. Maybe you’re right @Matthias in that they saw this style of speeder/dress on the TokTik or whatever the teen social media of Star Wars is and decided to copy it. That’s at least my head cannon I’m going to go with.

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What I like the most about this new series is a grizzled protagonist who spends most of ep 2 in a filthy white onsey, and in ep 3 has to fight a wookie in his underwear.

I agree about the hover race scene, it is weirdly slow.

Fennec Strand’s knife in the gun is maybe my favorite thing about this show so far. That and Temuera Morrison’s incredibly deliberate line delivery. He seems like he has that character dialed in with like, a laser level.

EDIT: Who among us hasn’t wanted to have a street chase on the KitchenAid collection of Rascal Scooters before lol

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Not sure about this episode. Loved last week’s, would have spent more time in the hellscape labyrinth of living flesh that is the Sarlacc pit in the first episode, but guess you don’t want to gross people out too much.

  • Let’s not beat around the bush, they weren’t hover bikes, they were hover mopeds, definitely going for that 50s James Dean American Grafitti vibe, but I don’t know if it gelled with the whole used universe aesthetic of Tatooine. Like those mopeds were all shiny but their augments were kind of just the same brown metal as everywhere else.
  • I really don’t want to get into pedantic territory for Star Wars - like all the people who couldn’t accept the slow moving bombers in space from TLJ, when they really just play into Star Wars love for WW2 era tech. But after being threatened by the Hutts, Boba Fett really sleeps unguarded?
  • The arrival of the Pykes felt like the arrival of a Doctor Who villain army.
  • 100% this series ends with Boba riding his Rancor into Mon Espa and evil Chewie ripping somebody’s arms off. They could have done it this episode! Weird that they didn’t do it… feels like they’re saving it for later, when he comes back to fight on Boba’s side.
  • Everyone’s talking about a huge Mandalorian 2 style cameo by the end… I don’t know… you don’t have to do that everytime.
  • I guess I was hoping to see more of Star Wars seedier underbelly from this show. I don’t mind noble Crime lord Boba as a storyline but feel like the show lacks that ‘shoot first’ mentality. One thing I love about the Solo movie was Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos, this really charismatic but bad dude. I feel like I was hoping for more of that.
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Forgot to weigh in on this week’s episode:

  • Really did not appreciate the abrupt end (?) of the Tusken arc. After everyone spent a lot of time discussing “gee, this show seems to be trying to do right by an ethnic stereotype that has been baked into the franchise since its inception”, it was bizarre to see them wiped out just so the show could give Fett a little more animosity vis-a-vis the Pike Syndicate.

  • I’m very mixed on the moped gang, but:

  • Side bar: I’d argue they’re definitely British Mods rather than anything from American Graffiti, from the accents to the number of wingmirrors on their speeder…peds? I’m sure there’s a Star Wars-y term for their stubby speeders, but yep, they’re definitely hover mopeds.

  • Further side bar: I’m not saying it worked or it didn’t, but to anyone arguing the hover moped gang “isn’t Star Wars” I’d just point at stuff from the prequel trilogy like the American diner on Coruscant. The franchise occasionally grabs things from the real world and introduces them without a lot of change and I always find it jarring, but it’s not the first time it has happened.

  • Slowest. Chase. Ever.

Just need a Beatles esque cantina band now.

Joking aside, I got way to far into writing a treatment for a Star Wars Cantina band movie. None of the band would speak English, they’d move from outer rim bar to the next playing their music, playing music with others. Maybe just maybe, they pick up a rebel kid stowaway who becomes the audience’s viewpoint throughout but mainly it would just be a heady mix of alien music. The force as music.

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Honestly the (to steal from Bill Mudron on Twitter) Mos Vespas look like they should be parked outside Dexter’s Diner on Coruscant

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I love that Star Wars has cool teen punks, who are also oppressed workers. There is a specter haunting Tatooine…

Don’t love what’s happened to the Tusken raiders, but I suppose this is hardly the first time. I hope, at least, his experience with those Tusken raiders gives him the experience and cultural knowledge to negotiate with the other tribes we know are around.

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Is BOBF holding its fire for something? I know I said previously that I would watch Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen go grocery shopping but, uh

I feel like the Tusken’s gaderffii sticks coming from wood from a single hyper-resilient tree somewhere on Tatootine the location of which is completely unknown to all life except for this one species of lizard that will lead you there is one of the coolest things done in Star Wars so far so that was going to be a tough episode to follow either way. Been digging the show a lot so far but I haven’t seen episode 4 yet

Quite liked Episode 4. I guess that’s it for the flashbacks for now, because now we’re putting together a team!. This episode gave me the same vibes as Mando, where it made me feel like I want a video game doing this rather than a TV show. Like when you see Frennic blasting dudes with her rifle and it has a high ringing sound to the blaster and briefly sets foes alight on impact. I can feel the game feels.

Other than that, some more quick fire thoughts:

  • I can’t believe they got Thundercat into a Star War. I’m assuming he was behind the music being played in the cyber bar, I hope that makes it to Spotify. In my cantina band movie (still writing it), he would have been the first person to call when putting together the space funk. Just need Josh Homme on guitars and Matt Berry on keyboards.
  • Chef bot doing a callback to General Greivous is the kind of goofy stuff Star Wars stuff I’m here for.
  • Loved that shot of Slave I sneaking up on the bikers unaware.
  • When they approached the sarlaac pit, I said “use the bomb”. It took about a minute, but they then used the bomb. Everyone’s lo-key favourite moment of Episode 2. The bombs.
  • Finally a wookie ripped a guy’s arm off. Not both arms mind you but we’re getting there I suppose.
  • Assuming the musical cue meant Mando. My friend put into my mind that they were going to have a magnificent seven style thing going on. So Boba, Fennec, BK, and Mando. I thought they’d maybe get Bo Katan and her posse together to make 7, but figure they maybe need to resolve the dark saber plotline. With all the callbacks to bounty hunters, there is still room for Bossk, Dengar and IG88 to turn up maybe. Maybe they’ll got to Mando first, but since he is the Mando king now he refuses only to come back right in the knick of time with a large Mando force to save the day and ‘liberate’ Tattooine.
  • I really hope we don’t get a Han Solo cameo.
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Yeah, despite this episode being kinda slow (which is saying something for a show that’s been kinda slow), it deployed fan service very successfully