As is the nature of Star Wars fans, when one group sees something they absolutely love, another group sees the same thing and absolutely hates it, as evidenced by the most recent episode of Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett. More specifically, this most recent episode saw the debut of a gang of cyborgs who ride on brightly colored speeder bikes, reminiscent of ’60s-era motorcycles. While some viewers loved seeing a more colorful side of the galaxy far, far away, others thought the gang came across as campy and silly, seemingly juxtaposing the grittier tone of the series. Stars Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen recently offered their thoughts on the characters.
“Some of these things are out of our control. We can’t say as performers, ‘We don’t want to work with these people, that’s not good enough,'” Morrison shared during a Television Critics Association event, per The Hollywood Reporter. “They brought a lot of color to it, I thought … They were great, were working hard.”
Wen, a lifelong Star Wars fan, went on to add, “This is a real homage to the things [creator] George Lucas always loved — whether it was the Mods in the ’60s, or [Lucas’ hot rod film] American Graffiti. At the same time, it lends itself to learning more about Tatooine. And Sophie [Thatcher, who played the gang leader,] was a lovely human being and I definitely enjoyed getting to know her.”
Another point of contention among fans has been the ways in which the series handles the Tusken Raiders. In Star Wars: A New Hope and the prequel trilogy, the figures were interpreted as a savage population of brutes who seemingly wanted nothing more than the kill and steal to stay alive in the Tatooine deserts. Since the debut episode, The Book of Boba Fett has shown that, while they have the capabilities for brutality, they are just as complex as any other culture in the franchise, with their intense way of life largely being the result of the harsh conditions of the desert.
The most recent episode saw the tribe that rescued Fett getting killed, resulting in Fett attempting to dispose of their bodies in a ritualized manner. This meant that, for how excited fans were to see their complexities intially, they were disappointed that the series killed them all off.
“[Their portrayal] was better than it was [in the films],” Morrison pointed out. “Then I read [in the script that] we were throwing dead bodies just on the fire and I was going, ‘Oh, hang on, we got to put a bit of ceremony into this.’ But they are the indigenous of the sands of Tatooine, and I was creating a little bit more history about their own culture and I was pulling from my own culture, in a way, in terms of the ceremonies and preparing the warrior and preparing a weapon. And Boba has never experienced a real family before — with the young Tuskens and the old Tuskens — and protecting their land.”
Wen continued, “We knew so little about the Tuskens and [the show] really gave them an incredible backstory … I thought all those elements really enrich who the Tuskens are … and [setting the bodies on fire] was part of Star Wars, with A New Hope, whether it’s the Jawas, when they were attacked, there is this ceremonious desire on Tatooine to burn the bodies as opposed to letting them lie out in the open in the desert.”
New episodes of Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett debut on Disney+ every Wednesday.
What did you think of these controversial elements? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!