The Book of Boba Fett Episode 2 kept Star Wars fans thrilled with a two-part story about Boba Fett and Fennec Shand trying to uncover the threat(s) against their fledging criminal empire, while flashbacks further revealed how Boba earned his place in a tribe of Tusken Raiders. While these two storylines may just seem thematically linked on the surface, there is actually a fair amount of hints in The Book of Boba Fett Episode 2 that could point to the true villain (or antagonist?) that is working behind the scenes to thwart Boba Fett’s efforts to rule.
(WARNING: The Book of Boba Fett Episode 2 SPOILERS Follow!)
While the present-day action of The Book of Boba Fett is keeping the mysterious antagonist stirring up factions of Tatooine gangs a secret, it’s in the lengthy flashback sequence of Episode 2 that we get some big clues.
In “Chapter 2: The Tribes of Tatooine” we learn that Boba and the Tuskens that took him in were being menaced by a high-speed train convoy that would shoot down the Tuskens every time it passed. Boba Fett was able to form an even deeper bond with the tribe by taking on the mission to defeat the train; a mission that had him train the Tuskens to use machines (speeders) in order to stage a train heist.
Boba Fett and the Tuskens successfully sabotage the train and claim the prize inside: spice. The train turns out to belong to the dreaded Pyke Syndicate, which was running spice through the Tatooine desert. Boba Fett allows the surviving Pykes to leave alive and run back to their bosses, telling them that there is now a tax for operating in the Tusken lands.
The question The Book of Boba Fett Episode 2 quietly raises is: who is pulling the strings of the Pyke Syndicate in the post-Empire era the show is set in? That same mastermind is pretty likely the same one no antagonizing Boba Fett and Fennec Shand, by pushing various factions (like the Hutt Twins and Black Krrsantan) into conflict with them.
So who could that be? Lady Qi’ra of Crimson Dawn seems like an increasingly likely suspect!
As we’ve broken down before: Star Wars official comic storylines have spent the last year setting up a direct conflict between Boba Fett and Qi’ra’s Crimson Dawn empire. The “War of the Bounty Hunters” crossover this summer retconned events between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi to “reveal” how Qi’ra re-introduced Crimson Dawn to the galaxy by stealing Han Solo’s carbonite-frozen body from Boba Fett, on the way to Jabba’s palace. That theft set off an entire war for Solo’s body (one that Boba Fett ultimately won); it also allowed Qi’ra to spread Crimson Dawn’s spies and influence everywhere.
In the new “Crimson Reign” comic event, we’re learning that Qi’ra was busy making long-term plans for Crimson Dawn to outlast Palpatine’s Empire – including helping Leia plan the raid on Jabba’s Palace to rescue. Based on what we know of Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) from Solo: A Star Wars Story, helping the Rebels take out Jabba was probably a self-serving act, more the altruism based on her affection for Han Solo. We also know from Solo that Qi’ra is all too aware of the Kessel spice mines and their product – not hard to believe she’d go back there to take it over in her new role as a crimelord.
That’s all to say: finding out that Qi’ra and Crimson Dawn are behind the Pyke Syndicate spice trade on Tatooine won’t be a surprise for those who are deep in current Star Wars lore. It also wouldn’t be surprising to find out Qi’ra isn’t happy that the old fly in her ointment (Boba Fett) is once again mucking up her plans – or to get a Book of Boba Fett finale that finally brings Boba Fett, Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and Qi’ra together (Lando too?) to hash out their grudges.
The Book of Boba Fett is now streaming on Disney+.