WARNING: The following contains spoilers from Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett "Chapter 2: The Tribes of Tatooine,” streaming now on Disney+.
Boba Fett’s history extends back to the earliest days of the Star Wars franchise, well before the Clone Wars were anything but a passing line of dialogue. That changed in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, when his origins and parentage were revealed. Even so, his energy always lay more with his fellow bounty hunters than with the other clones of Jango Fett, who aged faster and whose loyalties were far different than his. Considering the timeline of The Book of Boba Fett, he’s either the last of them or somewhere close to it.
Amid that, it’s easy to forget that he’s a clone himself, and as such still possesses many of the traits and features that his “brothers” did. Those features came to the forefront during the central arc of Season 1, Episode 2, “Tribes of Tatooine,” notably their ability to teach and convey knowledge quickly. While not as potent as a Jedi’s Force abilities – or even spelled out as clearly – they still affect his story long after the other clones have told theirs.
Boba is technically “Alpha,” the first clone created by the Kaminoans during the creation of the Republic’s Clone Army. (Omega, the young girl from Star Wars: The Bad Batch, represents the last.) Unlike the others, he aged at a slower rate, and Jango raised him as a son rather than leaving his training to the Kaminoans. He grew up solitary rather than with a unit, and made his way through the galaxy by himself following Jango’s death at the end of Attack of the Clones. He’s not accustomed to depending on others, or of conveying knowledge to them to achieve a collective aim.
That changed with “Tribes of Tatooine,” as he trains members of the Tusken Raider tribe who took him in how to use a hoverbike. Once they master the skill, he leads them on a successful raid of a spice runners’ hovertrain, which had been murdering Sand People as it passed through their territory. The act cemented his status within the tribe and led them to adopt him as one of their own. It’s more than a minor shift. With Fett aiming to take on the local underworld and lay claim to Jabba’s seat, he’s going to need organizational power as much as combat prowess.
And that’s where his unspoken heritage comes in. Their training entails a strict chain of command, which in the case of figures like Rex means being able to clearly send orders and instructions. That’s reflected during multiple episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, where the Clone Troopers help mount insurgency campaigns very similar to Boba’s efforts with the Tuskens. The most prominent example is Season 5, Episode 2, “War of Two Fronts,” where Rex and the Jedi train a rebel force in the occupied planet of Onderon. Boba’s force is smaller and more focused on a single target, but the principles remain the same.
It brings up further questions about Boba’s heritage, and what kind of a man Jango was before he became the subject of the Kaminoan’s project. It also forms a subtle kind of power Boba possesses that goes beyond his armor and skills as a fighter. It lets him find allies and achieve goals he couldn’t as a lone combatant. A lifetime of ignoring that ability wouldn’t change its presence. With his survival at stake, he’s able to summon it and gain the trust of the Tuskans in the process, no different than the other clones might have in the same circumstances.
What’s changed is the timeline, and in this case, that means the clones are almost certainly long gone. Except for a few possible outliers like Rex, the combination of constant war and rapid aging has done them in, and with the fall of the Empire, even the cause they fought for has been lost to time. Boba’s fight is entirely different than theirs: a chaotic scramble for criminal resources on the galaxy’s fringes following the end of a long conflict. And yet there’s still a thread between the two eras of Star Wars history, placed subtly in the midst of Boba’s efforts to help his new allies. It’s yet another sign of the care Star Wars puts into its world-building.
For more on Boba Fett's teaching techniques, The Book of Boba Fett is currently streaming on Disney+.
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