The Orientalist Book of Boba Fett

Disney Plus released the first episode of its new series, The Book of Boba Fett, on December 29, 2021. In the series, the crime lord and previous bounty hunter Boba Fett take over the desert land of Tatooine and try to make a name for themselves as its new rulers. The planet of Tatooine denotes a representation of the Middle East as seen in western culture. The desert planet has cities and towns of crime, ruled by crime lords and dictators, and much of the planet is populated by the poor and lower-class laborers. The entire series plays on the stereotypes of orientalism and Middle Eastern culture. 

In his book, Orientalism, Said noted that Orientals were viewed as impossible to trust and strange by definition. One of the native species of Tatooine is the Jawas, who are strange, hooded beings that steal and raid scrap and junk from villages. These characters are developed around the theme of Orientalism and the idea of desert-men as being despicable and less human. They speak a language that the viewers of the show cannot understand, pushing the idea that they lack intelligence and human resemblance. 

In The Book of Boba Fett, the previous ruler Jabba the Hutt would be moved by servants as they carried him. In the second episode of the series, Boba Fett is offered to be transported just as his predecessor had. Boba Fett outwardly rejects this idea, criticizing it as being disrespectful and ostentatious. This scene relates to the theme of Orientalism in the show as it portrays the native ruler, Jabba the Hutt, to be cruel whereas the English-speaking new ruler, Boba Fett, is more merciful and liked. 

3 thoughts on “The Orientalist Book of Boba Fett

  1. Sofia W

    I think your points about Boba Fett are really interesting and I totally agree! I had noticed some of the things you mentioned when I watched part of the show, but the framework of Orientalism really brings more of them to light for me.


  2. Nicholas P.

    I find it interesting how you connected Tatooine to the representation of the middle east. I do think that this setting was a deliberate way to use orientalism to try to make it represent the Middle East. I also liked how you mentioned the crime in Tatooine could be used to paint the picture that the Middle East is a crime-ridden place.


  3. OWEN C

    I had grown up watching the star wars movies and never realized how the setting and characterization were completely related to orientalism. The differences between Boba Fett and Jaba the Hutt do seem to be that only one speaks English and coincidentally he is the character seen as a hero.


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