Everything That Happened On Tatooine After Return Of The Jedi: A Brief History

The Disney+ series "The Book of Boba Fett" just dropped its first episode, "Stranger in a Strange Land," and that strange land is one all too familiar for "Star Wars" fans: the sandy desert planet of Tatooine. Fett (Temuera Morrison) famously fell into the Sarlacc pit in "Return of the Jedi," but what's happened on the planet since? While we don't have an exact timeline, "The Book of Boba Fett" takes place a few years after the events of "Return of the Jedi," and there have been some big changes to Tatooine's sociopolitical landscape, even if its actual landscape is eternally a sandbox. 

The death of Jabba the Hutt, end of the galactic civil war, and rise of the New Republic all had major implications for this little desert world. So where does that leave things for the "Book of Boba Fett?" Let's find out. 

Spoilers for the first episode of "The Book of Boba Fett" and the "Star Wars: Aftermath" novels follow.

A Power Vacuum the Size of a Hutt

The immediate fallout following the battle of Endor and the fall of the second Death Star is covered in the "Aftermath" trilogy, written by Chuck Wendig. In the trilogy, which is part of the official "Star Wars" canon, the exact depth of the power chasm left in the wake of Jabba's death is revealed. The Hutt Cartel is gone, and a local named Cobb Vanth (played by Timothy Olyphant in "The Mandalorian") has decided he's the new sheriff in town. Vanth discovers the set of Mandalorian armor that once belonged to Boba Fett when trading with Jawas, and he takes the armor for himself. Vanth wants to stop any crime syndicates posing as mining companies from coming to Tatooine, fearing they'll try to fill the power vacuum Jabba left behind. Tatooine is a "hive of scum and villainy," after all, and criminal organizations tend to do very well there. 

Vanth and his Twi'lek companion, Issa-Or, end up teaming up with Jabba's former beastmaster, Malakili. He's still sore about the death of his poor rancor at the hands of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), but he has bigger problems when he's attacked by Red Key Raiders, who work for one of the crime syndicates pretending to be a mining organization. Thankfully, he's rescued by Vanth and Issa-Or, and he agrees to help tame beasts for them and the rest of the folks at Freetown. He even helps them tame a young Hutt, though he treats the creature with more patience and love than the rest of his bipedal companions. 

The Red Key raiders end up capturing Vanth and the baby Hutt, with plans to sell the baby to the other Hutts in order to "buy" the planet from them. Their leader, Lorgan Movellan, planned on using Tatooine for all of its resources, including turning its inhabitants into slaves. Vanth is rescued by Tusken Raiders, whom he made a deal with in order to keep slavers off the planet. It's the first time the Tusken Raiders and the townsfolk of Tatooine worked together, but it wouldn't be the last.

Vanth, Fett, and the Mandalorian

In the second season of "The Mandalorian," fans finally got a peek at Fett after his escape from the Sarlacc pit. In the episode "The Tragedy," directed by "The Book of Boba Fett" executive producer Robert Rodriguez, Fett is revealed to be alive and looking for his armor. Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), better known as the Mandalorian, also wants the armor, currently being worn by Vanth. In the season 2 premiere, "The Marshal," Vanth tells Djarin he can have Fett's armor if he helps him defeat the Krayt Dragon that's been wreaking havoc on the town of Mos Pelgo. It turns out that they need more than two guys in beskar to defeat the nearly mythological Krayt Dragon, and so the townspeople of Mos Pelgo team up with their former adversaries, the Tusken Raiders, in order to take down the dragon. 

They end up killing the gargantuan creature, so Vanth gives the Mando Fett's armor. Djarin eventually gives the armor back to Fett, but there's another important effect of the Krayt Dragon: it brings peace between the Tusken Raiders and the other residents of Tatooine. 

The Death of the Krayt Dragon Brings Peace

The Tusken Raiders have pretty much always gotten a bad rap in "Star Wars." They've frequently been relegated to harmful stereotypes of Indigenous people, treating them as feral savages. In "The Mandalorian," they're treated more like people. Djarin is able to communicate and collaborate with them, and eventually they are able to work together with their former enemies to take down their mutual foe, the Krayt Dragon. For the first time, there is peace between the town of Mos Pelgo and the Tusken Raiders, and that peace spreads throughout Tatooine. There will always be fighting over resources and territory on the desert planet, but at least the unnecessary mutual distrust is gone. 

The Tusken Raiders show up once more in "The Book of Boba Fett," picking up the armor-stripped Fett after he's left in the sand by scavenging Jawas. Though they initially treat him as a prisoner, he manages to save the life of one of their younger members and defeats a four-armed sand monster, and they then welcome him as a guest instead. Giving the native people of Tatooine some depth is a great start to making the planet more than just a big dustball where bad things happen, and it's a refreshing change from some of the more racist tropes that haunt the original trilogy. We haven't seen the last of the Tusken Raiders, but I'm looking forward to learning more about their culture and lives.

Time for a Takeover

There's a great line from Vanth in "Aftermath," in which he basically sets up where things stand for "The Book of Boba Fett":

"I know that things are changing. Not just in the galaxy, but here at home, too. The Hutts still haven't shaken out who's next up to fill Jabba's throne—if you can call that flat slab of his a throne. Seems like this might be a new day for Tatooine."

The Empire have been forced out of Tatooine, as evidenced by the rows of Stormtrooper helmets in Mos Eisley in "The Mandalorian," and the Hutts are at war with themselves. The crime-driven planet needs a Godfather to unite the various criminal syndicates, provide protection to its myriad salacious businesses, and keep order. In the first episode of "The Book of Boba Fett," we see the former bounty hunter doing business with many of Jabba's former underlings, including paying visits to some of its seedier establishments. They all seem to be doing alright for themselves without a crime lord around, and when Fett introduces himself as Bib Fortuna's (Michael Carter) replacement, some don't seem too pleased. Jennifer Beals' Twi'lek character Garsa Fwip, who runs a club called The Sanctuary, offers pleasantries but seems frustrated with being under yet another man's thumb. 

Tatooine is ripe for a takeover, but Fett probably won't be the only one trying to take power. There's plenty of time for new baddies to come out of the woodwork, and there are certain to be loads of folks who aren't ready to answer to anyone after tossing the yoke of the Hutts and the Empire. In the premiere, Fett says that while Jabba ruled with fear, he wants to rule with respect. He'd better get started earning that quick, because he has a lot of work to do. 

New episodes of "The Book of Boba Fett" premiere on Wednesdays, streaming exclusively on Disney+.