This article contains spoilers for the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett
The Book of Boba Fett made its debut today on Disney Plus, with its first episode directed by Robert Rodriguez and written by The Mandalorian‘s Jon Favreau. This delivered got some key backstory for Fett, a peek into the seedy underbelly of Tatooine, and a hint at the troubles to come.
But Rodriguez also got to flex his cinematic knowledge, with the episode paying homage to Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns and stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen.
This was most strongly felt in a late scene featuring a gigantic four-armed monster. I believe this creature is a new addition to the Star Wars menagerie (correct me if I’m wrong in the comments), and was found slumbering under the Tatooine sands. It proved to be quite the adversary, with Fett winning the respect of the Tusken Raider leader by strangling and decapitating the beast armed with only a chain.
However, those of you with an eye for classic cinema will have found its design extremely familiar, as it’s heavily inspired by the Kraken in 1981’s The Clash of the Titans. This was Harryhausen’s final movie, capping off an incredible special effects career that began in the 1940s. Rodriguez has been a fan since he was a kid, even casting Harryhausen in a cameo role in 2002’s Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams. On his death in 2003, he said:
“Ray is the reason I became a filmmaker. He inspired me with his hands on, do it yourself filmmaking. Filled with imagination and painstaking craftsmanship. A treasure.”
The Book of Boba Fett seems to be taking after The Mandalorian by using practical effects wherever possible, with some of the Mos Espa droids being ‘played’ by Boston Dynamics’ real-life robot dogs. Here’s hoping they carry on like this and continue dropping references to classic cinema.
The Book of Boba Fett airs Wednesdays on Disney Plus.