Why was the Rancor pit empty in ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ episode 2?

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett

One of the biggest hurdles in a fictional world as expansive as Star Wars must be the process of making sure that there are no continuity errors with the rest of the timeline, though this can also be a blessing. For instance, when The Book of Boba Fett brought a fan-favorite character from the comics to live-action this week in “Chapter 2,” the fans unanimously rejoiced. But as those who’ve already watched the second episode will tell you, we very nearly saw the return of another iconic creature as well.

“The Tribes of Tatooine” begins with Fennec Shand interrogating an assassin from the Order of the Night Wind in Jabba’s palace. When the villain refuses to divulge his secrets, she drops him into the Rancor pit below the throne room to compel him to talk. Given the fact that the Rancor must have a reputation of its own thanks to Jabba the Hutt, it’s of little surprise that the strategy works and the assassin relents when the door to the beast’s cage lifts.

Alas, we don’t get to see the infamous monster from Return of the Jedi because the cage is empty. As disappointing and short-cut as this unlikely reunion turned out to be, it actually makes sense. Because as you may recall, when Jabba threw Luke into the Rancor pit in Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, the protagonist managed to trap it under the spiked door, evidently killing it in the process.

Some might say that Bib Fortuna, who inherited the palace from Jabba, could have brought in another Rancor to keep the tradition alive, but that obviously doesn’t seem to be the case in The Book of Boba Fett.

Still, if the titular bounty hunter’s journey in the ongoing series takes him to Dathomir – which is the native planet to Rancors – we might get to see one again in live-action after almost 40 years.