This Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett article contains spoilers.
The Book of Boba Fett throws quite a few new characters into the mix in “The Streets of Mos Espa,” as the city’s new daimyo continues to deal with threats to his throne. A (final?) confrontation with Black Krrsantan and the Hutt twins ushers in a new band of angsty bikers now under Boba’s employ as well as a cameo by a rancor keeper you might recognize if you’ve followed showrunner and director Robert Rodriguez’s career. In fact, this cameo is tradition in Rodriguez’s movies.
Danny Trejo as the Rancor Keeper
You might know him best as Machete, Razor Charlie in From Dusk Till Dawn, or as one of the baddies in the latter two chapters of Rodriguez’s legendary Mexico Trilogy, but you’ve definitely seen him before in one of this director’s films. Danny Trejo, who happens to be Rodriguez’s second cousin, a fact unknown to them until they filmed 1995 Mexploitation Western Desperado, is known for playing gritty action heroes and villains who operate outside of the law.
Trejo has appeared in many of Rodriguez’s films since ’95, including Spy Kids, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Planet Terror, and the Machete movies, in which he starred. DC fans may also know him as the interdimensional bounty hunter Breacher on CW’s The Flash.
In “The Streets of Mos Espa,” we see Trejo’s unnamed character under the employ of the Hutt twins, who offer him and a rancor calf to Boba Fett as a peace offering. This rancor keeper makes friends with the daimyo, who quickly takes a liking to the little calf now living in the dread dungeon below the palace. Boba asks his new beast master to teach him how to ride the rancor like witches of Dathomir once did, which is something we can’t wait to see later in the series. Just imagine shooting down Pykes on the back of a rancor!
It’s clear that Trejo’s rancor keeper really loves spending time with one of the most feared creatures in the galaxy, like he’s Space Hagrid. He even imparts some wisdom about the little rancor that may change the way you think about the hungry rancor in Return of the Jedi. According to the beast master, rancors are emotionally complex and not just violent monsters. They bond quickly to the first being they see, which is why this baby rancor wears a blindfold until he’s introduced to Boba Fett, his beloved master and new dad.
That’s right, Pateesa from Return of the Jedi had feelings, but Luke Skywalker slaughtered him like an animal anyway.
Stephen Root as Lortha Peel, the Water Monger
The greedy water monger played by Stephen Root wouldn’t be out of place in a Rodriguez film, either. Especially in his Mexico Trilogy, the director explored how those who have take advantage of those who don’t. In this case, the water monger is charging a month’s wages for a week’s worth of water to kids who don’t even have any wages. “Look around, there’s no work,” one of the bikers tells Boba when he confronts them for their crimes. While the greedy usually meet bad ends in Rodriguez movies, the water monger is let off with just a warning to lower his water prices and to not bother these kids (now Boba’s employees) again.
Root has been a mainstay of genre movies and tv shows for decades. One of his earliest credits was in the George A. Romero horror film Monkey Shines, and he followed that up with parts in Ghost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, RoboCop 3, and Bicentennial Man. He also guest starred in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Quantum Leap, Eerie, Indiana, and True Blood. Most recently, he’s probably best known for playing the titular character in The Man in the High Castle and as Monroe Fuches on Barry.
Sophie Thatcher as Drash the Biker
Rodriguez’s love of sketchy bikers and criminals on the fringe translates into a stylish gang of wayward kids on colorful speeders on The Book of Boba Fett. Chief among these bikers is a young woman named Drash, who’s brave enough to talk back to the daimyo and call him an “old man” when they first meet. Later, Drash will work for Boba, even facing down the fearsome Black Krrsantan when he attacks the daimyo inside the palace. A chase sequence late in the episode shows off Drash’s driving skills, as she takes her speeder bike to the Mos Espa’s rooftops to catch up with the mayor’s runaway majordomo.
The Book of Boba Fett‘s cool-as-hell hipster biker is played by Sophie Thatcher, a relative newcomer who also happens to be one of the protagonists on Showtime’s Yellowjackets, which just happens to be the best show currently airing on American television. The show is like a mix of Lost, Lord of the Flies, Hannibal, and Breaking Bad — in other words, you should be watching it. Thatcher plays the grungy outsider Natalie.
Read more about The Book of Boba Fett here.