When Disney+ announced The Book of Boba Fett at the end of The Mandalorian Season 2, it was a huge surprise to fans. The streamer had kept details so tightly wrapped about the series, everyone just assumed it was The Mandalorian Season 3. Now with the arrival of the new series, fans are finally getting to know a character whose past is shrouded in mystery, but it turns out his present is also mysterious. For example, why does Boba Fett need the Bacta tank? There’s clearly a lot viewers don’t know yet.
Warning: Spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1 follow. The opening episode of The Book of Boba Fett occurs in two timelines. In the present, Fett has taken over Jabba’s palace and is learning that being a warlord isn’t exactly an easy gig. But most of the story takes place in flashbacks, dreams, as Fett says, that he has as he floats in a tank full of water in his bedroom.
That is not just your run-of-the-mill sensory deprivation tank Fett is floating in; it’s what’s known as a Bacta Tank. Star Wars fans have seen one before, in The Empire Strikes Back. After getting stranded outdoors in a storm on Hoth, Luke is placed in one as part of his recovery. Darth Vader is also revealed to have one in Rogue One. The liquid in it isn’t water, but a fluid called Bacta, which accelerates healing, and in the case of Vader, soothes the constant pain from his phantom limbs and allows him to have time outside his mechanical life-support suit.
In most cases, people who spend time in Bacta Tanks experience them like Luke, a one-and-done dip after extreme life-threatening situations. Owning one and floating in it instead of sleeping in a bed is an extreme measure, taken only by those in constant pain or who have injuries that won’t heal.
Which brings fans to the big question of the series: What is ailing Boba Fett?
Although fans only got to see glimpses of Fett’s past in Chapter 1, the bounty hunter had a hard life. Created as a test clone of Jango Fett ahead of the mass creation from Jango’s DNA of the Jedi Clone Army, Jango raised Boba as his own until Mace Windu murdered him. Boba took up his father’s mantle, attempting to be a Mandalorian and bounty hunter, until that fateful moment when he was knocked off Jabba’s barge into the Sarlacc Pit. The series shows how Boba escaped, murdering the Sarlacc from the inside with a flamethrower. But those digestive juices got in him, and it wasn’t before long he was left for dead in the desert by Jawas, who stole his armor.
But it’s not clear if Fett is still suffering from the Sarlacc juices or if his constant need for the tank comes from something else. As fans learn in this episode, Fett’s next adventure led him to the Sand People, where he earned their respect by saving one of their children from a six-legged beast. What else he’s been through will be revealed in further episodes.
What is known is that Fett doesn’t heal correctly. Despite still being a heck of a fighter, Fett has to be dragged by his Gamorrean guards back to Jabba’s palace and thrown in the tank, fully clothed after a clash with a group of assassins. Hopefully, this injury will eventually be revealed and maybe even fixed.
The Book of Boba Fett continues with new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.