Friday, January 14, 2022

Families Are Forever ... Even on Tatooine

The second episode of the incredible Book of Boba Fett is called "The Tribes of Tatooine", and indeed, it very much explores the themes of tribes and family. When I first watched the episode, I found it difficult to connect because halfway through, the story switched from "present" day, to a flashback. It felt like two mini episodes that were disjointed and had nothing to do with each other.

But after watching a second time, I realized that both halves of the show were about the same theme: Family. Tribes. Belonging. 

In the present time, we are made to believe that Boba Fett has no idea what it's like to be part of a family. Fett is trying to fight against the Hutt family. The mayor tells him, "Running a family is more complicated than bounty hunting." True! Fett is viewed by others as a bounty hunter without any loyalty or affiliation to a family. A notion that is accentuated by the fact that he is a clone who lost his father at a young age. Boba never really had a family. He doesn't belong anywhere.

But in the second half of the episode, we learn that nothing could be further from the truth. We see, in detail, how Boba Fett gained trust among his captors. Maybe there was a bit of Stockholm Syndrome, but Boba Fett knew that the Tuskens were not "bad" people. They saved him and cared for him. They taught him. They trained him. And when he showed kindness and generosity to the Tuskens, they returned those gestures in kind. The Tuskens even permitted Boba to go on a spirit quest, take part in their rituals, and rise to a prominent position in the tribe. Indeed, if there's anybody who knows what it means to belong to a family, it's Boba Fett. 

The two halves of "The Tribes of Tatooine" pose a question about Fett's character, and then answer that question.

This got me thinking about what it means to be part of a family. I have the most wonderful, most nurturing family in the world. All of my seven siblings are individual weirdos, but we love each other so much and get along famously. We have always been close, but our bonds were forged stronger when my brother died a few years ago. 

On the other hand, I recently got a divorce. I worried about what that meant for my eternal family. Was a breaking up my family, which is a common argument against divorce? Would my kids be lost? Would I still belong to a family? As I have pressed forward on this new path in my life, I have learned what it means to be part of a family even moreso. I'm closer to my kids than I have ever been before. I am a happier and more authentic person, so I am more emotionally available to "be there" for my kids. My family never broke up, we just shifted our responsibilities. I still preside, provide, and protect. My ex-wife still nurtures with love and righteousness. We are still equal partners, we just don't live together. Our "other circumstances necessitate individual adaptation". 

Families come in many shapes and sizes and arrangements. Be it a traditional family with two parents, a blended family, a single-parent family ... or a Tusken tribe. 

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