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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

How Long Was Boba Fett Actually in the Sarlacc Pit?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the series premiere of The Book of Boba Fett, now streaming on Disney+.

Boba Fett’s escape from the Sarlacc Pit was one of those long-presumed, never-confirmed moments in Star Wars that the fan base more or less willed into canon. Copious Legends products covered the details, notably Marvel’s comic Star Wars #81 from 1983 and the Tales from Jabba’s Palace short story anthology from 1996. But it remained outside of official Star Wars for over 35 years, and as the franchise moved first back in time to the Clone Wars and then forward to the rise of the First Order, Fett’s possible survival officially remained an open question.

As expected, The Book of Boba Fett wasted no time in clarifying the details. The premiere episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” opens with a flashback to his escape, awakening somewhere in the depths of the Sarlacc’s digestive system and burning a hole through the creature’s innards with a flamethrower on his armor. It’s simple and direct – clearing the air of any questions – and director Robert Rodriguez made a direct visual connection to the Star Wars #81 issue with a spot-on recreation of one of its panels.

It also reveals roughly how long Fett spent in the monster’s gullet, which in turn raises some questions about the Sarlacc’s physiology. The franchise first confirmed Fett’s survival in Season 2 of The Mandalorian, as he and Fennec Shand came to the aid of the title character and his infant charge. Fett was in search of his armor, which Mando had acquired in Season 2, Episode 1, “The Marshal” and the two reached an accord that made them allies for the remainder of the season. It had the effect of establishing that Fett was alive without going into further details, leaving it to The Book of Boba Fett to fill in the blanks.

“Stranger in a Strange Land” sticks mainly to how he broke free rather than when he did it, with his armor providing him some protection against the creature’s digestive process. A nearby set of Stormtrooper armor – its owner presumably either dead or incapacitated inside – provides him with some needed respite, confirming that protective measures can hold off digestion for at least a little while. Fett was level-headed enough to come to his senses before too much time had passed and his armor was still operational.

The Book of Boba Fett's biggest clues about the length of time come when he emerges and collapses on the Tatooine sand. The wreck of Jabba’s sail barge is behind him, which in turn suggests that little time has passed since the battle in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. The fires from the barge’s destruction have had time to burn themselves out, and any survivors have made their way back to civilization. Yet the wreck is still intact, and the elements haven’t begun to reclaim it. That suggests that anywhere from one to three days have passed, which would be in keeping both with the protection of his armor and the need for food and water, which presumably wasn't available inside the Sarlacc’s stomach.

Curiously, the sequence doesn’t answer a bit of hyperbole around the creature’s digestion. According to C-3P0’s announcement in Return of the Jedi, the Sarlacc’s victims “are slowly digested over a thousand years.” Presumably, he’s exaggerating since anyone who falls into it would perish of starvation within weeks or even days. However, Legends content suggests otherwise. Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary has a detailed section on the Sarlacc’s anatomy, claiming that it absorbs the intellect of its victims and can thus torment their souls for as long as Threepio says. If that’s the case, then getting out within a day or so was vital to Fett’s survival, freeing him before the Sarlacc could establish that link.

That detail carries over into other pertinent Legends content. For instance, “A Barve Like That” – Boba’s story in Tales from Jabba’s Palace – recounts how he and the Sarlacc maintain a telepathic link, which he can use to communicate with the creature when they are close. That echoes the dreams/flashbacks Fett experienced in “Stranger in a Strange Land,” giving The Book of Boba Fett a possible avenue to explore and further codify the monster’s feeding process. Fett may be done with the Sarlacc, but the Sarlacc isn’t necessarily done with Fett.

New episodes of Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett are available on Disney+ every Wednesday.

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