What Is THE MANDALORIAN’s Boonta Eve? What To Know About the Important STAR WARS Holiday

Return of the Jedi saw the end of Jabba’s reign on Tatooine. Boba Fett’s ascension to Daimyo of Mos Espa then ensured no other Hutt took their relative’s former throne. But just because that infamous crime family no longer controls the planet doesn’t mean its citizens can’t still enjoy the best thing the Hutts ever gave it. The Mandalorian revealed Tatooine continued to celebrate Boonta Eve even without the Hutt clan. It’s a Star Wars holiday whose relevance goes well beyond the iconic Outer Rim world. It helped forever reshape the galaxy far, far away.

Grogu looks awed as he pears out of a ship on The Mandalorian season 3

What Is Boonta Eve?

Boonta Eve (also called Boonta’s Eve) is a major annual holiday on Tatooine citizens stretch to a weeklong celebration full of drinking and revelry. It also sees the desert world’s sky fill with fireworks both day and night. But while denizens of all species partake in the fun, the holiday was originally secular in nature. The Hutts created it to honor their family member Boonta Hestilic Shad’ruu’s rise to godhood.

Fireworks fill the night sky of Tatooine on Boonta Eve on The Mandalorian

Who Was Boonta Hestilic Shad’ruu?

Disney’s purchase of Star Wars relegated Boonta the Hutt’s history to the non-canonical category of Legends. During the George Lucas era of the franchise, the slaver was infamous for his successes in some of his family’s most important historical battles. In addition to Boonta Eve, he also had a planet renamed for him. ( Boonta now refers to an unspecified object in space that is still connected to the Hutts.)

Jabba the Hutt walks out with his arm raised to greet the crowd at the Boonta Eve Classic in The Phantom Menace

In modern canon we technically know very little about Boonta Hestilic Shad’ruu. Besides his family’s celebration marking his rise to god status, they also remember him with the Huttese weapon the Boonta Blaster. He is thought to have commissioned the first ever made.

But while his history, both officially and unofficially, is one of warfare, the most important spectacle of his holiday is one of speed. It’s also one that played a monumental role in Star Wars.

What Is the Boonta Eve Classic?

The podracers line up for the Boonta Eve Classis in front of flag bearers in The Phantom Menace

The Boonta Eve Classic is the holiday’s most famous event. Held in Mos Espa’s Grand Arena, it also serves as the planet’s largest and most prestigious podrace of the year. During their reign, the Hutts hosted and personally oversaw the contest, which opens with a flag parade in front of thousands of spectators. The Mandalorian didn’t show the race, which sees entrants reach speeds of more than 700 kilometers-per-hour (435 mph). The Disney+ series only featured small races through the Mos Espa’s streets. But the show didn’t need to. Star Wars fans witnessed the full glory of the Boonta Eve Classic in The Phantom Menace. It’s the race that led to Anakin Skywalker’s freedom.

Thanks to his connection to the Force, young Anakin was the only human capable of handling the immense speeds of the race. When he entered and beat 17 others (only six of whom finished the race; many racers died) he won his freedom from Watto. His owner had bet against his slave with Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Every fan knows what followed Anakin’s victory and what it meant for the entire galaxy.

Young Anakin Skywalker talks to his mother Shmi in The Phantom Menace

Did a member of the proud, opulent, violent Hutt clan truly become a god? Probably not. But we do know that their family’s holiday led to the rise of Darth Vader and the Empire. Not that Tatooine should feel badly about still celebrating Boonta Eve. It clearly became an important civic institution rather than just a personal family celebration. And besides, the Hutts took so much from that planet. It’s people deserve to keep the one good thing the crime family gave them.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

Top Stories
Trending Topics