Book Of Boba Fett: The Tuskens’ Black Melons Explained

Book Of Boba Fett: The Tuskens' Black Melons Explained

The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian both depict the black melon, which is filled with a nutritious liquid, as a crucial part of Tusken culture.

The Book of Boba Fett, through the Tuskens’ black melons, offers Star Wars fans a more in-depth look into Tusken Raider culture and the natural history of the desert planet of Tatooine. By fleshing out the traditions and daily lives of the iconic Tusken tribes, The Book of Boba Fett moves in a direction that’s never been truly explored by the Star Wars franchise in previous movies or shows. While the black melons seem like a small and insignificant detail, they actually reveal much about the characters as well as the setting of The Book of Boba Fett.

That being said, the Tuskens’ black melons first appeared in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 1, “Chapter 9: The Marshal.” Din Djarin’s (Pedro Pascal) search for his fellow Mandalorians brings him back to Tatooine, where he finds Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant), the self-appointed marshal of a small mining town, wearing Boba Fett’s (Temuera Morrison’s) Mandalorian armor. Vanth agrees to hand over the armor to Djarin, but only if Djarin helps Vanth to kill a krayt dragon that’s been terrorizing the town. Along the way, Djarin and Vanth enlist the help of Tuskens, who also want the krayt dragon dead. When the Tuskens give Vanth a black melon to drink, Vanth insults them when he rejects the offer. As Djarin translates for Vanth, the Tuskens tell Vanth that his people steal the Tuskens’ water and then insult them by refusing the black melon.

Boba Fett doesn’t make this mistake when he is first offered a black melon by the Tusken tribe that plucks him from the desert. This is because the black melon is given to him by the tribe’s chief – a gesture of acceptance after Boba proves his worth by saving a Tusken child from an unknown sand monster. Not much else is revealed about the black melons of Tatooine, and the desert fruit’s true origins are among the many unanswered questions in The Book of Boba Fett. Although both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett reveal that the highly nutritious black melons are an acquired taste, are highly important to Tusken culture, and are found near the surface of the sand, neither show goes deeper into where these fruits came from. However, their value to the Tuskens, Tatooine’s indigenous people, suggests that the black melons have existed on the planet for hundreds or even thousands of years. Moreover, while their name suggests that the black melons are a type of fruit, they have no visible roots or other plant structures.

Book Of Boba Fett: The Tuskens' Black Melons Explained
Book Of Boba Fett: The Tuskens’ Black Melons Explained

Notably, the black melons highly resemble something else that’s commonly found not in a galaxy that’s far, far away, but on the seas and beaches of present-day Earth: the hollow skeleton of a dead sea urchin. Thousands of years ago, as explained in The Book of Boba Fett, the desert planet of Tatooine was covered in oceans. This means that instead of fruits, the black melons could be the remnants of spiny, globular echinoderms that once inhabited Tatooine’s vast oceans. Here on Earth, the water found inside dead sea urchins is salty and unfit for drinking. On Tatooine, it’s conceivable that the composition of the alien echinoderms, combined with thousands of years in the dry desert, could result in a highly nutritious water or milk being produced and retained in the shells. This could already be common knowledge among the Tuskens, but since very few outsiders speak the Tusken language, the knowledge could’ve been kept within the tribes.

The Book of Boba Fett reveals that the Tuskens are not savages and that their actions are based on ancient traditions and rituals that revolve around surviving in and preserving the deep desert. This is just one of the ways in which The Book of Boba Fett fixes Star Wars’ age-old problems. The black melons may not seem like much, but they could hold the key to understanding, not just the culture of the Tusken tribes but the planet of Tatooine itself.