Hey! Hallie here!
So I’ve been pretty radio silent on ‘The Book of Boba Fett’, a series I have fully intended to cover since its announcement. I’ve really liked Boba Fett for about as long as I’ve liked Star Wars. While it has always been true that he wasn’t focused on enough to have much personality, his armor has one of the best designs in the entire series and he was the audience’s main introduction to the interesting concept of bounty hunters in Star Wars. And honestly, the mystery really worked for Boba Fett. His menacing voice made him so intimidating and his presence was so intriguing that no personality was really needed to acknowledge how cool of a character he was. But, of course, curiosity only made fans, and me, want more. When Boba Fett appeared in ‘The Mandalorian’ I was thrilled. It was such a badass way to set up a solo show for him. So why haven’t I been gushing about ‘The Book of Boba Fett’? Well, because I’m not that big of a fan. For now I continue to hold out hope that this series will grab me in its remaining four episodes, but let’s talk about what I’m not liking here so far. SPOILERS ahead!
Episode one had a great setup. The show jumped immediately into Boba Fett’s attempts to take over the position Jabba the Hutt once held, making it clear that though some are intimidated, Boba Fett hasn’t proven his power to Mos Espa yet. Making it even more difficult, the Mayor of Mos Espa outright refuses to honor Boba Fett as the Daimyo, or the new crime lord in town. This is just the type of introduction I wanted from this series. I wanted to see Boba Fett prove himself a more capable crime lord than Jabba ever was, and for him to do that, he needs to come up against opposition. However, in this episode we also see the beginning of a very confusing plot element. Boba Fett wants to rule with respect rather than fear, but his means of doing this seems to just be to act as the people pleaser. Whenever Fennec Shand warns him that he will have to make some sort of example to prove his position as the new Daimyo, he brushes her off for being harsh. And look, I understand that he wants to be noble, but he’s still a crime lord. I don’t know how anyone can take him seriously as a crime lord when all he does is play into the mayor’s ego by going to him while Shand and Jabba’s former men fend off attacks better than he does. Between this storyline we get tons of flashbacks. So many flashbacks. I did like seeing Boba Fett escape the Sarlacc pit, but the entire storyline where he was captured by the Tusken Raiders and slowly earned their trust really slowed down the story. I’m not a fan of prolonged flashbacks because I feel they often slow down the plot, but they can be used well if they tie into what’s occurring in present time. But these flashbacks don’t. It feels disjointed and boring, and this episode didn’t do a good job of making me interested in Boba Fett overall as a character.
This is the episode where I slowly began to realize that the flashbacks are just as much the main plot as the present day story. And let me just say, as someone who doesn’t generally like flashback storytelling, it really rubbed me the wrong way. For the present day storyline Boba finally gets in contact with the mayor to make some threats that seem pretty empty as of now considering Boba Fett’s current respect level, and then he himself gets threatened by two of the Hutts and a badass looking Wookie. Otherwise, this whole episode is dedicated to that one time Boba Fett saved the Tusken Raiders from a murder train. It’s a very western storyline, but once again, the show doesn’t give us much reason to care. Nor does it tie in to anything that’s happening in the present. After a few of the Tusken Raiders die, Boba decides to steal a bunch of speeders to teach the Raiders how to ride them. Once he deems them ready, they take on the Pykes in control of the train, and in doing so, manage to gather some water. As thanks, the Tusken Raiders let a lizard crawl up Boba’s nose for what is akin to a drug trip, and then give him some cool new clothes. I like that the characterization of the Tusken Raiders in the show is influenced by Indigenous communities, but I don’t love how out of left field every aspect of their storyline is. The only thing we get out of this whole episode is the Pykes, who are a group set to play a bigger role in this series. Hopefully they fare better than the Hutts. I’ll explain in a moment.
The cold open consists of a very smarmy seeming man coming to Boba Fett to ask for help with a few teenagers who have been stealing his wares. Which is just water. He’s selling overpriced water. Boba Fett accepts despite the fact that the request is obviously ridiculous and Fennec Shand rightfully thinks he should brush it off. Boba Fett then finds some edgy teens in a back alley whose designs are completely different from literally everything else in the area, tells them all to get jobs, and then offers them jobs when they say they have none. The whole concept was so amusing that I was giggling through the whole thing. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? No idea. I don’t think it was what they were going for, though. This episode finally takes more of a stand in modern day. All it really establishes with a short flashback is that Boba Fett found the Tusken Raider camp he had joined destroyed with the inhabitants likely all killed. After this flashback though, the Wookie returns to try to kill Boba Fett. And once again, Boba Fett needs help to fend off the attack. This time, the teens (and Fennec Shand) manage to take down the Wookie. Why they fare in hand-to-hand combat better than Boba Fett is beyond me, but they do. After this, Boba Fett has a meet up with the Hutts, who gift him with the cool Wookie, a Rancor, and Danny Trejo! Yay! They also tell him they give up and are done threatening him. So much for that plot line. All Boba Fett really has to worry about now is the mayor. But when they go to see him, the Twi’lek working for him lies that the mayor is busy and makes a run for it. Here we get to see the teens take on another one of Boba’s foes, this time in speeders that look like Power Rangers motorcycles. Turns out the mayor is working with the Pykes. I genuinely hope the Pykes manage to pull some story elements together. But overall, this episode felt ridiculous.
Though I do enjoy joking around about how much I’ve disliked this show so far, I don’t want to dislike it by any means. I really want to like ‘The Book of Boba Fett’. I have so much respect for Temuera Morrison and I want to see him do more with ‘Boba Fett’. I love Ming-Na Wen and Fennec Shand is quickly becoming my favorite character in this series, she just needs more screen time. I love the creature design in this show and I still adore the concept. It’s just the execution that’s disappointing me. I hope that this show completely blows me away with the last four episodes. But as of now, I can honestly say I like ‘The Bad Batch’ better. And if you know my opinion on that show, that isn’t a very glowing review.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!