Boba Fett is likely the most iconic character in Star Wars aside from Darth Vader himself. Since his first appearance in the original trilogy, fans have been infatuated with the mysterious, beskar-clad, bounty hunter. For years, fans begged and clamored for a solo Boba Fett film. However, the higher-ups at Lucasfilm were uninterested in making it happen for the longest time.
Although he did “die” in the original series, Fett later came back in books and comics connected to the universe. Those are not exactly canon in Disney’s Star Wars universe any longer, but still. He was alive, and fans knew there could be a film for him if Lucasfilm tried to do it.
Several years ago, there were rumors a Boba Fett film was in the works, but there was no concrete information. When The Mandalorian was announced, several fans assumed this would be the “Boba Fett Show.” Soon after, fans discovered it would feature a wholly original character, but fans never quite abandoned the hope that Boba Fett would get his time to shine.
At last, the ending of The Mandalorian season 2 reintroduced the cloned bounty hunter and promised his own show in the credits of that season. Unfortunately, many feel that the show doesn’t live up to the literal decades of hype surrounding the character. Some even claim it falls flat compared to The Mandalorian.
The Legendary Bounty HunterTo make one thing clear, The Book of Boba Fett is not a bad show. It is far from the worst thing to come out of the Star Wars brand. There is absolutely a lot to love about the show too.
First off, the cast is fantastic. Temuera Morrison (Boba Fett) is an absolute gem. It is so wonderful that he was brought back to this universe in such an amazing way. Actually, his debut in season 2 of The Mandalorian is one of the best scenes in any piece of Star Wars media. He plays Boba Fett in a way that is unique and interesting and completely separate from how he played Jango.
Ming-Na Wen also returns to Star Wars by reprising her role as assassin Fennec Shand. She is equally amazing and really gets to shine in this role. Fennec Shand becomes the cool, yet sometimes brash companion to Boba Fett. Fennec also has some of the best action scenes in the season. Ming-Na Wen also did the majority of her own stunts for the series.
Speaking of action sequences, the legendary Robert Rodriguez had a huge role in The Book of Boba Fett. While he is only credited as a director on the show, he left his mark on the season. The western, crime drama feel, the action set pieces, the wandering bounty hunter, and the stylistic fight scenes are all Rober Rodriguez staples.
He is also a huge Star Wars fan as well as a nerd for a lot of other pop-culture media like anime and video games. He brings a lot of those elements into his work on every project he does. The Book of Boba Fett was no exception.
Revenge Of The Plot PointsUnfortunately, the positive aspects of The Book of Boba Fett are outshined by the negative aspects. The show suffers from a lot of pacing problems. Some episodes focus on unnecessary points for too long and others seem to speed through important beats. For example, the show devotes a lot of time to Boba and Fennec talking to the mayor about who sent assassins after the two despite the answer being obvious.
On the other hand, Cad Bane makes his live-action debut in the second to last episode of the season. Of course, he’s set up to be the antithesis of Boba Fett in the show, but he only has two episodes to make an impact. As a result, their final battle felt anti-climactic. If he were introduced earlier in the season, the fight would have felt more tense and interesting.
There are several odd story beats that don’t go anywhere throughout the season. The show introduces the Tuskens in the first episode. Boba Fett trains with the Tusken group, goes on to learn of their culture, and then discovers more about Tattooine. It is reminiscent of Dune, by which Star Wars was heavily inspired.
However, the plot abandons the Tuskens pretty quickly, and they are literally killed off. The show seems to turn into more of a revenge story as Boba hunts down who killed his Tusken family. Sadly, the show transitions into Boba just trying to maintain his business as Daimyo of Mos Espa.
Another example is that Boba Fett must constantly bathe in a bacta-tank, but it never quite explains what is ailing him. The only explanation appears to be “he was in the Sarlacc Pit,” despite that happening well into the past. We just assume his age is catching up to him.
The Problems With The PykesThe technically “main villains” of The Book of Boba Fett don’t have enough of an impact either. The Pyke crime family has been in Star Wars for a while, but it felt like they didn’t do very much in this series.
The Clone Wars animated series also explores them and the other crime families several times in that series. However, the casual Star Wars fan and average Mandalorian viewer would be mostly unfamiliar with these villains. Normally, that would not be a problem, but the show does a terrible job of telling the viewer who they are and what they want.
The Book of Boba Fett states they make money from the spice on Tattooine and they want the Daimyo position once held by Jabba, but that is it. The viewer is never told how they make money from the spice, why they want the Daimyo position so badly, or why they are feared by almost everyone in the show.
As stated above, Cad Bane is set up as the perfect antithesis to Boba Fett. That plot point would have worked if Bane was introduced at the beginning of the show. We could have seen Cad Bane at the beginning trying to take over as Daimyo for the Pykes. Then the rest of the season could be a battle of wits, trust, fear, and power between Cad Bane and Boba Fett.
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This allows the Pykes to remain a vague and mysterious threat like they are meant to be in the show. This also gives Boba an antagonist that feels personal and who has earned his intimidation. It also rewards fans of The Clone Wars without alienating new viewers.
The Last EpisodeThe problems of the entire season culminate in the last episode, “Chapter 7: In the Name of Honor.” The episode tries to recreate the magic of the Seven Samurai in Star Wars, which could have been amazing. Obviously, Star Wars was heavily inspired by the work of Kurosawa. Instead of bringing together highly trained, super-skilled, fan-favorite characters, the finale brings characters who offer little help.
Mando shows up to help out Boba, and that makes sense. However, the rest of the “fighters” were either foreshadowed so much that their arrival had no meaning, or they had no real reason to be involved in the first place. For example, Black Krrsantan was heavily foreshadowed to be joining Boba Fett. Furthermore, the people from Mos Pelgo show up to the battle but don’t offer a lot of extra firepower.
Again, the final confrontation with Cad Bane should have been fantastic. Their dialogue perfectly demonstrates how they are on opposite sides of the same coin. They stand for totally opposite things, and have been on opposite sides since they met in The Clone Wars.
However, the final battle between the two was hardly an epic duel Star Wars is known for. It came off feeling cheap and disappointing.
The biggest issue with the finale is that none of the characters feel like they were given enough time. The show needed more than 7 episodes to flesh out the characters, conflicts, and story arcs. Episodes 6 and 7 of the season are almost completely devoted to The Mandalorian.
While it was amazing to see that character return, the story would have been better served if he only returned in the finale. Mando and Grogu’s story could have been saved for season 3 of The Mandalorian.
A New HopeAll of this is not to say there are no positive parts of the finale. This is one of the episodes where Robert Rodriguez’s directing shines, in fact. The action set pieces are fantastic. The sequences with Boba Fett and Mando using their jetpacks to gain the upper hand are fantastic. The shootouts all look spectacular, and each character is given a pretty cool fight scene.
That is not to mention that Boba gets to ride a freakin rancor! It isn’t a stretch to say that the majority of the positive features of the finale are all from Rodriguez. However, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni do not normally disappoint, so there could be a reason behind the way this season turned out.
For a while, fans speculated about whether or not The Book of Boba Fett would count as season 3 of The Mandalorian or not. Fans also complained that Boba Fett didn’t act like Boba Fett. It is now obvious that it is not season 3 of The Mandalorian, but that doesn’t mean the two shows aren’t deeply connected. There is a strong chance Boba Fett will show up in future episodes of The Mandalorian. There is also still a chance The Book of Boba Fett will get a season 2.
It is entirely possible that Favreau and Filoni are planning to continue Boba Fett’s arc into the future of this “Mando-verse.” The two shows could become more and more intertwined. This Boba Fett series may eventually become closer to the Fett fans, remember. He may also become a larger part of The Mandalorian story as a whole.
ConclusionAt the end of the day, The Book of Boba Fett seems to be a victim of time constraints, and likely even the money it takes to film such a huge series. The characters and plot of the season felt like they needed more time to get their point across. Most of the amazing episodes come from extremely talented directors like Robert Rodriguez and Bryce Dallas Howard.
The complaints levied against the show relating to the way Boba behaves are unfounded. He has a great character arc that just didn’t get to blossom as much as it needed. For example, not only is Fett older than he was those many years ago, but he’s also someone who had to re-learn a lot of things.
He’s a veteran bounty hunter who has his own code and his own way of handling things, true. But the character was never fully fleshed out in the films. That is the entire reason why a solo movie or series was something fans wanted to see. It is likely we will see more character development in Season 2 or perhaps as part of the next season of The Mandalorian.
The Book of Boba Fett, season 1, will certainly not be the last time fans get to see Boba Fett and Fennec Shand. They will likely have many many more enemies made and potentially larger roles to fill.