Season Review: The Book of Boba Fett

The Book of Boba Fett is the latest Disney+ series from Star Wars and a spin off of The Mandalorian with Robert Rodriguez as the main showrunner. It stars Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett, Ming-Na Wen as Fennec Shand and Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin. It also stars Robert Rodriguez, Matt Berry, David Pasquesi, Jennifer Beals, Frank Trigg, Collin Hymes, Sophie Thatcher, Phil LaMarr, Carey Jones, Xavier Jimenez, Joanna Bennett, Wesley Kimmel and Corey Burton.

Warning: The following will contain SPOILERS for both this series and The Mandalorian.

The end of the last season of The Mandalorian saw renowned bounty hunter Boba Fett and master assassin Fennec Shand dispose of the late Jabba’s majordomo Bib Fortuna and take over his criminal empire. Okay then. We already have the The Mandalorian acting as the space-faring series where our main character travels to far away planets throughout the galaxy. Properly done criminal dramas can be quite entertaining and the series gives a good explanation for this as well. With Boba reasoning that an empire run with intelligence and respect can be much better than the dumb ruthlessness that other syndicates have operated under, (and can be a benefit to Temuera Morrison being almost twenty years older than the character’s canonical age). There’s just one, slight problem.

This series isn’t a well done crime drama. In fact, this series doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do.

One issue is length, unlike The Mandalorian, this series is seven episodes instead of eight, so a tight narrative is needed. Which means that there really isn’t time to waste on superfluous plots or things that don’t advance the story of Boba Fett’s rise to power. Which makes it pretty baffling that Fett’s appearances in episodes five and six can be generously called “blink and you’ll miss him” as the show spends an entire episode on Din Djarin getting a replacement ship and another on undoing the basic quest from the last season of The Mandalorian. Both are fine episodes but they would’ve worked better in The Mandalorian rather than in this series. In that same reasoning, the flashbacks involving Fett’s escape from the Sarlacc and his capture and later acceptance into the Tusken Raider tribe. These sequences are good (in no small part to the actors’ performances) but they did take away from what story was supposed to be told in the present. Combine that with how passive a character Boba Fett has become and it looks like the title character is playing second fiddle in his own show.

The biggest issue of the series seems to be lack of commitment to any potential plot hooks or storylines that are brought up. Jabba’s relatives coming in to take over his former territory? Nah, they’re gone by the next episode. A conflict of shadow politics between Fett and the mayor of Mos Espa? He disappears until the finale. Jennifer Beals holding a neutral territory amidst the various gang factions? Nothing’s done with it until both of them are blown up for shock value. Hell, even the gang war begins and ends in a single episode with everything wrapped up in a nice, neat bow. Even the arrival of Clone Wars fan favorite Cad Bane seems like an attempt to add some stakes to the plot, which ultimately turns into a case of too little too late.

In conclusion, The Book of Boba Fett feels like Disney’s attempt to make something in the same vein as Breaking Bad or The Sopranos, only for them to get cold feet and fill everything in with a meandering plot and the ramblings of David Pasquesi (which goes from humorous to grating rather quickly). If this series is to continue and rise above mediocrity, then Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni need to take the reigns back as primary showrunners. Or at the very least boot the creator of Spy Kids out of that position.

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