Series Created by Jon Favreau — All Episodes Are On Disney+ Right Now.
Jon Favreau’s The Book of Boba Fett is a spin-off of the extremely popular Disney+ Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian. The Book of Boba Fett follows the titular character (played by Temura Morrison), who became a fan-favorite character in the Original Trilogy (and who made his in-universe return in The Mandalorian), as he tries to become the new daimyo of Tatooine for the purpose of controlling the territory that once belonged to Jabba the Hutt. But he isn’t the only one who wants to control what can and can’t happen on the desert planet.
Boba Fett has long been considered a fan-favorite character, but it wasn’t because he was a particularly deep character. When fans first saw him in the days of the Original Trilogy (and the Holiday Special), it was his job as a bounty hunter, as well as his cool and mysterious character design, that made people stand up and take notice. So, when he fell into the Sarlacc pit and presumably died in The Return of the Jedi, fans had decades upon decades to build up the character in their minds. This put a lot of pressure on this show in the first place, and perhaps you could say that it was always going to be difficult to live up to that.
What Favreau and the rest of the crew decided to do was to bring him back to Tatooine and Jabba’s palace, which was extremely exciting, but they also felt that they needed to explain how he get from the pit to The Mandalorian. On paper, it all sounds very logical, but it lacked the proper execution. Structurally and pacing-wise it left a lot to be desired.
In the first four episodes, the show shifts back and forth between flashback scenes with Boba among the Tusken Raiders and scenes with Boba as the new daimyo after the events of the second season of The Mandalorian. I thought this was rough and messy. I didn’t hate the flashback sequences, but they probably should’ve had this in just a single episode, because they tended to overwhelm and overshadow the scenes that took place with Boba and Fennec Shand (played by Ming-Na Wen, who is frustratingly underutilized by this show) in Jabba’s palace. The first episode ought to have set things up so that the show could move forward in a way that was satisfying. Instead, the first four episodes mostly featured a version of Boba Fett that felt very different from who he — and Jango Fett — appeared to be in the Original Trilogy. There are scenes where he feels more like a bumping sheriff than a former bounty hunter, which is disappointing.
It really doesn’t help that the first four — of a total seven — episodes mostly feature flashbacks since the show thus fails to introduce and develop a ‘big bad’ or, at the very least, an antagonist that you know something about. In the penultimate episode, an antagonist is finally introduced (and fans of the animated series will know who he is instantly) but the show merely hints at who he is, which will make fans who only watch live-action Star Wars scratching their heads in confusion. This isn’t to say that the first four episodes are all bad. There are some really good scenes here, and I love everything they did with the so-called Twins and the introduction of Krrsantan, a Wookie bounty hunter and former gladiator (and I didn’t hate the cyborg gang that some fans had a lot of problems with).
The strange thing about this show is that after the first four episodes it completely shifts gears. The fifth episode, which was directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, is exceptional and is basically an episode of The Mandalorian. I don’t even think Boba Fett is in it. And the sixth episode, directed by Dave Filoni, is equally fantastic but not because of Boba Fett who is barely in it. Din Djarin (played by Pedro Pascal), the titular character in The Mandalorian, basically takes over the show in a hugely satisfying way, it just doesn’t seem like The Book of Boba Fett anymore.
All of this left the show with a lot of pieces to pick up and run with in the final episode, but even though it was very entertaining so much of it felt underdeveloped when it finally happened. The writing was repetitive or expositional, and it was basically just an hour long episode of weightless destruction on Tatooine. It is the kind of episode that is exciting when you see it, but which doesn’t really have room to fit in a proper conclusion to the series.
While there are some solid and memorable Boba Fett moments in this series, it is undeniable that the best thing about this show is the fact that it becomes a different show all of a sudden. I loved the fifth and the sixth episodes, but it wasn’t really The Book of Boba Fett so it feels a little bit like a cheat. So, although the show did have a lot of moments that I will want to rewatch over and over again, as a show about Boba Fett I think it is very hit or miss. It is a roughly structured, weirdly paced, and uneven series, albeit with a lot of highlights that still made me excited when the show picked up steam (essentially when the show became The Mandalorian: Season 2.5). The elements of the series that were inherently related to Boba Fett just didn’t work as well, which I think is a huge problem for this spin-off. It’s the kind of show that is, on the whole, probably just okay, but which features some absolutely incredible episodes with some lovely and unforgettable true Star Wars moments.
– Review Written by Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen.