The Uneven Book Of Boba Fett

The Book of Boba Fett is the latest Star Wars TV show and is streaming on Disney+. It serves as a spinoff of the popular TV show, The Mandalorian, and a sequel of sorts to previous Star Wars films, but in this case focusing on the mysterious bounty hunter, Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison).

Boba Fett was supposedly killed by a giant sarlaac in the film Return of the Jedi, but being that he was a fan favorite, he had to come back, as he did in various books and stories. In Star Wars canon, he officially returned in the second season of The Mandalorian and the post-credits scene of that show’s season finale showed Boba Fett taking over the criminal underworld in the planet Tattooine with his partner, the assassin Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen).

The series is in some ways part Western, part gangster drama as flashbacks reveal how the bounty hunter survived from being eaten by the sarlaac and his emotional transformation from a cold-blooded killer to someone who is more empathic and honorable. At the same time, the episodes chronicled his ordeal of being a crime lord and dealing with deadly competitors, namely the Pyke gang – intergalactic spice dealers who want to take over Boba’s turf.

There have been many complaints about The Book of Boba Fett, many of them are valid, but overall, the series is fine. It’s just that it should have been better and could have been if it had a better narrative flow and its scripts were more fine tuned. This is surprising considering the episodes are written by Jon Favreau (he shared a co-writing byline with Dave Filoni in the sixth episode), who was the mastermind behind The Mandalorian. What gives? Interference from the top execs at Disney? Maybe one day, we’ll learn the full story behind the scenes.

The narrrative flow of the series was quite jarring at times and also infuriating. The best example of this are with the fifth and sixth episodes. For some reason, the show stopped being about Boba Fett and became a mini-season for The Mandalorian as the story abruptly shifts to Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and we see what he and Grogu have been up to since the second season of their show ended. Boba Fett only appears once in the sixth episode in what is basically a cameo, while he is completely absent in the fifth episode. It did not make sense to do this, especially being that The Book of Boba Fett only has seven episodes. At least, these two episodes were well done.

The impression we are given is that the showrunners or Disney did not like where the main story was going or ran out of ideas and panicked by going back to what excited viewers. This was not fair to Boba Fett’s story and associated characters. Those two episodes could have been used to further develop these characters. We could have learned more about Boba and is time before The Empire Strikes Back. They should have shown more of how he was before his spiritual transformation so that his metamorphosis would have more impact. Maybe they wanted to perserve some of his mystery. Who knows?

Fennec’s back story could have been explored, or Boba’s old rival, Cad Bane (voiced by Corey Burton) could have appeared sooner and being more directly tied to the tragedy that Boba underwent during his recovery. Or even the minor characters of Tatooine could have been fleshed out more. Even the dumb cyborg biker gang, who were poorly conceived and executed.

There are many plot holes that are undeniably irritating and make the characters look stupid. Here’s an example, in the final episode during the big showdown with the Pyke gang, why didn’t Boba or Din get into their spaceships and just lay waste to the criminals as they attacked the town of Mos Espa? Boba Fett kept bragging about how much money he had and could afford to hire extra muscle, yet his army only consisted of the silly biker gang, two Gamorrean pig guards, Din and Fennec, and later some townspeople from nearby Freetown. Did Boba Fett actually expect to defeat an entire army of Pykes and their allies with what he had? Also, it would have made more sense and been more satisfying if the townspeople that helped him where actually residents of Mos Espa. You know, seeing that Boba is fighting for their town, the people could have decided to help him. Why did he hire the biker gang when he first met them? Nothing they did gave the impression they were qualified to be formidable fighters. Then in one flashback scene, Boba takes his spaceship and has it hover directly over the mouth of the sarlaac to look for his armor. Guess what happens? The tentacled monster attacked his ship and nearly killed him. Wouldn’t that ship have sensors to scan the animal from afar? Maybe his time fermenting in the sarlaac’s stomach damaged his brain more than we know.

This does not mean The Book of Boba Fett is a bad TV show. There are so many great things about it. Take Temuera Morrison, who delivers a fine performance as the grizzled former bounty hunter trying to find a purpose in his life. Boba’s spiritual journey when he is first a captive then a valued member of the Tusken Raiders was inspiring as he built relationships with the clan and we learned more about their culture. That is why it was so devastating when later in the flashbacks Boba finds his adopted clan massacred.

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