Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Review

The latest live action TV offering for Star Wars is here, and it’s not The Mandalorian… erm, until it is for the last three episodes, but hey-ho. They were good episodes! So, yeah, The Book of Boba Fett tells us just what the classic bounty hunter got up to post Sarlacc pit and it was actually a really interesting look at the character as he matures and finds a new life after his old one nearly led to his death. Let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

Legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the galaxy’s underworld when they return to the sands of Tatooine to stake their claim on the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt and his crime syndicate.

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

“I think the best thing to do here is … wait and see what happens” “*sigh*…”

The first five episodes are actually the Book of Boba Fett, with the finale paying off some of the plot left dangling. As we saw at the end of The Mandalorian Season 2 Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) set up shop in Jabba’s Palace and intend to rule over Tatooine in his place, but before we get to that I want to talk about Boba’s backstory which is filled in through a bunch of flashbacks during the first few episodes. Well, backstory in between Return of the Jedi and his appearance in the Mandalorian, though we are reminded of the fact he was a clone of his father bred to be his replacement, which is an important note as when Boba escapes the Sarlacc (in a really great and claustrophobic scene) and his armour stolen he ends up a prisoner to a tribe of Tuskan Raiders. Striped of his father’s armour and weapons he soon has to learn to fend for himself and actually, slowly but surely, becomes a member of the tribe, earns his own “gaffi stick” and helps fend off a group of Pyke Syndicate thugs. As he tries to call a truce with the Pykes he returns to find the whole tribe killed, his new way of life at an end. He wanders the desert, failing to get up the courage to steal his ship back, until he meets Fennec and saves her as seen in Mando Season 1. The two bond and Fett eventually reveals his new goal of taking over Jabba’s crime ring because he now understands having a tribe or family makes you stronger than the way he lived his life, or more accurately, the way his father led his life.

It was a really convincing way of showing how a hardened bounty hunter could “go soft” because he never thought he had a choice, he was literally a clone of his father, after all, and it becomes a common theme that whenever he uses his father’s armour / weapons he does worse than when he uses his Tuskan equipment, ramming the point home. Back in “current day” his plan to dominate the planet doesn’t get off to a great start as local gangs and the Mayor of Tatooine Capital Mos Espa all act unintimidated by the old bounty hunter who suddenly has ideas above his station. Eventually Boba and Fennec encounter two twin Hutts who plan on taking their relative’s territory and bring with them the dangerous Wookie bounty hunter Black Krrsantan (Carey Jones) straight from the pages of the comics! Looks great. Boba recruits a local gang of “Mods” (people who modify their body with machinery and also ride about on scooter-looking things like actual Mods from UK’s past culture) and together they take out Krrsantan and let him go, eventually the Hutts leave Tatooine because the Pyke Syndicate will be running spice on the planet and they don’t want a cartel war on their hands. As a make-good Boba gets his own Rancor and learns of its history as a beast that is normally trained to kill but is actually able to be kind-hearted, a nice analogy of Boba himself. As Boba prepares to fight the Pykes he recruits the Mods, Black Krrsantan and Fennec recruits a certain Mandalorian…

There are certain characters that you just take one look at and say “Yeah, I’m not messing with him.”

This is when “The Book of Boba Fett” turns into “The Mandalorian Season 2.5” as Episode 5 and 6 are pretty much entirely about Din Djarin and his old friend / foundling Grogu. The fifth episode sees Din learn about the Dark Sabre he now wields and its history, joining back up with the Armourer (Emily Swallow) who ran his Mandalorian sect only to have to leave it when he reveals he removed his helmet. He soon travels to Tatooine and receives a new ship in the form of an all-silver Naboo Starfighter and accepts Fennec’s job offer to help Boba, but first Din travels to a planet where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill, obviously…) is training Grogu and man-oh-man has the deepfake / CG technology improved from the end of Season 2 because it really was like having a post ROTJ Luke back on screen, it was really… weird, but in a fun way. To throw even more continuity at you Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) was also on the planet visiting, so it was a bit of a fanwanky episode, but I loved it (which as a fan makes sense, I guess!). Din is convinced to leave without seeing Grogu as that would hinder his training, so he leaves the Beskar steel chainmail he had made for Grogu and leaves, but eventually Luke knows that the attachment could be an issue so gives the former “Baby Yoda” a choice: Yoda’s old lightsabre and continuing his training as a Jedi, or Din’s chainmail and the life of a Mandalorian. Just before we end Episode 6 Din tries to recruit Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) and his village but after he leaves Vanth is challenged to a duel by none other than Cad Bane (still voiced by Corey Burton, no less!) who wins and warns his town (now called “Free Town”) not to interfere.

This all leads to Episode 7, where Boba, Din, Fennec, Krrsantan, the Mods and the people of Free Town all team up to fight a large army of Pykes, two massive Droidecka-like droids and Cad Bane. There are plenty of great moments, Boba and Din appearing on their jetpacks and firing very Star Wars sounding guns was just … no other way to describe it other than “really cool”, and later Boba reappears riding his Rancor to take down the Droids. Grogu turns up after having chosen the life of a Mandalorian and helps put the Rancor to sleep after it goes out of control, meanwhile Boba is bested by Bane in a gun fight but he manages to seemingly kill the classic bounty hunter using his Tuskan gaffi stick, naturally. Boba literally defeating his old way of life with his new found one. Fett is now the respected leader of Tatooine with his group of Fennec, Krrsantan and the Mods, while Din and Grogu head off for adventures new (so people in the future who watch Mandalorian Season 2 and then 3 right after will be confused as hell…)

The Bad:

Speaking of people you take one look at and decide never to mess with…

Not a lot, I will admit that some of the early episode’s pacing was a little off. I can’t help but think the flashbacks and the “present day” stuff could’ve been better spaced so some episodes didn’t feel a bit… flat. There was also a chase between one of the Mayor’s cronies and the Mods that felt like it was in slow motion, that… that was definitely not good. I know some people don’t like the Mods because their colourful bikes and general look don’t fit the deserty Tatooine landscape, but I was fine with it. Some of their acting was suspect but they rarely had enough lines for it to be a problem…

You could argue that calling this series “The Book of Boba Fett” and then swapping to The Mandalorian for most of the final three episodes is also a negative. I’ll admit no matter how much I enjoyed episodes 5 and 6 it did feel like Boba got shafted in his own series, plus as mentioned giving this a whole different area on Disney + will mean people just following the Mandalorian will have missed out on some major plot points! I know most will have watched both, but not all, especially down the line.

Overall Thoughts:

Ahsoka talks to her fallen Master’s son… Man, I’d love to see their first meeting!

The Book of Boba Fett showed us how Fett became the man we saw in Mando Season 2, gave us some good character development for him in the “present day” and then even delivered two great episodes of the Mandalorian in the middle, all coming together in a fun shootout in Episode 7. It also featured the live action debuts of a comic and a cartoon character which were both perfectly done. While I can’t say it was as strong as the previous live action Star Wars series, I can still say it was thoroughly entertaining every week. Roll on Obi-Wan in a few months!

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