TV Review: The Book of Boba Fett (2022)

Title: The Book of Boba Fett
Release Date: 2022
Creator/Head Writer/Showrunner: Jon Favreau
Episodes: 7
Production Company:  Lucasfilm | Golem Productions


Boba Fett was introduced as a minor character in The Empire Strikes Back (well, actually he was introduced in the Star Wars Holiday Special, but we don’t talk about that) and then seemingly died unceremoniously in Return of the Jedi. Despite only a few minutes of screen time, Boba Fett became a fascinating character to a lot of Star Wars fans.  Attack of the Clones gave Boba Fett an origin story and a connection to the larger Star Wars universe. We got to see more of young Boba in The Clone Wars animated series. But it was a big surprise to see Boba Fett return in season 2 of The Mandalorian which is set after his believed death in the Sarlacc pit.

The Book of Boba Fett answers how Fett survived the Sarlacc, and more importantly how he became less of a ruthless killer and more of the community-minded guy who helped out The Mandalorian. Temuera Morrison (who previously played Boba’s father Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones and clone trooper Cody in Revenge of the Sith) stars in the show alongside Ming-Na Wen as his partner in crime Fennec Shand.  They have taken over the territory formerly controlled by crimelord Jabba the Hutt, and Boba Fett seems keen on ruling honestly and fairly.

The first four episodes deal with Fett and Shand attempting to solidify their rule against the Pyke Syndicate who run the drug “spice” through the territory. These episodes also feature extended flashbacks showing how Fett came to where we are now. The best parts of the show detail Fett being held prisoner by a tribe of Tuskens after escaping the Sarlacc.  He gains their trust and becomes part of the community.  This is best character development Fett has ever gotten as well as offering a new perspective on the Tuskens as more than faceless villains.

Unfortunately, the worst decision made by the show’s creators was to have the Pykes massacre the Tusken band.  Instead of an opportunity to have these characters continue their story in the show, they simply become a tool for Boba’s revenge plot.  And it seems a wasted opportunity since Boba Fett is going to have to use his new position as a leader to pull together a motley bunch to defend Mos Espa from the Pykes anyway.  Why not leave space for the Tuskens in that coalition?

And speaking of muscle for the fight, Episode 5 marks the return of some of that “muscle” in the form of Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal). The entire episode catches up on what Djarin’s been up to since the end of The Mandalorian season 2, and sees the return of characters from that show like The Armorer (Emily Swallow) and Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris).  If that wasn’t strange enough, Episode 6 also features very little of the title character, but sees more adventures of Din Djarin and the return of Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant), Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), Grogu (various puppeteers), and Luke Skywalker (a digital recreation of young Mark Hamill), as well as the live action debut of Cad Bane (Corey Burton) from The Clone Wars.

This is all sets up the big battle in Mos Espa which is just delightfully bonkers, featuring Fett and Djarin using their jetpacks side-by-side, Fett riding a rancor, and Grogu putting said rancor to sleep!  Whereas The Mandalorian was something new that people who watched little to no Star Wars could jump into and enjoy, The Book of Boba Fett is definitely designed as a treat for hardcore fans.  Which is fine.  I don’t begrudge the creators playing in the sandbox of Tatooine (pun intended) and building on familiar characters and species.  It was made for entertaining brain candy.  But I do hope it doesn’t set a pattern for future Star Wars series because I think the galaxy holds promise for completely new and experimental ideas in storytelling.

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