The Book of Boba Fett S1: Decent ‘Read’ in 4 Blasts

Julien Neaves, Sci Fi Head Writer

Boba Fett. Bounty hunter. Man of mystery. All around cool dude. After his appearance in the highly successful The Mandalorian Season 2 fans were ready to jet off to his solo series. And while a solid show The Book of Boba Fett Season 1 has its issues.

With a bantha-sized SPOILER ALERT let’s break it down in three blasts:

Blast #1 All About Boba

This place smells like Bantha fodder

Let’s start off with the man himself. Now pre-Mandalorian we briefly met adult Boba in the Original Trilogy and then met a young version in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In The Mandalorian we meet an older, more wizened version of the character and in the early episodes of The Book of Boba Fett we learn how he got that way.

I enjoyed seeing the flashbacks of Boba escaping the sarlacc pit and his Dances With Wolves-esque journey with the Tuskens; Temeura Morrison gives some of his best performances in these scenes. The Tuskens have always been portrayed as animalistic barbarians but we learned more of their culture in The Mandalorian and we got even greater insight in The Book of Boba Fett. This is easily one of the strongest aspects of the show. Unfortunately there was a lack of balance between the flashbacks and the Mos Espa scenes, and I think if there was some type of thematic thread between the two it could have made the episodes feel more cohesive.

We don’t do that here © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Now I’ve seen several fans complain about Boba’s characterisation and I understand their concern. We knew him as a ruthless bounty hunter but this version, while ostensibly a crime lord or “Daimyo” of Tatooine, is a thoughtful, fair, man of the people. Now one can make the case that his experience in the sarlacc pit and with the Tuskens, which makes sense, but I think they pivoted a little too far on the light side. They should have left some of that edge and a touch of the ruthlessness; the only time we see it is when he blasted the biker gang to kingdom come.

After Boba brutally gunned down Bib Fortuna in the Mandalorian post-credits scene I was expecting The Book of Boba Fett to be a space western version of The Sopranos. Instead we get a pretty tame Star Wars series relatively and a pretty tame Boba Fett as well, which is a tad unfortunate.

Blast #2 Welcome to Mos Espa

Did you just say something disparaging about my sister’s weight?

Now Boba isn’t the only denizen of Tatooine. We have his right-hand woman Fennec Shand (played by Ming-Na Wen who I fell in love with in Agents of SHIELD and who I swear gets more beautiful with age) who is easily one of the coolest characters on the show, overshadowing Boba himself. Former torture droid 8D8 was also cool and the loyal Gamorrean guards served well (pour one out for those poor bastards). Jennifer Beals was a breath of fresh air as stylish Twi’lek cantina owner Garsa Fwip (hopefully she survived the Pyke Syndicate attack) and her fellow Twi’lek, the unnamed majordomo to corrupt Mos Espa mayor Mok Shaiz, brought a good share of the humour. “I studied on Coruscant…”. What a pretentious douche.

But what got me super excited was in Episode 2 when we were introduced to the Hutt Twins and wookie bounty hunter and former gladiator Krrsantan, both featuring awesome designs. While the Twins faded away Krssantan eventually joined Boba’s crew (after trying to assassinate him of course) and proved to be quite a fearsome and resilient warrior.

Go Go Power Rangers, Mighty Mod-ing Power Rangers!

Now it’s time to talk about the multi-coloured elephants in the room. You know whom I’m talking about. The Mods, those punk cyborgs who Boba hires as enforcers. And a lot of people are not fans. On a basic level it makes little sense for the bikes to be so sparkly clean on a planet that lacks water. And yes, it is meant as an homage to George Lucas but even homages have to work story-wise. And the cybernetic implants also look kinda cheap, as though the budget was focused elsewhere. But other than the aesthetics I thought they were decent enough character-wise and came in quite handy during the final battle.

Blast #3 We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming…

People keep asking me if I’m back. And you know what? I’m thinking I’m back!

Now on to the episodes that spawned a thousand memes. Now Jon Favreau is the creator of both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, but apparently he couldn’t wait to get back to the former. Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 effectively sidelines Boba Fett in his own show to focus on Din Djarin. Now I love Din Djarin. Everybody loves Din Djarin. But it was downright jarring to be watching Mandalorian episodes in the second half of The Book of Boba Fett. Heck, Boba doesn’t even appear in Chapter 5 and only makes a non-speaking cameo in Chapter 6. You all do know this is his show, right?

Now the two stories eventually become intertwined but here’s a crazy idea. How about we didn’t see what happened to the Mandalorian and just meet him with the new ship and then Grogu comes and joins him. Everybody would be wondering what the heck happened and would spend months or even years wildly theory-crafting. And then only in The Mandalorian Season 3 we see what happened. I think it would have still worked and would have avoided Boba having his show hijacked for an admittedly superior and more popular character’s storyline.

LUKE: I sense great fear in him AHSOKA: Not this sh– again

But that didn’t happen, so let’s talk about Return of the Mandalorian and From the Desert Comes a Stranger. Both very good episodes. Let’s start with Chapter 5. The opening bounty was movie epic. The visit to the Armorer and Paz Vizsla was instantly iconic. And the scenes with Peli Motto were uproariously funny, especially her Jawa dating history. “So furry”. I’ve never been the biggest fan of the canary yellow Naboo N-1 starfighter but man does it look sweet in silver. I still miss the Razor Crest but she’ll do.

And then we got a full serving of fan service in Chapter 6. Not only did we get R2-D2 and see the new Jedi Temple being built but we also meet Ahsoka again and get to see Luke training Grogu. Completely unexpected but very cool and a welcome Empire throwback. And the CGI on Luke, while still firmly in the uncanny valley, at least looked more realistic than it did in the Mandalorian Season 2 finale. And we do learn he was present at the Jedi Temple during the Order 66 massacre, an important and enticing piece of his puzzling backstory. And then we also had the return of one of the coolest characters ever, bounty hunter Cad Bane, viciously gunning down Cobb Vanth (a stellar Timothy Olyphant) and his over eager deputy. That scene alone made this entire show worth watching. I think it was important to introduce Bane not only for the fan service but we needed a villain with some bite as the Pykes were supremely bland. Also great in the cliffhanger department was the bombing of the Sanctuary and Luke offering Grogu the choice. Saber or Beskar? You decide.

Blast #4 That Finale

If you’re The Good and I’m The Bad I guess that makes Boba The Ugly

As a child I would take all my toys together and have a big “war”. The finale In the Name of Honor felt like the television equivalent of that, and I mean it as a compliment. So much action. So many awesome moments. Boba and Djarin fighting together with their jetpacks. The surprise appearance of Grogu. The siege of the Scorpenek droids. Krssantan slaughtering fools. Boba coming in riding a freaking rancor. The final showdown between Boba and Cad Bane. The super cute scene of Grogu lulling the rancor to sleep. Fennec going all Godfather on the crime bosses. I had to take a breath after all that epic-ness. Oh, and we had the post-credits scene of Cobb Vanth in the bacta tank about to get some cybernetic modifications. Glad to see he will be back.

King Kong, ain’t got nuthen, on me!

A grand conclusion to admittedly a mixed first season. We’ll see if it can be more settled, and less dependent on its parent series, when it returns for Season 2.

Editor Jules’s Score: 7 out of 10

So how would rate the first season of The Book of Boba Fett? And you can check out content from long ago and a galaxy far far away below:

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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.