After decades of wondering what the character of Boba Fett was truly capable of, and after getting a glimpse of that in season 2 of The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett is here to slightly underwhelm (and also surprise) fans who were excited to see what a Boba Fett series could entail.
After taking the throne of Jabba’s Palace, Boba Fett enters the criminal underworld of Tatooine, getting tied up with the menacing figures that threaten the people of Mos Espa and joining forces with the unlikeliest of street vigilantes. However, this is a world and environment he knows surprisingly little about – forcing him to adjust and adapt in order to survive the many threats lurking at his doorstep. Upon initially learning of this series, the notion of Boba navigating a shady underworld sounded exciting – however, after seeing the entire series, the most engaging Boba Fett content happened to be everything that took place in the past. Each of Boba Fett’s first 4 episodes are split, focusing partly on the present and partly on events from his past (following his survival from the sarlacc pit). There’s some great stuff that happens with Boba in the present, but I ended up admiring the strength of the storytelling in the extensive flashback sequences. The flashbacks are integral to understanding who Boba Fett is now in comparison to the man he was when working for the Empire. They feature great emotional storytelling, as well as some of the best action sequences of the series.
Even then, as much as I enjoyed the sequences set in the past, they weren’t enough to have me excited to keep on coming back for the next episode. My main driving force for coming back each episode was to see how the show would improve and when we’d finally get deep into the gritty underworld of Tatooine. Some of those elements did come into play, though not at the level that I was anticipating from what had been set up early on. Overall, the Boba Fett-centric content was good – there’s much to enjoy about seeing Boba become accustomed to his newfound way of life, but it’s the moment the series takes a shocking turn in the overall focus that it really turns into something special.
It seems like a small spoiler to mention, but it’s such a large chunk of the season that it must be touched on. So, if you really want absolutely no spoilers at all, cease reading now. Going into the latter half of the season, the focus of the narrative shifts entirely away from Boba Fett and back onto a character that Star Wars fans are all too familiar with – Din Djarin’s The Mandalorian. The two episodes that follow as a result of this shift are without a doubt the best of the season, with one of those episodes proving to be one of the most exciting individual pieces of Star Wars content ever. On one hand, the content of these episodes is spectacular and I wouldn’t want to see them removed. However, from the standpoint of this being a Boba Fett series, it really feels like a disservice to the character. Boba Fett’s arc feels highly disrupted going into the finale, as if we missed an episode or two’s worth of character growth between episodes 4 and 7. If this series had been called something other than The Book of Boba Fett, it would’ve felt more natural to have this shift. Don’t get me wrong, these last few episodes absolutely boosted the quality of the series to the score you see below, but it’s hard to shake the feeling this series was a little vessel to get us from The Mandalorian season 2 to The Mandalorian season 3.
Despite any story woes, one thing is for certain – Temuera Morrison’s performance as Boba Fett is brilliant. Whenever he’s on screen, with or without his signature armour, you feel the presence of the character. He does really well to convey the brutal and menacing side of the character, while also putting his softer side on show a little too. He embodies the essence of the character and enhances the show whenever he’s on screen. Someone who also makes the jump from The Mandalorian to this series is Ming-Na Wen as the feared assassin Fennec Shand. Despite not really having a tonne to do in this series, she still presents Fennec as this intelligent assassin who is a lot more equipped to deal with the underworld setting than Boba Fett. The two of them make a great duo that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of in the future… anywhere but in a second season.
I do also want to mention Robert Rodrigues, who directed 3 episodes of this season and acted as showrunner. His directed episode of The Mandalorian season 2 was a great one, showing Boba Fett off in all his ass-kicking glory. His work on this season, especially as director, didn’t live up to what he achieved in his Mandalorian episode, but was still good nonetheless.
In the end, this series was a rollercoaster. It began with some good but underwhelming content focused on Boba Fett, before veering off and delivering two spectacular episodes with barely a glimpse of the titular bounty hunter turned gangster. As much as I enjoyed the series overall, one that was certainly saved by the last few episodes, I wouldn’t want to see another Book of Boba Fett season. There was barely enough narrative here to fill 5 episodes of strictly Boba Fett-focused content. So I don’t believe there’d be enough to fill an entire second season. Rather, if these characters show up in other Star Wars content – that would be perfect. Fans will definitely get a kick out of the latter half of the season, while the first half still has its moments – albeit not on as grand of a scale.