It’s hard to judge by only one episode, but The Book of Boba Fett is by no means whatsoever a disappointing series as of yet. It certainly has some disappointing elements, but the newest adventure from Lucasfilm is not “bad”. It’s simply….disorganized. The series has its ups and downs and has more of the former than the latter, thankfully. Ming-Na Wen’s Fennec Shand is such a delight to see again, and so is Temuera Morrison’s Boba Fett. The premiere episode was a refreshing sight to see, as we’ve had a 1-year break from Star Wars.
However, some of the story choices are questionable, such as the flashbacks in the episode. Specifically, length, story, and placement of said flashbacks. The only other big complaint I have about the episode (which I’ll discuss in length in a minute), is that the episode seemingly doesn’t have anything to spoil. At first glance, you might be thinking, “What do you mean??? That’s great!” But, as you think about it more, that’s not great. You want stuff to spoil because it means that there’s plot development and/or crazy things happening. Otherwise, it’s more of a filler episode, which I feel this episode was, for worse. Without further ado, here’s my review for The Book of Boba Fett.
Star Wars fans had incredibly high expectations going into this series, as it wasn’t even announced in the typical fashion! It was attached as a post-credit scene to The Mandalorian season 2, and it’s no stretch to claim that Mandalorian was a cultural phenomenon. With that being said, it’s natural to assume that Book of Boba would have those same expectations, given that it’s the same creative team and some of the same cast. I’m sorry to say it didn’t deliver. Fans are treated to a portrayal of Fett that seems no more than a glorified cameo.
Sure, Wen’s Fennec Shand steals every scene she’s in, and you could say the same about Yelena Belova in Hawkeye. Yelena wasn’t meant to be the main character, and that’s why it worked so well. In this series, Wen is trying to be the center of this series, along with Temuera Morrison, and she just barely keeps pace. Morrison’s performance is fine if you’re trying to act a character in a skit on Saturday Night Live or The Tonight Show, it’s not reflective of who the character actually is. Boba Fett would’ve killed the Mayor’s assistant outright for that amount of disrespect. This Fett seems not like a bounty hunter or crime lord, but more like a soft, kind man. For any unaware, this is the opposite of what Boba Fett is.
My big issue with this first episode of Boba Fett, the flashbacks. My issue isn’t as much that they exist, it’s the manner in which it’s done. Over half the episode was dedicated to seeing Boba Fett come out of the Sarlacc pit, and deal with Tusken Raiders. If they had done it more in a Mandalorian-esque way, in which the directors showed more and more of the flashbacks per episode, with it culminating in a full sequence, I think I would’ve liked it a lot more. Instead, I feel the flashbacks take away from the portion of the episode set in the present day. It makes for an uneven episode, and to be honest, I got bored watching the flashbacks.
I hope that the flashbacks were a one-off thing, but with the overall tone the showrunners are setting, it’ll continue. However, with new episodes comes the opportunity for do-overs. I found part of the flashbacks interesting, I’m excited to see how he recovered after his encounter with the Tuskens. I’m praying for other bounty hunters to appear, or possibly the Empire.
One thing that’s not being talked enough about, the score. Ludwig Goransson has managed to put together yet another amazing score, and he just keeps adding to his impressive resume (Black Panther, The Mandalorian, Venom, Creed). The main theme for the series incorporates sounds and beats from the Crimson Dawn theme in Solo: A Star Wars Story, which could be hinting at appearances for members of the crime syndicate in future episodes.
Spoilers? There Aren’t Any
Yeah, you read that heading right. There aren’t any spoilers for this episode to be told, which is why there’s no SPOILER-FREE banner at the top of the review. At first glance, a great thing. As you look further deep into it, not so much. This felt like a filler episode, which is disappointing, given its only 7 episodes (shorter than The Mandalorian, which had none). It’s also surprising because it’s a series premiere, which is supposed to introduce the characters and the world. I honestly didn’t feel it was a premiere, more like a continuation of The Mandalorian season 2, and I guess the showrunners felt the same.
There are a lot of things I could examine closely about this series, and I’ve complained a lot about The Book of Boba Fett in previous sections of my review. However, when it’s all put together, it’s quite a wonderful addition to the Star Wars mythology. It explains a lot of Boba Fett’s time in between Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and The Mandalorian season 2. What the series sets up going forward, as to the potential villains of the series, is curious. This so-called Mayor is interesting, I’m curious if he’s actually the mayor of Mos Espa or just another crime lord. There were mixed-in elements of the Crimson Dawn theme added to the score, which could spotlight Qi’ra.
As to the action part, there are a bunch of sequences in The Book of Boba Fett that are action-filled. Fennec Shand’s fight with the assassins is particularly attention-grabbing, as is Boba Fett’s fight with the weird sand monster. There is a lot of hand-to-hand combat, with a surprising non-appearance of blasters, a staple in the Star Wars universe. Martial arts play a prominent role in fight scenes, Fennec Shand’s background lists her as being quite familiar with them. Overall, though, there aren’t many action scenes in the premiere episode, it’s mostly talking.
The Book of Boba Fett is a fun, mythology-heavy installment to the Star Wars universe. While close-up, may seem like a failure, from afar the moving pieces come together to form a thrilling, epic story. With many rumored appearances and an episode count of 7, there is any number of things that Lucasfilm can do. Chapter One of The Book of Boba Fett is now streaming exclusively on Disney+, Chapter Two will be streaming on January 5, 2022.
Overall Grade: B-