“The Book of Boba Fett” doesn’t live up to the hype



Poster art for “The Book of Boba Fett”

Ryan O'Rourke, Staff Writer

After nearly 40 years of waiting, Star Wars fans saw the return of fan favorite character Boba Fett in his own spin-off series, The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+. The titular character first appeared in 1980’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, as a mysterious bounty hunter hired to capture Han Solo. The character quickly became a cultural icon, despite having only roughly six minutes of screen time, and only speaking four lines. With all of the popularity built around Boba Fett, fans were rather disappointed when he met an unceremonious end in the following film, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, falling into the mouth of the Sarlacc Pit, although many speculated that he may have survived his fall. He then made an appearance in season two of the hit TV show, The Mandalorian on Disney+ last year, confirming fans’ suspicions. Now, after all of these years, the famous bounty hunter finally has his own story.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, the show follows Boba Fett after the events of The Mandalorian, as he struggles to fill the role as leader of the city Mos Espa, alongside partner Fennec Shand. Formerly ruled by the ruthless Jabba the Hutt, the city of Mos Espa does not respond well to Boba Fett’s tactics of “ruling with respect,” and he must attempt to win over the people by forming alliances and warding off those who seek to take over his newly acquired territory. Along the way, we learn how Fett managed to escape the Sarlacc Pit, and how he was taken in and trained by a tribe of natives known as Tusken Raiders (known as sand people in the original series). The show features Star Wars veteran Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett, having previously played Jango Fett in the 2002 film Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Ming-Na Wen, an actress famous for her roles as the voice of Mulan in the 1998 film, Mulan, and playing the character Melinda May in Marvel’s Agents of  S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series co-stars as Fennec Shand.

The show has a very interesting style, comparable to that of The Godfather, which differs greatly from any of the Star Wars movies and spin-off series we’ve seen. The show is also formatted in such a way that swaps back and forth between two different storylines at once. As the main storyline advances, we’re shown various flashbacks, explaining where Boba Fett was between the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and The Mandalorian. While these flashbacks are essential for giving us background on Boba Fett, showing how he went from a ruthless mercenary to a respectable ruler, they didn’t always flow well with the main story. Oftentimes, it feels as though the show is lacking any sort of direction, as there’s more going on in the flashbacks than in the actual story.

The flashbacks eventually stop after they have served their purpose, and the story picks up around episode five, switching tracks completely by catching the audience up with the familiar face (or helmet, rather) of The Mandalorian. This is arguably the best episode of the series, filled to the brim with action and nostalgia. While this was certainly exciting to watch, it just goes to show that the producers failed to make Boba Fett interesting enough to follow. He never makes an appearance in this episode, and seems to take the back seat to other characters in the final two episodes.  Ultimately, the show ends up feeling more like season 2½ of The Mandalorian than it does a show about Boba Fett.

Overall, the show was entertaining, but didn’t quite live up to its potential. There were many missed opportunities in the plot, and the title character seemed underdeveloped other than a few interesting flashbacks. Fans who were hoping to see more of Boba Fett in action might feel disappointed, as the bounty hunter spends most of his screen time making negotiations and soaking in a bathtub. There were plenty of exciting cameos from beloved Star Wars characters and action sequences to keep the audience captivated, but the story itself is still lacking. Seeing Boba Fett as a kind leader seems like a very drastic turn from the brutal hired-gun we had seen in previous films, and just doesn’t seem true to the source material. Maybe it’s best that the bounty hunter sticks to his supporting role, tracking down thugs and remaining a mystery.