The Book of Boba Fett (2021-2022): The Most Divisive Project Since The Last Jedi
After his unexpected “demise” in Return of the Jedi, many Star Wars fans were clambering for more of the bounty hunter, Boba Fett. Which is why his surprising return in Season 2 of The Mandalorian was just what fans desired, with his own series coming out a year later. Although I must say I thoroughly enjoyed Boba’s series, I may have been in the minority as Star Wars fans collectively cried out in anger at the direction of the character, and the story itself. Causing division in the Star Wars fanbase that hadn’t been seen since Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi.
Boba Fett (played by Temuera Morrison) has killed Bid Fortuna and is now the head of the Hutt crime family. It seems though nobody is taking him seriously as a crime boss as said by heads of other crime families and locals alike. With opposition not respecting his authority, the Pikes Syndicate are making moves, encroaching on his territory and provoking war. With the help of Fennec Shand (played by Ming-Na Wen) and others, Boba Fett makes his stand to protect the people of Tattoonie from another oppressive regime.
This was not the series many fans expected, as they assumed Boba Fett would become a bounty hunter or vigilante and go across the Galaxy on secret missions. Plus, many were tired of seeing Tatooine as the backdrop for another Star Wars project. I, however, didn’t really set expectations for this series and was just excited to see a Boba Fett series, which is both a mix of Dances with Wolves and The Godfather. The Dances with Wolves aspect comes into play with Fett’s flashbacks to surviving the Sarlacc Pit and being rescued by a group of Tuskens. I also appreciate adding layers to the Tuskens group with this series, rather than portraying them as one dimensional savages, showing evolution in character work. And the amount of respect in building their culture was well done as it is quite amazing and detailed! The Godfather aspect however, fell slightly flat but not completely. Some parts worked such as Fett’s approach to business. However, his ability to talk with other crime bosses fell rather flat. This could be from inexperience or something not clicking in the script, either way it isn’t enough of a complaint to warrant any worry.
There were also quite a few new additions to the live action Star Wars canon as well as some extremely welcome returns of past characters. Some of these additions include Krrrsantan as a badass Wookiee gladiator and The Rancor which I didn’t expect to make a return, but was pleasantly surprised. Then there is the live action debut of notorious bounty hunter/mercenary Cad Bane. I didn’t expect to see him in live action after Star Wars: The Clone Wars wrapped, but I am glad he did make a return and was the challenge that our heroes needed in order to make the struggle real! But there were also character additions that weren’t as exciting. The Mechs were some of the more boring characters I have seen in Star Wars and were excruciatingly bland in terms of depth. The writing wasn’t there for this group of actors as many of them are capable of giving a good performance, hopefully they do them justice if there’s a season 2.
There was one serious issue The Book of Boba Fett has that truly disappoints me. Two of the best episodes in the entire first season barely had Boba Fett in it for 30 seconds total (if that). Those episodes were more interested in world building and intelligent fan service, with one episode dedicated entirely to Din Djarin (The Mandalorian), and another to Luke Skywalker, Grogu, Cad Bane and Cobb Vanth. I must reiterate that these two episodes are splendid as standalone episodes and showcase well crafted world building. But for them to steal the spotlight away from Boba Fett and Fennec Shand shows how little faith the executives had in the character of Boba Fett.
I almost forgot that the performances Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen give are satisfyingly crafted. Morrison really knows how to take control of a room, with both his voice and steady body language, establishing dominance without resorting to violence. He’s even able to steal the spotlight back from Cad Bane in the finale! Ming-Na Wen has always been a badass with her work on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, in addition to lending her voice to warrior-princess Mulan. She has an elegance and intelligence to her that manage to both benefit her own character as well as Morrison’s Fett whenever he is in crisis.
Lastly, the theme music is by far better than The Mandalorian’s theme. You heard me right, Boba Fett has a better theme than The Mandalorian! It manages to be bombastic with brass instruments and chanting that never allows you to turn away. Not to mention as the series goes on, more layers are added to the theme and the chants become clearer. The chanting actually turns from grunts into “Boba Fett” which I think is a nice touch compared to Mando’s simplistic theme.
The Book of Boba Fett is another example of Star Wars fans not sitting back and enjoying the show. Granted there are a few things I don’t agree with per say, but I checked my expectations at the door to enjoy a Godfather-like Star Wars series. Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen are excellent in their roles, and managed to be both intimidating and friendly duo all at once. Plus, I am glad they have more of a friendly partnership and no forced romance. Some new additions to live action Star Wars like Krrrsantan and Cad Bane are outstanding, while other additions like The Mechs hopefully become more developed as the series progresses. There is also that unfortunate lack of faith in the title character leading his own show that they must give us two world building episodes to appease all Star Wars fans. It was Fett’s show and yet the two best episodes were without him. And this is coming from someone who thoroughly enjoyed The Book of Boba Fett. Hopefully a second season gets greenlit, because I would enjoy coming back to watch Fett be the crime boss Tatooine needs!