In The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau reintroduced Star Wars fans everywhere to Boba Fett, the iconic bounty hunter from the original trilogy. After his unceremonious demise in Return of the Jedi when Han Solo accidentally set off his jetpack and launched him into the Sarlacc Pit on Tatooine, this show sees him crawling out and being left for dead by Jawas, who steal his armor. Picking up from both that moment and the post-credits scene of The Mandalorian Season 2 finale, The Book of Boba Fett promised a show dedicated to the fan-favorite character expanded upon in years of Star Wars media. But this show dedicated to him was unfortunately not successful in revitalizing the coveted bounty hunter.
This is a frustrating series due to how excellent the individual moments are, but much like Disney’s sequel trilogy, it doesn’t tell a cohesive story that reaches its full potential. Watching this show from week to week was a strange experience where every episode made it seem like the story would be headed somewhere fascinating, only for the next installment to fall on its face.
The series premiere had its moments, as we finally saw Fett crawl out of the Sarlacc Pit and establish a name for himself as the new Daimyo of Mos Espa, taking on the role previously held by Jabba the Hutt and Bib Fortuna. In addition, the episode sets up the show’s nonlinear structure as we have two storylines: one storyline is present-day with Fett’s reign as a crime lord, and the other is in the past and explores Fett’s relationship with the Tuskens. While both eras are ultimately essential to set up Fett as a character, jumping to the past harms the show’s overall pacing, as the present-day adventure never gets the chance to fully take off.
Fett’s present-day plot can be boiled down to Mayor Mok Shaiz and the Pykes beginning a war to gain Fett’s territory. Unfortunately, this is a frustratingly thin premise running on the support of flashbacks and fan service. The present-day storyline is not nearly enough to support a show on its own, which is why the first four episodes rely heavily on the much more exciting parts of Fett’s past to keep us watching. Seeing Fett build a relationship with the Tuskens that leads to a train battle sequence with the Pykes in Chapter 2 is enjoyable, has an arc, and is packed with action. Furthermore, it builds the story, making Chapter 2 one of the strongest episodes of the series.
But then there’s Chapter 3, a monotonous and occasionally illogical episode that ends with Fett and Fennec Shand preparing for war. This leads to Chapter 4, an episode that ends with the same sentiment, but Fett gets his ship, the Slave I, back in this one. However, Fett never uses the Slave I for the rest of the show, so this ultimately feels like a waste of screen time. Chapter 4 does a superb job of tying back into an episode of The Mandalorian, where we see Fett and Shand meet for the first time, setting up their partnership. Ludwig Göransson, who provided excellent music in this show, even intelligently hints at the return of Din Djarin at the end of Chapter 4 solely through audio.
What followed was ultimately baffling. Chapter 5 freezes the story of The Book of Boba Fett dead in its tracks and suddenly becomes the impromptu Season 3 premiere of The Mandalorian, not continuing any of the storylines surrounding the Pykes and Mayor Mok Shaiz, save for one scene at the end. Despite being the titular character, Fett does not have a second of screen time in Chapter 5, as we continue Djarin’s story with the Darksaber and his new N-1 Starfighter. While Bryce Dallas Howard helms the episode superbly, it’s a good episode that feels like it’s a part of the wrong show and further points out the feeble foundation that The Book of Boba Fett as a whole is sitting upon.
Chapter 6 continues the trend with Djarin suddenly taking over as the show’s protagonist. Fett was a background character in the original trilogy, and now that he’s finally getting a show where he’s supposed to be the lead, he basically gets reduced to a cameo appearance in his own show. Chapter 6 does feature revolutionary (if slightly unnerving at times) CGI as a young Luke Skywalker trains Grogu, and there’s phenomenal scene where Luke shares the screen with Ahsoka Tano. Dave Filoni used Chapter 6 to give fans what they have wanted to see for years, but it was at the expense of a well-written story where Fett should have been front and center.
While Chapter 7 finally brings the show back on its feet with Fett and Djarin teaming up in a war with great moments, such as Fett riding the Rancor, The Book of Boba Fett ultimately cannot stand on its own two feet. Instead, the show relies on our preexisting love of The Mandalorian and legacy characters, but when you take away all of the fluff and watch the show just for its present-day storyline, there is no meat on those Rancor bones. Temuera Morrison’s portrayal of Fett is superb, but the show squanders any opportunity to make characters such as Shand and the cyborgs interesting people on their own.
The Book of Boba Fett has an exciting live-action debut for Cad Bane, a villain introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, only for Fett to seemingly kill him in the very next episode. If the show wanted him to be the main antagonist, he should have been introduced earlier than the penultimate episode and been more than just a face for Clone Wars fans to recognize. Because while the Pykes have some villainous presence, Mayor Mok Shaiz only appears in two episodes of the show, robbing him of any possible status as a memorable antagonist, which leads to an unsatisfying death.
The show’s ultimate lack of focus and missed opportunities for story, character, and an emotional center result in a series that simply reminds viewers why The Mandalorian was so much better. Although this show will put grins on the faces of Star Wars fans on multiple occasions, the final result is one of the weakest recent entries in the franchise from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 5 equates to “Mediocre.” The positives and negatives wind up negating each other, making it a wash.