Boba Fett opens book of mixed feelings
TUES. | 03-22-22 | ENTERTAINMENT
In Nov. 2019, The Mandalorian was released on the streaming service Disney+ to overwhelmingly positive reception, proving the Star Wars franchise’s success in live-action television. After releasing a second season the following year which received similarly positive reviews, a spin-off series, titled The Book of Boba Fett, was confirmed by Disney.
For those unfamiliar with Star Wars or Boba Fett, he is a bounty hunter originally introduced as a minor character in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) before he is seemingly killed during a battle shortly thereafter. His character’s background was further explored in the prequels Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) before he was ultimately reintroduced as a supporting character in season 2 of The Mandalorian, having evidently survived his assumed demise more than 30 years before. Along with fellow bounty hunter Fennec Shand, whose life he saved, he works alongside the Mandalorian for several episodes of the show before claiming the throne of crime lord Jabba the Hutt, his former employer.
The Book of Boba Fett follows Fett’s efforts to establish himself as the daimyo (lord) of Tatooine, a relatively lawless planet in the remote Outer Rim of the Star Wars universe. Along with routine issues such as settling legal disputes and gaining respect, Fett is also challenged by the Pyke Syndicate, an organization set on establishing
Image courtesy of imdb.com
Tatooine as a route for its illegal spice trade.
While The Book of Boba Fett presents a very interesting premise, it unfortunately suffers from the same issue that many spin-offs face: it doesn’t carry enough interest without the substance of the series it spun out of. While The Mandalorian is a fascinating, exciting series due to the variety of quirky characters it contains and interesting new planets it explores, The Book of Boba Fett is almost entirely confined to a single planet and explores two characters that firstly, we already know, and secondly, don’t particularly need a deeper background beyond what they already had. Boba Fett already had several movies and TV episodes worth of background, and Fennec Shand was a minor antagonist from the first season of The Mandalorian that ultimately became a supporting character in the second. While both characters are interesting, well-written and exceptionally portrayed by actors Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen, I don’t think creating a whole show about them was necessary.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed The Book of Boba Fett, and I am very happy that Disney put the time and effort in to create it. However, I think it lacked the thrilling spark of excitement that The Mandalorian possesses so effortlessly. Indeed, when I felt that the show had finally picked up around episode 5, it was mainly because the Mandalorian was reintroduced and the show basically became a mini-season of The Mandalorian for two episodes.
However, I do feel that it’s important to note that The Book of Boba Fett carried one noticeable improvement over The Mandalorian: the special effects have remarkably improved. Though the CGI in The Mandalorian was already amazing, we’re in an era where filmmaking technology is making wild leaps forward on a yearly basis. The CGI in The Book of Boba Fett was, to put it simply, astounding. The show contained several characters that were partially created with CGI, and it was practically impossible to tell where reality ended and animation started.
Overall, I enjoyed The Book of Boba Fett but didn’t find it quite as interesting or entertaining as I had hoped. Though it had exceptional performances and special effects, I don’t think those positives were able to outweigh its limited premise and relatively mundane setting. Am I glad that I got to watch it? Absolutely. Would I have rather just watched a third season of The Mandalorian instead? Absolutely. Thankfully, that show is expected to be continued at some point this year, so I will be sure to keep an eye out for it. In the meantime, I would recommend The Book of Boba Fett to Stars Wars fans, but more casual viewers would probably be better off with its predecessor.