The Book of Boba Fett: Series Premiere (First Two Episodes) Review
Star Wars fans have been eagerly awaiting to see the return of beloved bounty hunter Boba Fett only for that return to feel like pure hopes and dreams. Finally, though, as Star Wars begins to expand its reach to spotlight smaller stories in the main canon, Boba Fett finally returns in a very redemptive series for the character.
Boba Fett was really a small supporting character that’s gotten so much love from the fanbase that he’s become a notable name in Star Wars, but not always for the best of reasons. While he’s revered as this top-dog bounty hunter, he went out on such an abysmal note in Return of the Jedi being foiled by Han Solo accidentally hitting his jet pack. Even when George Lucas tried to revitalize Boba Fett’s story in Attack of the Clones through Jango Fett, it just watered down the character by making him an unremarkable clone. Now with this series though, Boba Fett gets the redemption he’s deserved for so long and it’s even better that Temuera Morrison, who originally played Jango Fett, gets to share in this redemption now playing Boba Fett.
It’s honestly amazing how The Book of Boba Fett perfectly opens on a moment that fans have dreamt of seeing: Boba Fett awaking in the Sarlacc’s stomach and then crawling his way out of the pit. The series really opens on an immensely satisfying note for fans and it presents a different kind of Boba Fett than many are used to seeing. With Jabba gone and his status as a renowned bounty hunter diminished, Boba Fett is at rock bottom and legitimately on the brink of death when he’s taken prisoner by a tribe of Tusken raiders. It’s a simple fall from grace story from writer Jon Favreau at the start, but Boba Fett’s time in the Tusken tribe is greatly utilized by Favreau to flesh out a different side of the character.
For most of his on-screen existence, Boba Fett is often seen as just a gun for hire, but this series shows the intellect and social power under that Mandalorian armor. Although he’s initially forced to dig in the harsh dunes for water pouches by a Tusken youngling and looks half-dead with how dried out his skin is, Boba Fett is quickly able to gain respect and be seen as a potential leader. He’s able to show his adaptiveness in fighting a multi-armed sand creature with just the chains that bind him and watching him concoct this train robbery plan is a lot of fun. We really get to see Boba Fett like never before and there are some great moments that will forever stand out with this character now.
The whole sequence of him taking leadership amongst the Tuskens, teaching them how to operate the long bikes, absorbing their culture and fighting style, and leading them on this big heist was a very fun and fulfilling ride for the character. There’s this more intellectual side of Boba Fett shown that showcases his prowess as a criminal mastermind and some surprisingly emotional beats with him connecting with the Tuskens. There are moments where things can seem a little boring for a Boba Fett bounty hunter show, but the strength of Favreau’s character writing and Morrison’s performance keep you hooked. By the end of Boba Fett’s two-episode arc with the Tuskens, you can really feel this sense of respect and leadership building within him that we do get to see more of with some glimpses of the future.
The Book of Boba Fett operates on two timelines with part of it following Boba Fett’s time after crawling out of the Sarlacc pit and the other taking place far after as he’s taken control of Jabba’s throne and becomes the new crime lord in Tatooine. At this point, the flashes forward simply don’t compare to the time given to his growth with the Tuskens. There is something cool about seeing what he’s learned from them about respect and leadership being a pivotal part to how he chooses to be a leader and some of the mysteries surrounding what the twin Hutts have planned for Boba Fett show potential to be interesting. Admittedly, even that foreboding looking Wookie looks awesome and it’s always fun to see Ming-Na Wen’s fun, darker perspective as Boba Fett’s right-hand assassin Fennec Shand.
However, storytelling like this doesn’t always the greatest payoff since we already know where Boba Fett ends up after everything with the Tuskens and there hasn’t been a good balance between the two storylines. To be frank, the flashes forwards are completely unnecessary at this point and don’t add much to what’s happening. Other areas where The Book of Boba Fett lacks is action as the fight sequences can suffer from mediocre visual effects and a lack of ambitious vision. With the series being a Boba Fett led western, it could definitely be a little wilder in its fight sequences and while the train heist was epic, it can suffer because of cheap-looking effects. There’s definitely a chance for the series to improve on these things down the road given the bigger enemies starting to form, so we’ll see if it can really give Boba Fett the strong actiony return he deserves.
The Book of Boba Fett might not show all the cards it needs to feel like a grand, action-packed return for the iconic bounty hunter, but what it offers for Boba Fett’s personal story and the potential it shows for what to expect soon make it a worthy and satisfying spotlight series on a fan favorite.