When Boba Fett made his live-action debut in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, the character quickly became a fan favourite despite his limited presence. Although the final film in the original trilogy left Fett in the stomach of the almighty sarlacc, the character has been successfully reintroduced into the canon following his entrance in The Mandalorian. Now, Disney and Lucasfilm have decided to give the iconic bounty hunter another shot by giving him his own series, The Book of Boba Fett.
Though he had just five lines of dialogue in the original trilogy, Fett provided a level of intrigue and mystique that added significantly to the film franchise set in a galaxy far, far away. His exchange with Darth Vader suggested a violent past, his olive dented helmet gave the bounty hunter an archetypal iconography, and his demeanour emanates a dangerous figure with a cloudy moral compass.
Consciously, the creative team behind The Book of Boba Fett understands that they could never match the adventures that existed in fans’ imaginations over the past couple of decades. Instead, the series chose to recontextualise the famous bounty hunter. By telling the story of becomes an unlikely hero that seeks justice in a land that does not understand the concept, the Disney Plus original does a tremendous job in redefining the Star Wars character.
Despite its refreshing take on its lead character, the momentum of the story is often halted by sluggish pacing, unfocused direction, as well as undefined characters. Ironically, the greatest aspects of the Disney Plus original has nothing to do with its titular character. The Book of Boba Fett took a drastic shift in its fifth episode, deciding to follow up on the season two finale of The Mandalorian. Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, Return of the Mandalorian delivers an amazing hour of Star Wars that could’ve easily been worked into a self-contained feature film. As a matter of fact, the episode in question didn’t even feature a single frame of Boba Fett – spending the best part of an hour with Din Djarin as he navigates in a galaxy in which he is no longer a surrogate dad to the adorable Grogu.
While the shift in focus may have been satisfying to some fans, it denies further exploration of the show’s titular character. As opposed to developing its story organically, The Book of Boba Fett is more interested in strengthening the interconnectivity between the Star Wars shows, resulting in a show that’s often internally conflicted in its tone, direction, and plot. With an overreliance on the success of The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett is under the same blanket of creative stagnation that has plagued many of Lucasfilm’s recent projects.
Next to The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett is serviceable, burdened with a refreshing storyline that’s hurt by various creative decisions. Despite its flaws, the series does a tremendous job in filling the main character’s backstory in between Return of the Jedi and his appearance in The Mandalorian. For all its flaws, The Book of Boba Fett is a regularly entertaining ride that succeeds in transforming a Star Wars icon into a fully developed character.