‘The Book of Boba Fett’ fails to live up to ‘The Mandalorian’

The show thrives without its title character

Photo+courtesy+of+the+official+The+Book+of+Boba+Fett+IMDb+page

Photo courtesy of the official “The Book of Boba Fett” IMDb page

By Shannon Moore, Staff Writer

Editor’s note: This article contains spoilers for “The Book of Boba Fett”

 

Following the success of “The Mandalorian,” creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni aimed to replicate its success with a spin-off series, focusing on a fan-favorite character, Boba Fett. The show advertised its focus on Fett taking over Mos Eisley and Jabba the Hutt’s empire and the problems that came with such a task. However, with too many flashbacks, two episodes without Boba entirely and fan service cameos stealing the spotlight, Boba Fett is outshined in his own story.

The show began with promise, picking up right where we last left Boba Fett at Jabba’s palace in Mos Eisley. The first few episodes are split between flashbacks of Boba’s journey out of the Sarlacc pit from “Return of the Jedi” and his struggle to balance the power he’s inherited from Jabba’s empire. These plotlines had a lot of potential, but unfortunately, they both fell flat. The show spent too much time focusing on Boba’s integration with the Tusken Raiders, only to have them all killed by the end of the fourth episode, with no redemption arc later in the season.

The writers spent so much time on this arc for Boba but failed to explore Boba as a character himself in this new environment, leaving the audience feeling uninvested. Boba abandons his armor, training and life as a bounty hunter, letting everything audiences loved about the character disappear. It leaves new fans feeling confused and die-hard fans frustrated with the direction the character was taking.

The other main plotline focuses on Boba trying to rule his new empire with respect instead of fear, fighting off the spice trading Pyke Syndicate and trying to keep the streets clean. However, with so much time spent on the Tusken Raiders, this feels like an afterthought instead of the main arc. The integration of multiple new characters, including a biker gang for good and a bounty hunter Wookie, is a desperate attempt to add some new dimension to the story. While the characters themselves are cool, too much time is spent on Boba and his Tusken Raider initiation to make these characters count. The two main plotlines of the show are disconnected, leaving the audience feeling disconnected from the show itself.

But “The Book of Boba Fett” is not a waste entirely. The show’s saving grace comes when it abandons Boba altogether, shifting the narrative on Mando himself. Episodes five and six barely feature Boba at all. Instead, they continue the story told in the second season of “The Mandalorian.” I watched in awe as Mando attempted to track down Grogu, learned to wield the Darksaber and figured out his identity outside of the Mandolorian creed. Without Boba, these two episodes are incredible, filled to the brim with cameos and that “Boba Fett” was missing.

With appearances from Luke Skywalker, Grogu, R2-D2 Ashoka, Cad Bane and more, these episodes feel like an entirely different show. Boba Fett was overshadowed and forgotten entirely in his own show, but these two episodes were so good, I didn’t really care. Episodes five and six thrived without Boba and felt like the Star Wars we know and love.

All the elements come together in the season finale when Boba asks Mando to help him fight off the Pyke Syndicate. Mando agrees, and an epic battle ensues, but Boba fails to shine yet again. Even in the epic final faceoff with Cad Bane, which feels like a desperate attempt to bring back the Boba we know and love, his win doesn’t feel deserved. Even when the Pykes are eliminated and the streets are clean, it doesn’t feel like Boba’s won. He’s overshadowed again by a long awaited Mando and Grogu reunion, Mando wielding the Darksaber and Grogu showing off his new knowledge of the force.

Even in the finale of his own show, Boba’s character is forgotten to help set up third season of “The Mandalorian,” leaving the show overall feeling like “The Mandalorian” season 2.5. But I’m ok with that.

“The Book of Boba Fett” had a multitude of problems. From shaky plot lines, abandoned character development years in the making and an overall lost feeling, the show, Boba-wise, falls flat. The writers tried to make “The Mandalorian” formula fit Boba Fett, but they should have let him tell his own story.

The incredible cameos and Mando focused episodes give “The Book of Boba Fett” purpose in the Star Wars world, even if that purpose doesn’t involve Boba himself. Overall, Boba is outshined in his own story, but with the cameos we’ve gotten from this production, I’m not complaining.

Shannon Moore can be reached at [email protected].