Should You Read The Book of Boba Fett?
Analyzing The Latest Disney+ Star Wars Installment
The Book of Boba Fett has come to an end for now. This series highlights a character from the Star Wars franchise whose very existence is granted by the love fans have for him. Beginning life as a “cool” background character, he gained notoriety as fans clamored to know more about this mysterious bounty hunter.
Since his first appearance in the Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978, Boba Fett has captured the imaginations of Star Wars fans. The Book of Boba Fett is the first time this character gets to take the stage as the major protagonist in a live-action Star Wars title, but unfortunately, Boba Fett’s story was only lukewarm.
Where The Book of Boba Fett struggles is with its identity as a show. In theory, it has all the makings of a great show; a well-known character, a much-beloved franchise, and the backing of a multi-billion dollar company, but for some reason, episodes still feel like they drag on, sets feel stilted and vacuous and characters feel two-dimensional and wooden.
Now don’t get me wrong, Disney+ is doing wonders for the Star Wars franchise after the debacle that is the latest trilogy and ancillary movies, but The Book of Boba Fett is the weakest addition to the group of Disney+ Star Wars shows.
The series starts slow and suffers from a lack of identity. Purported to be a “crime show,” fans would be forgiven to expect a gritty show with dark deals and backstabbing with no character being particularly good, even if the clear protagonist is Boba Fett. But like most products of Disney, their stories must have clearly defined heroes and villains. Unfortunately, the result is less The Godfather and more Robin Hood.
This is not bad in and of itself, but the titular character has always been known to be ruthless, dangerous, and unyielding since his very conception. In this series, his patience comes across as cluelessness, his honor as weakness, and his mercy as convenient for the plot.
Now if all of the above changes are attributed to growth over some unseen story arc, there is still one glaring issue with the series, maybe the franchise as a whole, that cannot be forgiven.
The Book of Boba Fett relies heavily on the nostalgia fans feel towards the characters that appear in the show to carry them through its brutal mediocrity. Every other scene feels like the director saying, “See, see… remember when…”
The premise of the series is the foremost example of this. A series based on a helmeted, stoic bounty hunter? Sounds a lot like The Mandalorian, but watered down.
Nostalgia comes mostly from all the small things constantly bombarding the screen: the droid humor that was present in all the films and the overuse of classic characters like Luke Skywalker. The result is a series that feels more like a fan film rather than an official Star Wars plotline.
The most interesting and engaging parts of The Book of Boba Fett are episodes 5 and onward, but ironically, they not only feature, but focus on the character that this series is most likely to be compared to - The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian is the new kid on the block as far as Star Wars history is concerned, but his series has shown that he is also the most capable of showing fans something new in a world they already love.
In the episodes he appears in during The Book of Boba Fett, he does everything Boba Fett should be doing. He is merciless and morally ambiguous with viewers wondering if he is a good guy or selfish. Despite this, he still manages to have his own code of honor and it does not get in the way of his goals. Even though he doesn't remove his helmet, he is still more expressive than every other member of the cast.
It's Not Bad
The Book of Boba Fett was not bad, but that is perhaps the highest praise it deserves. With a little tinkering and dedication to its own identity, future seasons will be something to look forward to, but if the series continues to rely on the name of Boba Fett and the goodwill of the Mandalorian then it will end up right back in the gullet of a Sarlacc pit.
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Christopher Thomas is a contributing writer here at thepyrrhic.com. He enjoys movies, television, and other forms of nerdery.
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