THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT "Chapter 1" Review; "Boba Fett Is Back, Better, And Cooler Than Ever"

THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT "Chapter 1" Review; "Boba Fett Is Back, Better, And Cooler Than Ever"

The Book of Boba Fett has finally arrived on Disney+, but does the series live up to the lofty expectations set by The Mandalorian? We're now weighing in with our verdict, but some minor spoilers follow...

Talk of a Boba Fett movie persisted for years, with Josh Trank, Simon Kinberg, and James Mangold all supposedly attached at different times. Solo: A Star Wars Story's disappointing box office performance seemingly shifted Lucasfilm's focus away from spinoff movies, though The Mandalorian opened the door to this iconic bounty hunter once again taking centre stage in this Galaxy Far, Far Away. Now, The Book of Boba Fett is finally exploring what happened to the character both in the wake of his fall into the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi and after he took Jabba the Hutt's place as Tatooine's new ruler following Fett's team-up with Din Djarin in his Disney+ series. "Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land" serves as a solid opening episode, though like The Mandalorian before it, the series may demand patience from its viewers. 

The premiere is divided equally between exploring what happened after Fett escaped the Sarlacc Pit and his attempts to make Mos Espa, and Tatooine, accept him as its new ruler and crimelord. Both storylines are undeniably compelling, though it's too soon to say where either is going and whether they'll continue to keep us hooked over the weeks to come. It's interesting that Disney didn't send out screeners for The Book of Boba Fett in advance as there's no "Baby Yoda" sized reveal here that acts as the sort of hook guaranteed to make you want to be back here next week the second a new episode drops. However, the show doesn't necessarily need one, because it's undeniably fascinating to discover more about who the bounty hunter is beneath his helmet and what he hopes to achieve after usurping Bib Fortuna. 

Much of the credit for this should go to Temuera Morrison. After playing Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, it wasn't until The Mandalorian we got to see what his Boba was made of. He may have been a "villain" in the original Star Wars trilogy, but you'll find yourself rooting for Fett as he attempts to survive the fallout of that battle aboard Jabba's Skiff, and suitably intrigued by his desire to rule over Tatooine with respect rather than fear. Morrison adds a lot of depth to this iconic character, building on The Clone Wars (which established that Boba has a good side) and the anti-hero take on Fett we saw in The Mandalorian. The actor makes leading his own series look effortless as he peels back the curtain on what makes this guy tick. The show's other lead, Ming-Na Wen's Fennec Shand, deserves the same amount of praise as she's once again given the opportunity to show what a formidable threat the assassin is. Beyond that, though, we learn more about the ways her views differ from Boba's, something that services his arc by offering a counterargument to how he intends to rule. Could that lead to tension down the line? It would be interesting to explore, that's for sure. 
 


Robert Rodriguez directs "Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land" from a script by Jon Favreau, but like his episode of The Mandalorian, there aren't necessarily any of those iconic Star Wars visuals that will leave a lasting impression. If anything, the series looks a little bland at times, though the fact that we've spent so much time on Tatooine over the course of this franchise is likely to blame (after all, there's only so much that can be done with sand). Where the filmmaker does excel is with the action, and The Book of Boba Fett is so far at its best when its title character and Shand get to show why they're the best at what they do in this Galaxy. Fett is an absolute beast of a character, and when he's unleashed, the show does a phenomenal job of making us understand why he was the Galaxy's most feared bounty hunter for so long. Something we can't fault, of course, is composer Ludwig Göransson's work, which compliments everything we see perfectly and ensures this series stands apart from The Mandalorian with its own unique sound and style. 

After just one episode, it's hard to say whether The Book of Boba Fett will ultimately rank alongside The Mandalorian as one of the best Star Wars stories told in this Disney era of Lucasfilm, but the potential is definitely there. With superb performances from its leads and a greater exploration of the title character, this series has all the makings of the definitive Boba Fett story fans have been waiting for. With any luck, that will continue moving forward, though it would be nice if the second episode better established exactly what Lucasfilm hopes to achieve by giving Boba Fett the spotlight we've waited so long to see him receive. For many, following Fett in his prime as a bounty hunter would have been preferable, but his place in this post-Return of the Jedi era definitely has potential.

Boba Fett is back, better, and cooler than ever, and while the premiere is slow to reveal where the show is taking us, Temuera Morrison's intense, gripping work offers hope for a series that will take this story 40 years in the making to the heights it deserves.
 

IF

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