TL;DR – While this was an interesting start to the series, it also felt like it lacked weight in places.
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.
The Book of Boba Fett Review –
For many people, Boba Fett is a character from Star Wars that they adore. But part of that was because of his brevity on screen, giving you only snippets of who he is. The problem is that the industry is littered with the corpses of projects based on characters that people liked in glimpses, only to find out they had no legs to stand on when they tried to expand the character out. Well, today, we get to look at a show that charts a course forward into a realm both known and unknown.
So to set the scene, we begin with Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) lying in a medical healing tube, but as he heals, he is wracked with bad dreams. He dreams of finding his father dead during the events of Attack of the Clones and of waking up inside the Sarlacc after the Return of the Jedi. These nightmares haunt his sleep. But there is no time for that because Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) has arrived to tell him that the tributes have come because, at the end of The Mandalorian Season 2, Boba killed his predecessor and took up the position left by Jabba the Hutt. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
From a narrative perspective, we get a story told in two parts. The first is charting the course of Boba from waking up in the stomach of the Sarlacc to him getting his armour stripped by some Jawas and then captured by Tusken Raiders. While in the present, we get to see Boba try to assert himself as the new crime lord of Mos Espa, which is easier said than done. This juxtaposition between the past and the present provide a good pace for the episode because you never linger too long in a section for it to start to drag.
While the parts set in the past were interesting, including the fabled answer as to how he got out of the Sarlacc Pit, I personally found the section set in the present to be much more interesting. I liked seeing how each of the different power structures responded to Boba claiming to be the new crime lord. Some showed absolute deference, some paid him lip service, and some straight-up called his bluff. There is so much fertile ground in this area of the story with politics, betrayals, and subterfuge that I hope this is where the show’s focus will be. I also did like the slight redesign they gave the Gamorrean Guards.
Where this episode didn’t work for me as much as I would have liked is that it lacked weight in places on both a narrative and production level. Much of this episode felt more like navel-gazing into the past, which is something the whole Star Wars series suffers from. It also felt that narratively the Tusken Raiders took a back step in their depiction. Unfortunately, from a production side of things, the music in this first episode just fell flat for me in every facet bar the theme song. More work needed to be done on the foley sound because nothing landed with any weight bar the shields engaging.
In the end, do we recommend Stranger in a Strange Land? Well yes. I am not sure it hit every level that I had hoped. However, there was enough there for me to be intrigued about the future. I hope it looks to the future, rather than being stuck in the past, but only time will tell about that.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Book of Boba Fett
Directed by – Robert Rodriquez
Written by – Jon Favreau
Created by – Jon Favreau
Based on – Star Wars created by George Lucas
Production/Distribution Companies – LucasFilm & Disney +
Starring – Temuera Morrison & Ming-Na Wen with Matt Berry, David Pasquesi & Jennifer Beals and Daniel Logan, Wesley Kimmel, Xavier Jimenez, Joanna Bennett, Dawn Dininger, Barry Lowin, Robert Rodriquez, Frank Trigg, Collin Hymes, Marlon Aquino & Andrea Dartlow