TL;DR – A lacklustre ending to a frustrating series overall.
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ subscription that viewed this show.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene in the final episode
The Book of Boba Fett Review –
Well, we have reached the end of the first season of The Book of Boba Fett and does it end on a triumph? Well no. What we have gotten is a season flailing around in the sand and finding the odd gem, but not much else. With that in mind, let us unpack the final episode and the season as a whole.
So to set the scene, at the end of From the Desert Comes a Stranger, Cad Bane (Corey Burton) kills the chance of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) getting back up by taking out Marshal Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) in a showdown. Meanwhile, the Pyke Syndicate strikes the first blow of the coming war by destroying Sanctuary and killing (probably) Garsa Fwip (Jennifer Beals) in the process. The oncoming storm is near, all Boba, Fennec (Ming-Na Wen), and The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) need to do is hold out for reinforcements (that are not coming) and hope that the criminal families of Mos Espa continue with their neutrality between a more significant winning power and family about to get stomped on. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole and the rest of the season, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
The whole season led to this confrontation, episode after episode of build-up, and what we got, in the end, was, well, meh. Nothing in this episode felt earned, so while people might focus on that one dude who did a ‘spiny shoot a bunch of guys’ moves, the structure was more of an issue. In this episode, Boba gets berated into doing the right thing by a teenager, which goes against everything they had set up with his character. The Mods also gets no screen time to build their characters, so everything they do feels flimsy. Fennec could easily go and decapitate the leadership of the Pykes. Why the hell were you not doing that sooner. Or how you spend all season showing how two of the leads got their ships back, only for everyone to forget that air support would come in real handy in that battle.
There are also pacing problems as well as narrative issues with the fight. Everything up to the Rancor showing up feels samey because it is just one wave of nameless goons after another. Then even the Rancor outstays its welcome while also being frustrating because we had one moment of bonding between it and Boba, and now apparently, he is a Rancor master. The Scorpenek droids harken back to the design of Droidekas but lose every bit of practicality that made the Droidekas interesting. There is a meme of stormtrooper aim, but goodness, did those Scorpenek droids hit anyone, even those people that were nicely running in open territory, directly downrange from them. Nothing had weight because no one was in any real peril bar those two Gamorrean guards (Frank Trigg/Collin Hymes). “Wait, did they just kill off fan favourite Cad Bane after just introducing him to live-action? That is a strong move … wait no … they held on those flashing lights … they are setting up his survival … sigh”. The whole season is focused on a battle with no stakes and was frankly bland. That is a problem.
However, the issues with the show don’t just fall on the final episode’s shoulders. These narrative issues flow throughout the season. We find three primary narrative thrusts when we break down the seven-episode season into its core ideas. The first is what happened to Boba Fett between getting eaten in Return of the Jedi and being very much alive during The Mandalorian. The second is what Boba Fett did once he claimed Jaba’s throne in the closing moments of Season 2 of The Mandalorian. Finally, what does Din Djarin do after leaving Grogu with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)? Each of these ideas could have powered a season on its own. Instead, we get three haphazard narratives slapped together. Worse still, these different narratives don’t support each other, so instead of building a united whole, they suck oxygen and time away from each other.
More than that, as we continue throughout the season, even though this is called The Book of Boba Fett, they didn’t have seven episodes of content for the titular character. What is clear is that they didn’t really want to do a Boba Fett story, but they wanted to do a season playing around in the Star Wars sandbox they created. If that is what you want to do, fine, but then be upfront about it instead of hiding behind a lead character you don’t have much faith in. This is even more annoying because they cast a Māori and Asian lead in a major Star Wars product, a series that has historically been poor with handling that inclusion and then lost interest in them. Up to and including making the big set-piece reveal of the final episode be forwarding Grogu’s story and not any of the main characters.
Is that to say that the whole season is a waste? Absolutely not. There are some standout individual episodes like the Return of The Mandalorian and The Tribes of Tatooine. As well as this, there are some iconic visuals like Cad Bane’s arrival From the Desert Comes a Stranger, and all the individual performances were all solid. Add to that, there were some fantastic character reveals and moments harkening back to nostalgia. However, what we have here is an utterly unfocused series, so even these strengths don’t add up to something in the end.
In the end, do we recommend The Book of Boba Fett? Well, that is a hard one to answer. Most of my reviews for individual episodes are quite high, and they play well in a vacuum. However, as parts of a whole, not so much. So I do think you should watch them? Look, if you are a Star Wars fan, sure give them a watch. If you like the expanded universe, then of course, because they are making this series just for you. If you don’t fall into either category … well, there are worse things to watch.
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 – Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Kevin Tancharoen, Steph Green & Robert Rodriguez
Written by – Jon Favreau & Dave Filoni
Created by – Jon Favreau
Based on – Star Wars created by George Lucas
Production/Distribution Companies – LucasFilm & Disney +
Starring in Season 1 – Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen & Pedro Pascal with Timothy Olyphant, Rosario Dawson, Jordan Bolger, Sophie Thatcher, Carey Jones, David Pasquesi, Corey Burton, Jennifer Beals, Stephen ‘Thundercat’ Bruner, Matt Berry, Stephen Root, Dawn Dininger, Danny Trejo, Emily Swallow, Amy Sedaris & Mark Hamill and Frank Trigg, Collin Hymes, JJ Dashnaw, W. Earl Brown, Karisma Shanel, Marlon Aquino, Andrea Dartlow, Brendan Mayne, Paul Darnell, Scott Lang, Graham Hamilton, Dorian Kingi, Chris Bartlett, Mandy Kowalski, Skyler Bible, Alfred Hsing, Daniel Logan, Xavier Jimenez, Joanna Bennett, Wesley Kimmel, Murphy Patrick Martin, Galen Howard, Tim Trella, Callie Croughwell, Crystal Hooks, Ladell Preston, JJ Dashinaw, Finnegan Garay, Jamie Alexander, Robert Rodriquez, Phil Lamarr, Barry Lowin, , Matthew Wood, Eyad Elbitar, Andres Saenz Hudson, Ardeshir Radpour, Leeanna Vamp, Ardeshir Radpour, Helen Sadler, Arden Voyles, Leilani Shiu, Max Lloyd-Jones, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Ming Qiu, Leteef Crowder, Tait Fletcher, Michelle Lee, Rich Cetrone & Safiya Fredericks