Thursday, February 10, 2022

TV Mini-Review: The Book of Boba Fett



What surprises me most about this show is how many people have been savaging it.

The Book of Boba Fett picks up the pieces where we left off the main character.  Fett (Temura Morrison), is attempting to solidify his places as the daimyo or crime lord of the former territories of Jabba the Hutt.  He is helped by Fennic Shan (Ming-Na Wen), ruthless but loyal assassin.  Through flashback, we see how Fett escaped the Sarlac and how he saved Fennic from the blaster shot that almost killed her.  Fett has to deal with lots of treacherous characters as he tries to establish himself in this harsh world.

The oddest thing about this show is how it stops halfway through and becomes season 3 of The Mandalorian.  What makes it even odder is that the show gets more enjoyable.

The first half wasn't bad.  I especially liked the second episode which was very much was an homage to Lawrence of Arabia.  It was a strong episode that was action-packed and was able to communicate a lot without a great deal of dialogue.  

Morrison does a good job as Fett, but with the constant exposure of his face, you lose the sense of menace and mystery that you get from Din Djarin or Darth Vader.  Wen is also great her part, always bringing a strong sense of danger to each scene.  The rest of the supporting cast who are introduced in this season are not nearly as strong as the ones who return from The Mandalorian.

But the biggest problem with the show was that Fett is trying to be a crime boss without being a villain.  This version of Fett lacks the utter ruthlessness that is required of such an enterprise.  All of his adversaries are devious and underhanded and Fett always seems like he's a step behind.  Fennic constantly calls on him to be more ruthless.  The fundamental problem is that if he becomes more like Jabba, then he becomes more of a villain than the hero of the story.  Instead he seems overwhelmed by all of the back-stabbing.  He reminds me of Walter White in the first season of Breaking Bad, where he keeps getting in over his head.  Except that eventually Walter became so cold that he could swim with the sharks.  If Fett became that, the show would no longer be a redemption arc for him.

Perhaps that is why the focus was taken off of him and on to other characters in the Star Wars universe.  And perhaps a lot of this was shameless fan service, but I was so enchanted by some of it that filled me with joy.

The greatest delight for me was once again seeing my childhood hero Luke Skywalker in the way I always imagined him after Return of the Jedi.  For all of the criticism of the show, those moments alone made the entire season worthwhile.

The series builds to a finale that is incredibly fun in concept, but only does a decent job in execution.  Despite its massive special effects budget, the direction felt a little cheap, except for the scenes with Cad Bane.  It could also be the fact that some of the supporting characters never really developed enough for your to deeply care about them.

Overall, The Book of Boba Fett is a decent Star Wars show with some really great moments.  It isn't as compelling as The Mandalorian, but it is worth the watch.

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