The very idea of the show Book of Boba Fett took me by surprise when they introduced the concept in Season 2 of the Mandalorian. So far it looks kind of sloppy and it’s got the potential to be as bad as Loki.
The first thought I had when they rolled this out was killing off Bib Fortuna really fast and easy seemed excessive. The result is obvious right away. Boba Fett is immediately in charge. It’s kind of Unearned. I immediately thought a season spent trying to knock Fortuna out of power- and showing that this gig he wants was both valuable and tough to get- would have been really interesting. They blew this off for one big visual splash.
So I had some concerns. I was worried they hadn’t put a lot of thought into this show. The sloppy pilot reveals this concern was legitimate.
Here’s more or less what went down and the problems that stuck out on the initial view. I will try to give some examples to support what I say and stay mostly In-Universe. Head canon doesn’t count but I’ll still speculate a little.
Please feel free to comment and critique this work! That said –
We start and end with a wraparound of ‘bacta pod’ dream sequences. Not the worst choice but the montages and backstory aren’t that great.
While its too early to assess this show as a whole; the pilot was just plain bad. The usual easily pleased people are slapping their flippers together like trained seals- but there’s about as much dissent as support for this pilot.
So what sucks about the Pilot? Slow and boring for starters. For the most part the episode looks great and is filmed well. Then we have few real story problems and some implications and hits for Return of the Jedi’s story.
While we had a perfectly decent explanation of how Boba Fett escaped the Sarlacc Pit provided last season- its implied Fett was freed when the Sarlacc was killed by the Crayt Dragon- they blow this off. I guess it was too reasonable? This could have still been the case and nothing in the episode would have changed. The new details of the escape from the Sarlacc pit were bad and meaningless. If anything the Sarlacc is a joke now.
The sloppy escape sequence means Boba Fett is only in the clutches of the Almighty Sarlacc monster for minutes, maybe an hour. We know this from the fact he’s cannibalizing oxygen from a dead stormtrooper.
He escapes right away using his flamethrower. The environment is dark, mucusy and theres some kind of black fluid that may be digestive juices everywhere.
Theres some kind of green mist inside the Sarlacc which seems to be the real threat from the sarlacc. Its not overly apparent to the eye because the scen is so dark. I had to rewind this to see the effect better. The sarlacc’s inside is somewhat like a mollusc. His escape is pretty unimpressive. He’s just not in there very long as it stands now. At any rate the Sarlacc is easily defeated with tech common to this world.
Lets forget for a moment that when he escapes we dont see the rebels led by Luke making good their escape from the smoking wreck of Jabba’s sail-barge. So maybe hes in there a couple hours? We have a ticking clock for no reason thats locked in our escape to small window of an hour or two. The debris of the barge are no longer smoldering when Boba emerges from the sand though- so they really just didn’t want to commit or they really screwed up. Unsatisfying covers my feelings on this part.
As far as good news, some people (Max Rebo for example) we thought died on the sailbarge are safe. I am totally cool with this. Let’s hope Salicious B Crumb made it too. This Galaxy needs his intentional comedy (rather than all this ironic comedy).
We go to a strange space Bazarre. It’s apparently a commerce hub. The place is styled like a budget Middle Eastern marketplace. It seemed like a mashup of Indiana Jones and Quarks Bar from Star Trek Deep Space 9. Its run by low effort Twi’lek’s led by Jennifer Beals of Flashdance fame, what a feeling!
This part will save them a fortune. Making an actor into a Twi’lek is now easy. It now consists of a low effort hat with tentacles and possibly some body paint. Male and female twi’leks now apparently all have TWO tentacles. Bib Fortuna had only one. They also no longer seem to have creepy teeth. The Mayor’s Emissary was especially cheap. Are they nerfing this to make their already failing Star Wars Hotel actors look more on point? Cause this was cosplay level of costume effort. Maybe less. So the Bazarre is also a bad comic convention. Ironic.
The people at the Twi’lek bazarre come off as super ready to be down with Boba though. They flatter him and gift him up.
We find out Boba Fett, unaltered clone of selfish Jango Fett, is basically a REALLY nice guy. He’s actually somewhat like Batman in so much as he wont kill his enemies unless forced (or its a monster). He’ll also take risks to save people, even strangers. He’s not ruthless or cunning at all. He’s actually much nicer than say ‘The Punisher’ for example.
While this is admirable he now has been shown as lacking a criminal instinct and is without the skillset we thought he had- specifically- being a criminal!
He is also a terrible Human Resources guy. While sparing the guards who were loyal to Bib Fortuna was fine; hiring them as his own bodyguards is monumentally stupid. They suck as guards. Their last boss died violently while under their protection as did the previous boss Jabba. Seems to me they suck at protecting people- something we get confirmed minutes later.
Boba Fett intends to rule as a less violent gangster. He seems to have his sights focused on being kind of like a Space version of a benevolent medieval baron.
He’s got some new traits that dont fit his job or aspirations now. He misses out on chances to improve his own situation through pure altruism. He’s a Bounty Hunter with a Heart of Gold who eschews displays of power. He naively ignores his sidekick Fennec’s advice. This quickly gets him jumped by a handful of Mortal Combat rejects who got lost on their way to be in Dune.
These randos kick Boba’s ass and have shields like we’ve never seen before in Star Wars. They’re far superior to what the Gungans had and you can use them to beat on people. Like in Dune.
Since he’s Boba Fett; hes permitted one bloodless overkill before being hauled off to his Bacta tank to heal. We then see these rando’s are really easy to kill and capture for Fennec.
There’s some potential damage to Return of the Jedi depending on how you assess it. Jabba is now an idiot to think the Sarlacc was in any way badass. Luke was never in much danger and the plan to rescue Han – by the smartest rebels; is now reduced to simple idiocy and dumb luck.
The plan the rebels have to rescue Han from Jabba was never their best strategic moment. Now its worse. The plan is now ‘Lets toy with Jabba pointlessly for a pretty long time. We’ll get half our team captured on purpose and then taunt Jabba into a Bond Villain Mistake.’ It just so happens to work because Jabba is now an idiot. And if it had failed, well- so what? The Sarlacc is now no big deal.
If Jabba had just wasted everyone right there he’d have won. He’d also have some real street cred with the Empire. Instead he has a plan so bad that even if it had worked it wouldn’t have mattered!
If every single rebel had ended up in the Sarlacc pit like Jabba wanted he would have had very little time to live. The Sarlacc would have been dispatched easily by Lukes Force powers or especially his lightsaber. Considering how effortless it is for Boba Fett to get out once he orients himself? Luke and the rest would have been back at Jabba’s palace in an hour with little more than an ugly makeover and a newly worsened attitude. And then they would have killed him. And then the movie would have simply went on with nothing else having changed.
I felt like this was a stupid mistake. They had said fucking up the old movies was supposedly just an unintended error they had learned from. John Favreau would never do that – right? Well, he did. It was very avoidable too.
The Sarlacc is now a bad joke. It seems like Boba Fett is merely inconvenienced for about 20 minutes by it.
Why are we rushing his backstory in a TV series? We have time. The idea he’s stuck in the Sarlacc for a while suffering would have justified his new outlook- it also would have been a better place for some of these dreams. Rather than just do that they went for a really brief action scene as an explanation.
Til now it seemed years of suffering had been the reason he’d become nicer and non criminal in his outlook. It was cool and it made sense too. Instead it seems he was always a great guy. I’m just not sure where he is morally anymore.
I guess the idea now is hes always been misunderstood. Hey his dad was killed in front of him. Apparently Boba Fett only did bounty-hunter work to make ends meet.
We get another dream fragment where we see Fett winning the respect of the Tuskens – who captured and enslaved him after he escaped the Sarlacc- by choking out a low effort monster. Its a four armed sand lizard that’s only just so impressive. ‘Super poorly thought out’ is the way I would describe this cheap monster. Boba kills it easily. I guess you could say he scores a pretty decent 2 for 2 monster kill-count in this episode if you wanted to put it in the best possible light.
So while there’s no reason to have moved this far in episode 1- he could still be in the pit struggling and suffering the whole episode- we’re moving fast.
Somehow they still managed to make this show boring too. Lots of chit chatting and walking around. I guess we do some work on the world and characters as we walk around his new realm; but it could be interpreted as a series of tactical mistakes by a supposedly skilled warrior. Boba Fett is inept at strategy and overestimates himself. They just pound this home the whole time for whatever reason. His first day of work in his new job ends early and in disaster because of his bad ideas.
In one sentence my thoughts are “This was the best you could do?” The show was planned at least 2 years ago. There was time. The abundant low effort monsters and costumes as well as the appropriated Dune weapons all seem pretty lazy.
So after a chaotic debut where we nerfed the sarlacc, made Jabba stupid, fucked up Han’s rescue and played weird games with time; we look to episode 2 to start reconciling these problems. That’s right- the show already needs Damage Control.
On the plus side of the equation we know that they didn’t oversell this character or make him seem overly tough in this episode. If anything hes a bad military mind and clueless bordering on bumbling in his endeavor as an aspiring crime lord. The scene where he verbally says that he is in fact a ‘crime lord’ is pretty cringey and Boba seems inept as a negotiator. You’d think a Bounty Hunter would have that skill. Not this one though.
Boba Fett is just a less quip-y Iron Man who has a less impressive suit. He’s only as smart as John Favreau as the Critical Drinker would say. We cant be shocked if he makes mistakes, drifts off his character traits and just key jangles his way through this series. The debut was just a mess.
Also to be thorough, since its Star Wars I need to let you know – So far there’s no use of the Force and no known force user has been introduced. Force-free Star Wars is territory only the failed SOLO movie has ventured into before. It would be nice to have someone- a new person hopefully- show up from time to time to do Force-y things. We’ll have to wait and see about that.
Maybe the (brief, unexpanded) flashback scenes directly from Attack of Clones were the best part of this mess.
Heading into episode 2 all I can say “wow do I ever NOT care after what I just saw”
This story needs to improve before I recommend it. The first time I checked to see how much more of the show was left was 6 minutes in. Felt like 10. In a bad way.
If you don’t already have it just hold off on Disney Plus. You can marathon the show during a promotion. This show in itself just isn’t worth getting a subscription. Wait for more content.
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Til Next Time!