This week Book of Boba Fett’s near pointless third episode is the most boring one yet. Still a few things did happen.
We resolved some of the events in the flashbacks to the past and some of the multiple conflicts at a low boil around the town of Mos Espa in the show’s “present” time frame. The 36 minute experience was an almost random series of truly meandering images and occasional dialogue with a few bloodless fights and chases.
The feeling I had watching the credits was “this is probably as good as it gets.” We’re now about halfway through this season and we have not had one good episode. Episode 3 is bleak and somber at some points and is as bad and boring as last week.
So far this show is just not a good take on Star Wars or a Spaghetti Western. The story is as bad and ad hoc as the Sequel Trilogy. The canonical damage for the Prequel and Original Trilogy is probably less extreme and more inept than intentional now, but its still ongoing. ‘They all have to try harder’ to paraphrase the Falcon.
Slow and low effort since Episode 1, the show’s apparently ‘hit its stride.’ That is to say- don’t expect much from this mess. Last week’s Key Jangles were just that. Nothing but filler came of it. After 36 boring minutes the most interesting new characters and maybe all the Sand People we spent a long time under-developing are just nullified. Characters either move on, fail or have a brutal offscreen end. It’s just unclear what happens next. Jennifer Beals makes it to the end of the the episode, but has minimal presence, again.
We can thank Boba’s droid 8D8 – identified as such only in subtitles and voiced by Toast of London star Matt Berry – for finally telling us whats going on. 8D8 explains, in his excellent speaking voice, that Jabba and and Bib Fortuna relied on a chaotic series of alliances to stay in power. Boba mostly spends the important briefing assuring 8D8 he has value. I paid attention though, so here’s the deal-
Theres about 5 factions comprising the criminal elements of Most Espa. Maybe three criminal organizations arrayed and behaving more or less as Road Warrior gangs,then there’s the Mayor and his goons, the newcomer Hutt Twins and of course our Hero and his growing gang of misfit sidekicks.
Most of this week’s episode happens in town but we flash back randomly throughout to events at about the time of Return of the Jedi to see more uplifting images. It cant really be summed up chronologically.
This weeks flashback’s are less ambiguous but seem to imply we are entering a new chapter of his past story. In that flashback Boba seems to have have meaningful dialogue with last week’s “Gun Train Main Boss.” The Gun Train Faction is the Pyke Syndicate.
These Spice running aliens say the Lizard-y biker faction currently gets the protection money for the Gun Train’s passage through the area he claims to protect. They seem to agree the last faction standing can have the money. He doesn’t make a counteroffer or ask for anything. Instead he accepts this and affirms he will soon make a move to control the area.
After several boring bantha rides he completes his business trip and comes across a band of massacred Sand People, one of which seems to recognize. He’s pretty emotional and we experience a long, self important funeral sequence for the Tuscens. We were around this group a lot but had spent very little time actually getting to know them. Their death scene could have been impactful. It wasn’t though. Who mourns for a cutout charcter? I just wanted them to move on. It always felt forced. Now unneeded,the Sand People are seemingly just jettisoned or even “Fridged.” We got minimal info on this seemingly unique tribe of Raiders. Now that faction appears to have been wiped out.
We went through a good deal of nonsense for two episodes to give Boba Fett- whose father was decapitated in front of him as a child- a reason to feel damaged? This is pretty redundant.” I guess we’ll find out who killed them- the lizard biker faction people seem to be the main suspects. So now Boba Fett is the last of his people. Again.
In another Batman-like series of events selfless Boba showed more cop skills than criminal cunning checking out the complaints of stolen water. He meets the thieves and sympathizes with them, obligingly adjusting the price of blackmarket water down for the people who live in his district. This small band of twenty-something losers in low effort ‘future’ costumes that seem right off the rack immediately capture the heart Boba wears on his sleeve. Sure, they’re thieving rando humans with speeder bikes, but he’s sure they’re ok. They’re really not very Star Wars looking at all. They seem more in line with some of Doctor Who’s human sidekicks.
Boba gives the water thieves a good stern talking to and then, as I was expecting, recruits them.
In three episodes we’ve seen Boba has a deep mentoring streak and just spontaneously hires random people for no real reason. These two impulses could show up any time. The less competent and more obnoxious you are the more likely you are to be offered a job. Deep benevolence and concern for the long-term well being of others are now core to Boba Fett’s makeup. This is pretty different from Lucas’ Boba Fett, but I guess they just weren’t ever going to have a Disney show about ruthless criminals. This show is trying to have it both ways and its not working. It seems unlikely this show ever evolves into a quality watch. Its not even a guilty pleasure right now. It feels more like Hate-Watching Batwoman – but much more boring. It’s not a ‘fun show’ to watch.
The fact Boba Fett is just really dumb and lives in a world full of dumb people is on display again. The best things about this week’s episode are that its the shortest one yet and has some George Lucas directed scenes edited in. Once again scenes harvested from Attack of the Clones were of a higher quality than anything we saw from the current timeframe.
Since last weeks Key Jangle the Hutt Twin’s and wookie enforcer Black Krrsantan seemed on a collision course with our hero’s and looking to be season-long bad guys. In a move that I wasn’t expecting we seemed to have resolved the entire Twins storyline in just two episodes.
The conflict between Boba and the Hutt Twins started off confusingly last week when they appeared with their wookie enforcer. The Hutts made no aggressive moves. They reasonably and affably agreed to talk things out down the road. These Hutts are extremely cowardly, underhanded and naive, which now seems on par for crime lords in this world. The idea no one is about to fight to be in charge of Tatooine seems indisputable. None of us would either. It is the dump they say it is.
In a bad fight scene Boba is attacked in his Bacta Tank by Black Krrsanta. Krrsanta stupidly opens the tank rather than use his blaster to simply end Boba right there asleep inside. This leaves the tank undamaged and Boba feeling pretty spry in his boxer briefs. An indecisive back and forth ensues with Boba tanking some hits but getting his licks in. Then in waves all elements Boba’s Ad Hoc security detail – who seemingly didn’t post a guard and allowed an assassin to infiltrate nearly killing their boss – show up to bloodlessly capture him in a brawl.
They sort of all combine and swarm him with Fennec finally dropping Krrsantan into the Sarlacc pit- a place we found out last week where people lose their minds for no reason. When he emerges later he’s broken and cowardly. So much for this ‘cool boss wookie.”
The Hutt Twins are just the nicest gangsters ever. They come by right away and admit to the botched assassination. They say the Mayor is playing them all and they’re opting out. They call the Mayor spineless and say he’s already promised the interests once held by Jabba to some other syndicate they dont name.
The Twins are pure CGI but they’re pretty well done and there’s nice touches to the way they appear and act. At the same time they show up with no security born on a litter, not a hover-couch- just a primitive, human carried litter. This comes across a bit silly. They more or less make peace and simply give Krrsantan to Boba to do whatever he wants with- and we just immediately know hes getting a job or going free.
Boba of course immediately gives ‘Krrsantan’ complete forgiveness and tell’s him he’s free to go, no strings. The wookie still opts to run away at top speed like a coward and there’s just no fearing this character now.
The scene where ‘Krrsan-stan’ is freed is ironically funny. It’s also dumb. I’m just glad I probably wont have to cut and paste his stupid name anymore (I wouldn’t have minded if he;d been cool).
The Twins also gift Boba a baby racor and Danny Trejo, its trainer and keeper- is apparently part of the deal. He’s now simply there and he’s quite the fan of rancors. It seems this one is going to be Boba Fett’s version of the Lone Ranger’s horse, Silver. He already has a story not unlike the Lone Ranger since emerging from the Sarlacc and this seems to be a real element of the show. I like it but we need to see where it goes. It was still weird to give him a pet. Maybe there’s a John Wick angle. Anything could happen in this show
This week we lost about 6-10 minutes of runtime. This was appreciated after last week’s ‘Sand Person Makeover.” They still found time to meander and be outright boring though. He eats, he walks around thinking, he muses about the future. There’s not a lot to say so the characters chit-chat or repeat things we already know.
We do get the Mayor’s annoying Emissary in a speeder chase, wipe out his ride and now have triple confirmation that the Mayor sent the assassins from episode one. He’s messing around as power broker of Mos Espa; dealing with and double crossing dangerous factions. This makes the Twins calling him cowardly a bit dumb. He’s totally playing for keeps with the Big Boys. In fact it seems he’s not afraid of anyone.
We leave off with Boba having had his retinue expanded. He always had his tough but ambiguous pal Fennec. Now we’ve added a Game of Thrones Dragon-type pet, some new randos with Un-Cool semi Cyborg’s in almost contemporary clothing and the two leftover Gamorrians as his “Criminal” Crew- one of whom is in the Bacta Tank from the fight with Krrsanta.
The writers will generally show you something and then say it a few times. The opposing factions could attack or flake at any time. We also continued to undermine the stakes and intelligence of every single character in Return of the Jedi.
The subtitles are needed to find out character names. The show does a terrible job of explaining itself (when it even bothers to). The rumors we get a cameo from de-aged Han and Luke with Leia’s deepfake ghost need to be true for there to be any reason to continue watching this sidestory. Like Star Trek Discovery they leaking things to the internet to fill in the gaps in the story and increase engagement. This show needs help.
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