'The Book of Boba Fett' Review: Has the Space Gunslinger Gone Soft?

 Book of Boba Fett Disney Plus review

Star Wars fans have been anxiously awaiting a Boba Fett stand-alone project and the Disney+ original series, The Book of Boba Fett, has finally arrived but with a rather dull start.

Temuera Morrison takes up the helmet once again as the Star Wars bounty hunter along with Fennec Shand played by Ming-Na Wen. The titular character was re-introduced with much hoopla in the last season of The Mandalorian. So the question is how can Boba Fett make another grand entrance when the thunder already happened?

As set up in The Mandalorian finale, Boba Fett plants himself as the new crime lord over Jabba the Hutt’s empire on Tatooine. That may not go over well with the other residents and Jabba’s minions which we get a glimpse of in the first episode.

The premiere episode mostly served to tell the story of how Boba survived the Sarlacc pit after falling into it in RETURN OF THE JEDI. A chunk of the episode also follows him after escaping the monster’s belly and his encounter with Jawas and the Tusken Raiders aka Sand People.

The past is intertwined with the present as Boba and Fennec establish themselves on Tatooine. We get a glimpse that his takeover will come with a price. Not everyone will be on board and an attempt on his life is made in the first episode.

The flashback scenes are much more interesting than the present-day events, perhaps because of the nostalgia.  

For Star Wars fans like myself, the episode is full of nostalgia with familiar alien beings and setting which may prove the most fun part of this new original spin-off.

Robert Rodriguez (SPY KIDS, MACHETE) directs the premiere episode. The pacing is rather slow as are the fight scenes. The one big sequence involving ninja-like warriors could’ve been much better with flashier choreography but comes off with lackluster results. The Boba we got to know from The Mandalorian is more than capable than we see in The Book of Boba Fett. His warrior skills are not utilized in the same fashion.

Book of Boba Fett Temuera Morrison Ming Na Wen

The problem may be that Fennec and Boba walk around with their helmets off for most of the episode. While Boba insists much to Fennec’s disapproval, that he doesn’t want to rule with fear like Jabba, he walks around the city without his helmet, it lessons his presence. Morrison is a great actor, but most fans want to see the helmet and armor in action. The little amount of time we see Pedro Pascal under the helmet was perfect because most of the time the suit is the coolest part of the character. The mystery surrounding Boba Fett was the main attraction so revealing too much about space gunslinger may have its downfalls. 

The one scene that was off-putting was the cantina sequence with the wrong choice of music. The band members who you may recognize from RETURN OF THE JEDI make an appearance, and they’re playing folkloric music. That’s an obvious Rodriguez influence but it’s all wrong for the STAR WARS galaxy which typically relied on a heavy synth sound in the past.

What may keep viewers intrigued is the relationship between Boba and Fennec. She disagrees with his strategy from the onset so is that planting the seeds for Fennec to perhaps break with Boba and seek her own throne to rule? Hopefully, Jon Favreau, who wrote all eight episodes of the Boba series, works that in there.

The Book of Boba Fett does have promise but the challenge is whether they will make Boba Fett a straight-up good guy or an anti-hero type. After all, Boba Fett became popular because he was the space version of the classic Western gunslinger. Hopefully, they play that up more because it was lacking right out of the gate.

Also available on Disney+ is the history behind Boba Fett in Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett. The creators behind Boba Fett talk about how he came to be and the evolution of his costume and look. This behind-the-scenes documentary was actually more intriguing than The Book of Boba Fett.

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