On the barren sands of the familiar desert planet Tatooine, ex-bounty hunter Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) has rightly taken his place on the throne that was, at one time, held by Jabba the Hutt. Picking up right where we left the iconic character at the end of The Mandalorian’s second season, The Book of Boba Fett is the story of Fett and his quest to build his empire alongside master assassin Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen).
Still suffering from injuries received escaping the infamous Sarlacc Pitt, Fett soaks in a bacta tank to heal. These bacta-baths provide us with flashbacks that fill in some of the gaps between Fett’s departure in Return of the Jedi and his reappearance in The Mandalorian. In a very absorbing bit of world-developing, we see Fett accepted into a group of Tatooine’s Tusken Raiders: characters we’ve known since the beginning yet know very little about… at least, as far as the films and series are concerned.
This past/present plot structure lasts for the first four episodes. Episodes five and six take a bit of a detour by focusing their attention on another familiar character whose path inevitably intertwines with Fett’s. These episodes are perhaps the most generally entertaining of the bunch, but that distinction of quality comes with some slightly more unfortunate connotations: Boba Fett appears once in episodes five and six combined. Despite being the namesake of the series, it’s hard not to feel like Fett has a finite number of reasons to even make appearances.
That’s not a great look for the show in and of itself, but looking closer at the story structure reveals some more major sloppiness. Throughout the expansion of his empire, and as friction builds between him and the Pyke Syndicate (spice dealers), Fett encounters plenty of new and recurring characters. These characters serve little to no purpose other than empty fan-service or beefing out the scale of the final episode.
While we’re on the topic, let’s talk about that finale. Throughout the series, there are several very loose threads strewn about, mostly with that abundance of characters we previously touched on, that all feel extremely empty and purposeless in the moment. Once the finale hits, it feels like these many threads are crumpled together and thrown on screen instead of being neatly weaved together. Instead of being captivated by the intended spectacle, it felt more like I was watching someone smashing their toy collection together.
The Book of Boba Fett was disappointing. It uses cheap thrills and recurring characters to cover up what I found to be a very mediocre plot. Other than the Tusken Raider subplot, none of it feels like it expands the preexisting Star Wars universe in any interesting ways. Still, I’m curious to see what will happen next with these characters, either in season 2 (unconfirmed so far) or in any other films or series yet to come.
Overall rating: 4/10