Although I liked and enjoyed the season finale of “The Book of Boba Fett,” I think the setup was questionable and shaky. The last two episodes were essentially episodes of “The Mandalorian,” which deflated what little momentum had been built. This season should have been 8 episodes, with the finale spanning two: one episode to reestablish and ground the momentum, and other one to execute it and unleash.
The last move made by the Pykes was to blow up the Sanctuary, which sadly led to the loss of Garsa Fwip, the gorgeous Twi’lek owner of the establishment. It demonstrates how petty and underhanded the Pykes are. I have no doubt that they will pay dearly for this — Boba Fett will turn them into fish sticks.
Mando, Boba, and Fennec meet in the ruins of the Sanctuary. In exchange for shutting down the spice trade, Mando informs Boba that the people of Freetown (the town that Cobb Vanth was Marshal of) will help Boba in his fight against the Pykes. Fennec hesitates because spice was a big part of Jabba the Hutt’s business, but Boba agrees to these terms. Spice is killing the people of Mos Espa, so this move is better for everyone in the long run, he notes. But if Cobb Vanth doesn’t arrive with the reinforcements, Boba believes his forces are doomed. They are unaware that Cad Bane gunned down Vanth and threatened Freetown into staying out of the conflict.
Boba wants to bunker down in his palace, but the Mods — a term which here means the cybernetically modified teenagers whom Boba hired — tell him that they want to stay in Mos Espa and fight. The people need them. I actually agree with this, and here’s why: if Boba had stayed at the palace, the Pykes would have started slaughtering innocents in order to draw Boba out. So, unfortunately, if he intends to rule he cannot leave the innocent to be sitting ducks at the mercy of Pyke forces. What I DON’T agree with is bunkering down in the ruins of the Sanctuary. What’s so special about a building with compromised integrity? Quite the contrary, the Pykes would have surrounded them and essentially starved them out. But things transpired in a slightly different way, and we’ll address that very soon…
Cad Bane meets with the criminal heads and the traitorous Mok Shaiz, which gives me the opportunity to point out that Cad Bane’s presence in this show raises a few questions. For starters, we now know that Cad Bane was alive during the events of the Original Trilogy, given that this show takes place years after “Return of the Jedi.” I find it hard to believe that a bounty hunter as audacious as Cad Bane would allow Boba Fett to become the preeminent bounty hunter of that era without trying to challenge or stop him. If anything, this demonstrates that Boba is the better, more lethal hunter of the two. Cad Bane was unable to stop Boba Fett from rising to the top and taking the mantle of best bounty hunter. It would have made more sense if Boba had taken the mantle of best bounty hunter by force; otherwise, what has Cad Bane been doing all these years? Why was he nowhere to be found during the Galactic Civil War? I will have to address the Boba Fett versus Cad Bane situation in greater detail. In fact, to quote Count Dooku, “I’ve been looking forward to this,” ever since Cad’s first appearance in 2009.
In the meantime, alongside Cad Bane, we learn that it was actually the Pykes who were responsible for the cherished Tusken tribe who saved Boba from the Sarlacc and adopted him as one of their own. I suspected this might be the case, as it seemed too easy to have eliminated the Nikto gang and called it a day. They were also killed while Boba was with the Pykes; they clearly seized this opportunity to kill them without his interference, as they now knew firsthand from the train heist what he was capable of. Also, in the 4th episode, Fennec voiced her doubts to Boba that a Nikto gang had defeated Tusken warriors. Rhis seemed to me like an intentional clue given to the audience, but of course we could not confirm it at the time. This fact gives Bane a card to use against Boba later since Boba is still unaware of the Pykes involvement in the Tusken massacre. But I know that once he finds out, he will litter Tatooine with dead Pykes. Rightfully so, I love the Tusken tribe that took him in and of course he does as well. But in the meantime, with the Tuskens long since dead, Boba’s enemies are confident that he has no other allies to call upon. They are almost correct, but not entirely…
We cut to R2-D2 and Luke’s X-Wing, which has come to deliver Grogu to the Mandalorian. When the mechanic and dock owner that has been helping Mando, Peli Motto, inspects Grogu, we see that he has beskar chain mail under his adorable little robe. EXCELLENT. Grogu made the right choice: TEAM FOUNDLING BABY! I find it amusing that Grogu’s resume shares an entry with Jango Fett and Din Djarin: Mandalorian Foundling. He is clearly on the path to greatness. We know from the 5th episode that, for some reason, Luke and Ahsoka were continuing to advocate the unhealthy Jedi idea of no attachments. This is unhealthy because, in Yoda’s own words: “luminous beings are we,” not unfeeling robots (in my own words). I would also argue that this unhealthy creed helped Anakin fall to the Dark Side since he did not receive the proper guidance he needed. We also know from the Sequel Trilogy that Luke’s Jedi Order is destined to fail. So unless Disney and Lucasfilm wanted to show an atrocity like Kylo Ren ending Grogu, something needed to budge. Grogu’s relationship with Mando is far more genuine, healthy, and beautiful than the stilted training of Luke’s misguided, doomed Jedi Order.
Back at the Sanctuary, Fennec says that Boba’s forces are patrolling the streets, and that the Pykes have not yet arrived in numbers. Supposedly, Team Boba will be able to spot them before they arrive. They also assume that the other crime families will remain neutral. This is a foolish assumption. A lot of people are not trustworthy, let alone criminals. It is far more likely that they’ll betray Boba, believing that he will not win this fight. From Fennec’s monologue we further gather that the two Gamorrean Guards are ALONE in the starport of the Klatooinian district. Black Krrsantan is ALONE — and in the TRANDOSHAN DISTRICT OF ALL PLACES! I was taken aback at what a bad idea this is. Kashyyyk and Trandosha are neighboring systems, and the Trandoshans like to hunt Wookiees for sport. Thus, there is very severe bad blood between the two races, to the point that they will sometimes attack each other on sight. So basically Black Krrsantan (which I will refer to as BK) is surrounded by lizards who would love to skin him. Superb plan, Boba and Fennec. I’m sure BK will be fine. I don’t understand why the writer of this episode did this, but here we are. The Mods are in the Aqualish district, thus rounding out all the districts as well as this atrocious plan. Boba has hardly anyone on his payroll; this is a symptom of how poorly Season 1 of this show has been handled. That being said, when you have such few forces, you can’t afford to scatter them like this. One Wookiee, two Gamorreans, a few teens, and a partridge in a pear tree are spread very thinly throughout Mos Espa. It would be very easy to pick off these forces. Ever heard the phrase “divide and conquer?” Team Boba has already done the first part for the Pykes; they just have to come in and sweep the pieces off the board. It would have been better for Boba’s small forces to hold some sort of choke point and force the Pykes into it. (For reference of a similar example, see the film “300.”) If that wasn’t possible, then something else: anything is better than the terrible plan we’re seeing here.
Boba’s droid informs the team that someone is here to see Boba Fett. He steps out of the Sanctuary, and comes face to face with none other than Cad Bane. This is truly a legendary meeting. I wonder how long it has been since they’ve seen each other? They collaborated briefly in Season 4 of “The Clone Wars,” when they break out of a Republic prison. There was also an unfinished bounty hunter arc (shown at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim and more at Star Wars Celebration Orlando) of that show that would have featured the two of them front and center. What little we know about it is this: Boba Fett and Cad Bane would have been part of a bounty hunter team hired to save a kidnapped child from Tusken Raiders on Tatooine. Eventually, Cad Bane would have committed some atrocities that forced Boba to turn on him, thus leading to a famous duel where they both shot each other in the head. Boba received his famous helmet dent, and Cad Bane received an unfortunate dose of getting his noggin bonked by a blaster bolt. In fact, there is a metal plate present on Cad Bane’s head, in both “The Bad Batch” show and this very show. So maybe some element of that unfinished arc made it into canon. (Editor’s Note: According to Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, it’s canon to the degree that it was released.)
Cad Bane has arrived to negotiate on behalf of the Pykes. Boba believes the Pykes are outnumbered, but Bane tells him that he shouldn’t be counting on the people of Freetown. Bane also states that he paid Cobb Vanth a visit, and that he shouldn’t have left Cobb defenseless without the armor. I partially agree that Boba’s armor is rightfully his, but Mando and Boba both left Cobb as a sitting duck. This is really unfortunate since I like Cobb Vanth a lot and it stung to see him gunned down in the previous episode.
Fennec and Din step up to cover Boba, while Bane’s Pyke sharpshooters do the same. This is a juicy standoff. Bane tells Boba to let the Pykes run spice, but Boba refuses as he will only negotiate with the head of Pyke leadership. At this point, Bane reveals that the Pykes murdered his Tusken family. In the short run this was a cunning move, because it almost provokes Boba into an emotional confrontation. But in the long run, it was a terrible idea. If Boba had never learned this dark truth, he might have been open to negotiating with the Pykes. But now that he knows they murdered his surrogate family, he will stop at nothing to avenge them. By revealing this to Boba, Cad Bane has doomed the Pykes because what little possibility remained for negotiation has been disintegrated as thoroughly as the Jawas that Mando sniped in Season 1 of “The Mandalorian.” Sure, Boba might be outnumbered now, but his war with the Pykes represents quality versus quantity. I have always had faith in Boba Fett and that faith certainly won’t be wavered by a bunch of Pyke scrubs — or Cad Bane for that matter.
Boba moves his hand under his EE-3 blaster rifle’s barrel, but Fennec convinces him to bide his time. Thus, Bane leaves, concluding this awesome standoff. I can’t believe we’ve finally seen Boba’s helmet face Cad Bane’s red-eyed glare in live-action. They are both bounty hunting legends in the Star Wars universe. Although I rank Boba Fett and Jango Fett as the greatest bounty hunters of all, I have to concede that I would rank Cad Bane just beneath them, and above all other bounty hunters. (At least in canon, although I suspect IG-88 could give Cad Bane a hard time.)
Cad Bane wastes no time in telling the Pykes what happened. Drash, the prominent female Mod of the group with a robotic arm, calls Boba and tells him something is wrong. We see people scrambling in the Aqualish district. Predictably, the Aqualish pull out blasters and attempt to end the Mods. I knew the families would betray Boba; he and Fennec should have known this as well. What were they expecting? The writing of this episode is, unfortunately, questionable. They are seasoned bounty hunters: the two of them would know better than to misplace their trust.
Black Krrsantan suffers the same fate as the Mods: a bunch of Trandoshans pull out freaking SCIMITARS and close in on him! I have always liked BK. I have the Marvel comic where he debuts, and meets with Darth Vader alongside Boba Fett. He is the spiritual successor to Snoova, a Wookiee bounty hunter from “Shadows of the Empire.” Back then, I was really hoping that he and Boba would become the Dark Side version of Han and Chewy. Years later, we finally get him in live-action. His debut in the 2nd episode was impressive, and his removal of a Trandoshan’s arm in the 4th episode was epic and amusing. He also has history as a gladiator and, as anyone who knows me well, I vibe with anything gladiator related. On top of that, he has the audacity to disgrace Kashyyyk on a constant basis and I can’t help but find that amusing.
BK bravely stands his ground, opening fire on the Trandoshan scrubs. Meanwhile, the Gamorreans are also attacked by Klatooinians, completing the district-wide betrayal. They are sadly forced over a cliff and fall to their deaths, victims of poor planning. What also bothers me is that they are never acknowledged again; that is the bare minimum that could have been done to honor their sacrifice. If I were Boba, I would personally execute their Klatooinian murderers.
We continue to see the carnage unfold. It is frustrating to see the cowardly Trandoshans surround and tackle BK, and it is… I suppose slightly unfortunate that the Mods are taking fire. I do want them to win, just because they’re Team Boba and I think the Aqualish are cowardly too, just like the Klatooinians. Fennec arrives just in time to save the Mods and punish the Aqualish with her sharpshooting skills. What did I tell you: quality versus quantity, baby.
Back at the Sanctuary, the insufferable Pykes have arrived to surround Boba, Din, and the Twi’lek majordomo, whose presence is important, actually. This leads to a dialogue between Din and Djarin, where Din basically commits to helping Boba. Boba tries to offer him the chance to escape, but Din won’t — “this is the way.” Although I admire the honor and the exchange is touching, it also seems kind of absurd for a couple of reasons. First, both these men have had very distinguished careers — it seems absurd to die here in Mos Espa, after everything they have been through. Second, both of these warriors are very well armed and armored, along with having bounty hunter experience and Mandalorian skill sets. I have zero doubt that they will triumph over these Pyke scrubs; again, quality versus quantity.
I also love the dynamic between these two. They have become one of my favorite duos in Star Wars. Unlike with Cad Bane, Din become a friend, ally, and brother to Boba Fett — not an adversary. There is no need for Din to “replace” Boba since the galaxy is big enough for both of them to shine.
This is the part where the Twi’lek intervenes. Apparently, he was educated on Coruscant in regards to civil negotiations. He promises that — with “minimal groveling” &mash; he can get them out of this situation. This is both hilarious and not an option, but it presents an opportunity. Boba Fett “agrees” and sends the Twi’lek out to give his “surrender terms” to the Pykes. As he reads it, it turns out that there are no surrender terms but instead a diversion.
Suddenly, both Din and Boba fly out, using the element of surprise to shoot down a lot of the Pykes present. Back to back, side to side, they bring the fight to the Pykes. This is EXACTLY what I wanted to see happen in “The Mandalorian” Season 2: Boba and Din fighting alongside each other, going all out against numerous enemies.
Despite their prowess, there are too many Pykes yet the beskar armor is doing a good job of keeping them alive as they take multiple hits. Now would have been a good time to fly to the rooftops, but what do I know? Guess spectacle is more important to this show.
Just in the nick of time, the people of Freetown arrive in a speeder armed with blaster cannons to save our Mandalorian heroes. They, like me, were also stung by the assault on Cobb Vanth and have come to get their vengeance/justice.
Boba’s forces start converging on his position. First the mods arrive, and then — what a miracle — the gladiator champion himself, Black Krrsantan, is still alive and fending off Pykes. To say that he is an asset to this team is an understatement. As he limps towards the team, I was thinking “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR BOBA, GET HIM BEFORE HE DIES!!!” Boba does just that a few seconds later, better late than never I suppose.
The Pykes fall back, and Team Boba assumes they have won. Of course, I know better. Earlier in the show, the Twin Hutts chose to leave Tatooine. They would not relinquish their claims over Jabba’s territory just because of Pykes alone. Enter the Scorpenek droids. In a nutshell, these are basically giant Droidekas. They are very tough, well-armored, shielded, and very vicious looking, just like their smaller Droideka brethren. Now granted, they aren’t quite the same: the Scorpeneks do not roll around.
The two Scorpeneks easily advance on Team Boba’s position. They are shot multiple times and Boba even uses his jetpack missile on them, but none of this does much to the droids. In the ensuing attack, Team Boba is scattered. Boba asks Din to protect the others, while he gets reinforcements. Din says that Boba has run out of friends, but Boba reiterates that he protect the others, while he flies away with his trusty Z-6, the preferred jetpack of Mandalorian commandos. Meanwhile, a third Scorpenek has arrived to hunt down Boba’s forces. BK actually does something very cool in this scene: he concentrates his fire on one spot of the Scorpenek’s shield, weakening it. He then gets close to breaching it with his claws, but the droid notices and kicks him away. SO close, BK. Solid effort.
In all this chaos, Peli Motto is able to reunite Grogu with Mando. It is touching to see how happy Din is, especially when he notices Grogu proudly wearing his beskar chain mail. The only unfortunate thing is that this reunion is happening in the middle of a battle. Mando wants Grogu to hide until the carnage is over. Remember, the Foundlings are the future.
The Scorpenek chasing Din and Grogu has cornered them, when suddenly a distant roar echoes. There is no mistaking it: that is a rancor. Boba Fett has reentered the battle, riding his favorite pet just as he said he would. He also has a new jetpack missile and the gaffi stick he made with his Tusken tribe. I originally thought he would return in Slave I, but perhaps Boba feared that the ship would potentially cause too much collateral damage. It would be challenging to pick off the Pykes precisely, but it could have at least assassinated the Scorpeneks. In any case, we should be grateful that we get the ensuing spectacle.
We learned in the 3rd episode from Danny Trejo’s Rancor Keeper that Rancor are emotionally complex creatures. They are passive unless provoked and they can bond with their owners. I guess training the Rancor is what Boba was doing the last two episodes. The Keeper had said that it would take a lot of discipline. I was curious to see this disciplined training for myself, but oh well.
The Rancor — with a bit of help from Mando and the Darksaber — engages in an awesome slugfest against the Scorpeneks. The angry droids put up a good fight, but guess what? There is NOTHING in this galaxy more POWERFUL than the bond between a Kaminoan boy and his cherished Rancor. Boba’s Rancor beats the droids into submission, and even eats a Pyke like a fish stick. Hasbro should have saved their HasLab Rancor for after this show, and made it based on this Rancor instead of the one Jabba had.
The battle is pretty much over, and the day seems to be saved. However, there is one more adversary to take care of: Cad Bane. Bane scares off the Rancor with his flamethrower, leaving Boba to face him alone.
At last, the time has come. Boba Fett versus Cad Bane, a clash of titans I have dreamed about for 13 years. Cad Bane tries to taunt Boba with the death of the Tuskens. Boba warns Bane that he is no longer a kid, and that Bane is an old man. “I’m still faster than you,” Cad Bane declares. Boba retorts that he has armor. “Let’s find out,” replies Cad Bane, and the two fighters get into dueling position.
It seems that both men fire a shot, but Bane was a millisecond faster, and knocks Boba down. I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting that. I thought they would once again hit each other, like in the unfinished scene from “The Clone Wars.” Boba tries to retaliate with the flamethrower, but Bane rolls out of the way and shoots another hit. Bane declares that, although Boba tried to go straight, he still has his father’s blood: in other words, he reiterates that deep down Boba Fett is still a killer. Boba’s armor has been keeping him alive through the blaster shots, so Cad Bane gets in close and removes his helmet.
Cad Bane briefly mentored Boba Fett, presumably during the tail end of “The Clone Wars.” We hardly see it, but Bane implies this history when he tells Boba “Consider this my final lesson. Look out for yourself. Anything else is weakness.” With that, he aims his LL-30 blaster at Boba’s exposed head.
Suddenly, Boba uses his gaffi stick to deflect the incoming blast. He then makes short work of Bane, knocking him down and hitting away Bane’s other blaster. He now has Bane at his mercy, having reversed the situation from what it was mere moments ago. Boba Fett proved Cad Bane’s final lesson wrong. Cad outdrew him in a typical blaster duel, but Boba won when he used the cultural weapon of his Tusken family in defense of the innocent. This is something that Cad Bane will never understand, as he spent a lifetime bitter and alone.
Cad Bane looks up at Boba Fett, knowing what is about to happen. “I knew you were a killer.” He tries to use his flamethrower, but Boba deflects it with the stick. He then proves Cad Bane wrong by stabbing him in the sternum with the sharp end of the gaffi stick, killing him. Oh wait… never mind, Boba Fett is still a killer. Cad Bane was right about that.
This must have been a pivotal moment for Boba Fett. Cad Bane was a big part of his history. I’m sure that on some level Boba must have lamented his loss. It is a pivotal moment for anyone in the audience who knows Cad Bane, too. He’s been around for a long time in Star Wars media, and it seems that time has come to an end.
I have to admit that, unfortunately, this wasn’t a very epic duel compared to what it could have been. I wish Boba Fett and Cad Bane had fought in their prime, exchanging blaster fire and using all of their gadgets in a back and forth, intense confrontation. The fight I imagined all these years was far more ferocious than what we got. This fight kind of disservices both characters.
At the very least, the end outcome is correct. Cad Bane was always going to lose in a direct confrontation with Boba Fett. It is one of the reasons that Boba Fett is the best bounty hunter of his era, and apparently took the mantle and spotlight from Cad Bane while Bane was still alive. There is a lot more that Boba Fett can do to harm Cad Bane, rather than the other way around. Boba simply needs to land one good hit to the head or center mass (as he did in this fight). Rather, Cad Bane has to work much harder to kill Boba. Bane traded armor and protection for speed and mobility. It is the reason he is such a quickdraw. However, in exchange, he has nothing to protect him and he goes down more easily. This is one of the most crucial reasons why Jango Fett and Boba Fett are both regarded as the best of their eras, and why they’re both more lethal than Cad Bane. Survival and lethality are the biggest parts of succeeding as a bounty hunter. The Fetts have him beat in both categories. This duel happened the way it did out of respect for Cad Bane as a character. If this fight had actually happened in reality, Boba Fett would have used his jetpack missile or his wrist rockets to blow up Cad Bane and leave him as a blue smear on the ground. Between his armor and the jetpack, Bane would not be able to kill Boba fast enough to prevent this, EVEN if he shot first.
“But Cad Bane didn’t exist when the movies came out,” one might say. That’s exactly my point. You can’t retcon history. You can’t go back and insert Cad Bane as the top hunter during Jango or Boba’s time because very clearly he was not. As I stated earlier, now we have it in canon that Cad Bane was alive during the Galactic Civil War, but not at the same level of prestige and success as Boba during that timeframe. Boba’s appearance in “The Empire Strikes Back” is merely the tip of this iceberg. As for “The Clone Wars,” Cad Bane wasn’t regarded as the best until Jango Fett died. There is a reason for that.
“But Cad Bane has feats against the Jedi in Clone Wars,” a fan might point out. This has no bearing, because fighting a Jedi with a lightsaber is nothing like fighting an opponent with ranged weapons, explosives, and armor. The fighting styles are simply way too different, making such feats irrelevant in terms of pitting Bane against Boba. Also, for obvious reasons, Boba Fett is comparable to Jango Fett, and Jango also did quite well against Jedi.
At the end of the day, no matter how you cut it, Boba Fett defeated Cad Bane in a duel, alone, and without assistance or interference. That is not an opinion. That is a canon fact. Despite being fatigued from racking up multiple kills (while Bane was fresh), and using much of his weapons, Boba still triumphed. It’s over… probably. There is a blinking light on Bane’s chest, with a faint beeping. Maybe they will bring him back later. But I feel this is the best way for Cad Bane to go out. There is no shame in losing this duel to Boba Fett. What is the purpose of bringing him back after such a final duel? At a certain point, death has to be permanent in Star Wars, otherwise it becomes absurdly like Looney Tunes.
The Rancor has been rampaging without Boba’s control this entire time like King Kong. Mando tries to reel it in, but fails and almost gets eaten. Grogu uses the Force to soothe it to sleep, then himself naps out of exhaustion. Thus, the battle ends in adorable fashion.
Actually, there’s just one more thing. The enemy leadership — as in, the Pyke head and the leaders of the crime families — are squabbling over their loss. The deal was that Tatooine would be a hospitable place to do business. The Mayor says that it is. The Pyke head hilariously exclaims that half of his men were either shot or eaten by a Rancor. Good, that’s what you Pykes get. Suddenly, most of them are shot dead. The Mayor is yanked up and hanged by a chord. The Pyke Boss is stabbed and killed. As he falls, it is revealed that Fennec Shand is the assassin that just finished them all off, thus completing the mission. I must commend her skills as an assassin. I wish she had saved the Pyke for Boba, but a win is a win, and his Tusken tribe is finally in peace. Rest in peace to the innocent Nikto gang who were beat into a pulp by a guy in rags, then torn apart by a random Firespray years later.
After the battle, it seems everyone bows to Boba in respect. I don’t understand why Boba considers them his people. They have no real connection to him. But hey, this was an awesome, Marvel Cinematic Universe style battle. The MCU is the fast food of entertainment, one with little depth and a lot of action. Guess that’s the approach this episode is going for. Boba remarks to Fennec that they aren’t cut out for this. Maybe he’s right. I still believe Boba’s story has far more potential than simply ruling Tatooine.
Lastly, we see Mando and Grogu flying away in his modified Naboo starfighter, setting up “The Mandalorian” Season 3. And so ends season one (of one..?) for “The Book of Boba Fett.” Oh, and rejoice, Cobb Vanth fans: the post credit scene reveals that he survived, and is being healed in Boba’s bacta tank.
This episode was good, but not great. The horrible battle plan that Team Boba came up with really kills the immersion. The action was fun, but at the same time quite scattered. I originally thought this would be a much bigger battle between Crimson Dawn and a larger ensemble of Team Boba, but maybe that is Season 2.
Here are some things this episode did right:
- The sheer carnage: The last battle ended up being very fun to watch.
- Cad Bane versus Boba Fett: This was something everyone wanted to see, and years in the making.
- Black Krrsantan: one of the MVPs of Team Boba. His resilience and bravery were truly something else. Despite the horrific punishment he took, he would NOT GO DOWN. THAT IS HOW IT’S DONE, PEOPLE. He kept coming back for more, until the enemy couldn’t. I am absolutely a fan of BK, and I was stoked when he was added to Fortnite. Having him be a playable character was quite a pleasant surprise.
- The Scorpenek droids vs the Rancor: This was epic and really raised the destruction of the battle. Maybe too much; in “saving” Mos Espa, Boba destroyed a good chunk of it.
Here are some things the episode could have done better:
- The overall battle plan. I can’t believe that Boba and Fennec would spread their forces as thin as they did. It simply isn’t believable and everyone reunites anyway.
- Boba Fett versus Cad Bane: It simply wasn’t an epic duel, just a decent one at best.
- Certain shots during the battle where characters made cringy moves, including Boba raising his knee absurdly high to launch the darts. Come on.
Overall, I believe “The Book of Boba Fett” fell short in utilizing Boba Fett’s potential. Not much happened over the course of 6 episodes, 2 of which were mostly centered around “The Mandalorian.” IF that was going to happen, they could have at least made an additional Boba Fett episode to make this an 8 episode season. The finale was good, but not good enough to compensate for this. You can’t shove everything into the final act, not without proper momentum anyway.
His overall character really doesn’t feel organic, going from a lifelong bounty hunter to a mediocre “crime lord.” In regards to both his canon and “legends” appearances, there are only two things that are constant. First is the fact that he wants to honor Jango Fett’s legacy. The second is that he is usually several steps ahead of both allies and adversaries alike. Therefore, the only goals that make sense for him to pursue are to either be the best bounty hunter in the galaxy, like Jango was, or to become Mandalor, like Jango potentially could have been, and like he was in “legends.” Nothing else really feels organic or worthy of the Fett legacy.
His “character development” was unnecessary and went in perhaps the wrong direction. K.W. Jeter (author of the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy) and Karen Traviss (author of many Mandalorian and Fett centered novels) were much more faithful to what Boba Fett was and should be. Everyone who has a solid idea of who Boba Fett is expected this show to have a lot of action and competence being executed by him. Instead, he struggled not to be outsmarted or outmatched. Mandalorian warrior, notorious bounty hunter, and the heir to Jango Fett and Jaster Mereel… someone with this resume does not get stepped on by mediocre enemies. Someone like that calls the shots, not Fennec Shand or anyone else.
Why is it difficult to understand the basic truth outlined above? I’m not the only lifelong Boba Fett who feels this way; far from. This show has done a good job of drawing a line between experienced Fett fans and newcomers who now have a distorted perception of Boba. This is not the way.
There were also a lot of missed opportunities. Perhaps the most notable one is the lack of classic bounty hunters. Once upon a time, there wasn’t much Star Wars material to keep the franchise alive. The material that did exist (in “legends” aka the “Expanded Universe”) featured a lot of bounty hunter centered stories and missions that kept the grittier part of Star Wars alive and intriguing. Dengar, Bossk, IG-88, Zuckuss, and 4-LOM all played a part, and it would have been amazing to see them return in live-action for the first time since 1980. What better place to pay tribute than the Book of Boba Fett? He said he needed muscle — these guys are the all-stars who made it to Vader’s speed dial when he needs something done.
The other most notable one is the “Attack of the Clones” flashbacks. I thought they would lead to some crucial lesson Jango gave Boba, that would affect his actions in the present. Instead, they are a cool and nostalgic dead end. A pity since we could have seen Jango Fett alive and well again, even for just a moment. A mention for Jaster Mereel or the True Mandalorians also would have rocked.
Where will the show go from here? I have no idea. Maybe a future conflict with Black Sun or Crimson Dawn. But I would honestly prefer they used Boba Fett to a minimal degree. He shined far more in his appearances in “The Mandalorian.” He has always been a character with whom less is more. It is also a bitter pill to accept the fact that his bounty hunter career is over. That was one thing that drew me to him as a kid: taking on dangerous missions and traveling from one planet to the next. At the very least, they could have made a Clone Wars style show for the Original Trilogy, and have him appear there, in his prime.
There were some moments in this season that I absolutely love — his vision from the lizard in the second episode cut deep for me. But much of this show was not very killer and more like filler. Going forward, the material concerning Boba Fett should emphasize quality, and maybe have a decent amount of quantity too. We will see what happens, be it in “The Mandalorian” Season 3 or, if it happens, “The Book of Boba Fett” Season 2.
This episode was a 4 out of 5 for me, but the overall series is… less than that. 40 years of fandom merits higher standards, and I still question if this show did more harm than good to Boba Fett’s legacy. Only time will tell, and we must ride out the wait… LIKE A BANTHA!!
4 / 5