By. Jacob Gross
In the most recent installment of the Disney+ Star Wars universe, writer Jon Favreau tells the story of Bounty Hunter Boba Fett who assumes the crime throne of Jabba the Hutt. He has to face both internal and external threats to his rule, as well as deal with poverty and commerce for his territories.
“The Book of Boba Fett” starts with Boba Fett being left for dead on the sands of Tatooine, and being rescued by a Tusken Raider. The first few minutes of the show are without dialogue from Fett, a choice that sets the atmosphere of the show as animalistic and centered around survival.
At first, Fett is treated as a slave, which further amplifies his character’s feeling of isolation and abandonment. Separated from his armor, weapons and ship, Fett learns how to survive in the desert and eventually earns the respect of his slavers when he kills a desert beast that the Tusken could not defeat. There are flashbacks in the show that features Boba Fett as he advances the Tusken tribe to civilization, as well as settling some of his past scores.
Fett is joined by assassin Fennec Shand, whom he rescued after she was shot in the desert of Tatooine. Shand offers a great sidekick for Boba Fett, often seeming to be the most levelheaded and intelligent person in the room. She adds great dialogue to bounce off Fett and makes the show more vibrant and enjoyable.
One of the best aspects of the show is the fight scenes. They serve as a driver of the plot, and keep the show exhilarating and fun to watch. The most memorable is the fight scene in episode 2, where Boba Fett and the Tusken raiders stop a spice train that has been raiding their villages. This episode is especially memorable in its subversion of western tropes. There is a classic trope in old westerns of teaching farmers how to fight and defend their town from bandits. “The Book of Boba Fett” subverts this trope by teaching the Tuskens how to attack as opposed to defending, and how to use different types of machinery to stop the train.
This scene happens within the flashbacks, but it exhibits that the “The Book of Boba Fett’s” biggest weakness is the backstory. With so much emphasis put on it, and with so much of that backstory featuring Boba Fett in a completely different cast of supporting characters who bring out a different character, the pacing ultimately suffers, almost as if the “Book of Boba Fett” were written for two separate stories.
While this rift in story telling has improved as the series goes on, especially in the episode four, which explains how him and Shand met, I still feel slightly unsatisfied. The backstory is so compelling that it over shadows the main plot.
Overall, I think that Star Wars is moving in the right direction. As opposed to the Mandalorian, “The Book of Boba Fett” is fast past and compelling, returning Star Wars to the perfect blend of escapism with the perfect amount of room to reflect on the nature of violence, slavery and poverty caused by governmental collapse.
“The Book of Boba Fett” separates itself from the rest of the Star Wars universe in the inner morals of its protagonist. Fett seems to be guided by his past trauma, and almost in denial of the danger he is in. He seems sure in every action he takes but is not your typical protagonist who directly influences the plot. Boba Fett is no chosen one with a prophecy or even a very strong will to accomplish something. Instead, Fett is given a series of problems by life and tries his hardest to deal with them. Sometimes that can lead to an ultimately more compelling story, but I worry that the plot might derail and become meandering. But I really hope it doesn’t, because at this point, I’m glued to the edge of my chair to see what Boba Fett does next.