Normally I wouldn’t be interested in any film or tv show focusing on Boba Fett; despite the character’s popularity I wasn’t that into him. However, I liked Temuera Morrison’s appearance as Fett in The Mandalorian Season 2, so that had me interested in him leading his own show. I went into The Book of Boba Fett open minded and while I enjoyed it, I was left underwhelmed.
While The Book of Boba Fett was off to a fairly rough start with sluggish pacing, I thought it was a decent exploration of its title character, and it expanded on him in some way. There’s even an episode where it shows Boba Fett spending time with a tribe of Tusken Raiders; it was very interesting and honestly the whole show could’ve focused on that. In fact, the flashbacks ended up being more interesting than the actual present-day storyline focusing on Boba Fett becoming a crime lord. The crime aspect ended up being a wasted opportunity and wasn’t as interesting as it could’ve been. The plot is incredibly uneven with what it chooses to focus on, and as said earlier, the pacing is sluggish. The writing felt undercooked and poorly conceived, almost as if the premise wasn’t enough to carry an entire show. Now for some mild spoilers for the latter part of the series. Episode 5 and 6 primarily centers on The Mandalorian and everything he’s getting up to and while it is interesting especially in contrast to what Boba Fett was doing, it is a notable divergence of the main story. Thing is that they easily could’ve just brought the character in as a notable supporting role for Boba’s show, but there are further developments with Mandalorian and Grogu that basically makes the show essential viewing so you are ready for season 3. So yes, at a point it becomes Mandalorian Season 2.5. Boba Fett isn’t in episode 5, and episode 6 he’s essentially a non speaking cameo. This means that 72% of this show is actually about Boba Fett. Not helping is that episode 6 does some worldbuilding that doesn’t feel relevant to the story of The Mandalorian, so its not even enjoyable on that front. For what its worth though, the finale is entertaining enough just with the action, but by the end the show doesn’t feel satisfying.
Temuera Morrison plays Boba Fett, and honestly most of my enjoyment of the character comes from his performance. I do have an issue with the character though. There is a deliberate shift in his personality; no longer is he a ruthless bounty hunter, and he’s now an amateur crime lord who intends to rule with respect instead of fear and violence. I’m fine with the development, but it rushes through all of that and it is jarring. Also, much of the source of unintentional comedy in the show is Boba Fett wanting to be a crime lord but not wanting to do any crime and hating crime, almost like he hasn’t had the concept of his job explained to him. Another prominent character is Fennec Shand as played by Ming-Na Wen. She didn’t have much character development in the Mandalorian, but that was easier to look past since she only appeared in a few episodes. However, she doesn’t really do much in the Boba Fett show either. It is like her only purpose here outside of being an ally to Boba Fett is to contrast his now honorable character with her more ruthless bounty hunter. The rest of the supporting characters aren’t particularly interesting to talk about. I can talk about a few spoilerish characters however. Pedro Pascal’s The Mandalorian stole the show when he appeared, as to be expected. Cad Bane is a bounty hunter from many of the animated Star Wars shows and made his live action debut as one of the main villains of the show by the end. His inclusion definitely screams fanservice and won’t be notable to people who aren’t familiar with the character already. However, he was entertaining enough and worked in his scenes with Boba Fett. On a more negative note, The Mandalorian Season 2 ended with CGI Luke Skywalker (which I have many complaints about), and unfortunately he makes a return here in the 6th episode; I pretty much hated all of his scenes. Regardless of whether Mark Hamill had any involvement in the performance or not, he just feels so artificial and lifeless, not helped by the uncanny valley de-aging CGI.
I found the direction and technical elements to be a bit of a mixed bag. Tatooine is such a dull and tired setting, and it feels empty in all the wrong ways. The Volume may have been revolutionary especially in how it was used in Mandalorian, but its faults are quickly shown in Boba Fett. I think that Episode 5 was by far the best directed of the series (incidentally much of it isn’t on Tatooine). On the whole, the action is rather basic, the editing is messy, and the CGI is hit and miss. On the bright side, Ludwig Göransson returns from The Mandalorian to compose the score for this show, and it is really good as to be expected. Easily the most consistently strong part from the show.
I should clarify that I don’t hate The Book of Boba Fett, in fact I enjoyed it. I like some of the performances and characters, it has some good ideas and moments, and overall, I’m glad that I watched it. However, it is easily one of the worst things in Star Wars when it comes to live action movies and shows. As seen by the shift of focus in episode 5, the show was ill conceived from the start, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the writing was rushed. The writing is undercooked, and even much of the technical elements are a mixed bag. If you like the Mandalorian but don’t have an interest in this show, it might be worth watching the last 3 episodes at the very least, so you’re prepared for Season 3. Otherwise you aren’t missing much if you don’t check out the show.