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The Book of Boba Fett's biggest surprise is how Boba Fett became an afterthought on his own series

  • "What a strange season of television this turned out to be," says Alan Sepinwall. "Back in 2020, there was a palpable sense that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni were using The Mandalorian Season Two to seed various spinoffs. But other than one episode focusing on Cara Dune (ironically setting up a spinoff that’s since been abandoned due to the behavior of its would-be star), Mando was still unquestionably the main character of each installment, and of the season as a whole. No matter how many old and new faces were brought in to tease adventures elsewhere in the Outer Rim, it was ultimately a show about Din Djarin and his adorable little buddy. The Book of Boba Fett is the first of these spinoffs to arrive. It’s not surprising that Favreau and Filoni would use it in part to set up concepts for the rest of the expanding Star Wars TV universe. What is surprising, however, is how easily Boba was made to feel like an afterthought on his own series, and how poorly executed most of the material for him has been. Leaving aside the mid-credits scene establishing the survival of Cobb Vanth — and, thus, the possibility of a Cobb spinoff whenever Timothy Olyphant is next available — the season doesn’t even end on Boba and Fennec, but on Mando taking Grogu for a joyride in their shiny new sportscar. This wasn’t quite a Mandalorian season, because our man in the beskar didn’t turn up until the last three episodes, but nor was it really much about the title character. It was just a hodgepodge of various Star Wars concepts and characters, some of them well-executed, many of them not. We don’t need to relitigate the mistakes of the six previous episodes, since 'In the Name of Honor' offers plenty of stumbles of its own. It’s an episode filled with lots of spectacle, but most of it rings hollow because of how poorly it was set up as the season attempted to serve a half-dozen different masters (some of them Jedis) at once."


    • The Book of Boba Fett illustrates the perils of overindulging in crossovers: "The finale of The Book of Boba Fett did what no one expected: It actually featured Boba Fett," says Brendan Morrow. "You'd think that would go without saying, but it was looking dicey after the two previous episodes. Disney's second live-action Star Wars series wrapped its first (and possibly only) season Wednesday, and the ending did an okay job at tying some of the bigger threads together. But it didn't change the fact that as a whole, the structure of this series was perplexing, and too much of it felt fairly aimless. An overabundance of flashbacks created issues early on, and even worse, the show's decision to cross over with The Mandalorian while abandoning its main character ended up being an ill-advised misstep." Morrow adds: " In one of the strangest decisions in recent TV history, when The Book of Boba Fett was finally done with all the flashbacks, it straight up abandoned Boba Fett for nearly two full episodes, which were for all intents and purposes actually just episodes of The Mandalorian dropped into a different show. This was time that could have been spent providing much-needed development for Boba's mounting war against the Pyke Syndicate or delving into his motivations for wanting to be a crime lord in the first place (something otherwise only briefly touched upon). Instead, for two consecutive weeks, we followed the Mandalorian as he got a new ship and went to see Grogu and Luke Skywalker, with Boba only showing up in one scene sans dialogue."
    • The Book of Boba Fett was so busy it forgot to make Boba Fett interesting: "Fett’s character has always been one full of potential: a morally ambiguous bounty hunter roaming the galaxy with a badass outfit and a cool-looking ship," says Chaim Gartenberg. "Unfortunately, this week’s finale falls flat in a similar manner to the rest of the show. Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) still feels strangely sidelined in the series that bears his name, defanged of his fearsome reputation into a more family-friendly hero. And the show leaves viewers with more questions than answers about who Boba Fett is and what he wants in life. Looking back on The Book of Boba Fett as a whole, there’s seemingly three shows here. There’s what was ostensibly the main story, with Boba Fett establishing himself as a crime lord in Mos Espa. There were the flashbacks filling in every last gap of the time between when we last saw Boba (vanishing into the sarlacc pit off of Jabba’s barge) and his reappearance in The Mandalorian. And then there were the two episodes of The Mandalorian with guest star Boba Fett stuck in the middle."
    • The Book of Boba Fett's finale was such a disappointment: "In popular entertainment, there are far worse ways to end a story than by delivering exactly what the audience expects," says Dylan Roth. "The finale of The Book of Boba Fett is essentially one long battle scene involving nearly every character who’s appeared on the show, a textbook climax for an action-adventure serial. It’s a full hour of action punctuated with comedy and what might charitably be called “character moments,” all executed with the bare minimum of style or finesse. Like the series as a whole, it’s got all of the ingredients to make a good Star Wars, minus the base elements required to make a good television show. If watching cool action figures blast aliens and robots is all you need, you’re golden. If you’re looking for compelling characters or clearly defined themes, you’re sh*t out of luck."
    • The only real surprise of the finale is also its biggest disappointment: "Just last week, director Dave Filoni reintroduced bounty hunter Cad Bane (a veteran of the much-lauded animated Clone Wars series that made (Dave) Filoni arguably Lucasfilm’s most valuable storyteller) with the gravitas of cinema’s classic gunslingers," says Matt Dougherty. "But here, under Robert Rodriguez’s direction, implied menace transforms into lumbering disappointment. Fett and Bane wax poetic about their last meeting, a story yet to be told (when it matters most, The Book of Boba Fett suddenly becomes flashback skittish), before the villain is whisked away for much of the episode, save for a cheap-looking final showdown in which Fett kills Bane. The moment so clearly meant to feel triumphant falls completely flat and is sure to anger Star Wars diehards who hoped for more from this genuinely imposing figure. Perhaps the moments of machismo fan service scattered throughout can help ease their pain."
    • The Book of Boba Fett viewers didn't really learn much about Boba Fett: "So now that the full first season of his namesake TV series has debuted, what have we learned about Boba Fett?" says Adam B. Vary. "Well, we saw (all too briefly) how he escaped the sarlacc pit and survived on Tatooine without his armor. We learned how he rescued Fennec Shand and retrieved his ship, Slave One. And we witnessed him ride (if barely control) a rancor en route to quelling the threat from the Pyke syndicate and seizing full control over Tatooine. And yet, despite over five-and-a-half hours of storytelling spread over seven episodes, The Book of Boba Fett did surprisingly little to crack open Boba Fett as a character, leaving him — perhaps fittingly — just as inscrutable as he was before the show began. By the end, even Fett didn’t seem to understand why a man who’d spent his life roaming the galaxy as a free agent would inexplicably decide to hunker down on a barren desert planet to become a glorified administrator with a gun."
    • In more than one way, the finale was set up for failure: "For starters, it was almost doomed to disappoint compared to the two episodes that preceded it, de facto installments of The Mandalorian that treated viewers to a thrilling and cathartic cavalcade of characters from multiple eras of Star Wars," says Ben Lindbergh. "(Din Djarin! Grogu! R2-D2! Luke Skywalker! Ahsoka! Cobb Vanth! Cad Bane!) Although more crossovers and reveals were widely expected in the finale, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni didn’t have a Han Solo or Qi’ra up their sleeves; apparently the Pykes were the big bads all along. But the biggest letdown wasn’t the lack of cameos or big-picture implications for the franchise; it was the way the episode muddied the motivations of its main character (if we can call him that). The last act of the season restored Fett to the spotlight, but if anything, the finale made it even less clear what he was doing there in the first place."
    • The Book of Boba Fett's story issues feel like a byproduct of excessive cameos, much like The Bad Batch
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    • Graham Hamilton shares the highlight of playing Luke Skywalker
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    TOPICS: Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett, Disney+, Graham Hamilton, Temuera Morrison, Star Wars