We’re about halfway through The Book of Boba Fett, the new Star Wars TV series on Disney+, so I thought I’d take the time today to get a few thoughts down about the first three episodes, much like I’ve done previously for The Mandalorian while that is streaming. Incidentally, how good is it that Disney don’t just drop these shows on us in one hit? I love the anti-Netflix way of slowly building a story rather than dropping a six hour movie on us in one go.
After the end of the second season of The Mandalorian, we learnt that Boba Fett has survived his trip into the sarlacc pit and has returned as, well, not quite a bounty hunter, but he’s once more wearing the Mandalorian armour. He’s also teamed up with Fennec Shand, who we met but briefly in the first season of Mando, and together they killed Bib Fortuna, taking over Jabba’s criminal empire. The series is written by Jon Favreau, and is exploring Boba Fett’s past while also showing his current activities in the criminal underworld of Tatooine.
The first episode shows how he escaped the sarlacc and was left for dead by Jawas, who took his armour. A tribe of Tuskens saved him, though kept him and a rodian prisoner. When Fett was forced to dig for black melons in the sand, a monster killed the rodian but Fett killed it, saving the life of a Tusken child. This begins to form a bond between Fett and the Tuskens, which is further explored through flashbacks in subsequent episodes.
We see Fett earning the Tuskens’ respect when he leads them against the Pyke Syndicate, whose spice train cut across Tusken ancestral lands. Fett extracts a toll from the Pykes, though they were already paying protection to a Nikto speeder bike gang, who later murder the Tusken tribe in Fett’s absence.
In the present day, Fett and Shand receive tribute from local Mos Espa businessbeings, but the mayor refuses to acknowledge Fett’s authority. When Fett and Shand are attacked by assassins, one of whom claims to have been sent by the mayor, Fett learns that a pair of Hutts known as “the Twins” have come to Tatooine to claim Jabba’s territory, and have arrived with the Wookiee Black Krrrsantan. When Krrrsantan tries to kill Fett, he is overpowered by a group of cyborg-youths Fett has employed as enforcers, and imprisoned. The Twins come to apologise, and inform Fett that the mayor has promised Jabba’s territory to another, so leave the planet, gifting Fett a rancor as they do so. Fett and the cyborg-youths chase down the mayor’s major-domo, who reveals that the mayor is in business with the Pyke Syndicate.
This has definitely been a slow burn for me, so far, I have to say. Unlike The Mandalorian, which pretty much had me hooked from the get-go, I have found myself, not bored exactly, but feeling a bit like I just want it to get somewhere, if that makes sense? I must say, after organising my thoughts for this blog today, I’ve found myself a little more interested in the whole thing…
I’ve never really been a big Fett fanboy, though that is probably more due to the fact that a lot of the literature about him while I was growing up made him out to be the supercool guy while kinda glossing over the fact he could never bring in Han Solo, despite being the best of the best. Anyway, the series is working to show a bit more of a human side to him, I think, and I find it interesting that he is shown to not be the very best, being overpowered by the group of assassins and rushed back to his bacta tank every five minutes. I guess that’s an after-effect of the sarlacc/exposure in the desert?
I am hugely into the criminal underworld and the galactic fringe, though, and so I love these aspects of the “present day” stuff that is going on. I find it very exciting that the Pyke Syndicate is playing such a big part of this so far – as we know, the control the spice mines of Kessel, and there are potential links to the Crimson Dawn that might make this series a spin-off from the Solo movie as much as it has spun off from The Mandalorian. It’s very exciting to me to see where this might be leading. If we don’t get Qi-ra and Maul in a movie sequel to Solo, then at least let’s explore this side of things with the TV shows!
The flashback sequences have been a little boring to me, I have to say – mainly because I find it quite dull that yes, Fett survived, and I don’t much care for going over every moment of that. But it is important development for the character, after all, showing him move from being a loner after the death of his father, to being accepted as part of the clan, to now (seemingly) assembling his own family around him. Though the less said about the cyborg street gang and their shiny hover Vespas, the better…
It’s still early days, of course, and I do think we could be in for some very exciting stuff down the line, as the stage seems to be set for war. There’s not much left from the trailer now that we haven’t already seen, but with four more episodes there’s still a lot of room in which to work. I assume there aren’t many flashbacks left – perhaps showing his rescue of Shand from the desert – so hopefully we can concentrate more on the conflict with the Pykes (and the Crimson Dawn?) and whatever else we have to go on! I wonder if we will actually leave Tatooine, as I feel like the Twins might have more to say, and maybe a trip to Kessel would be due? Who knows.
It’s not The Mandalorian, which has made me a little sad, but writing this has made me realise it’s not actually as bad as I had been thinking it was. I might just go back and rewatch the series so far, in advance of next Wednesday’s episode…