Not every story needs to be told. Not every story needs to be expanded upon. In this age of sequels and extrapolating the most from intellectual properties, it appears the new Disney+ series, ‘The Book of Boba Fett’, is a huge misfire (if the first episode is any indication). ‘The Mandalorian’ successfully brought even the most casual fan of Star Wars into its narrative. There was something for everyone. Watching the first episode of ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ had all the entertainment value of listening to Ben Stein narrate a chapter in the Star Wars Encyclopedia. If someone is a hardcore fan of this universe, there’s nothing this show could do that would cause them to walk away. Is that who the show is targeting? I’d think they want a broader audience. Could it get better? Well, it can’t get much worse than the first episode!
Director Robert Rodriguez is tasked with bridging the gap between the plausible and improbable. Everyone saw Boba Fett (Temura Morrison) die at the end of ‘Return of the Jedi.’ How does a bounty hunter defy the odds and escape a Sarlacc Pit? Well, by apparently using a flame thrower and digging your way out (duh). Through various flashbacks, we see that Jawas have scavenged his Mandalorian bounty hunter gear, and he’s been captured by Tusken Raiders. We know he’s managed to overcome these odds as he’s now sitting on Jabba The Hutt’s throne with Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) as his second in command. From Bounty Hunter to Crime Boss of a place Obi-Wan once referred to as a place full of scum and villainy. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni appear to be giving the world an inside look at the galactic underworld. Were fans really clamoring for a series like this?
Perhaps, but Filoni and Favreau provide us with no hook into this new saga. Are we supposed to show up each week to see who challenges for Boba’s throne next? Based on what we have seen so far, Morrison and Wen do their best with the material presented. The score and production design stood out most in the first episode. Ludwig Göransson’s score is a delicate balance between the western tone of this series and the galaxy far… far away that this story takes place in. The production design in the first episode captures the vibe of the west while honoring the Star Wars universe as well. There’s even a scene towards the end of episode one where Boba Fett and Fennec Shand face off against many assassins in Mos Eisley’s town square, which gave off some serious Sergio Leone vibes.
The only question left unanswered after the first episode is the intentions of Madam Garsa Fwip (Jennifer Beals), who we are introduced to when Fennec and Boba go into the cantina. She appears to accept that Boba is the new crime lord (as evident by her tribute to him), but it seems suspicious that they are attacked shortly after they leave that establishment. Could Fwip have her eyes on Jabba’s throne? Based on Filoni and Faverau’s previous work, the answer may not be that simple. What does need to occur as the series moves forward are more sequences like the one which occurred in the town’s square. That sequence pumped energy into what had been a lifeless first episode.
While this first episode was a disappointment, don’t judge the series based on one episode. Filoni and Favreau have earned the benefit of the doubt. I’d expect things to improve as ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ progresses. If it doesn’t we could be having a different discussion in the weeks ahead.