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The Book of Boba Fett Review: Why Season 1 Failed

Star Wars Book of Boba Fett review Mandalorian Cad Bane
By Russ Milheim

The Book of Boba Fett has just finished up its first season on Disney+. Needless to say, the general reception of the show has been mixed and not where near as enthusiastic as that of The Mandalorian. Plenty happened within it, however. Audiences got an update on Mando and Grogu, were introduced to Cad Bane in live-action, and were given a historic interaction between Luke Skywalker and Ahsoka.

So, it’s weird to have to follow that sentence by saying that, as a whole, the series was simply not good. It was truly a miss.

Let's dive into why.

Boba Takes Over Mos Espa

Boba Fett Mos Eisley
Star Wars

The entire series centered on Temuera Morrison’s Boba Fett taking over Mos Espa as the resident Crimelord. The problem? The audience has no idea why he is doing this. There is no purpose to anything, which undermines any attempt to invest in the story and everything going on.

If there’s anything good the show did for the bounty hunter, it was in the early episodes, exploring how he survived the Sarlaac Pit post-Return of the Jedi. This is ironic in hindsight because, at the time, it seemed that there wasn’t enough “present-day” story––yet, little did viewers know those flashbacks were as good as Fett’s story was going to get.

His time with the Tusken Raiders was interesting and showcased how Boba Fett got to where audiences saw him in The Mandalorian. Seeing him interact with this entirely different culture and then come to accept their ways was intriguing—not to mention it was the first time fans were getting proper lore for the Tuskens in general. His time with them in episode 2 is the high point for the character in the entire series.

But besides those fleeting moments, Fett’s character development was continually dragged down by the “why” of it all. Not to mention the bounty hunter showed himself to make for one truly terrible leader. 

The newly minted Crime Lord hardly made any decisions of his own, always going with whatever someone else told him. Fennec Shand may as well have been in his position, for whatever that’s worth.

When it comes to Shand herself, she also gained not much by being in this series. The show revealed how Fett saved her, but audiences basically already knew all of that information. From there, all she did was tell Boba what to do, give exposition, or do a cool action beat.

The Book of Star Wars

Luke Boba Fett
Star Wars

Time to address the elephant in the room: Mando. His introductory episode was easily the best of the series. The problem? Well, this is The Book of Boba Fett, not The Mandalorian.

The subsequent installment exacerbated that issue. Why is the story showing audiences Grogu being trained by Luke Skywalker? It’s awesome, yes, but it doesn’t fit with the story The Book of Boba Fett is trying to tell.

After the first four episodes, the focus took a drastic shift off its lead character and never truly returns. Not only is the original bounty hunter supposed to be the focus of his own show, but he’s also the least interesting part of the whole affair—and the series itself seems to agree.

The entire show could have been restructured and rearranged just a bit, allowing it to tell a broader story about multiple characters. But, in the end, we got a disorganized tale that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, or even for the two characters it’s supposed to follow. 

At least it gave audiences updates on half a dozen exciting characters––even if it was to the detriment of its own show.

Cad Bane Arrives

Cad Bane Boba Fett
Star Wars

One of the biggest surprises of the series was the official live-action debut of one of the franchises’ most beloved bounty hunters: Cad Bane. His introduction couldn’t have been more perfect, and his gravitas and sinister charm were as great as ever.

In the end, it’s fitting for his first live-action appearance to have been in Book of Boba Fett. The two characters share some history from the Clone Wars days, and they were initially fated for a duel in episodes of the animated series that never saw the light of day.

It seems they may have had those in mind when it came to Cad’s involvement in this series. He was a fantastic villain who simply wasn’t in the show enough. Not only that but he was introduced far too late in the game.

While Cad should have been the primary antagonist, instead, that privilege went to an underwhelming group of henchmen: The Pykes.

The Missed Crimson Opportunities

Crimson Dawn Boba Fett
Star Wars

The Pykes were simply a terrible threat for the series. They felt hollow and had no investable figurehead. Sure, Cad Bane stepped in there at the end, but he wasn’t directly tied to them––it was the money he cared about.

It felt like there had to be someone pulling their strings the whole time. Yet, the series ended, and all Boba did was fight a bunch of henchmen. There was no greater threat and nothing for audiences to care about.

Being the Pykes, they have several notable connections to bad people across the galaxy. The most notable of which is to The Crimson Dawn, an organization featured in SoloThe Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Rebels

Their inclusion would have been an easy win. Bringing in the Crimson Dawn as the mastermind behind the curtains would connect lore across multiple massive storylines within the franchise; everything lined up perfectly. Yet, none of that happened, and the conflict remained underwhelming and empty.

It seemed all but certain that Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra was going to step out from the shadows and reveal herself as the one pulling the strings. This would bring some closure to her storyline in Solo and open up the story they wanted to tell in the subsequent sequels which were never made.

Instead, fans got an aimless Boba Fett trying to take over a city from a bunch of goons; and after doing all of that, he even questioned why he did it in the first place. It all felt meaningless––at least everything on Tatooine did.

Now to be clear, this isn’t a knock against the show for not following those exact steps; it’s a knock on the show for having a completely forgettable “threat” for the main character to go up against.

The Questionable Direction and Action

Boba Fett plot
Star Wars

Aside from the structural and focus issues, the general direction of Book of Boba Fett was simply not good. There is likely more than one person to point fingers at when it comes to the blame, but one of the biggest is none other than Robert Rodriquez.

The episodes that were generally considered the worst were all directed by him, with all of them having less than stellar fight choreography and direction. The chase sequence at the end of the show’s third installment was/is downright embarrassing.

Sure, the finale has some good moments; Boba and Mando teaming up, Cad and Fett, the Ranchor––but it also has its equal share of awful sequences and truly idiotic character choices and blocking. Prime example of which is Sad do that useless 360-spin before firing his blaster.

Robert Rodriguez simply does not gel well with Star Wars, and it might be best if this were his last time working on the franchise.

It’s a drastic contrast to the episodes that had fantastic direction. The fifth installment, basically the first episode of The Mandalorian’s third season, was directed by the incredible Bryce Dallas Howard, and it was a truly phenomenal episode. The next entry, with all the mind-blowing cameos and interactions, was done by the legendary Dave Filoni.

Those were the two best episodes of the series by a large margin, and the titular character featured in a single scene across both of them.

Closing The Book

Boba Fett review
Star Wars

In the end, The Book of Boba Fett felt something that never needed to be taken off the shelf or even told in the first place. There were far more interesting stories to be brought to life, as showcased by episodes 5 and 6.

If there’s one thing that the show did give audiences, it's another fantastic theme. The story may be lacking, but the music is just as strong as it always is within the Star Wars franchise.

Here’s to hoping that the best new element introduced, Cad Bane, isn’t dead yet. Even if he is, and the beeping of his suit truly means nothing, he could still show up at some point in Kenobi. It would be a shame if this awesome character’s first and only time in live-action took place within this mediocre Star Wars tale.

With it being Star Wars, the series will more than likely get renewed for a second season. Hopefully, if it does, the creatives behind the scenes will hear all the feedback and craft a story worth telling, preferably one about its titular character.