In the coming weeks and months, Star Wars fans will finally get a glimpse of what Marvel audiences experience on the regular: a steady diet of content. After Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on May 27 on Disney+, fans can expect Andor in late-summer, The Mandalorian Season 3 in late 2022 or early 2023, and Ahsoka after that, which has just started filming. While it seems this revival has just begun, it technically began with The Book of Boba Fett, whose reception has unfortunately remained mixed at best.
After the series was announced in The Mandalorian Season 2 finale's post-credit scene, The Book of Boba Fett starred Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen, and it premiered on December 29, 2021. Throughout its seven-episode run, the series surprised audiences with its portrayal of an older and more amicable bounty-hunter-turned-crime-lord who, ironically, didn't seem that interested in crime or power.
While there were complaints about the show's overall execution, the loudest cries came from Lucasfilm's handling of the fan-favorite villainous mercenary. But according to director and executive producer Jon Favreau, post-Sarlaac Boba is actually a natural and logical progression of his character.
Favreau Defends Boba Fett's Disney+ Portrayal
In talking with Vanity Fair, Jon Favreau explained that Boba Fett's heel-turn from a villain to a hero in The Book of Boba Fett was strategic on Boba's part, much like Don Corleone from The Godfather, because "you can't deal well unless there's some political balance, because if you keep going to the mattresses, nobody's earning:"
“You think about Don Corleone. There’s a tremendous amount of restraint because he knows that to be sustainable, there has to be [peace.] You don’t do well unless there’s some political balance, because if you keep going to the mattresses, nobody’s earning. You think about what things are off-limits. Don Corleone wasn’t just doing everything to line his pockets as he got later into his career."
Favreau also mentioned that "there's lots of different ways to run an empire," comparing Boba to Robert De Niro's portrayal in Francis Ford Coppola's revered Godfather sequel:
“You look at De Niro, in the flashbacks in The Godfather: Part II, as he’s walking down the streets. He’s seen as somebody who’s actually creating, someone the people respect because of the way he conducts himself. There’s lots of different ways to run an empire. There’s the Sonny Corleone way, there’s the Michael Corleone way and then there’s the Vito Corleone way.”
While Favreau drew upon The Godfather, director Robert Rodriguez had a different inspiration for The Book of Boba Fett, which was writer Robert E. Howard's fantastical, swashbuckling Conan the Barbarian.
According to Favreau, they were particularly inspired by how "Conan starts off as a young warrior and then ages up through the books until he’s Conan the King:"
“We would talk to Robert about Conan. Conan starts off as a young warrior and then ages up through the books until he’s Conan the King. So, how is Boba the crime lord going to be different, knowing what he knows, than what he would’ve been when he was a younger man? I think he’s just wise. … He’s also a much older character because now we’re after the original trilogy. He’s at a different point of his life, having experienced what we had seen in all the previous films.”
The Scene That Failed Boba Fett
Favreau has a point; however, whether his explanation will satisfy fans remains to be seen.
Boba was raised by a bounty hunter with questionable morals before he was orphaned. He knows what it means to be alone, and even though his work for Darth Vader and Jabba the Hutt bought him a reputation, none of that helped him in the Sarlaac pit.
After surviving the pit, Boba found purpose and family in a tribe. And, even though the Tuskens were killed, reverting back to his old ways wouldn't have profited him. Instead, he brought his newfound value in relationships and wisdom to running Tatooine.
This particular arc isn't anything new to Star Wars fans. In the original trilogy, Han Solo went from a self-centered gun-for-hire to a loyal friend and leader of the Rebellion. Most recently, Mando made the jump from an icy bounty hunter to a compassionate father. This story is a familiar one, and it is one that fans have always embraced. So why can't Boba Fett enjoy the same narrative treatment?
Even though Favreau says Boba's new approach is a wise way for everyone to profit on Tatooine, Boba never seemed that interested in the financial gains that come with his position. But perhaps the biggest discrepancy stems from how Boba was portrayed in The Mandalorian.
In the Season 2 episode titled "The Tragedy," Temuera Morrison masterfully laid waste to a unit of Stormtroopers while maintaining his intimidating air of mystery. His actions in this episode and beyond also appear to be motivated by debt and his word, as opposed to compassion.
The problem is that this event takes place in the middle of The Book of Boba Fett timeline and after his change of heart with the Tuskens. In retrospect, it seems like these are two different Bobas; and unfortunately, the bounty hunter from The Mandalorian is who audiences were expecting throughout Fett's own show.
Due to The Book of Boba Fett's reception, and the fact Favreau even has to defend it, Fett's future is uncertain. While he's expected to cameo in some form or fashion, Lucasfilm has yet to confirm a Season 2 for his solo series.
As for Temuera Morrison, it's possible that fans will be seeing more of him in the near future, as fans are hoping he will reprise his roles as Captain Rex and Captain Cody Lucasfilm's upcoming slate for Disney+.
All episodes of The Book of Boba Fett are available to stream on Disney+.