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Defending Boba Fett’s Source Material

by John Paul
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Although The Book of Boba Fett is plagued with plotholes, it may be premature to dismiss the renowned bounty hunter’s new adventure in the Star Wars universe just yet. The story of Boba Fett’s existence as a bounty hunter under Darth Vader’s rule may have been more exciting, but it isn’t exactly in line with Disney’s vision for the Star Wars franchise. Transforming the “cold-blooded killer” Boba Fett into a more sympathetic figure is a significant story beat. Boba’s primary motivation during the first season is to establish a “house,” or criminal organization, to rule over his domain.

Season 1 introduces new characters like the Mods and Krrsantan and revisits familiar ones like Boba Fett’s past with the Tuskens. The interactions between them showcase Boba’s maturation. The plot fails to deliver beyond the initial season’s climax when the townspeople’s opinion of Boba shifts. The stakes aren’t high enough, and the show doesn’t go far enough to show why these characters want to join Boba’s crime family. Their triumph in the season 1 finale provides a strong basis to create “a house.” However, something seems missing because they are hardened criminals who would’ve needed more time together to form any emotional sense of a family or bond to be called “house.”

Boba Fett

Image Courtesy: Wookieepedia

Did Boba Fett’s Book Have Hidden Agenda?

The problem with The Book of Boba Fett may have been that it attempted too much in just seven episodes. More time is needed to tell this story, depicting Boba’s change of mind, his dilemma as Daimyo, and his grandiose ambition to build a crime dynasty that might defend his domain. For this reason, the episodes centered on Din Djarin are even more jarring, as they might have been utilized to demonstrate the maturation of Boba, Fennec, the Mods, and Krrsantan’s relationships with one another.

The Book of Boba Fett only partially addresses Boba’s new position as Daimyo of Mos Espa, instead relying on flashbacks to tie Boba’s feeble emotional motivation around the Tuskens to a plot that fails to satisfy on an emotional level. As much as a third of the first season is dedicated to returning Star Wars cameos revolving around the Mandalorian and Grogu, diverging from the focus on Boba Fett. Although they play a crucial role in Season 1’s finale siege, the episodes that center on them do not contribute as much to the plot of The Book of Boba Fett as they do to that of The Mandalorian.

The Book is not a Trojan horse or season 2.5 of The Mandalorian, despite the storyline holes and underdeveloped characters. It gives an overview of the newcomers of Boba’s criminal family and the abilities each possesses. The Book has the ability to dramatize the life of a crime leader in the Star Wars world, but season 1 does not fully leverage that aim. Even if it undermines The Mandalorian’s best plot, approaching it from the viewpoint of a criminal organization will make The Book of Boba Fett stand out from the crowd.

Being Boba Fett: Temuera Morrison Discusses 'The Mandalorian' -

Image Courtesy: The New York Times

Justifications for shifting the spotlight away from Boba Fett

It’s possible that the title “The Book of Boba Fett” is a bit of a misnomer, and that might not be such a bad thing. Boba is showing his age. Having a younger, more varied cast helps make the program more appealing and gives the characters room to grow if they are to survive beyond The Book. Some Mos Espan-born Mods may end up being invaluable to Boba’s criminal enterprise. Boba Fett may not be necessary to the progression of their stories or characters on screen if they are not interacting with him throughout the series.

If handled well, shifting the focus away from Boba Fett can help develop new characters and generate drama, further complicating Boba Fett’s criminal family and his position as Daimyo. As such, this is a crucial storyline point that wasn’t addressed until later in the series. Boba’s motivations for seeking the position of Daimyo remain a mystery. Although starting a criminal family is sometimes seen as a means of making amends for the wrongs done to the Tuskens, this is not necessarily the case.

There is no indication of whether this new duty or his criminal family has any emotional significance for Boba or his associates. Since Boba and Fennec are reserved in expressing emotion, the answer may never be directly communicated. The Mods, however, aren’t shy about voicing their opinions. Thus it makes sense to have them do or say things that Boba and Fennec would rather not.

The Book of Boba Fett' season finale is pure 'Star Wars' |

Image Courtesy: Space

The Book of Boba Fett, The Weakest Star Wars Show 

The major flaws of The Book of Boba Fett include its weak characterization, scattered plot, and insufficient reasons to care about the characters’ plights. Although the discovery of Cad Bane’s relationship with Boba Fett in the climactic showdown fight is a pleasant surprise, it is not enough to redeem the show’s other flaws. It would be more exciting to see them face off if they met earlier in the season, their connection was revealed, and it was shown that Cad could outdraw an emotionally invested Boba. Moreover, the show’s central concept of family was not adequately explored in the first season.

Boba’s subordinates, the Mods, and Krrsantan do as they’re told, but this is also problematic. When Boba Fett’s authority is questioned, it is usually quickly and peacefully settled. Even though Boba is not nearly as intimidating as Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars and is no longer a “cold-blood killer,” as shown by Cad Bane, Boba still has some of that old ferocity within him. Boba’s inner conflict over his desire to abandon his bounty-hunter past and embrace his new life as a forgiving Daimyo is almost nonexistent.

The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1

Image Courtesy: Rotten Tomatoes

A Case for The Book of Boba Fett as the Best Star Wars TV Show

As Daimyo, Boba’s callousness and lack of emotional connection should be his worst asset because he aspires to be respected by reigning fearlessly in The Book of Boba Fett. The ability to control his emotions also improves his accuracy. Boba’s predicament as Daimyo calls for dramatic treatment of the difficulty of striking this balance. In the end, cold loyalty is an obligation, not family. So far, duty is what Boba’s crime family has demonstrated, which makes the real problem with The Book of Boba Fett less emotionally appealing. For a bounty hunter who experienced childhood as an orphan, family in the most emotional way may be what Boba Fett truly desires in his old age.

Boba Fett can learn about the value of family and love from the Mandalorian and Grogu’s relationship. However, The Book needs to allow him time to connect with his criminal family and view Mos Espa as more than just a territory to govern for Boba to grasp this lesson. Like Cobb Vanth does for Freetown in The Book of Boba Fett, he should view it as his home and guard it out of love rather than out of duty. By transforming them from cold bounty hunters into caring, loving parents for the Mods, the story has the potential to be fascinating and create the best family drama series in the Star Wars universe.



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