The Book Of Boba Fett Premiere Review: The Mandalorian Season 2.5

The Book of Boba Fett gives us the most expanded look at the infamous bounty hunter we've ever gotten, and it's using The Mandalorian to do it.

By Drew Dietsch | Updated

book of boba fett review feature

The Book of Boba Fett is the kind of Star Wars story that seems unnecessary at first. Disney’s continued decision to milk every recognizable facet of the property means that the once minimalist bounty hunter will now be fleshed out to the nth degree. What’s a little odd is that the Mouse House already found a more unique way to do that with The Mandalorian, a show that essentially functioned like a Boba Fett series would have but created a new character and more intriguing twists to the Star Wars universe. But, by Season 2, Boba Fett had integrated himself into the story and created the promise of the Marvelfication of the Star Wars universe.

So it’s no surprise that The Book of Boba Fett is completely modeled after The Mandalorian in every way. From the creative team to the structure of episodes to the approach to scoring, this is essentially an addendum season to The Mandalorian. That has pros and cons. The good thing is that The Mandalorian is a pretty good show and its particular approach to Star Wars clearly resonates with a lot of fans. That vibe is more than present in The Book of Boba Fett and while it isn’t creatively refreshing, it’s undeniably functional. And some of the best elements of The Mandalorian like its commitment to a tactile world for its characters are more than welcome in this new series.

Much like the better episodes of The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett shines in its smaller story moments. The premiere episode sets up the approach to the story by showing us Fett’s flashbacks as he heals in a bacta tank. This is how we will be filled in on what transpired for the bounty hunter between Return of the Jedi and his reappearance in The Mandalorian Season 2. To the show’s credit, the backstory being told does not have the same wiki article uselessness that plagued Rogue One and Solo. Instead, the longer format allows the character to breathe while he plays catch-up with the audience. At this point, episodic storytelling might be the aptest venue for Star Wars, a series that was built upon hearkening back to the serials of yesteryear.

book of boba fett temuera morrison ming-na wen

Less successful is the present story going on in The Book of Boba Fett. Having taken over as crime lord of Tattooine, the obvious route is to have Fett be challenged by a mysterious entity from the outset. This leads to the kind of well-staged but effectively limp action scenes we’ve come to expect from this streaming era of Star Wars. The action in these sections is perfunctory and performative because it just feels like wheel spinning. Thankfully, the more understated moments are far more engaging. Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen have delightful chemistry as share their criminal overlord duties with quiet lines back and forth. Seeing them cast a suspicious gaze at someone is much more thrilling than most of the action they are subjected to. The Book of Boba Fett is at its best when they are having to deal with the politics of being the ruling criminal power on Tattooine.

Still, the shadow of The Mandalorian continually drapes The Book of Boba Fett in a feeling of boring verisimilitude. One has to wonder if this is a sign of things to come for the Star Wars franchise. For all their faults and acclaims, the sequel trilogy looks and feels distinct in the realm of Star Wars. The filmmaking on display in the streaming shows is so uniform that it becomes uneventful. Naturally, this is exactly what has led to such gargantuan acceptance by mainstream audiences with the Marvel Cinematic Universe installments. Accessible but unremarkable filmmaking means more people will be able to swallow what is on screen. If The Book of Boba Fett continues to be as embraced as The Mandalorian, it won’t be surprising to see the rest of the Star Wars universe start to look like these two shows.

The Book of Boba Fett is going to scratch your itch while you wait for The Mandalorian Season 3 and it’s clearly designed to do just that. It almost feels like The Mandalorian Season 2.5 or a downloadable story expansion for a video game. Within that, there is certainly fun to be had. But it also portends the blandening of what was once one of the most imaginative fictional universes in modern history.

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The Book Of Boba Fett Premiere Review Score:

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