The Book of Boba Fett was given a gargantuan task: take one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars canon and actually build up a fully-formed character around him. Boba Fett was little more than an action figure in the original trilogy, but his striking design endeared him to an entire generation of fans. And although his story had been explored in copious ancillary mediums like novels and comic books, this Disney+ series would offer the first in-depth and officially acknowledged exploration into the bounty hunter.
And there was definitely a good setup at the beginning of The Book of Boba Fett. Mixing a crime story with a sci-fi take on Dances With Wolves was intriguing, but there were already cracks in the armor. The look and tone of the show felt like little more than an extension of The Mandalorian. Boba Fett was already being subsumed by a character that was partially made to replace him. The Mandalorian felt like the Boba Fett expansion fans have wanted for years. Now, with the original Mandalorian armor-wearing bounty hunter back in the game, the opportunity was there to do something truly different.
Unfortunately, The Book of Boba Fett revealed itself to be enslaved to its successor. By the back half of the season, the series devolved into an unabashed secret Mandalorian season. Any possible deviation into an actual exploration of underworld stories or crime fiction gave way to the expected lore and importance of Mando and his story. And though that element may have been satisfying to some fans, it was mostly confirmation that the Star Wars universe has fallen under the same blanket of uniformity that has made the Marvel Cinematic Universe immensely popular and creatively stagnant.
By the time The Book of Boba Fett came to a close, it had managed to wrap up its storylines in a far-too-neat bow. A cabal of gangsters that could have proved to be ongoing foils to Fett’s rule? All dispatched in a single scene so that we can dissolve into a perfect Tattooine where Boba Fett strolls the streets with a smile on his face for every passing citizen. It’s a lazy conclusion that makes the whole season’s conflict feel like a big write-off. No amount of battle scenes and CG rancors can make up for the weakness of the writing.
It is a shame to see The Book of Boba Fett contribute to the limp Marvelfication of Star Wars. It’s not like there aren’t interesting elements presented in the show. Seeing Fett build up his allies was minorly compelling, but it mostly ended up being a ploy to have warm bodies in a big battle as opposed to actually exploring characters. The shallow nature of the characterization came shining through in the finale as character motivations felt blandly interchangeable. Did Krrsantan‘s wants and desires actually matter by the end of the series? How was Fennec Shand little more than a dichotomous extension of Fett himself? And the less said about the thinly-written Mods, the better.
The Book of Boba Fett took too much inspiration from the same kinds of Westerns that built the foundation of The Mandalorian instead of being an actual crime show. The series started with a promise of being about the reign of a new criminal boss. There should have been more of The Godfather and The Sopranos in the show’s DNA. Instead, we just got more of what we’ve seen plenty of in The Mandalorian. As such, it made Boba Fett feel less unique as a character. His series just made him come across as a lamer version of Din Djarin.
When we reviewed the premiere episode of The Book of Boba Fett, we called the series The Mandalorian Season 2.5, and our appraisal ended up being more correct than expected. Now, it has helped to taint any future adventures into this arm of the Star Wars universe. No doubt Boba Fett will be making an appearance in the next season of The Mandalorian, adding to the homogenous feel of this world. At this point, the interconnectivity of these Star Wars shows continues to prove that the Disney approach to this wonderfully varied property is to make it all feel the same. What a wasted opportunity for such a creative canvas.