The Book of Boba Fett Episode 1 Review
Before the Mandalorians, before the Darksaber, before the Clone Troopers, there was Boba Fett. He is the breakout character of the Star Wars franchise, the enigmatic bounty hunter with the cool armor. While some fans may debate whether his status as a clone makes him a true Mandalorian, everyone agrees that Boba Fett is a total badass. Which only makes…this all the more humiliating.
When Disney bought Star Wars and axed the old Expanded Universe, one of the mouse’s most egregious sins was getting rid of the rest of Boba’s story. The part where he gets out and goes back to being a feared bounty hunter. Then Disney fixed that with Boba Fett’s triumphant return in season two of The Mandalorian. By the season’s end, he’s got his armor back, killed Bib Fortuna, and taken up residence in Jabba’s Palace as a crime lord. So, everyone’s expecting The Book of Boba Fett to start off with him more powerful than ever, right? Unfortunately, that’s not happening just yet. He’s got a lot of work to do to get back everything he lost.
How Did Boba Fett Survive?
First, let’s address the elephant in the room that everyone who didn’t read the comics and novels in the 90s has been asking: HOW THE HECK DID BOBA FETT SURVIVE!?!?
In the old Expanded Universe, the Galaxy’s best bounty hunter spent two years trapped inside the Sarlaac as he got slowly digested. Then he got out, lost his memory, fell back in, and got out again by using his jetpack as a makeshift explosive. Like many things that Disney has done since buying Star Wars, the new story is streamlined. However, it doesn’t sacrifice any of what makes Boba such a badass.
In a flashback in the premiere’s opening moments, we see the acidic hell that Boba Fett found himself in. Thankfully for him (and his fans), he survived long enough to get oxygen from a dead Stormtrooper to power his flamethrower. He then used to tear a hole in the Sarlaac’s stomach and crawl his way to freedom. Which is, admittedly, incredibly badass
Unfortunately, it also remains one of only two badass things that Boba does in this episode. The rest is of him being disrespected and beaten down by everyone around, much to some fans concern. Yet, this is the bounty hunter that even Darth Vader respected. He’s the man, the myth, the legend! So why is he so lame now?
That’s actually the whole point. Boba Fett isn’t the badass we know. At least, not yet.
Pulling Himself Back Together
Firstly, we need to remember the state that Boba’s in, both in the flashbacks and present day. Five years ago, he hit rock bottom. He barely made it out of the Sarlaac alive; his armor got stolen by Jawas; and he got taken prisoner by Tusken Raiders. In other words, the last five years of his life have probably been hell. It’s only now that he’s finally started to physically recover from everything he went through.
Then there’s also his reputation. While it’s true that he was the best bounty hunter in the galaxy, it’s been five years since he fell into the Sarlaac. Even if people knew he was alive, he likely hasn’t done any bounty hunting for a while. So, his reputation is likely also not doing great. And even then, people will only likely know him as Jabba’s enforcer. So, naturally, they’re not going to fully respect him now that he wants to become a crime lord. Especially not after a group of assassin’s beats him up in public in Mos Espa.
Surprisingly, I’m fine with seeing all of this.
A Better Boba Fett
Make no mistake: even without his armor and weapons, Boba Fett is still a badass. However, it’s going to take a while for him to reach the levels of badass that we’re used to seeing from a Mandalorian. The process will likely take the entire season, though, so fans shouldn’t expect the best from him out of the gate. Nevertheless, “Stranger in a Strange Land” makes the tone for the show’s first season clear: it’s about Boba Fett rebuilding himself after years of being physically, and potentially mentally, broken. Once he’s done that, though, it’s likely that we’ll see a Boba Fett that’s far stronger than the one we know.
Just to reinforce all of this, the last third of the episode is another flashback to Boba’s days as a prisoner of the Tusken Raiders. While digging for water one day, he, the young Tusken, and a Rodian get attacked by this six-armed monster. Despite being weak from his stomach-acid bath, Boba still manages to kill the monster, thereby earning the Tusken Raiders’ respect. The point of all this is that Boba has the means to attain power. It will be a long and arduous process, but he can become a lord. Lord Boba Fett.
Overall, it was a slow start to the series, but the same could be said of The Mandalorian, and they call it the best the franchise has been since Empire. Something tells me that The Book of Boba Fett is going to be a show worth watching as we start 2022.
Also, MAX REBO IS STILL ALIVE!!!