Andrea’s film review – The Book of Boba Fett (season 1)

The Book of Boba Fett (season 1) ⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Bounty hunter Boba Fett & mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the underworld when they return to Tatooine to claim Jabba the Hutt’s old turf. Available for streaming on Disney+

I should probably give a little bit of basic background before I start talking about this latest series available for streaming on Disney+.

To say that I am a huge Star Wars fan would be an understatement: I’ve obviously seen all the movies (some of them multiple times), I have seen the excellent animated series Rebels and I’m almost through The Clone Wars (which I am actually enjoying even though the characters look terrible).

I’ve even read some of the hundreds of books available out there and finally, despite some initial hesitation, I ended up loving the two seasons of The Mandalorian (also on Disney+).

The irony of all this is that now I have a nine-year-old son, who beats me at any Star Wars trivia game… but that’s subject for a different discussion.

With all that in mind, I have to confess that I never really felt the need for a whole TV series about Boba Fett. After all, this was a minor character (albeit with cool armour), with only six minutes and 32 seconds of screen time and a total of four lines across two films. To me he worked because he was a complete mystery.

Then George Lucas had the not-so-brilliant idea to give us an ‘origin story’ for him, in the rather infamous Star Wars prequels, ruining the mystique around this legendary bounty hunter and over-complicating things.

After a couple of brief and rather innocent appearances in The Clone Wars and in The Mandalorian, he’s now been promoted to a full seven episode TV series.

Or at least this is what we are led to believe, as Boba Fett only seems to be present in its name.

The character the series presents feels like completely different from the deadly, feared, cold crime lord we thought we knew.

His silent and unfeeling demeanour here are replaced by a sort of monk-like attitude. The great bounty hunter is now depicted as somebody who wants to rule people in a just and fair way…

Really!?

It’s as if the series had been written with somebody else in mind and then it was decided, a week before the filming, that in order to draw more viewers it would be called Boba Fett, in complete disregard for everything that was cool about the character.

In this series he’s played by Temuera Morrison, an actor who might have had the right voice for when he was wearing a mask in the previous incarnations, but who certainly, at least for me, doesn’t seem to have the right presence, nor charisma to carry a whole series on his own. He’s an aged and slightly overweight bald man, who is hardly believable as a strong and even fear-inducing anti-hero.

Even the film-makers seem to be aware of that, since they cram the series by rescuing beloved characters from everywhere else, even side-lining poor Boba for two entire episodes (in which he only appears for a few seconds).

The result is a series which is just a huge mess: a hodgepodge of ideas and characters which make even the three prequels look like the most coherent films ever made.

The first four episodes are really bad and could probably have been squeezed into one. Yes, there are some decent action scenes here and there and it’s well filmed, but these days that goes without saying. The overall pacing was really slow, most of characters are uninteresting and the storytelling feels repetitive. Many of the choices are baffling (for the reason mentioned above).

If it wasn’t for my unconditional love for everything that’s Star Wars related, I would have easily turned off after the third episode.

Then, after the first four boring, uneventful episodes things started picking up a bit, thanks to some bizarre and blatantly fan-serving moments, when the focus switches completely from Boba to… guess who? The Mandalorian and the best thing that made his TV series so compelling, baby Yoda (Grogu, if you’re into names).

Plus the return of an impressive CGI-created young Luke Skywalker, which was completely superfluous but at least it made me interested again.

Finally I had somebody to root for again, but let’s be clear, all that should have been part of the next season of the Mandalorian, not here.

In its defence, I have to be honest, the last episode was actually really good, full of good action and excitement. Finally all the elements seemed to come together, but my goodness it took all my will to get to that point. If it wasn’t for the fact that I wanted to review this, I would never have got there.

Overall, this was a huge disappointment: a betrayal of the original character of Boba Fett and just a bad idea to start with, saved at the last moment by the Mandalorian.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.

The Book of Boba Fett is available for streaming on Disney+

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