It’s fair to say that the UK launch of Disney+ and more importantly a shit tonne of Star Wars content is what made 2020 a much better year than it should’ve been.
I can distinctly remember staying up until 1am GMT on the launch date to watch the first 2 episodes of the Mandalorian (with 3 kids I’m not sure this was the best idea the following morning!) and it was glorious.
It’s been a long time since I can remember that feeling of having something completely new in the SW universe. Rogue One was epic but covering a core story we know and love. The Mandalorian offered something brand new and I can only hope that what I felt watching this was something close to what it was like seeing the original trilogy.
Fast-forward 2 years and the Book of Boba Fett is following a tough act. Not only has the Mandalorian set the bar for quality but Boba Fett is a fairly unique iconic character with a lot of fans waiting to see what his future, and past, holds for us.
Firstly before we embark upon this discussion it’s important to set out that, since Rogue One, I’ve always tried to watch any new SW film or series as a small part of an interwoven story that spans entire lifetimes.
The whole is very much greater than the sum of its parts.
Although I’m going to be very hypocritical and say I think I draw a line at the sequels – they had some good bits but overall I think they were messy, lacking-continuity, plot, character development and purpose. And shit. Really shit. Shoot me.
Back to the matter at hand.
I’m not going to review each episode but I think most of us can agree that the atmosphere, places and soundtrack are bang on so let me give my thoughts on the series so far and the overall theme and arc that we’ve discussed or I’ve heard over the digital airwaves…
Is Boba Too Soft?
I can see why this has come up, he’s definitely less ruthless and has Fennec doing a lot of the leg work but I think this is a compelling journey for Boba.
We learn that he escapes the Sarlacc after nearly being dissolved by acid, choked by fumes and impaled by some nasty looking gnashers. Sitting in that pit of despair I wonder if he had time to consider his life choices….
Bad-ass bounty hunter employed by the likes of Vader and Jabba but despite his ruthlessness and training/experience he still ends up in the same place as a lowly Stormtrooper (who thankfully has oxygen!). Following other people’s orders gets you nowhere.
This is something that Boba discusses with Fennec in Ep. 4 as they plan their next moves – something no doubt Fennec can relate to given that she nearly died whilst tracking a bounty. Maybe if you want a long & financially rewarding life, bounty hunting isn’t the way to go. Note also Boba’s comment to Krrsantan about doing the Hutts’ bidding.
After finally breaking out of Saarlacc’s belly, Boba is exhausted, burnt from acid and left in the Tatooine sun. The fearsome bounty hunter is then stripped and left for dead by a group of Jawas. Not the calibre of opponent Boba would aspire to lose his armour to! Utinni!
At this point it’s safe to say that working alone hasn’t worked out for Boba as he is only saved and brought back to health by a group of Tuskens, completely at their mercy. After proving himself, I think that it’s here that Boba starts to understand the strength of having those you trust around you. The ill-equipped Tuskens (by galactic standards) are able to survive the barren sands of Tatooine, despite scarce food and water. Even their offspring are able to survive.
So, a small group can survive for thousands of years with only melee weapons and rags in a galaxy of space-wizards, laser-words, evil empires and subterranean monster-worms by, amongst other things, living as a pack. Maybe there’s something in this? To paraphrase another series, “The lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”
Following the death of his father and aside from a few motley crews during the Clone Wars, Boba has been alone and it nearly ended with his death. I think that he’s viewing this as his second chance and he’s not going to make the same mistakes again.
We can see this in his attempts to make allies and not enemies; The Mods (ok, the designs are bit colourful but if you were young and stuck on a desolate planet like Tatooine I think I’d try and find something to belong to), the crime bosses, Black Krrsantan, the Hutts etc. It’s also shown in the revenge he takes against the biker gang, that was personal, ruthless (Firespray vs speeder bikes & from behind, by surprise!) and thoroughly enjoyable as well as being fuelled by his attachment and respect for the Tuskens. I think it’s also why he’s so willing to fight the Pykes, aside from just the financial and territorial benefits.
Hope for peace but prepare for war.
This kind of sums up Boba for me. Had he not shown some calculated mercy then he already would’ve died at least twice. Once with the encounter with the assassins (saved by the Gamorrean Guards he spared) and again with Black Krrsantan (saved by his mods who he could’ve killed for their attitude alone). I think it’s safe to say Boba has made the right choices so far?
Now, staring down the barrel of a battle for Tatooine against the Pyke Syndicate, he’s already got a master assassin, green pig-mini-hulks, some modded-angry-at-their-dads teens, a wookiee and at least one more Mandalorian to fight in his corner.
Will we see Boba being more Boba?
My prediction is yes and no. He wants to rule with respect but what happens if someone betrays him? My guess is that one of the crime lords will go against their agreement to remain neutral which will cost Boba, potentially someone in his entourage (maybe the female Tusken makes a reappearance only to be gunned down by Pykes??)
What does Boba do when someone who has helped him is killed?
He goes full on cold, calculated, all-guns blazing, no mercy killtastic. The Rancor needs feeding and the trap door is still functioning… It’s going to happen, surely?!?!?
But I don’t think we’ll see a complete reversal, otherwise what has the journey been for?
What is Boba’s Future?
In Legends, we see Boba become the ruler of Mandalore and although it’s no longer canon, we are seeing the foundations being built for a move towards retaking the homeworld.
Ep. 5 hints that Bo-Katan can’t rule Mandalore. Din wields the Dark Saber and she hasn’t defeated him, maybe she couldn’t. Especially if he gets some training from Luke during his reunion with Grogu. Bo-Katan may also shy away from it given that the Watch see her as part of the reason for the Night of a Thousand Tears, a feeling she may share noting the remarks from Moff Gideon during the Season 2 finale of The Mandalorian.
Mandalore needs a ruler so it’s likely that Boba will be an integral part even if he declines the throne. I can’t see Favreau and Filoni killing off Din so it’ll be interesting to see how his ownership of the Dark Saber affects the rule of Mandalore and where Boba fits in. I doubt Boba would be up for killing his chum, especially after agreeing to help him in the upcoming Pyke kerfuffle.
As we move closer to the reclamation of Mandalore, a civil war seems likely. The Watch, despite having only two surviving members confirmed, have lost none of their fervour; Bo-Katan is a cautionary tale, despite arguably saving Mandalore during Season 7 of the Clone Wars, and Din has been excommunicated for removing his helmet, despite winning the Dark Saber twice. Fair to assume that they won’t view the clone of a foundling as a true Mandalorian. Rules are rules.
So the match will likely have Din, Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls, Boba (and Fennec?) and maybe Sabine Wren against the Armorer, Paz Vizla and however many fanatics they can rally to their cause. Plus I’m sure the remnants of the Empire would have an interest in this?
Either way, a Mando civil war will be intense, deadly and we’ll definitely see some casualties…
We can’t wait to see what the next few episodes bring but we are loving the ride so far!
What do you think? Do you agree? Have we missed something?
Comment below and let us know!