Let’s not beat around the bush. You thought Boba Fett was wicked growing up. The character was mythic in a way. A mysterious character with extremely cool armor, a ship unlike anything else you’d seen in Star Wars, and just the airs of a total badass. That is until you realize he gets sent into the Sarlaac Pit in Return of the Jedi and had four lines total in the entire original trilogy. We eventually learned his tragic origins in Attack of the Clones, and then there was also the now-defunct extended universe stories. But since then, other than a few stories in The Clone Wars, it was all quiet on the Mandalorian front until, well, The Mandalorian. Now Boba Fett is back in his own series, The Book of Boba Fett, and makes the full case on why this character is indeed the badass you saw him as when you were a kid.
I grew up playing with my Dad’s Boba Fett toys from when he was a kid, so I’ve always wanted to see more of the character. It never felt like he got a definitive characterization in any of his stories for me. I wanted to know more about the clone of Jango Fett. The Book of Boba Fett immediately jumps right into the character’s history, where he was, and puts us on the path to where he is going. What Boba Fett was missing before was Temuera Morrison, who brings the thunder. After seeing him bring Boba Fett back to the screen in The Mandalorian, I watched the milliseconds count down until The Book of Boba Fett premiered. Boba Fett took the throne that once belonged to Jabba the Hutt, and Bib Fortuna held now to become the crime lord of Tatooine. Morrison has the badass grizzled bounty hunter act down pat. His fight scenes are intense, and he sells the character better than I could have ever hoped. There is one scene in particular where he sets himself apart from a former crime lord by refusing to be carried through town. It’s a small character beat, but it shows who the character is and shows how he may handle becoming the lord of Tatooine. What I didn’t think we would see from Morrison as Boba Fett is his humor. Most of that comes in part from his interactions with Fennec Shand.
I know I have talked up Boba Fett to be a badass, but can we talk about Ming-Na Wen? Her performance as master assassin Fennec Shand is the role Boba Fett played in the original trilogy. If something needs doing, she gets it done. I can’t say a lot about the things she does in this episode but trust me: you’re going to want to see her whoop some ass. She is tough, witty, and also has badass armor that is uniquely different from that of the Mandalorians. Her banter with Boba Fett is comedic with their almost clashing approaches to situations. They play off of each other perfectly with fantastic on-screen chemistry as partners set to take over the criminal underworld.
Some characters don’t hold up in their own solo adventures like one certain smuggler, but The Book of Boba Fett has a clear vision thanks to the pilot episode’s tight directing from Robert Rodriguez and a well-written script by Jon Favreau. Both of those things are fantastic at bringing back the grit and grime of the original trilogy. Tatooine is scummy in The Book of Boba Fett in a way I have missed so dearly since Return of the Jedi. I have missed the criminal underworld of Star Wars. The Jabba the Hutt scenes in the original trilogy are my favorite, so when I saw the palace in the post-credit for The Mandalorian, I screamed. It was hard not to through all of The Book of Boba Fett for that reason.
One of Boba Fett’s four lines in the original trilogy is “As you wish,” and honestly, Boba Fett made my dreams come true. It’s the perfect show if you were like me and kept watching the first half of Return of the Jedi and saying that you want more of that. The Book of Boba Fett brings the grit and grime of the original trilogy back in full force, with a wonderful dynamic between Boba Fett and Fennec Shand, a story poised to be the next great Star Wars Adventure, and something you can finally point to and be like, “Boba Fett IS badass, and here is why.”