(+++ WARNING: This review contains spoilers for the third episode of ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ +++)
With a good deal of last week’s episode focussing on Boba Fett’s time with the Tusken Raiders it was good to see an episode more interested in developing the main plot line of this series, Boba Fett’s new role as a Tatooine crime lord and the trials and tribulations that come with it. We get a quick guide to Mos Espa’s organised crime districts, and who runs them since Jabba the Hutt’s demise, as well as further skullduggery and double-dealing. Oh, and the welcome return of Black Krrsantan, the Wookie bounty hunter. Visually it’s a very crowd pleasing episode, but narratively it seems to have very little to say while giving the illusion of plot development.
While there is a swelling of the ranks with Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) initially threatening a local biker gang before grinning them once he’s heard their sad story (low wages, or no wages, and high prices have led them to steal) and certainly some action, it seemed to be an episode that plodded along, plotwise, rather than raced along, regardless of the set pieces of action scripted in to maybe make up for last week’s slower, albeit it better, episode. Even the car chase through the busy streets and alleyways of Mos Espa seemed slow, as though everyone involved as going no faster than 20 miles per hour. Hardly perilous and therefore hardly exciting to watch as a viewer.
Visually, as I stated, it’s a good piece of fan-service at least. And that may be more than enough for some. Mixing the familiar with the new seems to be a winning formula By setting this series on just the one planet of Tatooine, it allows the production team to populate each episode with species and settings Star Wars fans will immediately recognise. In including the new (and almost new like the Pyke Syndicate) who rear their collective ugly head once more, it also introduces new characters and settings that can be played round with in other corners of the Star Wars multi-media franchise. Just as with Krrsantan and the Pykes were first introduced in comics and cartoons respectively. Plus, the director Robert Rodriguez gets the chance to cast his muse and mate, Danny Trejo, into proceedings too. Although, I must admit, he certainly fits both the part and the harsh desert environment of Tatooine. It’s as though he was born to live on this dustball of a planet.
Like a lot of other Star Wars, or Marvel, Disney + series, The Book of Boba Fett seems to be slowing down as it drags itself through the middle of its run and sets everything in motion for a grand finale. Step back from all the action of this instalment and there really isn’t much story development whatsoever really. Although there is the odd stand-out scene, such as Boba’s bonding with a Rancour he receives as tribute from the twins (Jabba’s cousins). But even that seems to be more for foreshadowing events yet to come. A good episode nonetheless, just not a great one.
The Book of Boba Fett is streaming now on Disney+ with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.