Boba Fett’s flashbacks – conveniently coming to him in a narrative friendly, sequential format as he heals each night in a Bacta Tank – now see him teaming up with Fennec Shand to recover his lost possessions and exact revenge on the biker gang who slaughtered the Tuskens who’d eventually welcomed the bounty hunter into their tribe. In the present day, Fett and Shand seek to build their extended family to include more of Tatooine’s crime lords – with the aim of taking on the Pyke Syndicate and sharing the eventual spoils together.

Did you think the cliché-ridden chase through the streets of Mos Espa was cringeworthy last week, with its gleaming and colourful speeder bikes that had no business being in the possession of cybernetically-enhanced urchins on Tatooine? Well, I found this week’s cyberpunk-influenced scene – of a character being repaired, set to pulsing, dancey electronic music with fast visual cuts to boot – even more jarringly non-Star Wars in tone and worse than that aforementioned scene in the previous episode. It’s a sequence that just feels as if it’s wandered in from another franchise entirely. Though Star Wars can be many things to many people and the formula has even been shaken up several times – with varying levels of success – even divisive works like The Last Jedi still maintain a Star Wars tone and atmosphere, which I feel is lost here in this sequence.

It doesn’t help matters that half of the episode is devoted to a flashback in which Fett and Shand infiltrate the late Jabba’s palace to retrieve Fett’s ship – given that it’s in flashback and that we’ve already seen him at the controls of his craft in The Mandalorian, this sequence feels pointless, bloated and free of any tension considering we already know the end result. We only really get a bit of progression to the main storyline in the final ten minutes or so – this episode leans so heavily on the flashback device that it’s practically all filler.

It’s been a bit of a bizarre journey for Boba Fett so far. The approach of trying to fill in every little detail of his post-Sarlacc, pre-Mandalorian story hasn’t been particularly interesting or even necessary – and there’s been some terrible tonal missteps along the way too. The lack of ‘present day’ story shows that perhaps there wasn’t ever that much to tell anyway – and we’ve not got long left of the series to go at this stage. Though it does seem as if we really do reach a conclusion with these Bacta-fuelled flashbacks in this episode (for reals this time, really!), The Book of Boba Fett needs to build to something incredibly spectacular to redeem itself. A tiny hint and a brief musical cue hints at something exciting at the climax of this episode – but will it be enough?

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