Though last week’s episode was heavy on the cameos and fan service – with Luke Skywalker making a lengthy, deepfake-powered performance that, if not perfect, was an awful lot more […]
Though last week’s episode was heavy on the cameos and fan service – with Luke Skywalker making a lengthy, deepfake-powered performance that, if not perfect, was an awful lot more convincing than the uncanny valley mess in the finale of The Mandalorian’s second season – it was light on the character that this series is supposedly about, with Boba Fett appearing in a single short scene. The prior week’s episode didn’t feature Fett at all, instead essentially being a stealth episode of The Mandalorian, inserted in the middle of The Book of Boba Fett.
The narrative has meandered along, with an unsatisfying structure – relying heavily on flashbacks and unnecessarily filling in every tiny details of Fett’s recent history – and softening of the ex-bounty hunter to the point where he’s felt like a completely different character, with unconvincing justification for his abrupt face turn.
Yet there have been some great moments dotted throughout – and the Boba-light action of the last two episodes has been a hell of a lot more interesting than the main story, as thin as it is.
The finale sees the mounting tension between Fett’s factions and the Pyke Syndicate coming to a head, with the first shot across the bows – a bomb blowing up one of the buildings supposedly under Fett’s protection – having occurred in the closing moments of episode six. All out war is breaking out – but can Fett really trust the other syndicates who’ve pledged to either stick by him or stay out of the conflict entirely? And who’ll be left standing when the dust settles on Tatooine?
As basically one big Western-style showdown and action sequence, the finale does deliver the goods. There’s the odd shaky moment – Amy Sedaris offers unnecessary and poorly timed comic relief in her scenes as Peli Motto, though that’s not the fault of Sedaris herself – and it still feels an awful lot like it’s just become The Mandalorian’s story at so many points. However, it does wrap up the main, rather threadbare narrative and complete Boba Fett’s journey towards benevolence – while still establishing that he has a darker streak when backed into a corner. Ming-Na Wen’s Fennec Shand remains a standout but underutilised character, though she gets a few great sequences here too.
Though it doesn’t quite make up for the missteps in the narrative, nor the fact that there wasn’t much story here to tell in the first place, it does at least end the series on a high note. One of the earliest scenes makes Luke Skywalker come across as an even bigger asshole than he’s become by the time of The Last Jedi too, though it’s difficult to articulate exactly why without spoiling a crucial moment. It doesn’t make the case for spending so much time with the Jedi in the previous episode really; if anything, as crowd-pleasing as those sequences were, their inclusion is mostly just baffling after the end of the series – barring a few moments that pay off with a certain fan favourite character.
Stick around for a mid-credit scene that reveals the fate of a popular character – who I do hope we’ll see again.
So The Book of Boba Fett ends up as a disappointment overall, but one that hasn’t been without its enjoyable moments. If we never see those damn Mods again though, I certainly wouldn’t complain.
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