This morning, Disney made an awkward gaffe, accidentally airing the first episode of Mandalorian season 3 instead of The Book Of Boba Fett. What’s that? That was the fifth episode of Boba Fett!? By the Maker, what is happening with this Star Wars TV series! Yes, in the aptly titled ‘Return of The Mandalorian’, The Book of Boba Fett switched narrative track to catch up with Din Djarin and see what he’s been up to since the end of his sci-fi series‘ sophomore season.
As a huge fan of The Mandalorian (he’s one of my favourite Star Wars characters), I was thrilled to see the shiniest hired gun in the Outer Rim back. The episode was great; there was decent action, good humour, and even some world-building.
However, we’re watching a show called The Book of Boba Fett, and Din isn’t the character we’re supposed to be following. Return of The Mandalorian has basically laid bare all the problems that have dogged Boba’s Disney Plus series since it began. The awkward chronology, stiff action set pieces, and near-constant wheel spinning.
I’ll put it like this: people shouldn’t call an episode in which the title character doesn’t appear the ‘best episode yet’, but if you went on Twitter in the aftermath, that’s what you’ll see people saying. Let’s be honest, though; it was the best episode we’ve had by a galactic mile. From the moment Din swaggered back on screen slicing and dicing with the Darksabre, there was an energy to the episode that the rest of the series has sorely lacked.
Part of that boiled down to the fact we were finally off the wretched sandpit that is Tatooine (spending four episodes there has me agreeing with Anakin sand really is the worst) and exploring the Outer Rim. The opening action sequence was set in what’s basically the Star Wars equivalent of Satriale’s Pork Store from The Sopranos, and I never knew I wanted to see a Star Wars butchers shop until I saw it.
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It’s silly, I know, but I think it’s really exposed what a bad idea it was setting a Star Wars series in one central location. Star Wars has always been a planet-hopping adventure, and choosing to set the entire thing in one central location has just robbed it of any energy it might have had.
Compounding that problem is how this new episode exposes Boba Fett passivity. Mando has a goal, and he sets out to achieve it, and he doesn’t care who gets in his way. On the other hand, Fett has a goal – he wants to replace Jabba as the Tatooine’s crime daimyo – but he’s been incredibly unassertive, basically expecting everyone to fall in line just because he’s wearing a green helmet.
Part of this is the decision to focus so much of the show on his time with Tusken Raisers. I don’t think showing Boba’s time with the Sand People was a bad idea. However, the decision to interweave this origin with the crime story has caused the narrative to stall.
Ultimately The Return of The Mandalorian has exposed The Book of Boba Fett’s dirty little secret. It’s unnecessary. I’m sorry, a Boba Fett show could have been cool, but The Mandalorian is effectively what the Fett show should have been.
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Not only that, it’s done it so well; it’s left Book with nowhere to go. Again on paper, having Boba try and establish his own family is a good idea, and I like seeing Star Wars attempt new things, but this just isn’t working.
Return of The Mandalorian was an exciting and entertaining watch, but it was basically an episode of Mando’s season 3 parachuted into Boba Fett’s series. If we were watching The Mandalorian’s third outing, it’d probably be a four-star episode but need I remind you this is supposed to be The Book of Boba Fett? Someone should remind the showrunners because I cannot sanction this buffoonery anymore.
The Book of Boba Fett streams exclusively every Wednesday on Disney Plus.
The Book of Boba Fett episode 4 review
A great episode of The Mandalorian season 3 isn’t a good episode of Boba Fett.