The Book of Boba Fett has at long last remembered who its main character is supposed to be, in a concluding chapter that puts the ‘fine’ in finale. Picking up immediately after the explosive events of last week’s episode, ‘Chapter 7: In The Name Of Honour’ opens with Boba (Temeura Morrison) and Fennec (Ming-Na Wen) picking through the wreckage of the Sanctuary in Mos Espa.
From the moment the episode began, there was a noticeable difference. Boba Fett was actually in an episode of the show named after him, which was an unexpected but not unpleasant surprise. Things only picked up from there, with Boba having an active part in the plan to deal with the Pyke Syndicate without once having to get in a Bacta Tank and flashing back to those bloody Tuskens.
Quite why Boba listened to the Modders’ frankly bizarre plan to stage their last stand in the ruins of Sanctuary, I don’t know. Maybe we could have spent some time explaining why Boba needed to prove himself to the people of the town instead of setting up Mando’s third season, but what can you do?
Speaking of Mando, I think this episode found the best use for him. While I’ve enjoyed his last two adventures, they did distract us from the story that’s supposed to be driving The Book of Boba. In ‘Chapter 7’, though, he simply serves as extra muscle for Fett and his crew, slicing and shooting his way through Pyke soldiers like a hot lightsaber (Editor: So a lightsaber?) through buttery Battle Droids.
All of the side characters are used effectively enough; each of them, from Krrsantan to the Modders, gets a fun little hero moment in the end. I mean, it would be nice if I didn’t have to literally Google them to remember their names, but we can’t have everything now, can we? Not when there are spin-offs to set up.
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Speaking of spin-offs, Grogu is well and truly back, setting up The Mandalorian season 3. No complaints from me there. I absolutely love the little frog guzzler, and seeing him reunited with his space dad filled the cybernetic oxygen pump that replaced my heart with something approximating joy. I mean, the rational part of my brain is concerned with the lack of confidence in Mando without his adopted son, but hey, ‘it’s the thing I like’.
Wen’s Fennec Shand has been a highlight of the series, and she continues to impress, being the episode’s clear MVP. The crack shot assassin doesn’t just save the modders. She also takes out my least favourite character in the series, the weaselly Mayor of Mos Espa. More of her in the future, please.
Ultimately, this episode has impressed me more than the last few because Boba plays an active part in it. It’s Boba who attacks the Pykes, Boba who gets a standoff with Cad Bane, and it’s Boba who saves the day riding in on his Rancor like a knight on horseback to rescue the princess – who in this particular metaphor is a gang of criminals, murderers, and a bounty hunter.
My expectations for Boba getting anything to do were so low that I kept expecting the poor half-digested bounty hunter to get knocked out, leaving Mando and Grogu to save the day. But no, Boba stays in the fight throughout, getting some impressive and tense action scenes that demonstrate exactly why the series should have had more courage in its core concept and given us more Fett.
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I still have a lot of questions. Like Cad Bane, I don’t really see what Boba’s “angle” is here. Mando points out they could probably just easily escape in Fett’s ship, but the bounty hunter wants to stay. I presumed his takeover of Jabba’s former territory was financially motivated, but no, his motivation seems to be wanting to belong to a people.
This was probably supposed to be the point of the Tusken stuff, that Boba learned the value of having a tribe, but that link feels tenuous at best. We’ve seen Fett’s interest in credits and working for himself throughout the sci-fi series. It seems like character revision to have him suddenly care for the fine folk of Mos Espa in the finale.
The irritating thing is that I’ve no doubt that the creative team behind The Book of Boba Fett are a talented bunch, and I’ve no doubt they could have delivered a believable character arc for Fett that got him to the point we find him in the finale. But they didn’t do that. Instead, they delivered what they thought we wanted: lightsabers, Jedi, and cameos.
Basically, they spoon-fed us blatant fan service instead of a plot, and fan service is a lot like ice cream. It’s delicious, and you always want more of it, but it’s not really a meal, is it? No, what The Book of Boba Fett needed was the broccoli of a coherent story. It’s not the most glamorous part of your TV meal, but your show will be healthier for it if you serve it.
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Unfortunately, Boba skipped its veggies (I promise this metaphor will end soon), and the series has been left anaemic and weak as a result. So you can give me all the spectacle in the world – and the Rancor attack really was impressive – but ultimately, it means nothing if I don’t care about the characters in peril, and I just didn’t care about Boba and his gang.
There was a notable difference when Mando and Grogu were on screen. The series suddenly felt like it had stakes because I’ve invested time in those characters. With Boba, I couldn’t even really describe what his motivations were, nor did I really understand why I was supposed to care if the Modders survived. The difference in how much I cared was night and day.
This was an OK ending to The Book of Boba Fett. It had cool action, some decent resolutions to what passes for character arcs in this series, and there was only one scene with a bacta tank. But the series’ foundational problems meant I just couldn’t engage with it in any meaningful way. Here’s hoping Obi-Wan Kenobi makes up for this disappointing instalment in the Star Wars saga.
The Book of Boba Fett episode 7 review
The book closes on Boba Fett in a perfectly serviceable finale that underlines some of the series flaws.