We’re running a recap of The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+. There are spoilers, duh! You’ve been warned.
The Book of Boba Fett is the story of how Boba Fett became the Daimyo of Mos Espa by seizing control of Jabba the Hutt’s crime ring and ridding Tatooine of the Pyke Syndicate.
Interestingly, the emotional center of the season has almost nothing to do with Fett himself. The writers were apparently more interested in revisiting the father-son dynamic of Din Djarin and Grogu for nearly two full chapters of The Book of Boba Fett’s seven episodes. But who’s to blame them? The Mandalorian is the superior of the two stories. Keeping Fett on the periphery of his own series not only gives Min-Na Wen’s Fennec Shand and Timothy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth space to breathe in whatever version of this series will return. But it also leaves Boba Fett’s complicated mix of benevolence and malevolence intact, albeit underexplored. Is there a better way to honor a character whose greatest contribution to the Star Wars franchise has been less about the man himself and more about the aura he invokes? Reader, I’d say no.
At some point off-camera, Luke Skywalker told R2-D2 to fly Grogu to Peli Motto’s (Amy Sedaris) garage on Tatooine so Baby Yoda could reunite with Mando. How Luke or Artoo, or really any human, droid, or alien in the galaxy knows anything about Motto’s relation to Din Djarin, or that getting the kid to Motto would lead him back to Mando, I have no idea. Space magic, I guess.
Either way, we weren’t left waiting to know whether Grogu would accept Yoda’s lightsaber and continue his training with Luke or don the beskar chainmail and return to Din Djarin. Grogu chose Mando. Because of course he did. And if Luke had any sour feelings about Grogu abandoning his training, someone please remind the Jedi Master that he never completed his degree at Yoda’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry either.
It’s all for the best. Not only is Grogu following in the footsteps of his high school dropout master; he’s also getting the heck out of that class before the Solo kid comes in and mucks it all up. Nonetheless, his short time with Luke gave Grogu enough training to crush a Scorpenek droid all on his own and lull a rampant rancor back to sleep, just in time for Grogu’s own nap.
With the Mandalorian finally reunited with his Foundling, the two speed away in Mando’s refurbished N-1 fighter, presumably to join forces with Bo-Katan in her quest to rid Mandalore of Imperial occupiers in The Mandalorian’s third season later this year. In short, ridding the Syndicate from Tatooine was their prelude to a much larger conflict in the near future.
To the shock of precisely no one (well, technically, it seemed to catch Fett off guard), the crime families of Tatooine betrayed their promise to remain neutral in the Syndicate conflict. In a sequence reminiscent of Order 66, Boba Fett’s forces were quickly outnumbered and overwhelmed by the traitors before the Pykes swept in to finish the job.
But, with the reinforcements of Freetown riding in to avenge Cobb Vanth’s death (lol, he’s not actually dead), they bought Boba Fett enough time to fly back to the palace and mount his rancor back to the fight, Dino-Rider-style.
This whole effort tipped the scales about 90% to Boba’s favor, right up to the point when Cad Bane used a flamethrower to knock Fett off his saddle, sending the rancor into a kaiju-rampage all over Mos Espa.
Earlier in the episode, Cad Bane had attempted to provoke Fett out of his defense position and into a sniper trap by revealing it was the Pykes and not the Tatooine Hells Angels (that’s not their real name, I’m just tired of Googling these guys) who murdered his Tusken clan. But you and I already saw this twist coming because we’ve seen this trope before. Framing some bad guys to draw the good guy’s attention from the even worse guy is the plot of the prequel trilogy.
Boba didn’t take the bait. But later, with the rancor off demolishing whatever was left of Mos Espa, Fett relished the opportunity to face his old bounty trainer one last time. To which Cad Bane responded by quick drawing Boba Fett flat off his feet. “Consider this my final lesson,” Bane growls at him. “Look out for yourself. Anything else is weakness.”
But Bane is wrong. If Star Wars is about nothing else, it’s about family. So it’s with some measure of poetry that Boba Fett wields the gaffi stick bestowed upon him by his murdered Tusken family to impale Cad Bane. In essence, he protects his new family by avenging his old one.
Speaking of avenging, at some point Fennec Shand slipped away and murdered everyone inside the Pyke’s Tatooine outpost, including Mos Espa’s corrupt mayor. Whatever reprisals await her for this aggression are better left for the next season. And while the full measure of Shand’s motivations haven’t been sussed out by this point in the series, I like to think this was revenge for her two Gamorrean pals getting unceremoniously pushed off a cliff.
So that was The Book of Boba Fett. I started this recap series speculating that the show would only succeed once Boba Fett expands his table, with secondary and tertiary characters given greater billing over the title character. It turns out, the showrunners thought the same thing. And as it moved in this direction, I went from thinking this show was the worst thing Lucasfilm has put in the Disney era, to thinking it lands probably somewhere in the middle. Not great, but better than bad.And certainly good enough to keep me in my seat for Obi-Wan Kenobi in a few more months. See you then.