The Book of Boba Fett is something that seems destined to succeed. Coming off of The Mandalorian the cast and crew know the material and have proved they know what to do with it. Yet three episodes in and it feels like it’s struggling for a reason to exist. Sure, it’s cool to hang out with Boba and friends on Mos Esba, but there has to be more to it to make it a show.
That’s not to say there aren’t some good elements to the episode. Any time Black Krrsantan is on screen an element of chaos and raw power is shown. The show itself can use a lot more of that. We’re supposed to be in a world surrounded by thieves, scoundrels, con men, and killers. Yet everything feels very safe and, dare I say it, kind.
It’s understandable Disney doesn’t want too violent a show but when your subject matter is at least partially defined as a ruthless bounty hunter it helps if he shows those characteristics. So far every single mob boss we’ve seen hasn’t really been terrifying even though we are told that they are when we’re not around. Hell, even the Fett twins, who should be plot device powerhouses and strike fear into the hearts of all around them seem like one-note jokes.
There’s a great scene near the end where Boba meets a new Rankor and its trainer. The scene is played sweetly as Boba finds the love in the gruesome creature and vows to treat it with respect and care. In all honesty, it’s a fantastic scene (and Danny Trejo is great as the Rankor trainer) but it would have done better if the rest of the show lived up to its namesake. Moments of kindness surrounded by a cosmic gang war would have far more powerful an impact than keeping the same tone throughout.
It’s only near the end of the episode that a real story starts to gel as past and present collide for Fett. A villain is starting to emerge which means that Fett is being crafted to be a hero. It’s an interesting turn of events for the bounty hunter and maybe a redemption arc is what he always deserved. Still, one can’t help but think his story would have been served better had it been told linearly and given the space it deserved to breathe.
Spending all of season one with the Tusken Raiders would have given the audience more time to see Fett shaking off his dirty ways and becoming the hero he’s presented as in present-day to the audience. Sometimes less is more.