They say that if you make a bad film it doesn’t help to show a better film in the middle of it. Sadly, that’s exactly what The Book of Boba Fett decided to do in this week’s episode “The Return of the Mandalorian” which is, quite literally, just a bonus Mandalorian episode.
Under the direction of Bryce Dallas Howard (who has already directed two fantastic Mandalorian episodes so far), the episode is a return to form as the audience finally leaves Tatooine and spends quality time with a far more complex character.
Granted, about half the episode is spent on Tatooine, but it’s still way more fun and has far more character development than the last four episodes of Boba Fett. What we’re essentially given is a prologue to season three of The Mandalorian filling in all the story gaps from the last episode. Mando now has the Black Saber and is still learning to wield it. He also misses Grogu.
From there we are given a legitimate reason for him to go to Tatooine which, despite what Luke says, seems to be a bustling planet now. It’s just a short hop from a nearby space station to the planet where he is trying to find a replacement for the Razer Crest.
It’s not until the very end that we get any mention of Boba Fett or Fennec. Their absence in the episode goes mostly unnoticed as the Mandalorian sections are just far more interesting. This leads to the conclusion that the problem with The Book of Boba Fett is Boba Fett himself. This poses a problem for future episodes since people will more than likely be rooting for Mando over Boba. If the choice is between either character, the audience is rooting for Mando.
Going into its final episodes it feels like Boba Fett is using The Mandalorian like a crutch when, realistically, it should be able to stand on its own. Boba has considerably more back story and, in theory, a long legacy to stand on. Yet the fact that giving a whole episode over The Mandalorian was exactly what the show needed asks the question of whether the show needs to exist at all.