The Book of Boba Fett Bait and Switch

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Tim Beisiegel
| May 9, 2024
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For nearly 40 years, Star Wars fans had been waiting to see if they would ever see Boba Fett again. After his apparent onscreen death during the infamous Sarlaac pit scene of Return of the Jedi, most fans likely weren’t holding out a lot of hope. We had accepted the fact that one of our favorite bounty hunters was, in fact, dead. We had accepted that the Sarlaac pit was his final resting place. 

But then it happened. A man named Cobb Vanth showed up on The Mandalorian series wearing the iconic Mandalorian armor. We had hints that Boba was alive, and then we saw him standing atop a hill in the Mandalorian without his armor. In another post-credit scene for Season 2 of The Mandalorian, we see Boba Fett and Fennec Shand stroll into Jabbas’s palace on Tatooine, killing Bib Fortuna and assuming the throne of Jabba the Hutt. Coming soon: The Book of Boba Fett. 

And that’s where the problems began … 

The Bait and Switch 

In full disclosure, I hadn’t thought of this show as a bait and switch until guesting on The Scarif Podcast. Ro, the host, and I talked about this show in detail. We discussed the highs and lows. Ro is the one who called it a bait and switch, and he’s right. Here’s why  – 

We have always known Boba Fett as a bounty hunter who is aggressive and merciless in pursuing his bounties. In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader had to remind him that disintegration is not an option for acquiring his target in his pursuit of Luke Skywalker

In The Mandalorian, we see Boba Fett kicking butt and taking names, so to speak. In the post-credit scene, he kills to get what he wants: the throne of Jabba the Hutt. 

But despite all of this, we are greeted by a kinder and gentler version of Boba Fett in the show The Book of Boba Fett. He decides that he wants to rule with respect and not fear. From the very beginning of the show, it’s clear that this is not your father’s Boba. Something has changed. 

Nothing leading up to the premiere of this show indicated that Boba Fett wouldn’t be the badass we had all known and had been expecting for 40-some-odd years. We had no clue that we wouldn’t see the badass that we saw in The Mandalorian. We were shown the Boba of old and gifted this new, kinder, and gentler version. Hence, the bait and switch. 

Let’s discuss the obvious issues. 

Okay, other than expecting Boba Fett and getting “Bubba Fatt,” other issues regarding The Book of Boba Fett must be addressed. 

  1. The sand people. It’s honestly great that we got to see the sand people as more than folks who stand on the cliff edges waving staffs over their heads and screaming. We will talk more about this later. It’s great that we got to see some Boba backstory, but that storyline should have been an episode with quick-cut scenes. Two episodes at most. Much time was spent covering what will turn out to be an inconsequential portion of his story moving forward. 
Boba Fett teaching the Tusken Raiders how to ride a speeder
  1. The Kitchen Aide scooter gang. The speeder scooters that this “biker” gang were riding looked like the multicolored Kitchen Aide Mixers you find in homes all over America.  And apparently, the top speed of the scooters was only as fast as Kitchen Aide’s specifications would allow their countertop mixers to achieve. Little Leia ran away from Flea and his band of merry men in the forests of Alderaan faster than these scooters could go. Now, many have issues with the number of mirrors on the scooters. Although it was unnecessary, it was a cool nod to 1950s and 60s kids in England. The more mirrors they had, the cooler they were. But, in the galaxy far, far away, it may have caused too much wind drag … or maybe the scooters were just unnecessary. 
What the mod scooter gang bike looked like
  1. We aren’t even going to bother with Skad of the Kitchen Aide Scooter gang and his spinny shot during the big fight. Yeah, it’s a hard pass. The memes say enough.    
  1. There are too many side quests. The series doesn’t flow well because we are hopping from scene to scene, place to place in the story, and it is difficult to stay where you were in the story week after week. One moment, you’re with the Sand People; the next, you’re talking to the crime lords in town to arrange some kind of truce, and then you’re fighting the Pikes again. Then, weave the biker gang and their search for water, Fennec Shand and her new pneumatic stomach, and searching for a hidden mayor, which all results in us not focusing a limited run series on the titular character. Essentially, they tried to cram 10 gallons into a 5-gallon bucket. 

Let’s Discuss the Wins 

There are several good things about the series. The Book of Boba Fett has given us a few things that were great to see launched or brought back into the show, 

  1. Cad Bane. Cad Bane is one of the Clone Wars era’s greatest and most beloved bounty hunters. So many stories in The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Bad Batch involved Cad Bane, and he was just one of those bad guys you loved. Not a villain you love to hate, but one you genuinely loved seeing on screen.  So, getting him into a live-action show was a gift. You may disagree with his live-action rendering. You may disagree with his probable death. But you have to agree that getting him in the Boba Fett series was better than not. 
Cad Bane’s live-action appearance
  1. Black Krrsantan. To be perfectly honest, I had no previous knowledge of Black Krrsantan or his run in the comics. So when this large black Wookiee stepped in front of the camera and growled, boy, did I ever giggle. We have seen Chewbacca get mad and go off, but to see a Wookiee go full Wookiee was going to be fun. And it was. And it was great to see that the Wookiee and Trandoshan feud had not gone away, although it didn’t work out well for the Trandoshan fellow in the bar. I was fortunate to speak with Carey L. Jones, the actor under the Black Krrsantan fur, and talk about bringing this character to life. So that added to the fun for me. 
Black Krrsantan’s live-action appearance
  1. Cobb Vanth. Cobb is a character who made his way from a Chuck Wendig novelization to the television screen for both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett as the Marshall of the newly renamed Freetown. Perfectly cast and played by Timothy Olyphant, we will most likely see him again since the series finale shows Cobb Vanth being placed in Boba’s Bacta Tank back at Jabba’s Palace. 
Cobb Vanth wearing the armor of Boba Fett
  1. The Tusken Raiders. Both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett does work for the image of Tuskens or Sand People. This series humanizes them and shows how they have lived and survived a tough desert climate, the importance of community and family, and the culture of the Sand People. We often see them through Anakin Skywalker’s eyes when he says,” They’re animals, so I slaughtered them like animals.” So, having another perspective on the Tuskens was a win. 
  2. In the series finale, Boba looks at Fennec Shand and says, “ We aren’t suited for this,” which is both a win and a loss for the whole series. It is a win because it indicates that the next time we see Boba and Fennec, they will have abandoned Mos Espa and their less-than-exciting ways. But it is also a loss because, in a subtle way, it feels like an admission that this was a waste of a character and a series. 

Overall, is it worth a rewatch? 

There are more “wins” than “losses” in The Book of Boba Fett; however, the losses are pretty significant in size. It’s understandable why so many Star Wars fans are dismayed by this series and choose not to watch it again. I get it. But it does have value and deserves your rewatch, even if only in sections. 

So, instead of a full rewatch, focus on the Tusken Raiders and their story. You could also choose to focus on the introduction and live-action appearances of characters we loved before this series and those we came to love despite this series. You could choose to just watch The Mandalorian mini-season in the middle of Boba Fett as that has more to do with the story moving forward and to be perfectly honest, the balance of The Book of Boba Fett will likely have very little to do with any of that. It’s a one-off series that will likely never get a second season, and if it does, there will surely be some major retcons coming to fix the story that is in place and how we get back to badass Boba. 

But I think the series is worth a rewatch, particularly if you’re like me and do a chronological rewatch of the entire Star Wars filmography. This show has its place and adds to other series. Is it my favorite? Not at all. Neither is the Solo movie, but I watch that too. 

If you agree or disagree, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Don’t forget to join our super cool Inner Circle, get free loot, and interact with your favorite Couch Soupians. We saved a seat on the couch for you!

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