The Book of Boba Fett starts strong with a focus on Boba’s survival and naivety

Boba Fett (Temura Morrison) in Lucasfilm's THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
Boba Fett (Temura Morrison) in Lucasfilm's THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

Major spoilers ahead of The Book of Boba Fett

The Book of Boba Fett is finally here! The Disney+ series, which is a spin-off of The Mandalorian, wastes no time answering the long held question of how Boba Fett managed to escape the Sarlacc Pit.

After a sweeping view of his new digs, highlighting his throne, we’re reunited with the famed bounty hunter as he sleeps in a bacta tank (our first hint at his health issues).

We’re led through flashbacks including a shot of Kamino, a clip from Attack of the Clones after a young Boba finds his father Django Fett’s helmet, and Boba waking in the Pits.

His escape, involving the use of a dead Storm Trooper’s suit, is a quick moment that leads to the bigger story The Book of Boba Fett is interested in telling which focuses on the time after Boba made it out of the Sarlacc’s digestion tract.

It was a smart move by the writers to answer the pressing question of his escape right off the bat in a no fuss, no muss fashion because the real meat of this flashback lies in its ability to work as a contrasting story.

In the present, Boba is presented as a king. He has droids to help him into his armor, he sits on a throne, and he’s holding court. However, in the past, he’d been robbed by Jawas and taken prisoner by Tusken raiders. He’s literally dragged through the desert, dehydrated, and beaten.

Clearly he’s come a long way from the dire straits he had been in all those years ago, and it’s this juxtaposition that emphasizes how much Boba stands to lose in the series given how much he gained at the end of The Mandalorian season 2.

The Book of Boba Fett is a usurper’s story

There’s a grandiose nature to The Book of Boba Fett‘s opening episode–“Stranger in a Strange Land”–that’s fitting considering who the titular character is but it’s also grounded in the reality that though Boba is our protagonist, he’s also a usurper.

The throne he sits upon was one he took through murder by killing Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt’s majordomo who took over after his death. Now that Jabba’s territory is now Boba’s, there’s a shift in power that the bounty hunter must reckon with though, in a surprising turn of events, there’s a naivety to Boba’s position on the matter that was unexpected.

In most of the promo leading up to the premiere of the series, there had been a major focus on Boba’s ideal to rule with respect and not fear like Jabba had done. That ideal comes into play immediately as he’s receiving tribute which is his due as Mos Espa’s new daimyo.

He’s addressed as Lord Fett and, while some essentially kiss the ring, there is the problem of Mayor Mok Shaiz. Instead of coming to Boba, the mayor sends his majordomo in his stead. No tribute is provided, in fact, the mayor expects a tribute from Boba.

Fennec Shand, the bounty hunter’s own right-hand, has no qualms with killing the majordomo for the mayor’s insolence but Boba tells her not to.

While they both agree to keep an eye on the mayor and his ilk, the majordomo’s parting words about another delegate being sent clearly displays the mayor’s position: Boba Fett is the new daimyo, but Mayor Shaiz doesn’t respect him, his title, or his position.

That’s going to be a problem as he’s not alone in his stance as made obvious by the ambush Fennec and Boba suffer after a visit to the Sanctuary, a club run by Garsa Fwip (Jennifer Beals).

The duo paid her a visit so Boba could personally assure her that the establishment would run just as well under his leadership.

Garsa is definitely a character to keep an eye on as well though Boba and Fennec seem to take her passing allegiance without suspicion. Whether she’ll be friend or foe in the coming episodes is unknown, but she does give off the air of a woman who keeps her cards close to her vest and plays it smart as she assesses what to do next.

Not smart, however, was Fennec and Boba walking the streets with helmets full of credits that Garsa had given them. It’s another instance where naivety reared its head though, to be fair, this was a forced writing choice for plot reasons rather than one that made sense for either character. It does result in quite the fight sequence and chase scene so there is that.

Intriguingly, The Book of Boba Fett which seemed to be shopped as a crime drama during promo, feels very regal in its storytelling. The opening episode reads very much like the story of a fabled king. There’s the humble beginnings of Boba’s capture by the Tuskens, the place he earned (or stole depending on who tells the story) through blood, and who he believes himself to be.

I’m sure the crime drama will work itself in as we move further into the series but this is a show that’s aware of its main character’s place in the Star Wars universe. We’re meant to hold him to a certain ideal.

Even the end of the episode makes that clear as Boba’s escape attempts fail, only for his saving of a Tusken child from a desert creature to be what ultimately puts him in better standing with the raiders. His show of strength and compassion when he could have left the child to die given his circumstances are traits we’re meant to admire.

However, that latter trait could lead to his downfall. His health is a weakness that his Gamorrean guards, who served Jabba and Bib, are now aware of. He was blatantly attacked in the street which was a flagrant show of disrespect, and his position as daimyo is not as secure as he naively believed it to be.

While this is typical fair for a usurper’s story when they aren’t meant to be the villain, it’s interesting to see it done in a Star Wars series. Next episode we’re likely to find out who sent the assassins after Boba considering Fennec parkoured her way into taking one of the men hostage.

Hopefully there’s more political intrigue as the story moves us out of the necessary flashbacks and plants us firmly in the present.

It’s clear Boba intends to cut his own path on Tatooine, but he may be forced to concede on some of what’s expected of him. Likely not the litter Jabba rode on to display his power but the idea that respect would be given to him rather than him having to earn it by striking fear into those who seek to challenge him, doesn’t seem like it’s going to hold up long.

That ideal, after all, put him back in the bacta tank before the episode’s end.

Next. The Book of Boba Fett: Friendship equals respect – Boba and Fennec vs. Jabba and Bib. dark

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