Spoilers will take the helmet off.

This might be the worst way to start this, but I may have to revise this review after a few more episodes. There’s only four as I write this, and to be honest I feel we’ve either yet to scratch the surface or we’re still waiting for the main plot to kick in. To speak the local lingo, I have a bad feeling about this. It’s funny, I was really interested in the story behind the return of Boba Fett when I was watching The Mandalorian, now I’m missing that show watching this. Whether this show will find its footing, it’s yet to be seen.

(Credit: Disney+)

The Book of Boba Fett (2021) is a Disney+ miniseries created by Jon Favreau. The story, told in a now very common fashion, is told in two timelines. In the current time Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) has just started his first steps as the new crime lord, the Daimyo of Tatooine, along with his associate Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). In the flashbacks, he’s crawling out of the Sarlacc Pit and starts his comeback from nothing.

Now, I would’ve loved Boba Fett as the most feared and ruthless bounty hunter in the Galaxy, but the premise is radically different for a reason. I guess they couldn’t just do another bounty hunter in Mandalorian armor because that was just done already. That’s too bad because that’s what he’s known for, but I have found cringy the fact that he’s also not an actual Mandalorian either. I’m willing to accept all those changes, but the one that I found even harder to accept is that somehow Boba Fett has some sort of code of honor now. There’s a conversation with Fennec where she thinks that his time with the Tusken Raiders changes him, but I didn’t see any transition.

The show is a bit of a mixed bag that right now overall falls short of the mark. I’m afraid my first problem is with Temuera Morrison’s performance as the main character in the first place. I can’t help that find this Boba Fett lacks the charisma to carry an entire series. The show has to depend a lot on Ming-Na Wen’s Fennec Shand to bring some personality into a dynamic that feels a little flat. This is going to sound very unfair, but I can’t help but thinking Pedro Pascal injected more gravitas into his performance with his mask on that Temuera Morrison showing his face.

There are some action beats that hit better than others. I was invested when Boba and the Tuskens raid the speeder train. He has just gained their trust and now wins it. On the other hand, we often see him deciding to employ people he just meets by taking a leap of faith. For some reason they’re willing to run into danger for him without a second thought or having a logical transition in which trust is established. Nowhere is this as jarring as when he decides to employ the Mods, a group of cyborg bikers from the streets of Mos Espa, just for them to risk their lives to save him when he’s attacked by Wookie bounty hunter Krrsantan. Also, that chase of the Major’s majordomo by the Mods was just meaningless and dull.

By the way, sorry for this fanboy moment, but Boba Fett used carry Wookie scalps. Somehow I don’t think a Wookie, much less someone with such a hostile demeanor as Krrsantan, would accept to work for the former bounty hunter. Boba employing someone who was just an antagonist on the previous scene is not what bothers me, it’s the lack of transition until they become almost fanatically loyal to him without any sort of transition where any rapport is formed. It feels very rushed in a show that seems to happen very slowly.

Boba and Fennec travel no less than three or four times to the Sanctuary. Yes, this is the cantina scene which has been done so many times and it’s still being done the same exact way every time. I just wish they’d have changed it at least a little. Now, I did love the character of Twi’lek cantina owner Garsa Fwip (Jennifer Beals), because she has more charisma and personality than everyone else in the show combined. She’s one of the few characters that is not wearing a scowl and seems to be having fun.

Barely recommended with reservations. Perhaps we need to wait for a few episodes to see if it picks up steam. So far, it feels heavy handed and plodding through every episode. It’s still missing some fun and lacks some subtle humour. Right now it feels like the first four episodes are still lacking enough excitement to justify watching the entire season. You can have your character be stoic and your world look grungy and used, but you can’t do it without adding some element of fun and entertainment. If you want to start watching I’d perhaps wait to see what comes out next.

Update: It may sound kind of unfair, but the fifth episode suddenly adds a little more beskar armor into the mix by bringing back an old friend. Definitely something that picked up my interest enough to keep me watching. However, the sixth episode goes in heavy-handed in nostalgic sentiment to the point of emotional blackmail. This felt a like a low blow instead of an interesting development.

That will do for now.