At the post-credit sequence of last year's season 2 of The Mandalorian, we were teased with the adventures of Boba Fett and Fennec Shard, as they overthrow and kill Bib Fortuna at Jabba's palace in Tatooine. Now that it is here, The Book Of Boba Fett as it is called debuts on Disney+ today. To be fair, it has the high expectations of the previous Star Wars show as it establishes and redeems Boba Fett as this badass mercenary who has a strong code of honor but can also be a ruthless killer when demanded. So, with that said, is it as good as The Mandalorian? Well, for now, it's too early to tell but as far as the pilot goes, it's fine. It's not as big as the reveal in the pilot of The Mandalorian but it has some moments which are worth watching.
The episode begins with Boba Fett (played by TemueraTemeura Morrison) in the bacta-pod where he heals himself, and he begins to have dreams of his past. So, right out of the way they show us how he got out of the infamous Sarlacc pit where he unceremoniously fell in The Return Of The Jedi, and truth be told it's done in a pretty unremarkable way. But the surprising thing is the first few minutes have no dialogues at all save for Tusken raiders grunting as well as some gibberish from the Jawas who steal his armor. Then while the Tusken apprehend Boba as a prisoner, he's treated as a captive with horrible treatment from them. It's only until he eventually saves a Tusken child from a big sand creature attacking them while he's forced to dig water within the sands of Tatooine. While the past story explains how he got back in one piece, the present shows him receiving tributes and lines of respect from fellow crime-lord and powerful figures, although some aren't welcoming. One of them who happened to be Boba's old client gives him a tribute and says, "May you never leave Mos Espa", to which Boba confides to Fennec Shard (played by Ming-Na Wen), "Even when a Trandoshan pays you a compliment, it sounds like a threat". Another one is the Mayor of Mos Espa but his crony is sent instead to ask for a tribute from them rather than the other way around. (Fennec Shard's impatient quip of "Shall we kill him" made me chuckle a bit). Afterward, the Gamorreans who protected both Jabba the Hutt and Bib Fortuna as their bodyguards are offered to Boba Fett, in order to torture them for his loyalty. Boba recognizes that they're willing to pledge, instead opts for their word if he keeps them alive without torturing them. So, they go to Mos Espa sanctuary and meet with the owners to talk business. It's only then the action starts as they're attacked by some assassins who nearly defeat them until the Gamorreans arrive and save them. This leads to Boba getting injured again and orders Fennec to bring one of them alive for questioning, and she does so not before throwing one of the assassins down on the rooftop.
So, the episode is directed by Robert Rodriguez and this is an odd entry even for his filmography. Don't get me wrong, he directed one of the best episodes "The Tragedy" in Season 2 of The Mandalorian, and in that the action set pieces were spectacular, the no-nonsense cut to the chase approach was more than welcomed, and it also had a dramatic end to get fans excited for. Whereas in The Book of Boba Fett, while it's just a start, some areas leave a lot to be desired. For instance, the big action set pieces are the fight against the sand creature and the assassins, and they're surprisingly blandly staged unlike what he did previously. Also, the pilot for The Mandalorian had the big reveal of another character Grogu, affectionately called otherwise as Baby Yoda. But here, it's more minimalistic in its approach from its storytelling, dialogue, and action, it seems to me they're trying to move away from that hit show.
To which I personally don't mind because The Mandalorian did that just fine by moving away from the previous Star Wars iterations by creating its own identity and while this one has a tougher task in hand because of those properties and the character Boba Fett has been well established, maybe just one episode wouldn't be the parameter for now. But still, it's good to see Temuera Morrison play Boba Fett with dignity and charm, which wasn't there in the previous iterations. Ming-Na Wen is equally convincing as Fennec Shard, and to see her do flips and parkour around Mos Espa still makes her believable as this badass sharpshooter/right-hand for Boba Fett. Also, it's cool to see Boba's past explored now that he's the main protagonist of the show, and maybe with the new role as the overseer of Tatooine, he might do some cool stuff in the future. For now, this episode is a potent yet uneventful start for the cult character.