Each week, Dom from @movienerdreviews will be recapping The Book of Boba Fett, now streaming on Disney+.
Episode 1: Stranger in a Strange Land
It’s been an interesting time to be a Star Wars fan of late. Just the term fanboy and the idea of being a fan of a massive IP that’s become so invaluable to these studios as they struggle to survive during the COVID age seems exhausting. But after 4 years of confusing direction with the reintroduction of Star Wars into the film sphere, Star Wars ended up, in a very strange way, right in the place where George Lucas had seemingly intended for it to go in the first place: television.
The interesting thing about Star Wars and the reason why Disney had such a difficult time adapting it back to the big screen is because of the story they were attempting to tell versus the stories that were still interesting within the universe. The sad fact is that the attempted retcon of the Skywalker saga they attempted for the films was never going to work because at the end of the day, it wasn’t adding anything new that hadn’t already been tackled by the previous two trilogies, and lacked any real interest in pursuing a smaller scale story. However, there was one person, a man who fans had been screaming to replace Kathleen Kennedy for years, someone who had already been deemed the heir apparent by Lucas years before Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, someone who had already taken Lucas’ vision of Star Wars and translated it to the small screen in the most perfect and intimate way.
Dave Filoni pulled off the impossible with his two animated Star Wars series he did, “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels.” So naturally, when Bob Iger was looking for someone to team up with Jon Favreau to bring the first live action Star Wars show to life to flagship Disney’s pending streaming service, he needed look no further. What Filoni & Favreau pulled off with “The Mandalorian” truly did feel like something that was years in the making, and with the success of that show comes a series of Star Wars spinoffs that finally seem to be taking the franchise in the direction it should have gone in years ago, the first of them being something that was first announced in the post credits scene of the second season finale, “The Book of Boba Fett.”
The first episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” written by Favreau and directed by Robert Rodriguez, cuts between Boba now ruling Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire, and him escaping the Sarlacc pit and everything that happened to him on his journey towards meeting Din Djarin. It continues with Favreau’s signature style that he introduced in the Mandalorian, this very interesting brand of complete visual storytelling, truly letting the setting tell the story over characters delivering paragraphs of exposition; and above all else, letting the character’s actions speak louder than their words. Also similar to the Mandalorian is how he’s able to implement this very old school style of storytelling to channel the character’s motivations, as Din Djarin was wrapped in mystery that was progressively unwrapped the more time we spent with him. Boba’s struggle that’s outlined in this episode, which in 40 minutes gives us more character than any of the films we saw him in, is survival. Not a clone, but also not a true Mandalorian, cast aside by the world and having to fight for every scrap of existence, the show seems to be content with allowing the audience to understand that just because someone may have been intended for a certain destiny doesn’t mean they have to follow it, as Boba’s learning that ruling is a lot more difficult than bounty hunting, and that being tough but fair doesn’t always make for good leadership.