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Photo: ‘The Book of Boba Fett’
Fans of the multi-media franchise, ‘Star Wars’ were overjoyed in 2020, when the creative team behind the hit streaming show, ‘The Mandalorian,’ revived the most revered bounty hunter in – not just the ‘Star Wars’ galaxy – but ours, as well. Yet, it wasn’t actually until late-2021 that viewers got to see the now-famous scene that ‘Parks and Recreation’ oddly predicted almost a decade ago, as the Boba Fett emerged from the double-sun-beaten sands of Luke Skywalker’s home planet, Tatooine. The son/clone bounty hunter of Jango Fett, introduced in ‘Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,’ assumed his role as the titular character of the long-overdue, seven-episode season of his own show, ‘The Book of Boba Fett,’ starring Temuera Morrison. And this past week, the Disney+ show aired its final episode, which saw beloved characters from all across the galaxy come together for unity – and for a gunfight.
‘The Book of Boba Fett’
Prior to his appearance in ‘The Mandalorian’ in 2020, it had been thirty-seven years since fans saw Boba Fett fly right into the mouth of a man-eating Sarlacc Pit. Sure, the character was resurrected in other forms of media, and was even seen as a child in both the 2002 film, ‘Attack of the Clones,’ and the hit series ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars,’ but in the sacred canon, Boba Fett was dead. Until he wasn’t. Re-emerged, with a newfound companion in Ming-Na Wen’s Fennec Shand, Boba Fett set his sights on Jabba the Hutt’s throne, becoming the watchful crime lord of Mos Espa, a city on the desert world, Tatooine. As the season of ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ went on, we were given vital backstory explaining the journey our protagonist has been on since his supposed death. However, episode 5 and episode 6 both veered off from the narrative the show had established, and followed another masked, jetpack-wearing man-of-few-words, Din Djarin, “the Mandalorian.”
More on Din Djarin later, but after those episodes ran, and the finale came to our screens, Boba Fett’s thematic character arc was satisfyingly actualized in the season’s climax. As mentioned earlier, Boba Fett was a bounty hunter, a contract killer for the highest bidder, whether that even be the totalitarian regime of the Empire. In the classic films, we actually saw Boba (first in ‘Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back’) working directly alongside the evil Darth Vader. Yet, by the time we see him in ‘The Mandalorian,’ he is aiding our titular protagonist in actively murdering stormtroopers (soldiers of the Empire). He then even goes on to help Mando find and rescue Grogu, his child foundling.
Then, in trailers leading up to, and in the actual episodes of ‘The Book of Boba Fett,’ Boba says he intends not to utilize fear to gain power, but “respect,” instead. Then, as the season progresses, he fights for freedom and leads what is essentially a vigorous anti-drug campaign for the planet of Tatooine, against the Pyke Syndicate – putting his life on the line for total strangers. What happened to the once cold-blooded killer, feared throughout the cosmos? Well, he nearly died.
It is said multiple times throughout the season of ‘The Book of Boba Fett,’ that after nearly dying in the tentacles of the Sarlacc Pit, Boba came to the realization that by being a bounty hunter, he was risking his own life to achieve the goals of incompetent idiots. In episode 3, when speaking to Black Krrsantan, Boba says, “take it from an ex-bounty hunter, don’t work for scugholes. It’s not worth it.” Then, in episode 4, he says, “I’m tired of working for idiots who are gonna get me killed.” He also says this line to Fennec Shand, another bounty hunter, whose profession also led her to a near-death experience. It seems, at least for this galaxy, the life of a bounty hunter is a short-lived one, an understanding the keen Boba Fett has come to, himself.
He saw the ways in which his lifestyle was putting him in danger, after being forced to confront that danger from the belly of a Sarlacc, and made the necessary changes in the name of survival. His time spent with the Sand People earlier in the season, also led him to the informed decision that a wolf won’t make it far without a pack. In seven episodes, two of which barely featured him, ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ took Boba from gunslinging accomplice, to a powerful and protective dimeau.
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Fans haven’t gotten to see their favorite Mandalorian since 2020. At least, that was until episodes 5 & 6 of this season of ‘The Book of Boba Fett.’ We catch up with our chrome-plated Din Djarin while he is on an active bounty hunt, slaughtering aliens with his new dark saber. However, though the audience is reunited with a good friend, we still felt the weight of an absence. Mando was without his little green buddy, the adorable Grogu. The last episode of his own show, saw the Mandalorian turn his foundling over into the protective arms of Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker. And still, in 2022, the two are separated as Grogu is off undergoing Jedi training with Mr. Skywalker. Din is approached by Fennec with an offer to join her and Boba’s team to defend Tatooine from the drug-trafficking Pyke Syndicate. Honoring the bond established in his own show, Din agrees to help, and is then more directly involved in the events of the narrative of the season.
While it felt a little odd as a viewer in attendance to see Boba Fett, seeing the return of the Mandalorian and Grogu, though separate, was welcomed – especially once you stop to consider what these two Mando-centric episodes, and the season finale, set up for them. ‘The Mandalorian’ season 3 seems to have already taken flight from the launchpad that secretly was ‘The Book of Boba Fett.’ The action-packed finale ended with a conclusion to the choice Luke gave Grogu, forcing him to pick between returning to the Mandalorian, or becoming a Jedi.
Yet, should Grogu pick Din, his timing could be either incredibly fortunate or incredibly unlucky, as the Pyke Syndicate begins their all-out assault on Boba Fett and his accomplices, Mando included. In the episode prior, we see Baby Yoda’s ability to use the force growing, now able to control and manipulate it. It is the tease of these new force-specific skills that promise to see Grogu play a much more dynamic role in the next installment of ‘The Mandalorian.’
Perhaps the award for biggest surprise appearance this season, does not go to Jedi Luke Skywalker, but to yet another bounty hunter. The infamous, blue-skinned, red-eyed, gunslinging badass, Cad Bane, came sauntering into town through the rippling desert heat waves in episode 6 of ‘The Book of Boba Fett,’ only to go on to play a much more menacing role in the finale. Cad Bane is a character that most fans are likely unaware of, unless they are devoted enough to have watched the animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” series, where he was introduced. The rivalry between Boba Fett and Cad Bane, specifically, can be traced back to Boba’s days as a child, elevating their showdown at the end of the finale to biblical proportions for longtime fans.
Bane’s inclusion into the live-action canon of Star Wars serves to further unify a franchise that is – for lack of a better word – sprawling, to say the least. After all, the ‘Star Wars’ canon extends through multiple generations and multiple military empires, as well as follows a wide array of different characters within those timelines, among different worlds, represented in different mediums. So, to not only have live-action characters like Young Boba Fett, Anakin Skywalker, and Obi-Wan Kenobi exist beyond the films and within animation – but to now also have characters like Cad Bane emerge into the live-action from the animated, makes the overall canonical story of ‘Star Wars’ feel like a coherent narrative, with the same inhabitants throughout (at least while they’re alive).
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Yet, Cad Bane’s inclusion also serves as a vital narrative element in the context of the story of this season of ‘The Book of Boba Fett,’ alone. As previously stated, this season of this show was to serve as sort of “bridging of the gaps.” Its intention was to show us Boba Fett where he is now, and the journey as to how he got there. Again, a huge part of that story was his close call with death as a bounty hunter, and his rejection of that lifestyle. However, Cad Bane serves as the opposite. Now an old, weathered, man, Cad is still a hired gun working for the highest bidder, just as audiences have known him. By pinning the new, ex-hunter Boba Fett against another figurehead in the ‘Star Wars’ bounty hunter gallery, we get a sense of the “what is” vs. the “what was” or “what could have been,” as the two find themselves engaged in a Western-style shootout.
This solidifies Boba Fett’s character realization and actualizes his arc, as it shows what would have awaited him had he stayed a stagnant, fan-favorite, blaster-wielding, badass bounty hunter, rather than grow stronger with the changes and lessons he gained since his time in the Sarlacc Pit. Boba Fett, himself even said that working for idiots like the Pyke Syndicate, would only get you killed in the end. And so, this thematic element, vital to the understanding and acceptance of the depth applied to such a cult-favorite like Boba Fett (a character thought by many to only be the epitome of the badass bad guy), comes in one of the most ‘Star Wars’ forms a true fan could have ever asked for: a quick-draw shootout in the streets of a desert town, reminiscent of the old Westerns which influenced so much of the franchise we know and love, still to this day.
If you find yourself looking to replenish your connection to the force, fear not, as Disney+ is treating fans yet again, with the May 25th premiere of the much anticipated ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi,’ starring Ewan McGregor.
Cast: Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, Frank Trigg, Collin Hymes, Matt Berry, Pedro Pascal
Creators: Jon Favreau
Writers: Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni
Producers: Robert Rodriguez, Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy
By Connor Garvin
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Connor Garvin has been a writer for as long as he can remember. Writing has enabled him to distill the thoughts within his own head, as well as allowed him to have those same thoughts heard. Connor is a screenwriter, and filmmaker more generally, with a focus on television. He also believes that real change only occurs if everyone is heard, and is therefore a proud champion of the arts, and a kindred spirit to The Hollywood Insider and its values.