The Book of Boba Fett Episode 6 Review – more Mandalorians, more problems
This week’s The Book of Boba Fett continues to float in the stagnant waters of nostalgia, but they did manage to include one scene with the titular character. I’m really not sure how I feel about the second live-action TV series in the Star Wars franchise. There is an underlying feeling while watching the show that you are being manipulated by a malign Jedi mind trick, so spoilers follow.
There is no doubt that the whole enterprise is based on blatant fan service designed to trigger the pleasure centers of the human brain, and the frustrating thing is that it works. At the end of the episode, I literally gasped when I saw R2D2, pointed at the screen when Luke returned, and whispered to myself, “that’s Yoda’s lightsaber.”.
I love these moments. The Star Wars movies are part of my childhood, and seeing them on small screens takes me back to a time when liking Star Wars was a part of my identity. I can’t get past the endorphin high of seeing a silver tube that was once attached to a rubber puppet to ignore the fact all of this feels rather processed. It’s like watching an advertisement for lunch boxes or action figures.
We have a saying in my house: “Hey, look, it’s the thing I like.” We use it anytime a show indulges in some blatant nostalgia bait, and that’s all this show seems to offer, fan service. Right now, it’s a catwalk of characters we like more than Boba Fett. I find the whole thing to be so blatantly commercial and desperate, and worst of all, it doesn’t serve the story.
However you feel about Spider-Man: No Way Home, at least the plot was served by bringing back Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. The plot of Boba Fett is served by Grogu’s choice of becoming a Jedi or a Mandalorian. The answer to this question is, “Who cares?”? Baby Yoda is your favorite character, right? Take advantage of your swill and don’t forget to buy the Grogu cup’.
It just gets tiring. While I know it sounds grumpy, I can’t see past the flaws in Boba Fett and just look at it as a fun Star Wars sci-fi series. We could have seen the grim underbelly of the Star Wars galaxy in The Book of Boba Fett. Rather, it seems unconfident in its conceit and desperately tries to pad out its runtime with old things you already like.
Despite the awfulness of the show, there’s still the potential for something great. During this episode, we see the Pykes firebomb a cantina under Boba’s control. The scene in this chapter (and there was a lot I liked in this episode) remained with me the most because it was something I hadn’t seen in Star Wars before, a brutal gangland attack.
This could have been like The Godfather or Scarface if they hadn’t leant so much faith to the audience to not need the familiar tropes and cliches of Star Wars.
It should also be credited for finally introducing some stakes in The Book of Boba Fett. I was impressed by Timmy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth’s apparent demise; sure, he’s not an important character, but he’s a popular one, and the willingness to sacrifice a character who may have a long line of action figures in the future to give some attention to another character deserves praise.
Additionally, the entire sequence with Cad Bane was incredible and shows once again how good this series could have been if it had the courage of its convictions.
Compared to the CGI Luke in the Mando season 2 finale, CGI Luke looked better and less creepy. While Lucasfilm is clearly confident in the technology that de-ages Hamill, there are diminishing returns associated with bringing back Luke. The first time is fine, the second time is fine, but if you do it a few more times, fans will probably figure it out.
Honestly, I feel really conflicted about this episode. While it was fun, it didn’t grab me like it did with previous Star Wars adventures. Does it still rank among the best Boba Fett adventures? What’s the point any more?
Three stars is somewhere between two stars and four stars, so I’ll settle on that. Although good, The Book of Boba Fett is what you get when you open baked beans and find jam inside. Jam and beans are my favorite foods, but I wanted jam on toast. Boba Fett has one episode left, and I pray that we remember what this show is about. We need to stop setting up spin-offs and focus on the bounty hunter we all came to see.
The bounty hunter is supposed to be one of Star Wars’ most dangerous characters. Let’s prove it once and for all. Or how about doing episode 3 of season 3 of Mandalorian?