Spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett premiere follow!
After its announcement in the finale of the second season of The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett has arrived on Disney+, continuing the story of the famous bounty hunter with Temuera Morrison returning to bring the character to life. What follows, although well put together, feels unoriginal in the Star Wars canon, and sets up a greater problem that the Star Wars universe is rapidly beginning to face thanks to its greater expansion on the Disney+ platform.
For years, the concept of Marvel fatigue, the idea that as Marvel Studios continued to develop the MCU and rapidly release new entries, eventually the general audience would lose interest due to too much new content and ultimately abandon the franchise, has been one many people have brought up as a very possible and likely future, especially with the Disney+ service leading to even more content than ever before. However, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to top the box office and its shows climb streaming ratings week after week, a much different problem has arrived: Star Wars fatigue. For years, the Star Wars franchise releasing a new entry has felt like an event, with new films only happening once a year, after a decade long hiatus of absolutely nothing new in the series besides the Clone Wars animated series. Now with Disney+, we are getting more and more Star Wars content than ever before, but this is not always a good thing.
The Book of Boba Fett, while certainly not bad by any means, feels no different from The Mandalorian whatsoever. In fact, if the series had simply kept that title and been marketed as the third season of the popular series rather than a new spinoff, it would’ve fit right in with the show with little to no discrepancies. With the exact same creative team as The Mandalorian, there being similarities is a given. Unfortunately, there are much more than small similarities to be found in this latest Star Wars endeavor. Creative heads Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, alongside filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, find themselves retreading the road that they themselves paved, causing the series to feel unoriginal in the grand scheme of things, which could be a major detriment to this new series as it moves forward, and only contribute further to this Star Wars fatigue, which is sure to spread to many viewers as more and more Star Wars films and shows are produced in the coming years.
While it may feel creatively empty, there’s no doubt that The Book of Boba Fett is well put-together. Director Robert Rodriguez managed to add an incredible flair to his episode in The Mandalorian’s second season that led to one of the best episodes of the entire series, and that flair continues into this premiere, with Rodriguez’s signature style clear and present even within this highly sanitized environment that these “cinematic universe” projects can often be placed within. There are certainly no complaints to be made about the action and cinematography, which come together superbly to give Boba Fett that same intimidating feel that caused so many fans to fall in love with the character during the original trilogy despite his small screen time.
Temuera Morrison also feels right at home with the character, and it’s clear that he certainly does have a large passion for this character, making his return for an entire television series dedicated to the character feel like a nice moment for the actor to finally get to fully bring justice to this character. Ming-Na Wen is also great, as always, as Fennec Shand, a returning character from The Mandalorian who has joined Boba Fett on his latest mission as a crime boss on Tatooine. The two have a natural camaraderie and play extremely well off one another, which is sure to provide some of the series’ best moments as the season progresses.
Disappointingly, that progression does not feel very exciting. This premiere certainly sets the ground for multiple storylines moving forward, with the primary, present-day story seeing Boba Fett attacked by opponents of his hostile takeover of the crime syndicate once owned by Jabba the Hutt, as well as a flashback storyline detailing Boba’a journey between Return of the Jedi and his return in The Mandalorian. Unfortunately, these stories do not feel very fresh or exciting, and there’s very little given that could give viewers a genuine reason to want to return to the series next week, other than the Star Wars branding that will keep all hardcore fans watching week after week, whether they like the series or not. A continued over reliance on nostalgia is sure to plague the series just like it did the second season of The Mandalorian, and it is only a matter of time before other characters from the Star Wars universe begin to pop up within this series, thanks to the recent obsession of trying to turn Star Wars into the MCU, with big character crossovers and team-ups that feel unearned and lazy, and will only be able to take this series so far as it progresses.
Ultimately, while certainly helped by a very competent crew behind the scenes and a great director at the helm, The Book of Boba Fett feels less like the next evolution of the Star Wars franchise and more like simply the next episode of The Mandalorian, doing very little to create its own identity. It lacks that flair The Mandalorian brought, as well as the charismatic lead of Pedro Pascal, who is sorely missed in this latest endeavor. As the series continues over the coming weeks, hopefully it can create its own strong identity and craft an exciting new story in the greater Star Wars universe, but at the present, it feels like nothing new for this once incredible franchise, which is incredibly unfortunate to say the least.