I’ve finally made it to the end of Boba Fett’s bookywook, and here to report on all the latest action from Tatooine as Boba and his gang finally stood up to the Pykes, whose name I now realise I’ve been spelling wrong in the last six pieces. But you really did need to know your Banthas from your protocol droids to make much sense of season ender In The Name of Honor; half the fun is having all the references and in-jokes explained. The big plus here is that after a long period of unexplained absence, Boba Fett himself actually turned up for this climactic episode, and after three episodes of noodling which moved the action forward in no way whatsoever, the finale melee was all action, no filla, all killa.
As a kid, I’d bought the Palitoy Star Wars toys, but any scenarios played out were hampered by the good guys vastly outnumbering the bad. Star Wars is an underdog story, but all the bad guys I could muster were one stormtrooper and Darth Vader, whose cape had got burned in a light-sabre fight too close to the burning sun of my bedside lamp, turning his cape into a revealing above-the-knee mini-dress. That lack of balance was one of many, many problems with The Phantom Menace; ultimately The Book of Boba Fett also suffered from too many heroes and barely there villains, but made up for it with the sheer verve of the smash’-em, bash-‘em no-holds barred street battle with has robots, vehicles and monsters a plenty.
So Boba Fett finally got boxed in by the invading Pykes, but not before re-enforcements arrived in the form of bucket-head brother The Mandalorian, Grogu aka Baba Yoda, Fennic Shand, sister of Scottish bandleader Jimmy, and the rubbish motorcycle gang previously seen back in episode three. Substitutions were made; the Pykes send in a massive force-field-protected robots, Boba calls up his pet Rancor monster. The action-figure fight spills out across the kitchen table and onto the floor as Boba and his pals have a Butch and Sundance finale, including a showdown with Lee Van Cleef tribute act Cad Bane. The endless call-backs to classic westerns have worn smooth, but a good fifty minutes of the last hour were just non-stop fighting with jet-packs, knee-rockets and whistling bird missiles, so who’s complaining?
Apart from me, that is, I’ve been complaining all the way through Boba Fett’s book, and I’m not stopping now. Anything but a compelling story well told, this meandering show never started getting any momentum going, sidelined the main character for half its length, and elicited mild curiosity when it should have been gripping like a vice. Using existing IP to shore up undercooked drama seems likely to be the Star Wars way going forward, and it’s not a great look. The Book of Boba Fett has been a lightweight, passively enjoyable show to watch, but it’s feels like an abandoned Boba Fett movie repurposed for television, and smacks off all the wayward, tap-dancing faults of the on-going Star Wars expanded universe. It’s notable that no-one ever really dies in this world; despite all the gadgets, nothing ever happens in this treading-water world of the bucketheads.