Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

FILM WITHOUT FLUFF | ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ Revives a Classic Film Icon


Disney has done it again, this time providing a television series sure to make content-deprived Star Wars fans breathe a sigh of relief. Released on Disney+ in December 2021, “The Book of Boba Fett,” created by Disney legend Jon Favreau, successfully incorporates beloved aspects from the 1970s Star Wars films with elements of modernity, meaning both young and old fans will find something to appreciate. 

The series follows fan-favorite Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) immediately after his surprise appearance in the second season of the widely successful space-western “The Mandalorian.” “The Book of Boba Fett” offers new beginnings for the stoic, blaster-slinging bounty hunter with nuanced storytelling that subconsciously recalls the nostalgic epicness of the original Star Wars trilogy and thought-provoking themes of political stagnation and community formation. 

For the readers who actually have a life and much better things to do than read Wookieepedia lore, Boba had previously served as a bounty hunter for Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy before he was pushed into the Sarlacc Pit by a temporarily blinded Han Solo. 

“The Book of Boba Fett” follows his escape from the pit, where director George Lucas originally sentenced his character to death by digestion in 1983. 

Throughout the first five episodes, flashbacks explain much of Boba’s past with minimal details provided on his future. The audience sees Boba’s escape, his survival in the scalding sands of the galactic Wild West, and his heroic rescue of his most important ally, Fennec Shand, who is brilliantly played by Ming-Na Wen, a popular actor in the Marvel and Star Wars universes.

“The Book of Boba Fett” wishes to start anew, as Boba recognizes his natural inclination for leadership. Alongside Wen’s intimidating performance as Shand, the duo exhibit a relationship of bipolarity that balances the use of hard and soft power in a partnered leadership position. They take several local youths under their wing and seek to appease their enemies rather than execute them. 

Boba is not afraid to knock over a few stools in a bar, but he also seems to recognize the importance of diplomacy and cordiality. Rather than make enemies, Boba seeks to form a coherent network of allies that deviates from dividing good and evil, suggesting a morally gray society different from the rebels.

The series’s biggest strength is its visual storytelling, which relies on callbacks to iconic scenes and near-poetic parallels with its base material. Chapter five, directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, sees the return of the Naboo starfighter, a combat ship last seen in “The Phantom Menace” that now functions as a sweet ride for the Mandalorian himself. The following episode welcomes back characters from across the Star Wars canon, Jedi and bounty hunters alike. 

All of these callbacks remind viewers — and perhaps the characters themselves — that there is a near-symmetric order to this galaxy, especially as it tries to reestablish itself. Their return tells viewers their story is incomplete, and thus maintains the ever-evolving and beautiful nature of the Star Wars universe that preserves memorable moments and seeks to create new ones in its forty-five year enduring epoch.

However, the show does have its various issues. With only a seven episode run, it is more of a pamphlet than a book, and its slow pacing has upset viewers and critics alike, with audiences asking when anything, other than landscape scenes and flashbacks, will occur. Is it too much to ask for lightsabers before a season finale?

The world-building is also inconsistent, as a running trope in the Star Wars universe revolves around how unremarkable the backwater planet of Tatooine is, even though everything remarkable happens on Tatooine. Long-time fans are left struggling to determine if this is still the planet a young Luke Skywalker left behind to save the galaxy or if the Star Wars franchise is veering too far away from what once made it great.

Nevertheless, Boba faces a new set of challenges upon his return to society, presenting his character a chance for growth that is endearing for viewers to watch. His attempt to find his footing as a leader who can break the mold of his past self is quite similar to how the contemporary American political community fights to make progress against the state of stagnation produced by previous governments and power struggles. 

Many of the issues Boba deals with are haunted by the past. In recent years, it appears the United States’ government has been dealing with the same thing. This current impasse in American politics mirrors the situation the writers of “The Book of Boba Fett” writers lay before us. 

This is an exciting new era for Star Wars, as its primetime renaissance flourishes under the helm of Jon Favreau and producing partner Dave Filoni. Wen and Morrison accompany “Mandalorian” star Pedro Pascal in their authentic performances as a band of outlaws doing anything to survive, continuously expanding their interwoven stories into the grandiose universe of Star Wars. 

The personal nature of the show’s character arcs offers an overarching, important tenet for its viewers to consider: not everyone is born a leader, but anyone is capable of becoming one. Sometimes all it takes is a reprise. 

Elena Martinez is a first-year in the SFS. Film Without Fluff appears in print and online every other week.

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