Fans have long looked forward to the latest Star Wars Disney Plus streaming series, The Book of Boba Fett. The first tease for the show, glimpsed at the end of Season 2 of The Mandalorian, and subsequent footage shown in trailers seemed to promise big action as Fett took over the organized crime scene on Tatooine. Fans were excited about seeing what Fett would do next and hype was high. And yet, through two episodes, we’ve seen very little action in the present day and the slow, deliberate pace of the flashbacks have left fans unsure of to think.
“The Book of Boba Fett doesn’t have an identity yet.” “The Book of Boba Fett is unsure of what kind of show it wants to be.” “The Book of Boba Fett has yet to find its footing.” These types of reactions provided a decent summary of some of the particular criticisms of the series so far. And from the standpoint of the audience, they are fair criticisms; however, what became clear after viewing Chapter 2, “The Tribes of Tatooine”, is that the creatives behind this show (Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni and Robert Rodriguez) know exactly what they want the show to be and, per usual, are making no bones about it.
While fans are understandably eager to see Fett kick all sorts of ass, the creatives have a different angle in mind, at least in these first two episodes. As fans, including myself, have complained about how we could easily put the pieces together of how Fett got back on his feet following his escape from the Sarlacc, what is being overlooked, by some, is that what we are getting is a story that redefines a character that we never really knew much about in the first place. When he swooped in and reclaimed his armor in Season 2 of The Mandalorian, fans of the character took to social media cheering the return of the character. “Boba is back, baby!!” But the reality being presented to us is quite different: Boba is not back. And since we never really knew Boba, we’re getting the opportunity to get to know him now.
It was a bold choice by the creatives to deconstruct the character the way they did. They literally stripped him bare of what made him iconic and did so in order to be able to tell us a better story down the road. His escape from the Sarlacc, subsequent stripping down by the Jawas and the ongoing story with the Tuskens will, when it’s done, be the defining period of this new Fett. His time with the Tuskens is growing more interesting over time and the experiences he’s having there will shape him into the man we see in the present day.
We’ve seen him symbolically reborn and deconstructed and what we’re witnessing now is the creation of essentially an entirely new character. He may wear the familiar armor, but this is not the same old Boba. The Book of Boba Fett is not here to continue the story of the iconic bounty hunter, told nicely over the years in the canonical animated series, it’s here to define the character anew.