Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Scattered thoughts on THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, Season One.
– On the whole, I need to process and eventually dismiss the feeling that I was tantalized with the idea of one sort of show and ended up receiving another, even though I was not in any way promised the first. I had hoped to see Star Wars really explore the crime genre with this series in the way they had explored samurai cinema with The Mandalorian, but while we saw some brief nods to those conventions, overall the series lacked the depth of character and the intricacy of plot to make that work. One wonders what this show could have been if you’d hired Ed Brubaker to write most of it instead of Jon Favreau.
– Repurposing a thought I left elsewhere, and continuing my lament about depth of character: There was genuine opportunity here to really examine Boba, and that opportunity was ultimately squandered. The team behind the animated Clone Wars spent more than a few episodes showing us what happened to Boba after we last saw him holding Jango Fett’s head on the surface of Geonosis — at first a furious child seeking vengeance on Mace Windu, later a member of a mercenary crew well out of his depth, and finally the cold, merciless bounty hunter we would meet in Episode V. This series then showed us a man adrift, finding some sense of himself with the Tuskens, and then shifting yet again to the role of benevolent crime lord.
The emotional core of Boba Fett, then, is a yearning for a single identity that won’t be taken from him by external factors. And this is especially potent for someone who is quite literally a clone of his father. There were chances throughout this series to let Boba delve into that, and if they were taken at all, they weren’t taken nearly far enough.
– I also wish there had been even the slightest hint that Mos Espa meant anything to Boba prior to his taking the seat of power. Give me even one flashback, among the many you otherwise provided, that shows a vagabond Boba surviving on these streets and finding a kinship with its citizens — the sort of thing that might make even a hardened criminal come back here to take a stand against a tyrannical syndicate. “You can have the rest of the galaxy, but these people have been good to me, and are now under my protection.”
– And on the subject of flashbacks: I am in favor of this device but I have a preference for what I felt Lost did well, which was use flashbacks to inform individual character and explain actions being taken in the present narrative as a consequence of either experience or behavioral pattern. The flashbacks here largely served only to explain a handful of things about Boba, specifically the notion that he now believed in the power of community after his time among the Tuskens.
– I generally enjoy Robert Rodriguez films. He has a spirited, toys-in-the-backyard quality to his direction that often makes sublime moments out of the patently ridiculous, like his Grindhouse film PLANET TERROR, or the excessively hard-boiled noir of Frank Miller’s Sin City But I think there was a fundamental disconnect between his aesthetic and the way Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen were playing their characters that speaks to the overall slapdash nature of the production.
– This finale was full spectacle, which is why it made sense for Rodriguez to handle it. But it still feels like the war happened all at once, and when the firefight commenced I had a lot of questions about urban battle tactics on both sides, as well as the foolhardiness of continuing to fire energy weapons at force-fielded droid after it became clear they weren’t even making them flinch. (And hooboy, between the desert planet, the Sarlacc, all the stuff about a spice as commodity, and now having to break through those shields with slower kinetics, you can feel the arched eyebrows coming from the estate of Frank Herbert.) There’s a bewildering thing about Boba expressing concern that the droids will destroy the city and then doing more to destroy the city with his Rancor than the droids did with their targeted strikes on Boba’s forces.
– However, the scene where Fennec Shand ends the war for Tatooine unilaterally is outstanding — the sort of brutal tone I had hoped the rest of the series would embrace.
– At the same time, giving us two episodes of Cad Bane and only offering us a taste of their shared history before dispatching him entirely was an unfortunate choice…the sort of choice, yet again, that shuts off the possibility of diving further into who Boba is at his heart.
– I rather wish they hadn’t resolved Grogu’s choice in this episode, but had saved it for the next season of The Mandalorian. As much as I enjoyed watching the 50 year-old tyke doing his thing again, it feels like it undercuts the gravity of Grogu having found Luke in the first place, which was a journey that took two entire seasons of The Mandalorian to achieve. It doesn’t sit right with me for that to be undone within about ten minutes of Boba Fett.
– The theme isn’t my favorite composition of Ludwig Goransson’s–and it doesn’t achieve the heights of his theme for The Mandalorian, arguably the most iconic piece of Star Wars music since John Williams’ “Duel of the Fates”–but it was fine. At least it was fine for me until somebody thought it would be cute during the finale credits to make the vocalists sing “FETT! BO-BA FETT!”
– Look, it’s Star Wars. I enjoy spending time in the sandbox even when I’m not all that satisfied with the castle. (See also how I feel about Marvel.) I am going to hold out hope that Deborah Chow’s upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi and Tony Gilroy’s Andor feel more like singular and complete stories. I had seven distracting hours over as many weeks and now this Facebook post about it, and that’s about the sum total of the real estate it’s going to occupy in my brain going forward.