I never got the appeal of Boba Fett. Yes, his armor was pretty cool and his role as a bounty hunter made him mysterious, but I was more drawn to Luke and Han. In The Mandalorian, Temuera Morrison fleshed out the character as a rugged shell of the fan favorite. And then the post-credit scene of Mando season two got my attention.
The episode begins with a flashback sequence where we see Boba Fett escape the Sarlacc Pit and survive being prisoner to the Tusken Raiders. After being woken up by his assassin, Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), Fett proceeds to assert his place as the ruler daimyo of Tatooine’s criminal underworld. While making the rounds in Mos Espa to meet with Jabba’s old vassals, Fett and Shand are attacked by thugs. Boba Fett is left wounded and brought to a bacta pod, which cuts back to the flashbacks with the Tusken Raiders.
Everything with Boba asserting his place as crime lord had me hooked. From the look of the trailers, I got the feeling of a sci-fi hybrid of Game of Thrones and The Sopranos. The throne room scene is suspenseful and gives an idea of the political climate of the underworld; with some questioning the change in leadership and those who wish to keep loyal with Boba. And the conversations between him and Fennec Shand feel like something out of The West Wing with the two contrasting different approaches; Boba Fett governs directly and based on respect, while Fennec insists that Fett adapts the customs Jabba used.
My least favorite thing about the episode would have to be the flashbacks. I get why they’re here — it shows what Boba Fett endured after the events of Return of the Jedi. And the fight with the creature near the end was intense. But I couldn’t help shake the feeling that this felt too much like an Expanded Universe book. I was waiting to jump back to the action in Mos Espa.
For a first episode, this was solid and does the job well. It establishes the tone of the series well and sets the dominoes in place for things to come. The action is well-choreographed and seeing what’s essentially a gangster story in the Star Wars universe has me excited. And while I wasn’t too keen with the flashbacks, it had some strengths. With a strong opening like that, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the series has in store.