Star Rating:

The Book of Boba Fett 12+

Streaming On: Watch The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+

Season: 1

Episode: 1

Actors: Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen

Release Date: Wednesday 29th December 2021

Genre(s): Crime, Sci-Fi

Running time: 38 minutes

Robert Rodriguez's early work, specifically 'El Mariachi' and 'Desperado', would initially lead you to think that 'The Book of Boba Fett' is going to be something along those lines.

Lots of highly choreographed shootouts, a flavour of guitar over the soundtrack, a little bit of humour to give it some spice, and generally served up with a good sense of pacing. Yet, the opening chapter - titled 'Stranger In A Strange Land - feels closer to some kind of creature feature than anything else.

It begins with a darkened chamber inside of Jabba's Palace where we last left Boba Fett. After shooting Bib Fortuna and throwing him off the throne, Fett and Fennec Shand are now trying to get to grips with being crime lords. The Hutt Cartel's interests dominated almost every aspect of Tatooine, so it stands to reason that most of the series is going to be set on the desert planet. Much like 'The Mandalorian', Jon Favreau's script is light on dialogue but heavy on action. Boba Fett, in the original trilogy, famously had four lines of dialogue in 'The Empire Strikes Back' and not a single line in 'Return of the Jedi'. In fact, the only noise he made in that movie was when his jetpack malfunctioned and shot him right into the Pit of Carkoon where he was last seen digesting slowly.

Most of the episode is set up in flashback, with Fett blasting his way out of the stomach of the Sarlacc - that's the creature inside the Pit of Carkoon - before he's then jacked by Jawas who steal his armour and leave him to be picked up by Sand People. Again, the lack of dialogue throughout the episode actually is a help rather than a hindrance. Temeura Morrison is more than capable of transfixing an audience with his wild glare, so it makes sense that he's a man of action rather than words. While he's being poked and prodded by the Sand People, Fett eventually finds himself face to face with a giant, multiple-armed desert creature straight out of Ray Harryhausen. As you'd expect, it's a flashback so Fett survives and in doing so, wins the respect of the Sand People by his strength.

Despite Rodriguez's history with Westerns, pistoleros, more of his output with horror seems to be at work here. The sequence inside the Saralaac's stomach, for example, is pretty damn ick for 'Star Wars' and the final fight with said desert creature begins almost like something from 'Tremors'.

As opening episodes go, the first chapter of 'The Book of Boba Fett' tackles the obvious questions and gets them out of the way so as not to distract from the rest of the season. Most of the trailers thus far have footage taken from the first episode, which leads one to hope that the rest of the season is going to be quite different. In fact, Disney informed us just before Christmas that no screeners would be available prior to release. If the first episode is merely setting the stage, the next episodes will undoubtedly need to give him a reason to be there.

Boba Fett has predominantly been a character that's existed in the background, or working as a henchman for some larger threat. Given that the character still holds this fascination, it's going to be interesting to see where it goes from here. Will the mantle of crime lord suit him? Is he more used to taking orders than giving them? The opening episode doesn't go into these ideas just yet, instead reminding us that Boba Fett is above all else a survivor. Now that he's out of the desert, what now?