The Book of Boba Fett’s first chapter, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” brings back a long-time fan favorite who recently appeared in The Mandalorian. Now he has his own show! I remember reading scores of Star Wars tie-in novels about him when I was a kid, and it all boiled down to one thing: this guy is an unmitigated badass. But even badasses fall… this time into a Sarlacc Pit. The Book of Boba Fett appears to be, from first glance, what happens after you climb out of a Sarlacc Pit and begin to actually age.
For the uninitiated, Boba Fett is/was a bounty hunter; he’s the guy who captured Han Solo at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, and who froze him in carbonite. He’s also a clone of his father, Jango Fett, who appeared in Attack of the Clones. That was a retcon or a cool reveal, depending on how you feel about giving mysterious characters backstories. If you’re not familiar with Boba Fett, though, I’m not sure why you’d be watching this. It relies on a lot of knowledge of Return of the Jedi, namely the Jabba’s Palace scenes, and in order to get the most out of it, you have to know where you are. In that sense, it’s different from The Mandalorian, which even non-Star Wars fans could get a lot of enjoyment out of.
Temuera Morrison is back as Boba Fett. He’s just got such a great face and a wonderfully charming, gruff demeanor that he’ll easily be one of Star Wars’ best leads. Ming-Na Wen is also pretty excellent as Fennec Shand, the assassin and sharpshooter we last saw in The Mandalorian. The two have good banter and rapport which feels like it’ll carry The Book of Boba Fett. The imagery of Tatooine is just as fun as it should be for Star Wars’ first major planet. The story might be its weakest point, but to be honest, it’s too early to judge.
About half of “Stranger in a Strange Land” takes place in flashbacks, as Fett goes into a bacta tank and relives his escape from the Sarlacc Pit and his captivity at the hands of Tusken Raiders. Unlike Anakin Skywalker, he’s actually fairly nice to them; he rescues a young Raider during a fight against some desert creature, and they seem to accept him as one of their own. The rest of the episode takes place in the present, as Fett navigates being the crime lord of Tatooine without ruling with an iron fist like Jabba did.
As Fett and Shand collect tributes, they’re attacked, and while Shand pursues the would-be assassins, Fett’s pretty quickly injured and rushed back to the palace, where he once again reflects on his past. All in all, this episode feels like a set-up for greatness later on and doesn’t have a big “woah” moment like the reveal of The Child/Grogu. Still, it’s fun to see a fan favorite claim such a key role in the balance of the galaxy, and it’ll be interesting to see how The Book of Boba Fett moves forward.
The Book of Boba Fett will air Wednesdays every week on Disney+.