Some people have a problem with the Book of Boba Fett, and they’re pretty vocal about it. To some, it’s a show that ruins the character by not making him the violent, bounty hunting badass people expect. For other’s the mere act of giving Boba more than a few minutes of screen time ruins his mystique.
While I’ve argued that Boba Fett’s eponymous TV show isn’t as bad as people make out, it’s not perfect. The show has its fair share of flaws, there’s no denying it. But the show’s biggest failing is the fact it hasn’t escaped the shadow of The Mandalorian, the show that launched Boba Fett back into the limelight.
Here is your spoiler warning, though, as spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett episode 5 and 6 follow. Heck, judging from the last two episodes of The Book of Boba Fett, the show doesn’t seem to want to stand out on its own.
Boba Fett lost control of his own book
The first four episodes of The Book of Boba Fett focussed on where the feared bounty hunter had been in the five years between Return of the Jedi and The Mandalorian, plus his plans to take over from Jabba the Hutt.
Meanwhile episode 5 is just another episode of The Mandalorian, focussing on where Din Djarin went after he surrendered Grogu to Luke Skywalker. Episode 6 focuses on what happened to the green Yoda-like alien himself, plus a minor side plot that advances the Tatooine-based story a little bit.
The titular character barely gets a mention, let alone any lines, only showing up as a background character while Fennec Shand briefs Boba’s allies on what's going down with the Pyke Syndicate.
The Book of Boba Fett can feel ghost-written by Din Djarin
Don’t get me wrong, I love both The Mandalorian (the show) and Grogu. But it’s not unreasonable to expect to sit down to a show named after Boba Fett and expect it to be about, well, Boba Fett. Not Mandalorian season 2.5.
If Lucasfilm really wanted to cover whatever antics Mando and Grogu were up to without eating into season 3, they could have filmed a couple of specials to bridge the gap. If that meant Boba Fett ended up with a smaller episode count, that wouldn’t have been the end of the world.
At the very least it would have kept the two shows separate and distinct, It also means future Mandalorian binge watchers won’t have to switch to a different show to get the whole story.
It’s not as though there’s a shortage of stories to tell about Boba Fett. The bounty hunter has been a long-standing member of the Star Wars expanded universe for decades, appearing in dozens of books, comics and video games in some shape or form.
But instead of doing that, Book of Boba Fett quickly transitioned from telling Boba Fett’s post-sarlacc backstory to giving up padding out the episode count with unnecessary filler ahead of what promises to be a big showdown.
Boba Fett is devalued in his own show
But unlike, say, anime adaptations that need to slow the pace down because it caught up to the source manga, this feels more like Lucasfilm turning Boba Fett into a side character on his own TV show. The Luigi to Mando’s Mario, so to speak.
It’s not that Boba Fett can’t escape the shadow of the show that brought him back from the dead, it’s that Lucasfilm isn’t letting him.
Sure, Mandalorian was the first live action Star Wars TV show, proving to be such a big hit that it ensured the franchise’s future on television and spawned at least two spin offs — possibly three, depending on what Rangers of the New Republic ends up being. But those shows aren’t going to last if Lucasfilm keeps forcing more links to the great adventures of Mando.
Having Din Djarin show up in the Book of Boba Fett is not a huge stretch. After all it’s the crime lords and other ne’er do wells that tend to hire bounty hunters in the first place. But this isn’t his story, it’s Boba’s. If he’s going to show up, he needs to stick to the sidelines and let the original Mandalorian do his job.
Here’s just hoping the finale can rectify this problem. Not only by giving Boba the chance to actually partake in some proper action, but also to reiterate that this is his show — not a way to try and distract us while Mando and Grogu grow behind the scenes. Otherwise the show might as well be the TV equivalent of an optional side quest.