In popular entertainment, there are far worse ways to end a story than by delivering exactly what the audience expects. The end of Boba Fett’s Book is essentially one long battle scene involving almost every character that has appeared in the series, a textbook highlight for an action-adventure series. It’s an action-packed hour punctuated with comedy and what might charitably be called “character moments,” all executed with the bare minimum of style or finesse. Like the series as a whole, it has all the ingredients to make a good star wars, minus the basic elements needed to make a good TV show. If watching cool action figures blow up aliens and robots is all you need, you’re golden. If you’re looking for compelling characters or clearly defined themes, you’re out of luck.
“Chapter Seven: In the Name of Honor” begins with Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and his gang inspecting the ruins of Garsa Fwip’s shrine, the casino that was bombed by the Pyke Syndicate at the end of the episode. last week. Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) arrives with the news that the people of Freetown will help fight the Pykes for free on the condition that Fett put a stop to the local drug trade. Fett agrees to these terms, despite being reminded by Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) as to what the hell are they in. They take control of Jabba the Hutt’s territory, and Fennec finally makes it explicit that most of Jabba’s income came from selling the addictive drug Spice. But, says Fett, since “Spice is killing our people” (we never see it), the crime family is now officially barred from the drug trade, turning exclusively to selling “protection.” It’s no surprise that the rest of the crime families, who previously told Fett they would remain neutral in his war against the Pykes, all end up siding with the crime family who are still in the crime business. .
The Mods, Skad (Jordan Bolger) and Drash (Jordan Bolger), convince Fett to make his last fight here in town, rather than return to the palace. Mos Espa is their home and they refuse to leave their people at the mercy of the Pykes. It would mean more if Skad and Drash had been developed as characters, but at least they serve a purpose as proxies for the oppressed citizens of Mos Espa that Boba Fett has sworn to. extort protect. It also seems like this is meant to represent Fett’s growth from now being a selfless, community-minded warrior rather than a ruthless mercenary, but this ‘compassionate pillar’ persona is the only version of the character we have. seen on this show. , so growth is invisible. The same goes when Fett resists being dragged into a shootout with bounty hunter Cad Bane (Corey Burton) while outnumbered. It’s supposed to demonstrate a newly acquired maturity, but Fett has been anything but a hothead this whole time.
The Pyke army arrives at Fett’s stronghold, and with the Mods and Shand occupied elsewhere, he and Djarin are left to defend their position alone. A few attempts to outsmart or confuse the enemy, such as using the mayor’s wordy personal assistant (David Pasquesi) as a distraction, fail, but thankfully relief comes when the people of Freetown arrive, as promised. This is the pattern the battle follows for the next 25 minutes or so, the tide turning in both directions as new players, friends and foes alike, arrive on the scene. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s a reliable way to keep a long battle interesting, and it shows us that Boba Fett’s real book was the friends he made along the way. When Fett’s allies arrive, the Pykes counter with thirty-foot-tall battle droids, causing Fett to return riding the rancor. A giant monster fights giant robots, and you really can’t go wrong with that. Sweet Grogu returns, rescues his Mandalorian daddy and uses the Force to quell the raging grudge and they take a sweet little nap together. This puppet is pure TV magic and I can’t complain that he’s there. Again, the part of the show that is pure star wars the pleasure is there.
The climax of the battle is a showdown between Fett and Cad Bane, which is a last-ditch effort to make this series something. It’s essentially a duel between Fett’s old way of life as a ruthless killer and his new way of life as a crime sheriff. Bane (as he is loosely referenced here) was a close associate of Boba’s father, later Boba’s bounty hunting mentor, and came to deliver one last lesson: “Take care of yourself, everything else is weakness.” Fett eventually kills Bane using his gaffi stick, a symbol of his connection to others. As a scene, it absolutely works! As a thesis statement for the series, it fails because Boba Fett’s Book did nothing to portray Fett’s redemption as an internal struggle. At no point in this show did it seem like Fett was in danger of reverting to his old self, and we never see that old self in flashback. He is a team player from the first episode, when he tries to convince another captive of the Tuskens to plan their escape together. There is no arc here. I would have liked to see the series to which this ending would feel deserved.
The story ends with Boba Fett and his crew walking the streets of Mos Espa being hailed as their benevolent protectors, but this ending is made possible not because Fett won the day with the power of teamwork, but because Fennec Shand escaped during the climax to brutally slaughter the mayor and all of Pyke’s management – you know, that ruthless bounty hunter shit that Fett came out of. Because it’s not very emotionally satisfying, the series finale scene is Din Djarin and Grogu driving off in their new spaceship, doing some of their cute “gruff daddy and cute baby,” which at least makes me smile. in the credits. rolled.
In 2004, writer-director Kevin Smith (who, like this episode’s director, Robert Rodriguez, is an ascended 1990s independent filmmaker) preemptively warned that his next film, jersey girl, “wasn’t made for criticism.” It was mocked at the time as a blanket statement to protect himself and his film from any negativity, as if to say “If you don’t like my work, that’s fine. I didn’t do it for you. Actually, I have no objection to that attitude, in fact I think it’s a healthy way for an artist to approach their own art.
But there’s another way for something to be ‘not for critics’, and that’s so that it’s only enjoyable on the simplest, most superficial level and doesn’t pass the less scrutiny. Boba Fett’s Book is best enjoyed casually, with your brain completely turned off. Not just “sit back and enjoy the explosions”, but “reject all norms and expectations”. If you were able to do this, I sincerely envy you. Next time there’s a new star wars series, that’s how I plan to absorb it. But for the past six weeks, my job has been to watch this show and think about it for three to four hours straight, and it hasn’t been a rewarding experience. This is clearly not the way Boba Fett’s Book was made to be watched. It’s not for critics. Do as you see fit. As for me, I hang up my helmet.