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Warning: This is the Way to our The Book of Boba Fett episode 3 review which contains mild spoilers – turn around to go in completely clean!
There’s a deep pleasure in seeing Boba Fett ride a Bantha across the desert of Tatooine. Director Robert Rodriguez and writer Jon Favreau know this – there are two long, sweeping shots of the bounty hunter atop the beast.
And yet, Boba moving slowly back and forth as the Two Suns beat down upon him makes a good metaphor for the third episode’s problems.
The show’s triumphant second episode (thanks to Bradley for stepping in to review) introduced The Twins, Jabba’s cousins. Now, they are already heading back to their homeworld, Hutta.
Their lieutenant, the bounty hunter Black Krrsantan, looked set to cause mischief – and does exactly that during an assassination attempt.
However, Boba’s crew captures Krrsantan, and the evil Wookiee is quickly set free in Mos Espa. Krrsantan will inevitably return, but his feud with Boba is over too soon.
And then there’s the group of Tusken Raiders, so carefully introduced across the opening two episodes, swiftly murdered (have they not suffered enough?) and removed from the chessboard.
These characters will likely return, but their various trajectories have been dramatically altered in an unsatisfying fashion. Perhaps more frustratingly, though, there was so much promise.
Take the dinner scene with Boba and Fennec after Krrsantan crashes Boba’s beauty sleep. There’s tension. How will they respond to the Hutts? There’s a hint of The Godfather as Boba carefully ponders the options.
The Hutts arrive – and then they’re off home. Oh. Boba lets Krrsantan go. Erm. The whole scene’s anti-climatic, and when the Twins reveal there’s another threat somewhere, it’s disappointing.
Krrsantan and the Hutts versus Boba Fett and Fennec Shand looked set to be a season-long story, Now, Boba has smaller fish to fry: the Pykes.
Getting that information requires Boba to revisit the city’s mayor. This time, the mayor’s not around, but, thanks to some earlier maneuvering, Boba has a group of capable droid-enhanced Space Mods – a colorful tribute to Quadrophenia – at hand to give chase.
There’s an excellent action sequence as they race through Espa and Boba learns of the Pykes. Yet, it’s testament to their unthreatening nature that Star Wars fans are already speculating the calamari clan cannot be the true villains of the Book of Boba Fett.
Yes, we saw them fight the Tuskens last time around, but they simply do not have the weight (or legacy) that the Hutts had.
The revelation makes the episode feel like another stepping stone rather than telling its own taught story. Boba employing the Space Mods is a nice piece of Tatooine politicking (hello, Office Space’s Stephen Root!) that masks more story assembly.
Meanwhile, where the Tusken Raiders’ working as Fett’s enforcers in Mos Espa previously seemed like destiny, they are dead, and Flashback Boba wants revenge for them – another setup for a payoff later down the line.
Even the Rancor’s introduction (hello, Danny Trejo!) teases Boba riding the animal, just not today.
The Mandalorian successfully had a “monster of the week” structure, with every episode relatively disconnected while carefully constructing an overarching story about a masked man taking a green youngling home.
The Book of Boba Fett attempts something similar, but the hook – Boba establishing himself as Jabba and Fortuna’s successor – does not have the same clear direction.
The opening episode hinted at Mos Espa’s mayor being the main enemy, then the Hutts came along, and now the Pykes are here.
There’s a complicated mix of crime families crisscrossing with one another, but Boba needs a singular enemy to play crescendoing gangster games with. The third episode ends up going back and forth too much, offering an unfulfilling entry in the Star Wars series.
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