After a season of a few episodes of dedicated time with Boba Fett and his history with the Tusken Raiders, followed by a two-episode detour, Favreau, Filoni, and Rodriguez have to wrap everything up in one episode. Lucasfilm is already moving on to Obi-Wan Kenobi, releasing the official first poster for the series the same day this finale released. The whole marketing campaign surrounding this show has been off from the beginning. Turns out that was a precursor to the chaos that is The Book of Boba Fett.
After the first episode, I said that the sum of this show might be greater than the parts. In the end, the opposite proved to be true. There were some great parts to an underwhelming story. “In the Name of Honor” gives us Boba’s complete transition from a bounty hunter to a surface-nice crime lord.
Well That Didn’t Last Long
We spent an entire season building up for Mando and Grogu to say goodbye, and it is undone in one episode. And not even on Mando’s show, but on someone else’s. One episode of Luke and Grogu and the little guy has changed the decision he made in “Chapter 14: The Tragedy.”
And while Luke does not make an appearance in this episode, R2-D2, and his X-wing do, as Grogu’s chauffers. It is good to see R2 piloting a ship as he has done occasionally, especially in The Clone Wars. But the droid is only here to drop the dropout off and head back to Luke. Things move quickly in the Mando Streaming Universe because Grogu has to come back to save the day (we’ll get to that later).
I was excited that the creators chose to leave Star Wars’ golden goose with Luke and off The Mandalorian so that Mando could have some much-needed character progression on his own. Alas, The Book of Boba Fett couldn’t even go without having Grogu. And season three of The Mandalorian will have Grogu tagging along as Mando, I assume, makes his way to Mandalore. It all made the weight of the season two finale feel less important.
But, yes, Grogu Force jumping to hug Mando was freaking adorable. I’m not a monster.
What Happens When You Spend Too Much Time With Jedi?
Several unearned moments. Here are some things we missed while we were with Mando, Grogu, and Luke:
Boba learned to ride the Rancor: Per Danny Trejo, who only had one appearance, learning to ride a rancor would take a tremendous amount of discipline. This was in Chapter Three and we never went back to that before seeing him ride the creature in this episode. The initial conversation with the rancor keeper felt important to Boba Fett’s character development as there was a parallel between the two: both were raised to be fighters (Boba is a clone, after all) but both could be something different if shown a different path. The Tusken’s taught Boba that there was another path his life could take and some more time with the rancor could have illustrated that further without dialogue. We did not even get a montage, it just happened offscreen.
The use of the rancor in the finale felt more convenient than earned and getting it out of the picture for the Fett/Cad Bane showdown was poorly executed. Sure, rancors might be afraid of fire but that should not have stopped a rancor that size. And it just left Fett, with whom it is supposed to have a strong bond. One might think this is a petty thing to nitpick, but it is little moments like these that make a show great and rewatchable. But maybe most people won’t even remember that detail anyways.
The three families turning: Another reveal that had no build-up, other than through dialogue. Fennec kept regurgitating that Trandoshans, the Aqualish, and the Klatoonians had agreed to remain neutral so it was not a surprise that it happened. But this could have been hinted at in other ways: rejected meetings or simple avoidance like the Mayor did in the first few episodes. This also has implications for Boba Fett and Fennec Shand moving forward as Fennec killed the heads of the three families. Wouldn’t that lead to war with each faction? Things like that are not just forgotten or go away. Unless it is implied that everyone was killed. I supposed that could be the basis for a season two if that happens.
A Force User Saves the Day Again: I guess everyone is lucky that Grogu did show up because the Prequel era droids were very overpowering. The Darksaber didn’t work, Black Krrsantan’s knuckle spikes didn’t work. The only things that stopped them were Grogu and the rancor…and then the former had to stop the latter. Grogu used the Force to connect with the rancor and ended up knocking both of them out. But that also should have been a payoff moment for Fett. Also, if the rancor is sticking around, he needs a name.
Loose threads: Was Stephen Root’s Lortha Peel only in this show to introduce the Mod Squad? The talk about no one respecting him and the devious look he gave Boba Fett the last time we saw him implied that he would reappear in some way.
I also felt like the flashback of young Boba on Kamino and his identity as a clone would prove more relevant. I know that the droid telling Boba he has fully healed thanks to bacta treatments had a double meaning, but there is still a lot of childhood trauma to explore.
These things could come back if there is a season two (or in The Mandalorian season three), but I doubt most people care.
The secret antagonist: Most importantly, you leave a truly great antagonist in the wings for too long.
Live-Action Cad Bane, We Hardly Knew You
Just as Filoni introduced Cad Bane in The Clone Wars, he got to close Cad Bane’s chapter in The Book of Boba Fett. I’m sure people will be irritated (and there is a tiny chance he is not dead), but it’s a fitting end for Cad Bane. It would have been even better if they introduced Bane earlier in the series as an antithesis to Boba Fett instead of using the last episode of the season.
But fear not! Disney Plus shows are constantly skipping through the canon timeline. If you only watch live-action Star Wars content, you could see him in Obi-Wan Kenobi or Andor. In animation, I feel it is almost a certainty that he will show up again in The Bad Batch season two. Two episodes (four scenes total) of Cad Bane is not much, but sometimes the end is just the beginning for Star Wars characters.
What Do These Cybernetic Parts Actually Do?
Speaking of new beginnings, it looks like Cobb Vanth did survive the Cad Bane attack and is currently hanging out in Fett’s bacta tank. I thought Cad Bane had meant to keep him alive and only shot him in the shoulder, but it was more serious. And he is about to get upgraded courtesy of the Master Modder. But how helpful are these cybernetic upgrades? The show never defined the benefits and had the best opportunity to show what the Mod Squad could do during the battle. Aside from a zoom-in by Skad (we finally get some names) and a few kicks, there is not much to show for those fancy parts. Even Fennec Shand’s cybernetics and their possible advantages have never been addressed. For Fennec, it is more about still being alive, but the mods chose to have their cybernetics. It would have been nice to see them incorporated into hand-to-hand combat.
I’m also curious about what this change means for Cobb Vanth. Does this character have a future in The Mandalorian season three or another series? And how will this factor into his progression?
Perhaps it is time for Boba to get more bacta tanks.
A Welcome Bond
It took this episode to realize that we haven’t had much screen time with just Mando and Fett. “In the Name of Honor” gives us a heart-to-heart between men who have been fighting their entire lives. When things look dire, Fett tells Mando he can still get out. But Mando is still holding to his creed (despite being kicked out of his cult). In a way, these two are family. And we get a fight scene with the two and the Pykes with both using their jet packs. It was a nice moment before the chaos of the episode.
Violence Against Aliens
First, the Gamorrean Guards, who have low-key been my favorite secondary characters, were directed off of a cliff. Then poor Black Krrsantan took every kind of hit possible, and Fett’s rancor went full King Kong because the violence was out of control. Finally, after many dead Pykes, Fennec Shand hangs Mayor Mok Shiaz and stabs the Pyke leader(who I thought was still in Mos Espa) in the back. The alien abuse in this episode was abundant (not including poor Garsa Fwip). I thought at one moment that the Weequay bartender was doomed. It still is Disney violence, which means green alien blood, but it was not a good episode to be an alien on either side.
I don’t know if I want to see another season of this type of storytelling for Boba Fett. Boba Fett even ends this episode doubting the purpose of this whole show telling Fennec, “We are not suited for this.” That could be the most meta line regarding the experiment of The Book of Boba Fett. This show never found its tempo and, despite some of the best directed episodes of Star Wars streaming (Chapter Two and Chapter Five), it also had some of the worst (I’m sorry Mr. Rodriguez). I hope that Favreau and Filoni also bring on other directors/writers like Rick Famuyiwa, who had one of the best-written episodes in The Mandalorian “Chapter 15: The Believer.” And I think these shows in the Mando Streaming Universe could use other head writers. The writing in this show has been lacking with so much talking at viewers instead of letting things play out visually (there were a lot of briefings this season).
And that is a wrap for The Book of Boba Fett. As I mentioned, Lucasfilm is moving on and so should we. Up next is Obi-Wan Kenobi and more Tatooine, but during the Imperial occupation. May cannot come soon enough.