Tatooine is a difficult place in Star Wars. Not everyone is the type to sit inside a bar like Mos Eisley, “the wretched hive is full of scum and villains,” but even the good and righteous on the desert planet can admit that the wretched hive has all the power. A distant planet stay away from concerns belong to Empire and Rebellion, it doesn’t look like a place for redemption. The slave trade, wet farm raids, and crime lords only seem to underline the problem.
That’s what makes its heroes so beloved. That Luke Skywalker everyone grew up in a place like this, which molded and shaped him, is part of his appeal. And that’s a big part of Boba Fett, at least in the first episode of Books by Boba Fett, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” premieres Wednesday on Disney Plus.
There are many on Boba Fett that will feel very familiar to fans of Mandalorian, this should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched the return of the bounty hunter in that show. The two are very similar. Neither of them tend to talk much, both would be happier just doing their jobs and being left alone. But director Robert Rodriguez and screenwriter Jon Favreau are clear on one difference: this is a gritty Western space show where the guy lives as an outlaw with a cool helmet. wear helmet Turn off.
And that’s also a good thing, because hiding Temura Morrison’s face for too long would be a serious mistake. New Zealand actor, described in 1995 by Roger Ebert as “a lead actor as elemental, charismatic, and brutal as the young Marlon Brando,” is fully expressed in Boba Fett. Mando’s mysterious charm is gone, replaced by the pain and stress of the aging process that causes his face to burn and hit more times than its owner can count.
Morrison’s magnetism comes from the sense of despair that always seems to take hold of Boba Fett. The show starts with a flashback to Fett’s remarkable ending in the original trilogy, death through the Sarlacc pit. But watching Boba escape from the monster’s belly doesn’t just feel like adding more details to his Wookiepedia page; it shows the despair and hunger of a man who is willing to survive, even if he doesn’t know exactly why.
Parts of “Stranger” is set in short flashbacks of the conversation and long about Boba Fett being beaten. There are Jawas, lizards, and most notably Tusken Raiders. Morrison is constantly pushed to survive, barely allowed to drink water because he is part of a two-man gang. These scenes clearly have waypoints are like Mandalorian, with long shots and dramatic goals from Sergio Leone.
But while Mandalorian seemingly enjoying isolation, Boba Fett couldn’t find any time to herself. Out of the Sarlacc pit and into the hands of Jawas for old Boba, not much of a difference. There’s the desperation of noir on Boba Fett’s Tatooine, which Guillermo del Toro recently described for film magazine Little White Lies as “tragedy arises between those who have and have not.”
The “Stranger” sequel deals with Boba Fett’s new reign as a “yes”. He’s been named the new head of the Hutt crime syndicate, akin to his entry into Studio 54 after the disco’s final days. There is some prestige in the title, but things are clearly not what they used to be. The mayor, of all people, just sends his Majordomo (David Pasquesi) for tribute and then ends up asking for the tribute are from Boba.
Pasquesi played the ex-husband of Julia Louis-Dreyfuss on Veep, and he clearly has a knack for getting on the radar of the powerful. He angers Fett’s second-in-command, Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), with his rudeness and otherwise diplomatic-as-war attitude. In the midst of a crumbling organization, Majordomo’s head appendages resemble a sea-born clown’s hat, mocking a proud tradition.
There are some good comic works in Boba Fett, which includes Matt Berry as a droid seemingly once loyal to Hutts. Pasquesi was one of the show’s highlights, allowing for quick feedback from everyone on the show, who would shoot first and ask questions later (most people).
Fett doesn’t want to be an extravagant crime boss like any of his slug-like predecessors. He wants to be a crime boss of the people, walking under his own two feet with two green bodyguards by his side. He wants to rule with respect, not fear. But the question of whether the people and various masters of Tatooine wanted such a ruler in the first place remains open.
While Ming-Na Wen got some good shots, Books by Boba Fett focus on Morrison’s rage, boiling just below the surface. It’s hard to say where any of this will go, but the show seems to show viewers that first of all, this is a man who won’t serve his master. No more.