Review: ‘The Book Of Boba Fett’ S01 Ep.1 ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’

by Olly MacNamee

(+++ WARNING: This review contains spoilers for the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett +++)

The Book of Boba Fett is an apt title for this latest live action series in the Star Wars franchise. Not only does it aim to chronicle the further adventures of everyone’s favourite bounty hunter turned Tatooine crime lord, but it also flashes back to his escape from Sarlacc pit and subsequent travails too.

These flashbacks come as dreams to Boba (Tempura Morrison) as he rests and recuperates in a bacta tank. Why he’s suddenly having these dreams is not yet explained, but it’s enough that he’s having them, as he tells Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) ahead of receiving tribute from the various elites of Tatooine. This may be a science fiction franchise, but it’s a very Medieval world Fett inhabits. A feudal society in which he will have to constantly watch his back. As he does in this opening episode when he and Shand are attacked in Mos Espa. Who has paid for these roof-bounding parkour guards is not revealed, but then this is the first episode, so don’t expect too many answers. Just plenty of questions as Boba tries to stamp his mark on the planet and rule differently to his two predecessors, Jabba the Hutt and Bib Fortuna. No airs and graces for this new crime lord.

In receiving tributes and heading off to Mos Espa, we get a good view of the various species and characters who will make up the supporting cast of this series, including Jennifer Beale’s Twi’lek character. A nice enough person on her first appearance, but is she all she seems? Is she behind the ambush, maybe? But then, as a newly anointed crime lord, Boba has a clear target on his back. And a lot of work to do if he’s to establish himself as the main man on a planet full of scum and villainy.

As seen in The Mandalorian, Boba Fett s a gruff, no-nonsense character, but also one, we discover, with a code of honour too. Not quite the knight in shining armour, but not too far off either as he proves to the tribe of Tusken Raiders who capture him in the desert soon after his exhausting escape from the Sarlacc pit. The mobster he takes down in the arid and dangerous desert feels like something the great Ray Harryhausen would have dreamt up. But, rather than take advantage of the situation and run away to freedom, he decides to return with his young Tusken guard to the tribes people. A calculated move, no doubt, but one that pays off.

It’s a solid, tone-setting first episode that sets up the narrative pattern for future episodes, with its mix of past and present revelations and a set of characters that you’ll be hard to find a single hero amongst. Another hit from Jon Favreau and the team; a group of creates who really get Star Wars and continue to savage the franchise from the mess that as the most recent messy trilogy. 

The Book of Boba Fett series one, episode one is streaming now on Disney + with new episodes every Wednesday.

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