Boba Fett's book ★★★
Creator: Jon Favreau
Direction: Robert Rodriguez, Jon Favreau and others
Distribution: Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, Pedro Pascal, Grogu
Duration: between 39 and 61 min. (7 episodes)
Gender: Fantasy / Action
Premiere of the final episode: February 9, 2022 (Disney+)
"I think Boba Fett became so popular because of how mysterious he was," he says. Joe Johnson (the former artistic director of 'The Empire Strikes Back') in the mini-documentary 'Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett'. "Like Darth Vader, the helmet was his face. I liked that we didn't give him a story." Bold statement in the context of a juicy 'featurette' that, in principle, should serve to promote 'The Book of Boba Fett', a series dedicated (as animated series, books and comics did before) to giving history to the once mysterious bounty hunter.
The 'spin-off' of 'The Mandalorian' came to cover gaps that, perhaps, did not need to be covered either, in some cases because they were easy to imagine. In the dual chronology of the series, the past (those flashbacks of Boba while he sleeps in her bacta tank) initially had much more weight than the present, that is, the rise of the now protagonist to the new daimyo of Tatooine. We saw how Boba got out of the Sarlacc pit; how he was rescued by the inhabitants of the sands, a closed community that ended up welcoming the stranger as one more (that is, pure western), or how after the massacre of the Tuskens at the hands of, in principle, Nikto bikers, Boba (hieratic Temuera Morrison) enlisted the help of the assassin Fennec Shand (Ming Na Wen) to exact revenge.
Despite its indisputable attractions (above all, the readability of its action and the charisma of Morrison less than Wen), 'The Book of Boba Fett' suffered a bit in comparison with 'The Mandalorian', a series that created new myths in addition to (trying to) reinforce the old ones. Nothing a timely U-turn couldn't fix: from the fifth episode of his own series, Boba again accepted a discreet background and gave prominence to Din Djarin (Peter Pascal) and his little friend Grogu, and suddenly, despite that Luke Skywalker digitally recreated, the desirable charm returned.
The final episode 'In the name of honor' has turned out to be, in fact, almost a reissue of the warlike climax ('The rescue') of the second season of 'The Mandalorian', this time with Allied troops from Tatooine and Freetown fighting Pyke Syndicate forces, who have tried to turn the sandy planet into the epicenter of their spice trade. Shand doesn't take the latter too badly either, but the middle-aged Boba prefers the idea of making the place prosper through less destructive means. His gotra takes refuge in the ruins of Garsa Shrine while the pykes plot his strategy, with the fearsome Cad Bane playing the role of stone negotiator. Scenes of chaos, shootings and nerves of steel follow: 'In the name of honor', another example of the talent of Robert Rodriguez to orchestrate complicated actions, it is almost like a new remake of 'The Alamo' in which large annihilator droids and carnivorous reptiles will also participate.
Boba has a role in all this, of course, but it is at least curious that his words are not the last we hear in the chapter, or that the myth really solidified is the emotional core of 'The Mandalorian'. Without the need to (barely) remove the helmet, to reveal her weathered face, Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin knows how to express feelings and goals, continue to grow in mythical stature and establish himself as a totemic figure of recent (Western) fantasy.