The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1 - 'Stranger in a Strange Land' Spoiler Review

I thought we would have gotten season three of The Mandalorian, before The Book of Boba Fett made its debut on Disney Plus, I was so wrong. The Book of Boba Fett is the first new live action Star Wars entry in 2021, I know the pandemic has wrecked a lot of things, but I feel Star Wars was particularly hard hit. Between films and series Star Wars fans had nothing to enjoy all year until now, that seems like a mistake by Disney. I will assume that this was due to poor planning, I know there was a pandemic happening, but Marvel cranked out a lot of products in 2021. Now that The Book of Boba Fett has had its premiere I can confirm while it may not have been worth the wait it is still a fantastic new addition to Star Wars lore. I was never a huge fan of Boba Fett, he looked cool but in the original trilogy, but he did nothing and he died looking like a chump (his death was used for comedic effect). Boba Fett was redeemed in the prequel films where we see his "father" put up a quite a fight against Obi-Wan Kenobi. In season two episode one we got confirmation that Boba Fett survived the Sarlacc pit and that he was after his armor which Mando acquired in that episode. Boba Fett made his return in episode six where he was joined by Fennec Shand. Together with Mando they fight off an imperial squad, Boba get his armor back and fights like we have seen him before. In the season finale of season two we got an end of credits scene showing that Boba had taken Jabba's palace on Tatooine for himself with Fennec at his side.

This series picks up where that post credits scene ended, but the episode did the smart thing of giving us how he escaped from the Sarlacc pit. The assumption was that the explosion of Jabba's barge hurt/killed the Sarlacc thus making it easier for Boba Fett to get out. Boba is being redeemed as bad ass by Disney, Jon Favreau is a fan, so you know his influence is a huge reason for all of this. There is a short documentary on Disney Plus called Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett. The documentary talks about the origins of how the character was created, it shows the love of the character that has led until the new series. The Book of Boba Fett was a surprise announcement, and after watching the first episode I think it is a great idea. The first episode was fantastic, I really enjoyed how it balanced the present with the past. The episode delivered on all fronts for me, the action was great, the story was engaging, the acting performances were solid, and I think I may like The Book of Boba Fett better than The Mandalorian. After finally finishing The Bad Batch, I now have a better appreciation for the live action material. As much as I enjoyed parts of the Clone Wars and The Bad Batch, they do feel slightly childish at times, and it takes me out of the episodes. The adult themes found in Stranger in a Strange Land were refreshing when compared to the childish humor found in the animated shows. 


The series starts with a shot of Tatooine focusing on the outside of Jabba's palace, until we move inside and see an empty throne. We go through the palace until we find an ornately decorated room with a bacta tank, inside the bacta tank is Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and he is dreaming. We see a flashback to Kamino and another to him inside the Sarlacc pit, we watch as he gets himself out of the creature using his flame thrower. Boba digs himself to the surface and sprawls out on the sand before he promptly passes out, some time later Jawas arrive, and they take his armor and everything else leaving Boba for dead. Boba is saved by Sand People who bring him back to their camp and imprison him. Boba is tied to a post near a fire with another prisoner, a Rodian and he has a Massiff watching him. Boba attempts to get free and the Massiff attacks, he subdues the Massiff and frees himself, but when he attempts to free the Rodian the Rodian yells and alerts the Sand People. Boba runs off into the desert, the Sand People catch up to him and the chief nods to his son(?) to take down Boba. Boba and the son fight, but the son is able to defeat Boba and knocks him unconscious. 

Boba is woken from the bacta tank by Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) who says there are people there to greet him and pay their respects. Boba puts on his armor, and he heads to the throne where he now sits, he is the new Daimyo and various people of significance come to visit and bring tribute. The mayor sends his Majordomo who then demands that Boba send tribute to the mayor, Boba denies to sending a tribute. The Majordomo warns Boba that he should expect another delegation in the near future. Two Gamorrean guards of Jabba are brought forth and Boba gets them to swear fealty to him, they will now be his guards. Boba goes into town to a cantina where we see the Max Rebo band playing. Boba is there to see Garsa Fwip (Jennifer Beals), he wants to ensure her that her business will continue to thrive with him in charge. Boba and Fennec's helmets are returned filled with gold coins, as they are walking back, they are attacked by assassins. The assassins deploy a shield, and they surround Boba and Fennec using electrified batons to attack them. Boba and Fennec cannot escape the circle until the two Gamorrean guards arrive and attack the assassins. The fight is brutal, and Boba is injured, he dispatches one of the assassins using a wrist rocket before he asks the Gamorrean guards to bring him back to the bacta tank. Fennec chases after the remaining assassins, Boba tells her to keep one alive and she succeed by killing one and defeating the other. The Gamorrean's drag Boba back and place him into the bacta tank where he once again starts to dream.

This dream finds him still with the Sand People, Boba and the Rodian are brought on journey with the son. They are to dig in the sand and locate a seed which contains water, Boba finds one and starts drinking until the son attacks and takes it from him. They keep digging until a creature (a giant lizard centaur) comes from the sand attacking them, the creature kills the Rodian. Boba is able to kill the creature by chocking it using his chains. Boba, the Massiff and the son return to the village as heroes and Boba is given water by the chief as the episode comes to a close. 


What a strong debut for the show, the episode was neither what I expected nor what I believe anyone expected. The episode started and ended on flashbacks that I felt were well executed, and the story that unfolded caught me off guard. For a long time, the Sand People/Tusken Raiders have been depicted as villains, but in season two episode one of The Mandalorian we were given a more thoughtful depiction of them. Tusken Raiders were not monsters, but rather they are not much different than anybody else. The Sand People are just trying to survive, they have their own laws, customs and culture which is different from our own. I thought that the flashbacks showed how tough Boba Fett is and how dangerous he can be without his armor. The great bounty hunter is not without his weaknesses which appear to be that his older, slower and not as strong as he once was and that he can be overconfident in his abilities. When the assassin's arrived he seemed to think it was not a big deal until it was too late, if the two Gamorrean guards did not arrive when they did, he might have been killed. Maybe I am overthinking things, but why did he not use his jet pack to escape from the attackers, instead he tried to break through their shields to no effect. Boba is still dangerous, but he is not as dangerous as he once was; I think he needs Fennec a lot. 

Talking about the attempted assassination has me curious who sent those assassins, on my first watch I did not know. After my second viewing, I am confident they were sent by the mayor whose aid said there would be another delegation. Fennec will have brought back one of the assassins who will reveal who they work for, if it is the mayor, I think he will not live long enough to regret his actions. The episode was more focused on the past than on the present, what happened in the now was minor. Boba took meetings with people and they gave him tribute, it will be interesting to see where the show goes from here. Boba is not Jabba, and the attempt on his life made him appear weak and could lead to more enemies making their presence known. Boba is in charge, but he and Fennec are more of a team and between them I think they will prove to be a formidable pair. After Boba is healed from the attack, I get the feeling that the restraint he showed earlier will disappear and be replaced by the simmering rage he appears to have. The flashbacks to his father's death make me think that he has never gotten over the rage he felt in that moment. That rage is what fuels his actions, but he was taught humility after he was defeated by Han Solo. The dueling timelines seen in the first episode will hopefully carry on for the season and tell Boba's redemption story. 

Boba Fett was a villain, and it was only in the prequels and animated shows that he was given more layers to his character that made him appear more sympathetic. When we encountered Boba in The Mandalorian he seemed to be a dangerous and honorable man, if you were to tell me that is where they went with the character after watching Return of the Jedi I would have laughed in your face. It has been a long road to get here and Temuera Morrison is giving it his all in the performance, we see his pain, his anger and his attempt to be a better man. Morrison has such a strong screen presence; he exudes such fierceness and heart. The flashbacks to his time with the Tusken Raiders make me curious to see where it goes, at the end of the episode he has earned their respect, but I don't think that is the end of the story. Having Ming-Na Wen as a co-star is great, she was a force on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and she was a force as Fennec Shand too. The chemistry between Shand and Fett is good, and it makes me happy to see their back-and-forth banter. Fennec and Boba are both survivors who will fight to the end and some how find a way to walk away. They both were saved by someone else and they both a code that makes them seem more like heroes than villains. The bond between them will make impossible for any threat to succeed and I look forward to watching many more failed assassination attempts.

I found the first episode very interesting, focusing so much attention to the backstory of Boba Fett's journey after the Sarlaac pit paid off for me. I was not sure what the show was going to be, and now that I have a better idea, I am excited for the remaining episodes. I think the musical score of the show was incredible and the composer Ludwig Goransson (Tenet, Black Panther and The Mandalorian) did a fantastic job. I am going to give episode one a 9/10 because I thought it delivered a strong introduction into the series. I am not saying that this will be the one of the top shows of the year, but I think it did it's job in the best way possible. With a strong creative behind the project (Jon Favreau, Robert Rodriguez and Dave Filoni), and a strong cast of Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen there is no where for the show to go but up. 

Thank you for reading my review of The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 1 and stay tuned for next week when I cover Chapter 2.

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