Book of Boba Fett - Game Infinite Review
I rated the Book of Boba Fett very high, and because of that I think I need to get one thing out of the way. I realize the Book of Boba Fett is pretty divisive among Star Wars fans. I loved it, but I see the odd narrative decisions. To me, the book of Boba Fett feels like it has the wrong name. With only 7 episodes, I find it very odd to devote two of those episodes to Din Djarin, and very important Mandalorian story arcs. There is one episode where Boba does not make an appearance at all, and a second where he briefly shows up and has one or two lines.
I feel like it would make more sense to viewers if this show had just been rebalanced a little bit into a Mandalorian season 3. I likened this to Game of Thrones as an example of balancing multiple locations and story points. I love the Boba story arc, but there’s only 5 episodes worth of Boba. I feel like with some minor re-writes this could have gone full boba or full mandalorian story, but instead we got something that feels like a little of neither. Why not give us 4 episodes of Boba and say 5 with Din and just go back and forth and call it Mandalorian season 3? Don’t get me wrong, this over all story is still “most focused” on Boba’s story and doesn’t really advance the Mandalor story arc set up in Mando season 2 too far. That being said, this very much feels like it should have been part of Mandolorian Season 3.
It advances too many plot points for Din, more than you would expect. What happened after Luke took Grogu? Does Grogu come back? Does Din get a new ship? What are the consequences for Din’ helmet removal? Does Din go back to his people? What happened to the Dark Saber? What’s Luke and Asoka up to? All of these huge plot points are all answered in Boba’s show despite supposedly being a spin off and none of that really advances Boba’s story. People who skip this show will be really confused come the start of Mandalorian season 3, and frankly I think it’s a bit of a narrative creative oddity that so many important plot points go answered in this show.
There’s a difference between a cross over cameo and just two whole misplaced episodes. If you go straight from season 2 to 3 of Mandalorian, it will feel like you missed some episodes. That’s because they’re transplanted randomly in the middle of Boba’s show.
Imagine if the upcoming Kenobi series we get two episodes absent of Kenobi and we just follow around Cassian Andor for two episodes. It won’t matter if those two episodes are amazing, it would still be kinda weird...
I say that because the two episodes with Din are actually amazing. We get to see him learn more and practice wielding the dark saber. We get to see him build a badass new ship. We get to see Luke Skywalker and how amazing the IRL technology has come along to bring him back.
What I would have done to “really” make this a Boba show, is to save those two admittedly amazing Din episodes for Mandalorian season 3, and simply have Din cameo for the final battle. Use those two episode slots to have Boba go recruit some new help. Instead maybe we see Boba visit two planets and recruit “muscle”. He could go to two new planets to offer some scenic diversity and given us two new fighters for the final battle. Star Wars has a plethora of characters they could have had Boba recruit to build his army for the final battle.
I gave the show a 9 because, yes, they named it wrong or forgot what story they were telling for two episodes, when viewed as a whole "Mandoverse", it's still just fantastic. I can’t bring down such a good 7 episodes just because this was less Boba than we expected and more “Mandalorian: the Boba Fett DLC”.
Let’s talk about Boba Fett’s story. While yes he feels sidelined at times in his own show, I enjoyed the back story and the flashbacks. They tell a story in the present and in the past after he escaped the sarlacc pit. We see how he lost his armor and what he did in the time between Return of the Jedi and now. We get to see how he met Fennec Shand. We see an absolutely heartwarming, strangely human story arc of Boba living with the Tuscans. Honestly, the back story of Boba living with the tuscans is some S tier story telling that I really wasn’t expecting. I think it alone absolves some curious narrative decisions.
Another fantasic aspect is the inclusion of Cad Bane. Bringing this Clone Wars favorite back is just fantastic. He fits absolutely perfectly into the “Space Western” setting. I feel like his live action version was excellently done.
The most controversial aspect of the show was the “Mods”, a cast of characters who become an ally for Boba. Love them or hate them, I think I know why they’re controversial. I think theyre actually good characters, theyre just in the wrong setting. I don’t feel like they fit on Tatooine. Their character designs, color palette, and overall vibe just isn’t Tatooine. They visually stick out a little. I felt like if they had been on Coruscant, or the “halo station” or Corellia they'd make more sense. They are very Cyberpunk and theyre set in a very Western-esce show. If you transplaneted them to another planet that fit the cyberpunk theme they wouldn’t stick out at all. I actually really liked the female Mod character, Drash as she felt like a "Han Solo daughter" character, a fan theory I hope but doubt will turn out to be true. I just would have liked to see this gang show up on a more urban / cyberpunk planet. I think the fan base would have liked them and their bright 50’s retropunk hoverbikes better. In my suggestion of having Boba visit two other planets to recruit for the final battle, this would have added a new setting and visual to bring them in.
The finale was the culmination of the invading crime lord faction that was being built up towards through out the show. It definitely wejt different than I expected, but I will say I was very happy with it. I won't spoil much about it, because It really is just super fun to watch.
At the end of the day, while I’m puzzled by their creative direction, when viewed as a whole, a continuation of the “mandoverse” The “Boba Fett DLC” for the Mando story, it really is phenomenal TV.