“The Book of Boba Fett” Blasts onto Disney+ Today
The galaxy’s most famous bounty hunter returned to Disney+ today with the debut of “The Book of Boba Fett,” an original series by Lucasfilm. Apparently, after his cameo in “The Mandalorian,” Disney realized that “he’s no good to [them] dead.” He begins this new journey with an episode titled, “Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land.”
Fett was previously brought back to life in the now non-canonical Star Wars Legends, a collection of novels, comics and games licensed by Lucasfilm before Disney’s acquisition in 2012. Legends was wiped clean to make room for new storytelling in the sequel trilogy, so Fett’s fate found itself again in question.
The wait is finally over.
— Star Wars (@starwars) December 29, 2021
Boba Fett’s Tale of Survival
The first episode of the new “Book” timeline wastes little time in explaining Fett’s escape from the Sarlacc so long ago. The pilot jolts between two timelines: post-Mandalorian Season 2 and flashbacks to the days just after “Return of the Jedi.”
As Boba Fett continues therapy for the burns caused by Sarlacc digestive fluids years ago (a la Luke Skywalker’s bath in “The Empire Strikes Back”), Fett experiences flashbacks. Through these, viewers finally learn the secrets of his escape from the pit. Unlike the Legends version of the harrowing journey, this escape is much simpler.
In the “Book” narrative, Fett steals oxygen from a partially digested Stormtrooper and uses his flamethrower to burn his way to the surface. Upon completion, Boba shoots out of the sand, reaching out of the depths for his escape in a solid nod to the Legends narrative.
A Trip to the Cantina
With ruins of Jabba’s sail barge in the background, the action-packed episode continues to flash between the two timelines. In the post-Mandolorain timeline, Fett fills the power vacuum left by the death of Jabba and Fett’s murder of Bib Fortuna. The scene plays out like a scene from “The Godfather” with Jabba’s former lieutenants paying tribute to the new boss. Of course, there is one exception from the local Mayor who instead asks for a kickback from Fett through an emissary. Fett then takes the show on the road to visit a Mos Espa cantina run by “Flashdance” star, Jennifer Beals.
The cantina scene surprsies with many familiar faces including Max Rebo who now collaborates with “The Modal Nodes,” playing a piano arrangement of John Williams’ “Cantina Band #1.” If you look closely, you can even spot an R-3X droid, as seen in “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” dealing Sabacc to excited customers. The bar seems much more akin to Disney’s Oga’s Cantina than the “wretched hive of scum and villainy” seen in “Star Wars: A New Hope.”
The opening episode also continues to answer questions about Boba Fett’s fate in the earlier timeline after “Return of the Jedi.” The flashbacks develop a remarkable story of Fett’s survival and assimilation with the Sand People after his capture and enslavement.
Fett’s Rise to Power
As Fett yet again faces another life-threatening ambush, the episode closes with the much-anticipated return of Fennec Shand, played by Disney Legend and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” star Ming-Na Wen (the original voice of Mulan). Boba Fett’s leadership of the crime network appears threatened by the mysterious Mayor character, who remains unseen, as well as the thugs sent to attack Shand and himself. Given story lines from “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” the most likely mayoral candidates would be fellow Mos Espa residents Watto or Sebulba.
In any case, the strong opening of “The Book of Boba Fett” ensures that Star Wars fans will lock themselves in a cargo hold every Wednesday to keep up with Tatooine’s newest crime-boss and his adversaries.