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The Book of Boba Fett

Stranger In A Strange Land (The Book of Boba Fett - S01E01) - Live Action Series

Series: The Book of Boba Fett

Title: Stranger In A Strange Land

Season: One

Episode: 1

Original Air Date: December 29th, 2021

Runtime: 37 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Thomas; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"I'm not being carried around in the streets like a useless noble!" SPOILERS.

A new idea for your barge display at home

So this is it. After being teased completely out of the blue at the end of The Mandalorian season 2 the wait is finally over and The Book of Boba Fett has been released on Disney+.

He's back!

Star Wars didn't really have much positive news in the past few months. The Rancor HasLab failed, the new Star Wars hotel turns out to be one giant PR disaster for Disney and Rogue Squadron was pulled from its December 2023 release date, so hopefully The Book of Boba Fett can turn things around again and give Star Wars a positive boost. So, has it succeeded?

The band "Memberberry" playing a memberberry song in a slightly new arrangement

I have somewhat mixed feelings about the first Book of Boba Fett episode. It looks nice, about on par with The Mandalorian, it has good digital effects, great costumes and overall production design but to me the first episode was very, very light on actual story and sadly it also is completely missing an actual hook, something that surprises you, something that hooks you in and presents you a bigger mystery, something that will make you wait for the next episode with bated breath. There is nothing equivalent to Din Djarin finding Grogu in The Mandalorian in The Book of Boba Fett. Not yet.

You wouldn't like him when he's angry

Not all that much happens in the first episode, Stranger in a Strange Land. The episode checks some boxes in extensive flashbacks, actually more than half of the episode is just that: a flashback, depicting how Boba Fett escaped from the Sarlacc. The escape itself is straightforward enough, he uses his gadgets, digs his way out of the sand, is weak and close to death, Jawas strip him of his armor and leave him to die, Tusken Raiders find him a little later and capture him as a slave. And while the flashback tries to shed some more light on Tusken society, it all feels mostly unnecessary since we all know Boba eventually left the Tuskens. In other words: there is little actual mystery here. We see how Boba tries to escape, how he is recaptured, how he slowly gains the respect of the Tuskens by proving himself and killing a dangerous monster that threatened to kill an adolescent Tusken. And while it's entertaining to see that it's not all that much intriguing.

A Ray Harryhausen monster lurks in the sand and threatens a young Tusken

The present day storyline is mere exposition, it sets things up, Boba wants to rule with respect and he receives various "business partners" in his throne room to receive tribute, only the mayor of Mos Espa doesn't feel like paying the new crime lord any money. Then Boba goes on a small tour around town, visiting the local cantina where we see Max Rebo and possibly Figrin Dan who are now in a band together, performing the original cantina song from A New Hope in a new arrangement. There we meet sexy Twi'Lek Jennifer Beals who, at least on the surface, appears to be readily accepting the new boss in town. As Boba and Fennec and two Gamorrean Guards who were pardoned by Boba earlier leave the cantina they are attacked by mysterious assassins. A fight breaks out, they win with the help of the Gamorreans and Fennec manages to capture one assassin after a short chase sequence. The episode then cuts back to a flashback as Boba goes in the the bacta tank again to heal his new injuries and we see how Boba gains the respect of the Tusken by killing a Ray Harryhausen memorial monster. And that's it.

I believe the series certainly has potential, but I would have hoped for much more in episode 1. Where Mandalorian is already "Memberberry - The Series" to a large degree, The Book of Boba Fett is a Memberberry festival. Including short snippets from Attack of the Clones, various cameos of original Star Wars background characters and of course Boba Fett himself. And while it was necessary to show how Boba escaped the Sarlacc it's exactly what you thought it would be. Nothing surprising at all. That Jon Favreau apparently plans to include extensive flashbacks in the episodes is somewhat unfortunate (there are more flashback scenes in the various teasers), because Boba's escape and his fate after that could have been shown in few, brief scenes, it's nothing we really need to dwell on so much, in my opinion. Everyone knows Boba will either escape or be set free by the Tuskens, maybe he even forms a bond of friendship with them. But what really matters is the present day storyline. And here almost nothing happens, unfortunately. It almost feels as if the pilot episode was cut in half and we only got to see the first act or so.

In my opinion The Book of Boba Fett pilot episode is the weakest of the three (not counting The Clone Wars season 7) we've had so far. The Mandalorian's episode was better and The Bad Batch episode was much better as well. But as I said, the series certainly has potential. Who are the assassins, for example? They could work on order of Crimson Dawn, for example, which would have various interesting implications.

It has also to be noted that Robert Rodriguez told blatant lies in his interviews when he said that the teaser trailers only show the first few minutes from the first episode. There are various scenes in the teasers, the negotiation with the crime lords in the palace, the young woman on the speeder bike, more flashback scenes, that are not in the pilot episode.

I hope The Book of Boba Fett will not spend too much time on flashbacks in future episodes and that the series is not just about Boba dealing with local criminals, it almost certainly won't be. But it would have helped if the pilot episode at least hinted at what the show is really about. Because after the first 37 minutes we know about the series as much as before, almost nothing. Which is unfortunate. The first episode is mostly a flashback and memberberry extravaganza. But nostalgia can only get you so far, you need a compelling story. So far Jon Favreau has delivered, chances are The Book of Boba Fett will pick up the speed in the next few episodes. But the pilot was just average with lots of room for improvement in future episodes.

Added: December 29, 2021
Category: The Book of Boba Fett
Reviewer: Thomas
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