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The Book of Boba Fett

The Gathering Storm (The Book of Boba Fett - S01E04) - Live Action Series

Series: The Book of Boba Fett

Title: The Gathering Storm

Season: One

Episode: 4

Original Air Date: January 19th, 2022

Runtime: 47 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"I don't want money!" SPOILERS.

The Bionic Woman

Let's cut to the chase. Once again almost nothing happens in The Book of Boba Fett. The episode dedicates 30+ minutes of its runtime to yet another flashback. The good thing is... when Boba gets out of the tank the droid tells him he is now fully healed. So that means the next three episodes will almost certainly contain no flashbacks at all. Also, the flashback in this episode pretty much covers all the relevant events up until the return of Boba Fett in The Mandalorian.

The flashback is really just about three things. How and why Boba saved Fennec from certain death, how Boba got his "Firespray" spaceship back and how Boba went on a little rampage to avenge the dead Tusken and how Boba pays the Sarlacc a visit to get his armor back. But ultimately he just blows the creature up and ends it once and for all. So it's not that nothing happened, and I would say this flashback was the most entertaining of them all, but once again the big issue is that the flashback only shows us things we already know about or know the outcome of and the one important answer it tries to give, why and how Boba saved Fennec and why she stayed with him, is less than satisfying, in my opinion.

Take that! And that! And that! And that!

You see, Boba happens to stumble upon Fennec in the desert more or less by accident, because he sees the blaster fire in the sky from his camp. So he goes (rides) there, finds Fennec and out of the goodness of his heart he brings Fennec to some mod doctor (some random character and not Dr Evazan as some may have hoped, the one time you wait for your weekly memberberry ration you don't get them) who outfits the local Tatooine mod gangs, who still look very much out of place, with their body modifications. And this mod doctor turns Fennec into the Bionic Woman in what looks like some unsanitary hut, without any real medical equipment, he literally replaces many of her internal organs just like that, all on his own too, no assistance required. That mod doctor is some mad genius. Anyway, when Fennec wakes up we learn they know of each other, Fennec naturally assumes Boba wants the bounty on her, instead he tells her he wants no money, but needs her help. Boba wants his spaceship back (it's called Firespray and Slave 1 seems to have been erased as the name of the ship, maybe Boba felt the name is no longer appropriate after his time with the Tusken) but Jabba's palace is too heavily guarded for him to take on all on his own. What follows is a fun infiltration sequence where Boba and Fennec enter Jabba's old palace, heavily guarded by Bib Fortuna's thugs. We get to see Boba chase a rat catching rabbit droid, something I never thought I would see, Fennec shoots about 200 thugs and finally the Firespray is back in Boba's possession.

AND THAT!!!!!

Boba then uses the ship to generously dole out some payback to his enemies. He blasts the biker gang to kingdom come and then tries to get his armor back from the Sarlacc, the Sarlacc is about to destroy the ship though when Fennec manages to release a sonic charge that kills the beast. We also get a brief philosophical chat about the merits of bounty hunting (Boba sees no merit at all in it anymore) compared to having a family. Fennec then decides, for no real reason as far as I can see, to stay with Boba for good, and to help him climb the top of the Tatooine underworld. I suppose she is grateful. And maybe after a few decades of bounty hunting only to be left for dead in some desolate desert made Boba's offer really attractive to her. The point is that Boba's and Fennec's alliance feels a bit random and like a convenient plot device, just like Boba almost accidentally stumbles upon her in the desert. I would have liked a deeper connection here.

Please marry me!

In the present day very little happens, it's mostly just more setup for things to come, virtually all of the present day events are setup so far. Boba walks into the cantina, once again... and Black Krrsantan is really angry at the Trandoshans having fun (they kill Wookies and trade their furs). So he picks a fight with them. The madame of the establishment does not like the commotion and Jennifer Beals tries to use her ample (quite ample indeed) feminine charms to convince Krrsantan to let the Trandoshans go. Any non Wookie would have almost immediately complied, seeing Jennifer wearing that white dress. But a Wookie has different beauty standards and Krrsantan rips one of the Trandoshan's arms out and only then leaves them alone. Boba follows the Wookie outside and offers him a job, to the surprise of no one.

Finally we get to see one of the last missing scenes from the teaser trailers that allegedly only showed us footage from the first half of episode one, according to Robert Rodriguez. Boba makes the local crime lords an offer they cannot refuse, by being extremely sensible, rational and kind. First he offers an alliance that none of the criminals want to enter with him, so instead they agree on staying neutral should the Pykes approach them. I call that somewhat underwhelming. For a few short seconds you are made to believe the Rancor may eat all of the criminals, but Boba is of course extremely courteous and kind and lets them all go. And now we wait for things to maybe get going in the next episode. While the Mandalorian theme is playing when Fennec tells Boba that all the money he has can buy them help for the upcoming fight with the Pykes. I wonder what this means... wink, wink.

Some random observations and musings: Banthas apparently are just like very big dogs. They even wag their tail when happy or excited. Whenever there's a campfire in the series I wonder... where did Boba (or anyone really) find all the wood? In the desert where literally nothing seems to grow? Rats are a thing in Star Wars. Little droid rat catchers that looke like rabbits exist. So how much of Fennec's internal organs were removed? Is she still "fully functional"? When Fennec asked Boba if he wants the money for her bounty I fully expected him to say "No, I want your sweet, sweet love..." and then we cue to Barry White music and fade to black. Apropos music... the music chosen for the operation sequence was just plain horrible, it didn't fit Star Wars at all, this is not the kind of score I want to hear in Star Wars, in any format. Also, I love Jennifer Beals. Please marry me. She and orange-skinned Twi'lek are the best things about the series.

What else can be said? The episode was entertaining enough. But once more I feel the entire structure of the show is wrong. The incessant flashbacks interrupt the flow, the present day storyline has taken a backseat in the first four episodes, only episode 3 was the exception. The problem I have with the flashbacks is that they are so utterly predictable. You always know the outcome. Sure, the infiltration sequence this week was fun, but really, it adds nothing to the story. We already know Boba got his ship back. We saw it in The Mandalorian season 2. I still feel it would have been better to present the story in chronological order, without flashbacks. And to seriously tighten the story leading up to the present day timeline.

It also turns out Temuera Morrison is not entirely happy with the portrayal of Boba Fett. He asked Jon Favreau and the various directors several times to give Boba less dialogue, to make him more mysterious, he asked directors to give his lines to Ming-Na Wen instead, but each and every time Jon Favreau insisted Temuera adheres to the script and reads his lines. So we get talkative, animal loving, sensible, rational, immensely kind Boba. It seems Temuera understands the character quite well, but for some weird reason Jon Favreau has this very different idea of Boba Fett. I don't really understand his reasoning here. The viewer ratings for the show on sites like Rotten Tomatoes are also slowly declining, it's still mostly positive, but far less positive than for The Mandalorian. There is no denying it: The Book of Boba Fett is not really the show quite a few people expected it to be. All of which doesn't mean you can't have some fun and that it's not entertaining here and there. I think episode 4 was actually pretty solid, even though little of interest happened (i.e. things we don't already know about), but the series lacks any mystery, there's nothing that makes you excited for next week. And some of the elements in the show, some of the music, the mod gang etc feel completely out of place. And then there's the editing. The constant use of the bacta tank and subsequent flashbacks ruin the flow. I wonder why they chose to present the series like that. Especially when the present day storyline has almost nothing to offer so far, it's not as if we're waiting with baited breath for the flashbacks to end so we can resolve that cool plot thread in the present day. LOST this is not. What I am waiting for is for the plot to finally start going. It seems the first four episodes all just served as the prologue, and that the actual series with the actual plot that is actually relevant will begin in episode 5. Which is terrible when your season (or entire series?) only has seven episodes.

Also, it's becoming increasingly clear that The Book of Boba Fett really is just a smalltime story about some local crime lord getting back at his enemies for killing some natives. Maybe a bigger connection to a galaxy spanning organization like Crimson Dawn will be revealed in the final episode, a thread to be resolved either in future Mandalorian or maybe Boba Fett seasons. This series would have greatly benefited from more scope. And with only three episodes left I feel it's much too late for the show to open up more, sure, Mando may appear as a guest star, but everything points to the fact that this series is only about revenge for the Tusken and to get rid of the Pykes on Tatooine. I would have hoped for more.

And finally: Hasbro, if we don't get an action figure of Jennifer Beals wearing that white dress I will be extremely upset! Make it so! Her scene with Krrsantan elevates this episode. So I give it 3.5 holocrons, even if most of it just felt like enother 2.5 - i.e. average.

Added: January 19, 2022
Category: The Book of Boba Fett
Reviewer: Thomas
Score:
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