The Book Of Boba Fett premiered on Disney Plus today and it’s off to a pretty good start, even if there’s never that holy crap moment we got at the end of The Mandalorian’s series premiere.
The story picks up after The Mandalorian’s fun end-credits scene, in which Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) take over Jabba the Hutt’s crime operations on Tatooine from the feckless Bib Fortuna.
Being a crime boss, it turns out, comes with some downsides. Even though Boba Fett wants to rule with “respect” instead of “fear”—a sharp turn from his predecessors—it may be impossible thanks to government corruption in Mos Espa.
The mysterious mayor of the desert city is apparently quite powerful, his envoy demanding tribute from Fett rather than paying him off. When Fett declines, the mayor sends ninja assassins to take him out in the streets in broad daylight.
He’s only saved thanks to an earlier mercy he showed to two Gammorean bodyguards who previously worked for both Hutt and Fortuna and whose loyalty earned them Fett’s job offer. It’s cool to see Gammoreans actually fight like badasses for once instead of just getting knocked around by Jedi and devoured by monsters.
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The premiere is divided into two timelines. In the present, Boba Fett and Fennec Shand are out to collect tribute and assert their new dominance over the crime world. In the past, we see what we’ve all been waiting for all these years: Our erstwhile bounty hunter’s escape from the Sarlacc Pit.
The episode opens on this moment, with Fett stuck in the massive beast’s slimy, fleshy interior. He uses some oxygen from a nearby Stormtrooper and then burns his way out with his flamethrower, emerging exhausted onto the sands above where Jawas come by and rob him of his Beskar steel armor (which later ends up in the hands of Cobb Vanth, who gives it to Mando who then, eventually, returns it to Fett).
Left for dead, Boba Fett is rescued and enslaved by the Tusken Raiders. He tries to escape and fails, and things look pretty grim when he’s hauled out to the desert to dig for water pods by a Tusken youngling.
Fortunately, a giant six-legged (four-armed?) centaur lizard monster shows up and tries to kill them all, and Fett is able to leap onto the monster and choke it to death with his chains, saving the youngling’s life. It’s very much a nod to Princess Leia killing Jabba the Hutt with her chains—though Fett is less scantily clad.
There are other nods to Return of the Jedi, including the musicians in the cantina in Mos Espa and 8D8, the droid in Boba’s palace who we first saw torturing a droid all those years ago.
Some fun action, backstory and no small amount of mystery make this series premiere a diverting first foray into The Book Of Boba Fett. And even if it’s not as jaw-dropping as that Baby Yoda moment in the series premiere of The Mandalorian, it’s still a good start to a show that hopefully keeps things a little less epic and a little more contained. I’m excited to see the drama play out between the various criminal elements of Tatooine and the wider galaxy, but hopefully we can leave the Skywalkers out of it this time.