Did All That Secrecy Make The Book Of Boba Fett More Fun To Watch?

Spoilers ahead for "The Book of Boba Fett" episode 1.

/FIlm's BJ Colangelo wrote an insightful piece this week about spoiler culture and how it relegates the quality of movies and TV shows to individual moments and reveals, as opposed to how well they execute their stories and themes. It's an especially timely subject to bring up, what with "The Book of Boba Fett" debuting this week on Disney+. As with every other Disney-era "Star Wars" film and series released so far, "The Mandalorian" spin-off was shrouded in secrecy headed into its premiere. Its promos offered little to no insight into what the show was actually about, other than it would pick up with Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and his associate Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) after the credits scene for "The Mandalorian" season 2 finale, in which Boba killed the late Jabba the Hutt's successor, his former majordomo Bib Fortuna, and claimed Jabba's criminal empire for himself.

Did all that mystery and clandestine marketing make it more fun to watch "The Book of Boba Fett" premiere? If all you want is the short version of my answer, you can read the headline below. However, as with any movie or TV show, there's far more to my explanation than this "spoiler."

No, It Didn't

Due to the furtive nature of Disney's trailers and TV spots for "The Book of Boba Fett," there wasn't a lot to talk about in the lead-up to the show's arrival, as far as concrete details go. This, in turn, fueled speculation that the show's first episode must feature some huge, game-changing twists that deserved to be experienced in real time and not unveiled ahead of its release.

Except, it didn't.

That's not to say "The Book of Boba Fett" premiere was a bust. Quite the opposite, it was an agreeably low-key introduction to Boba's untold story that had an engaging narrative structure akin to "The Godfather Part II," flashing back to Boba's escape from the Sarlacc and later capture by a group of Tusken Raiders, all while Boba (in the present) strove to secure his hold on Jabba's old empire while fending off assassination attempts and establishing relations with the locals on Tatooine. These parallels to Michael Corleone's struggles to protect the family business in "The Godfather" sequel served to underline how "The Book of Boba Fett" aims to resemble a mobster drama set in a galaxy far, far away, giving it a distinct identity and setting it apart from "The Mandalorian" (a show that draws heavily from the western and samurai genres).

If anything, though, the secrecy heading into the show's first episode mostly just distracted viewers from this and kept them waiting for some shocking revelations that never came. Sure, "The Book of Boba Fett" episode 1 finally pulled back the curtain on how Boba avoided becoming the Sarlacc's dinner (in the post-Disney canon that is; Star Wars Legends had its own explanation for how he got out) but, otherwise, little to nothing happened in the episode that couldn't have been (and, to put it bluntly, should have been) directly alluded to in the series' marketing without ruining the experience.

Ruling With Respect, Not Fear (Of Spoilers)

Because Disney hyped "The Book of Boba Fett" as a mystery box with incredible secrets waiting to be unlocked, it has no one but itself to blame if people walk away disappointed or feeling like "nothing" happened in the pilot. It didn't help that the first episode, on the surface level, wasn't all that different from "The Mandalorian." Once again, it was a "Star Wars" show in which a guy who's not exactly talkative and wears Mandalorian amor makes his way through the galaxy's criminal underbelly while coming face to face with non-human characters both familiar (Tusken Raiders, Twi'leks, Gamorreans) and new (the six-limbed creature Boba and the rodian cross paths with while digging in the desert).

Yet, just as Grogu's brief introduction in the first episode of "The Mandalorian" foreshadowed what Din Djarin's story would really be about, "The Book of Boba Fett" premiere has reset expectations for the series. Far from being a rip-roaring adventure, the show now has the makings of a slow-burn character study that explores Boba's evolution from the money-grubbing bounty hunter he was in the original "Star Wars" trilogy to the more cautious and, oddly enough, empathetic warrior who seeks to rule with respect, not fear, in the series' present. It's even brought more poignancy to Boba's dark past than other "Star Wars" projects have by flashing back to his father Jango's death and treating it with the emotional weight it deserves.

With "The Mandalorian" executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni working with Robert Rodriguez (who directed the Boba-centric "Mandalorian" season 2 episode "The Tragedy") behind the scenes, the hope is that "The Book of Boba Fett" will follow in that show's footsteps and overcome its slow start to really find its stride, now that it's gotten so much table-setting out of the way. If nothing else, it will help that those watching at home are now more aware that all the pre-release covertness was just more of the smoke and mirrors marketing nonsense that's honestly done the "Star Wars" franchise more harm than good by this point.

"The Book of Boba Fett" episode 1 is now streaming on Disney+.