The Book Of Boba Fett Premiere Outshoots Marvel's Hawkeye

It took more than 40 years, but Boba Fett is finally back in the "Star Wars" universe. Once a mystery in a cool suit of armor, the bounty hunter has evolved into a full-fledged character, culminating with his Disney+ series, "The Book of Boba Fett." The general response to "The Mandalorian" spinoff has been lukewarm so far, mostly because the first episode was a pretty basic pilot where Boba spent much of the runtime taking a bath while recalling painful events from his past. (To be fair, his skin really needed the extra care.) In terms of viewership, however, the show is already off to a promising start.

According to Samba TV (via Deadline), "The Book of Boba Fett" premiere, "Stranger in a Strange Land," was streamed by 1.7 million U.S. households in its first five days on Disney+. That represents a 13 percent uptick from the first episode for Marvel's "Hawkeye" series, which was watched by 1.5 million households over the same amount of time last November. All the same, both shows were well behind "Loki," which was the first major Disney+ series to launch after the streamer switched to premiering its most buzzed-about original shows on Wednesdays instead of Fridays. Some 2.5 million U.S. households tuned in for the titular trickster god's small screen debut in its first week, outpacing "The Book of Boba Fett" by 32 percent.

'In Difficult Times, Fear Is a Surer Bet.'

Created by "The Mandalorian" showrunner Jon Favreau, "The Book of Boba Fett" follows Boba (Temuera Morrison) and his associate Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) as they try to take control of the late Jabba the Hutt's criminal operations on Tatooine. But where its predecessor ended its first episode with a game-changing reveal in the form of the adorable Grogu, "Stranger in a Strange Land" offered few clues about where the show's plot will go from here. Questions about Mos Espa's mayor Mok Shaiz aside, the episode spent more time on fleshing out Boba as a character than it did introducing story threads for the episodes ahead to resolve.

In a way, though, that's kind of refreshing. As slick as Boba Fett was in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, there was barely anything to him as a person. While "Attack of the Clones" and the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" have since added more dimensions to him, most people have only known him as a one-note villain up until this point. "The Book of Boba Fett" is already taking steps to change that by having Boba reject Fennec's call to rule his criminal empire through fear, even if that's the easier route. (Then again, the Dark Side always is, as the "Star Wars" franchise has long taught us.) Combined with flashbacks that show how Boba evolved from a ruthless killer into the stoic warrior viewers met on "The Mandalorian," it seems the series may yet serve as a redemption story for the character, as /Film's Jeremy Mathai has observed.

"The Book of Boba Fett" debuts new episodes on Wednesdays exclusively on Disney+.