The Best Episode Of The Book Of Boba Fett Is An Episode Of The Mandalorian

"The Book of Boba Fett" once held the exciting prospect of digging into a mysterious character who "Star Wars" fans have loved since his arrival in "The Empire Strikes Back." In fact, he was already a hit before the movie even hit theaters thanks to his animated debut in "The Star Wars Holiday Special." But so far, all the Boba Fett series on Disney+ has done is deliver a revamped version of the bounty hunter that seems to come into direct conflict with the previous iteration of the character without providing any easily discernible stakes for the story that's unfolding. This week, "The Book of Boba Fett" kinda shot itself in the foot by reminding us of everything that isn't working in the series by giving us an episode focused entirely on a character who has become much more compelling: The Mandalorian.

The Problem with Boba Fett

Throughout the first few episodes of "The Book of Boba Fett," there have been many fans disappointed in the direction of the series, mostly because it has taken a character previously depicted as a ruthless, mysterious bounty hunter, and turned him into a crime lord who is trying to rule the criminal underworld on Tatooine with respect instead of fear. The appeal of Boba Fett has waned with this redefinition, which not only strays from what the character seemed to be in the original "Star Wars" trilogy (and beyond), but also seems to be moving far away from anything that was previously depicted in the many stories of what are now "Star Wars Legends."

Furthermore, the flashbacks used to fill in the gap between Boba Fett's presumed demise in "Return of the Jedi" and his return in the second season of "The Mandalorian" haven't offered an engaging enough story worth telling. Though the angle of putting Boba Fett in a "Dances with Wolves" kind of story among the Tusken Raiders is an interesting one, the character's path has already been revealed to us, and nothing in those flashbacks has made the Boba Fett series feel necessary. We could have simply assumed everything about how Boba Fett got back his armor, encountered Fennec Shand, and retrieved his ship, and it would have been equally (if not more) exciting. Plus, we wouldn't have that ridiculous mod parlor scene to roll our eyes at.

What it boils down to is that "The Mandalorian" has already succeeded where "The Book of Boba Fett" has been coming up short.

The Mandalorian is the Boba Fett Series Fans Wanted

Before "The Mandalorian" ever premiered, it felt like Lucasfilm was repurposing ideas from the abandoned Boba Fett movie that was once in development. But with an original character under the Mandalorian armor instead of the unmodified clone of Jango Fett that we met in "Attack of the Clones," we got an entirely original character who wasn't beholden to any previous "Star Wars" mythology. Even as Mando (or Din Djarin) has gotten caught up in a story that has ties to characters and stories we're familiar with in the "Star Wars" saga, his character arc has not been hindered by anything from the past. This is where "The Book of Boba Fett" seems to be flailing.

Even though the "Star Wars" saga outside of the live-action movies has shown that the clones created for the Republic during the prequels can evolve to become unique individuals, Boba Fett still has a character history that makes his evolution somewhat challenging. His history before the "Star Wars" trilogy has been filled in, but it's what happened after "Return of the Jedi" that should have been what made him compelling. Instead, the Boba Fett series truncated that into a series of flashbacks that are now caught up with the present day character we met in "The Mandalorian" season 2. That gives him nowhere to go but forward, and the path that the character is currently on comes with zero investment for the audience and a total lack of stakes for Boba Fett's success in the criminal underworld. 

Meanwhile, over in "The Mandalorian," we have another ruthless bounty hunter with an intimidating reputation. Much like Boba Fett, Mando has softened somewhat because of the path that he finds himself on now. However, unlike Boba Fett, there's a compelling character arc for Mando to follow thanks to the presence of Grogu, who has turned the bounty hunter into an adoptive father of sorts, a role which has forced him to come to terms with his own traumatic past as an abandoned child. For Boba Fett, there's no captivating motivation for his goals, no clear reason for the change in his character beyond his learning experience with the Tusken Raiders, which was all too brief in the grand scheme of things. What is Boba Fett's character arc if he's already changed? Where does the character have to go from here? 

If Lucasfilm wants fans to invest in this new path for Boba Fett, they need to give them something to care about. After this latest episode, all I care about is what the Mandalorian is going to do next, and I could care less if it has anything to do with Boba Fett. I would like to see the baby.