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‘Book of Boba Fett’ a ‘Star Wars’ mob story

The Art of Nerding Out

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“The Godfather” opens with a scene where a father comes to Don Vito Corleone to beg him to administer justice to the animals who brutally beat up his daughter. I was reminded of this scene watching the first episode of the new “Book of Boba Fett” series because there’s a scene in it where different elements of the Mos Espa criminal underworld come to pay tribute to Fett (Temuera Morrison).

It sure looks like this series going to be a mob story, done “Star Wars” style.

“The Book of Boba Fett” finds the bounty hunter and his assassin assistant, Fennec Shand (Ming Na Wen), taking over the criminal empire once controlled by Jabba the Hutt. He begins to form relationships with the Mos Espa underbelly and conflicts are set up.

At the same time, Fett’s backstory detailing how he came to be where he is now is told through a series of flashbacks. So far, that plotline involves him being taken hostage by Tusken Raiders and surviving the rigors of desert slave life. There is also a bit of a mystery surrounding Fett’s health, which I’m sure will get explored as the series goes forward.

This show is a bit of a mixed blessing. The flashbacks have a similar problem the “Solo” had, that of explaining things that don’t really need explained and filling in details that don’t need filling in.

When “Fett” is following present-day events, it’s a lot more interesting. Fett’s plan is to rule with respect instead of fear. Dealing with crooks and thugs has a tendency to separate you from your personal beliefs and my guess is his desire to be a benevolent crime lord will be sorely tested. Watching how he deals with those he lords over is pretty interesting. Also, it brings Jennifer Beals’ club owner character Garsa Fwip into the story and Fwip is a delightful character I hope shows up in future episodes.

The filmmaking from the first episode’s director, Robert Rodriguez, is solid, as is the acting from Morrison and Wen. The writing is also sturdy. Visually, the show is a bit of a let-down. There are no shots that make you pause or that take your breath away. The action is mostly our heroes fighting CGI monsters, avoiding getting bashed with shocky sticks and doing parkour. Again, it does the job but it’s nothing to write home about.

“The Book of Boba Fett” capitalizes on an intriguing idea, telling a “Godfather”-like story in the “Star Wars” universe. It spends too much time in the first episode retelling past events but it also sets up conflicts with characters that I can’t wait to see play out. I was far from blown away but I think it did enough to get me to keep watching.

”The Book of Boba Fett” is available to stream on Disney+. The first episode is up now, with new episodes being posted every Wednesday through Feb. 9, 2022.

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