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Consumed With Hate: The Book of Boba Fett

🚀 Any Trick In The Book, Now Baby...

The Crime: The Book of Boba Fett
The Guilty Party: Jon Favreau
Overview: Less a TV show than a collection of fan service and poorly-executed ideas all chess-pieced together into a meaningless action set-piece finale.

Why I Hate It...

Do you know the difference between a story and a premise? This isn't a set up to a joke or anything. It is, rather, the sort of question that comes up if you spend enough time hanging around with writers. A premise is simply an idea. For it to be a story you need a character journey rooted in the choices of the protagonist. You need stakes. You need agency. You need an internal conflict that must be overcome. If you don't have that central character journey, then all you're left with is just a bunch of stuff that happens, divorced from meaning or consequence--full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. This is the classic amateur writer mistake. Newbie writers love a good premise. They have cool ideas and they want to share them. So they build out a cool plot full of cool stuff happening, but they never marry it up to a character arc. And what you end up with something that's a mess of plot machinations, but it feels dull and lifeless. In other words, you end up with The Book of Boba Fett.

To be clear, there's a lot that's wrong with The Book of Boba Fett. The title is stupid. There is no book referenced, ever. Also, Temuera Morrison is miscast. Yes, I know he was Jango Fett in the prequels, but those movies were terrible. Furthermore, this is supposed to take place immediately after Return of the Jedi, but Morrison looks and moves like an old man and the armor clearly does not fit him anymore. Also, re-casting is pretty simple when you have someone who wears a helmet all the time. The first third of the show is essentially a White Savior plot and I can't believe we were still doing those in the year of our lord two thousand and twenty-two. And yes, I know that Morrison isn't white, but nobody thought to tell the writers that, because they went full Dances With Wolves (er... Dances With Banthas?) in those opening chapters, complete with a Tuskan Raider spirit journey and it's super cringe-worthy. Or there's the bit in the middle where the show stops dead in its tracks to do plot-service for The Mandalorian. Or there's Fett's crew, who were air-lifted in from a CW Power Rangers knock-off. Or there's Danny Trejo, who is a delightful actor but he's about as Star Wars as that diner from Attack of the Clones.

Look, I could go on and on. All of these are bad, but none of them are the reason that The Book of Boba Tea is bad. The reason it's bad is because it has no story to tell, just an IP to service and an interesting premise. And, you know what? I will grant them that it's a cool premise. Upon escaping the Sarlacc Pit, Fett steps in to fill the power vacuum left behind after the death of Jabba the Hutt and finds himself the gangster kingpin of Tatooine. That's solid. If that were a bit of backstory that cropped up in another show, you'd think it was pretty bitchin'. But it's a premise only, not a story.

And, frankly, it's not a premise that requires any amount of explanation. Boba Fett was already a bad guy. Watching him become a more powerful bad guy is not necessarily good television. Which means that The Book of Baby Feet is going to have to work extra hard to justify its existence. Why is it noteworthy that Fett becomes a mafioso? How does this change him? What sacrifices does he have to make to accomplish this and how is he affected by it? What's driving him? Why, in short, should I give a rat's ass?

Sadly, the creatives behind The Book of Bubbly Fêtes were not up to the task of answering any of those questions or delivering a fresh take on the bounty hunter that felt germane. Fans were justifiably upset at the departure in characterization. And here's where I want to tread a little lightly, because Star Wars fans getting their shorts in a twist over changes to a character is not exactly a sure sign of poor quality. We all remember the losing-of-the-shit that happened after The Last Jedi. But in that instance, Luke becoming a crotchety and world-weary old man decades after his attempt at a Jedi school failed actually makes sense as a natural progression for a character, and it worked to create a counter-arc against the protagonist Rey. Boba Fett, on the other hand, in basically no time at all has gone from being the galaxy's most notorious bounty hunter to a certified post-Disney-acquisition Star Wars Scoundrel™.

This is probably a separate post, but Star Wars under Disney has a scoundrel problem, insofar as it loves them but doesn't actually know how to write them. So you end up with this crop of hapless street urchins who are supposed to read as lovable rogues, but they're boring as hell because they never get to make any choices. It was bad writing in Rogue One, it was even worse writing in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and it's absolutely the wrong direction to take Boba Effing Fett.

I mean, just look at his character trajectory. He has a spiritual awakening and then spends the rest of the run of the show making zero ignoble decisions and accumulating power by being, I dunno, kinda bad-ass I guess. We don't need another narrative about a noble stoic in Mandalorian armor. We already have that in The Mandalorian. It's a smart move to go the other direction, but you have to actually go that direction. You can't do Breaking Bad in a Galaxy Far, Far Away and never show the character actually break bad. You also can't have an old man register as a bad-ass when all he does is make proclamations and sometimes shoot people. And you especially can't have him doing that while acting against Ming-Na Wen, who built her entire career around seeming like someone who could win a cage match in her sleep. And you can't do the character arc of a man standing on principles in increasingly dire circumstances when he only picked up those principles in episode three! And you definitely can't just have him ride a rancor and expect that you make up for the complete lack of story in the previous six hours of television.

The Book of Blobby Foods has no reason to exist. It has nothing to say. It's just franchise building. We had a title and a deadline and we needed to do a little plot business for The Mandolorian so we phoned this thing in. See you space cowboy.

Next week we're going to look at Michael Pollan's love letter to bougie dietary choices: In Defense of Food...

In CONSUMED WITH HATE, Kurt is revisiting media that he absolutely did not like one bit. See more posts.


NOT ChatGPT said…
I think that the blogger's criticisms of The Book of Boba Fett might be based on their personal expectations and preferences. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to storytelling, so what one person likes might not be what someone else likes.

Regarding the show being consumed with hate, I think the blogger might be misunderstanding the central themes of the show. The Book of Boba Fett is all about organized crime in the Star Wars universe, so it's natural that there's going to be some morally ambiguous characters and violent situations. However, I don't think it's fair to say that the show is consumed with hate, as it also explores themes of loyalty, family, and redemption.

I also don't agree with the blogger's criticism that the show lacks heart and humor. While it's definitely darker in tone compared to other Star Wars properties, there are still plenty of heartwarming moments between the characters and some lighthearted moments to break up the tension.

Overall, I think it's important to recognize that different people have different tastes and preferences, and that's okay. The Book of Boba Fett has a lot of compelling characters and explores some complex themes, which makes it worth watching in my opinion.