The Book of Boba Fat episode 3 review


This review contains spoilers for episode 3 of The Book of Boba Fett, ‘The Streets of Mos Espa’, which can now be seen on Disney +. To remind yourself of where we left off, check out ours review of The Book of Boba Fett episode 2.

In 1995, a famous football expert once said “you can not win anything with children”, after Manchester United’s young squad lost to Aston Villa. But the comment came back to haunt him as Manchester United continued to win both the Premier League and the FA Cup the same season. Will that be the case with The Book of Boba Fett, now that the series premieres on its own youthful team of maladaptations in episode 3? Here is hope, given the new odds that the former bounty hunter faces when his past and present finally collide in “The Streets of Mos Espa”. But despite new young blood, this chapter serves as a slightly superficial set-up of narrative elements for the rest of the season at the expense of meaningful character development.

Boba’s rising benevolence may well be a sign of his downfall. On the plus side, he manages to acquire a group of anxious teens to strengthen his muscle power against the upcoming Pyke Syndicate. In addition to the long list of brunette women in the Star Wars universe, Sophie Thatcher (of Yellowjacket’s fame) plays the leader of an Alita: Battle Angel encounters Akira-like bicycle gang who have upgraded their bodies with droid parts and are in once with destroying the locals with their theft. These juvenile delinquents give off the whole “we’re just misunderstood, man!” vibe and could give The Outsiders a run for their money. A few scenes show just what they are capable of; a chase sequence through Mos Espa on their Teletubbies moped-like speeders adds a punch of flare to the scorched landscape – with a cyberpunk theme tune to boot – but it looks a bit cheap compared to the high-octane exhilaration of the train stunt in the previous episode.

In the past, the young Boba helped survive a sneak attack from Black Krrsantan while being disposed of in his Bacta tank, but it is a far less satisfying battle than the cantina takedown he administered against the swoop gang. One has to wonder how a massive Wookie managed to get past their defenses, but Fennec Shand’s late arrival suggests that she may not be as loyal to her savior as once thought. That would definitely explain her frustrating lack of screen time, aside from the opening fight scene and a few snide comments here and there. But in an episode that spends so much time signaling future alliances – Boba befriends a robber and sets Krrsantan free – and potentially betrayal, the plot and story feel quite incoherent. And with all these new characters thrown into the mix, it never takes time to let the viewer get to know the motivations of others other than our self-proclaimed antihero.

Boba Fett Lives: How the Bounty Hunter’s Story Continued After Return of the Jedi

That’s his name on the title card, of course, but even in The Mandalorian with supporting characters like Cobb Vanth and Frog Lady, there was a real sense of who they are and what they stood for. So far, there are none of those in The Book of Boba Fett, other than our lead role, who continues to be haunted by his childhood, reminders of his clone legacy every time he encounters a stormtrooper helmet stuck on a tip, and apparently his need to atone for his bounty hunter sins after getting a second chance at life. But the way his anti-hero journey is told feels somewhat pedestrian, and given the legend of this character, he undoubtedly deserves better than what he gets, just like the characters he associates with.

The decision to decimate the Tusken tribe Boba had been made an honorary member of is both obvious and lazy. Hardly any time is dedicated to their death, but I guess they had served their purpose of bringing the bounty hunter back from the brink and showing his heroic side. Now their murder simply adds pathos to his journey and pushes his plot forward while their names are lost in the ether.

Without Temuera Morrison, The Book of Boba Fett might have faltered completely at this point. He brings warmth and depth without pretentiousness to a character who could easily have followed the outlaw arrogant route. Even when the plot feels a bit painted by numbers, as it has done in this chapter, Morrison keeps you rooted for your space. Crossing fingers that he wants the audience on the edge of them next week.

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