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‘The Book of Boba Fett’ Actually Makes ‘Return of the Jedi’ Worse

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While you’re bound to see Boba Fett costumes at nearly every Star Warsconvention that you attend, the supposedly fearsome bounty hunter that has become so iconic was cool for a very small amount of time before he was turned into a complete joke. After his cold, collected behavior in The Empire Strikes Back, Fett is easily dispatched within Return of the Jedi before being given a tragic backstory in the prequels. While it seemed like Robert Rodriguez might actually deliver the Fett we’d all been dreaming to see with his The Mandalorian spinoff series The Book of Boba Fett, the limited miniseries seemingly doubled down on the disappointment. Not only does Fett’s characterization feel odd compared to everything that had been established about him thus far, but The Book of Boba Fett’s narrative decisions actively make Return of the Jediworse.. The Book of Boba Fett has a very strange place within the Star Wars franchise. Temuera Morrison reprises his role as Fett and appears for an extended role in the second season of The Mandalorian, which establishes that in the wake of his survival of the Sarlacc Pit, Fett has become a more noble warrior with a code of honor. The Book of Boba Fett is teased at the end of the season in a post-credit scene; at first, it seemed like the series was simply a new entry in The Mandalorian franchise, and that’s essentially what it ended up being. The Book of Boba Fett featured significantly less of Fett himself than anyone expected, as the end of the story was taken over to accommodate appearances by Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), Luke Skywalker, and Grogu.. Grievances with the show’s marketing aside, The Book of Boba Fettdoesn’t convincingly make the argument that Fett has had a change of heart. While he does seem a little distracted by Jabba the Hutt’s entertainers in Return of the Jedi and doesn’t notice a blinded Han Solo (Harrison Ford), he still goes down in the heat of combat and fully intends to take down his targets in the heat of combat. The Book of Boba Fett suggests that he never had any serious intentions at all, and doesn’t go into his desire for revenge. Fett once felt like the coldhearted outlaw gunslinger whose skills could be bought by the highest bidder; The Book of Boba Fett transformed him into yet another dull, monotone adherent to a code of principles like the Jedi.. RELATED: Exactly What Percent of Star Wars Happens on Desert Planets?. Boba Fett’s Motivations Are Unclear. As noted in the Disney+ documentary Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett, the character was originally based upon Clint Eastwood’s “The Man With No Name” from Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and had a hint of mystery to his origin. While Attack of the Clones incorporated the backstory that he was an identical clone of his father Jango, whose death scarred him for life, he was still a rogue whose honor belonged to anyone that employed him. The Clone Wars made him slightly more empathetic, but he still attempts to take revenge on Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and leads a team of bounty hunters. Even in the early episodes of The Mandalorian, Fett is only trying to help Din rescue Grogu in order to obtain the armor that had been picked up by Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant).. However, The Book of Boba Fett suggests that Fett was some saintly, noble warrior with an extreme sense of sentimentality. In the aftermath of his escape from the Sarlacc Pit (which now feels much less dangerous), he develops a bond with the Tusken Raiders and protects them from raiding parties. While at first, it makes sense that Fett would barter his skills simply for his own survival, it’s clear that he’s doing it out of the goodness of his heart. As a result, it doesn’t make sense why he would work with someone as notoriously ruthless as Jabba the Hutt in the first place; this is the vile gangster that’s unafraid to drop his own employees in a Rancor pit after a minor annoyance.. Boba Fett’s Character Progression Is Confusing. The Book of Boba Fett has a bifurcated narrative; part of the series takes place in the immediate aftermath of Return of the Jedi and tracks his survival in the deserts of Tatooine, and the other part flashes forward to the aftermath of The Mandalorian Season 2 when he returns with the goal of taking over Jabba’s criminal empire. While it’s cool to see him execute Bib Fortuna and take over Jabba’s throne, it suggests that revenge is now his motivation. If that is the case, why wouldn’t he seek vengeance on Han, who had struck him down in battle? Why would he be so keen to help Luke, Din, and the Jedi Order that he’s crossed pass with so many times?. Making Fett into a proud, noble warrior who wants to bring peace and civility to Tatooine isn’t just inconsistent with his depiction in Return of the Jedi, but an actively dull choice on the writers’ part. He’s not given a compelling conflict other than justice, and any edges that he had are now sanded off. While Obi-Wan Kenobi was certainly not perfect, it at least presented Ewan McGregor’s grizzled take on the character as someone who had mixed feelings about their Jedi service. Fett seems to be completely clear on his new role, and it’s a far less interesting one than when he was roaming the galaxy in search of prized bounties.. Star Wars obsessives will know that Fett’s debut wasn’t in The Empire Strikes Back but as a one-shot villain in the famously derided The Star Wars Holiday Special. Essentially, he was a character created to sell mail-away action figures, and The Book of Boba Fett suggests that maybe he shouldn’t be any more than that. Sometimes it’s best to leave some mystery to Star Wars characters, and Fett was never intended to be a leading man. If The Book of Boba Fett’s intention was to put him in the spotlight, it only ended up proving that he should have stayed in the background 

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