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A Character Equation

Banes at 12:00AM, March 24, 2022

To be honest, I didn't really want to talk about The Book of Boba Fett or Star Wars again in this post.

But nothing else is coming to mind at the moment, and this show has been on my mind, so here we are again!

Many have complained about the best episodes of the Boba Fett show being the chapters that had next-to-no Boba Fett in them. I agree with that, but I had no complaints about it; I really wasn't liking the show very much before the shift in focus to other characters. And when we switched back to Boba Fett for the finale, it once again wasn't working for me.

It's funny that The Mandalorian, featuring a character inspired by Boba Fett's popularity, is so much more the show that I imagined a Fett series could be. When Boba “returned to life” in that show, and then his series was teased, it looked great! Fett is an older, darker and more savage version of the The Mandalorian. And his series has a setup. Boba Fett was taking over as crime lord.

There seemed like many possibilities. As tough and cool as Boba is, trying to be a crime boss would surely have many very difficult roadblocks for him to overcome (along with his partner, Fennec Shand. Gotta mention her; she is an exciting new character who I was looking forward to seeing more of).

Anyway, it was a tough watch from the beginning. Fett's character seemed all wrong. He was a softer, kinder Boba Fett. He wanted to be a crime lord, but without the crime lord part. The whole thing was very strange to me and so were the flashbacks, where Boba joins a tribe of Tusken Raiders and learns about the importance of a tribe. Which is a good idea - but for me, it just didn't work at all. The episodes were a chore to watch, and the character arc didn't ring true for me at all.

I think the main reason - and this is finally the point - was that we didn't see the character as he WAS.

Even if the whole point was to change Boba Fett, character arc writing 101 says we have to see the character first as they WERE. As they've been up to this point. You could say that we saw that in the original Star Wars trilogy, and we did. But the Boba Fett who crawled out of the Sarlaac pit at the beginning of this adventure seemed to be ALREADY a different person. Who cared about people and loved animals.

I think that's why the experiences he had with the sandpeople didn't resonate with me. At least it's one reason. There was no sense (for me) that this guy was Boba Fett. He was such a different person.

Having said that, there was a moment in the finale that worked for me. When Fett faces off against his nemesis in a classic Western gunfight –

–spoiler alert –

– It's the weapon that he uses as a Tusken Raider tribesman that he uses to win the day.

I liked that. It felt good. And when I thought about it later, I think it worked because it followed good character writing principles.

A character resolves their story and wins the day (if they win the day)
by adding who they WERE (in the beginning of their story)
to who they BECAME (in act 2 or the middle of their story)
to become something new. That's what allows them to triumph.

So Boba Fett was “a cold blooded killer” and gunfighter.
He became a Tusken tribesman.
And the combination of those came together to help him win.

The crime boss stuff didn't really come into play as far as I can tell - and we should have seen more of the gunslinger persona (when the Mandalorian showed up, doing all that cool stuff, it was like “why can't Boba Fett do anything like this???”),

but in a way, sort of, there was a character equation at work.

kind of.

bye for now!




Banes at 2:18PM, March 26, 2022

@cdmalcolm - Totally agree. I try not to give in to conspiracy thinking too easily. But the level of sabotage to the Boba Fett character almost feels...on purpose. The show had lots of problems, and a big one is that he couldn't keep the helmet on. They took all the qualities that made Boba Fett cool and gave them to Mando. And then took those qualities AWAY from Fett himself. A shame!

cdmalcolm1 at 4:37PM, March 25, 2022

I liked the Mandalorian over the Book of Boba Fett. Here is where I think made the difference between them both. The showing of the face. A Mandalorian is like the Luchador. The hidden face vs exposed face. Very much why I loved Rorschach in the Watchmen. They were mysterious, unknown to observers trying to pry into the person kicking ass and taking names. Not a person you want to mess with. With Boba, I never felt that except when Boba first put his armor back on to fight. It showed he still got it……but only for that moment. Then he just goes back to being “normal-like” I hated how that story played out. I think Boba should have been way more ruthless to everyone he had conflicts with. You know, make everyone know the Name, “Boba Fett” feared when spoken.

Banes at 4:37PM, March 24, 2022

@RobertRVeith - it’s a good point. We don’t know much about him. I do think the hints that were given in the movies (profit driven, clever, brutal bounty hunter) could/should have been acknowledged in the show…

Banes at 4:35PM, March 24, 2022

@ozoneocean - your education continues to astound, sir! I did read somewhere that some kind of Māori martial arts were incorporated into the character’s fighting style - no idea if that’s accurate though!

Banes at 3:01PM, March 24, 2022

@dpat - haha, you’re welcome. But I mean, why force yourself to watch something you don’t want to watch? Life is hard enough! No need to torture yourself!

Banes at 3:00PM, March 24, 2022

@damehelsing - I’m glad it worked for you! I wanted to love it. The pacing thing could be one of the issues. I thought the ideas were cool - the execution just didn’t work for me I guess. It’s a shame but I’m glad for anyone who enjoyed it. I’ll never argue against someone liking what they like!

RobertRVeith at 10:55AM, March 24, 2022

One of the challenges of telling a story about Boba Fett is that prior to this series, he was a total enigma. He had a cool look and his few lines of dialog imply a deeper story. But we have to guess at the deeper story. We don't know how he got from being orphaned during the clone wars to hunting bounties in Empire Strikes Back. So, he crawls out of the Sarlaac pit changed? Is he? We don't know enough about him to know how the Sarlaac pit changed him… or how the Tusken sojourn changed him… or why he would opt to go from being a bounty hunter to a crime boss.

Ozoneocean at 4:33AM, March 24, 2022

I remember some people posting about how one of the Tuskan weapons Boba Fett uses is a copy of a Fijian weapon and so they claimed it was art of the actor's heritage because he's Maori... XD So ignorant, haha! The Melanesian people who used those weapons were based almost 3000km away from the New Zealand Maori people and if they ever DID come into contact on the seas it would have been through violence and war. It's like saying Stuka dive bombers are part of the British cultural heritage.

dpat57 at 3:08AM, March 24, 2022

I don't want to be a Negative Nancy but I couldn't even get all the way through The Mandalorian, which I found lukewarm and repetitive. When MMA woman shot her career in the foot and exited the show, my interest levels plummeted even further. I've been trying to work up the energy to try Book of Boba, I might try an ep today and see how it goes, thanks at least for reminding me it exists.

damehelsing at 2:32AM, March 24, 2022

I really did like both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, I think one of the issues they may have had is with the pacing. Even though I feel like it all eventually came together, it was just such a short series and I feel like that's one of the things people will struggle with, how can they fit so much into so little? But I will say that one of the issues I had with the show is that when Mando showed up again, I completely forgot the series was about Boba Fett and I thought I was watching the Mandalorian, only to remember I wasn't when *spoiler* Boba Fett came riding back in the end with his Rancor. *end spoiler* But I think they did okay with Boba, he became this new character that they wanted and even though I feel like like it could have been done better/differently, it came through.

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