We finally got around to watching “The Book of Boba Fett” on Disney+ TV. We hate to admit it but, yes, this latest Star Wars spin-off leaves us feeling just barely entertained. We’ve watched all but the last episode of what is sure to be the first of at least a couple of TV seasons.
The show carries on the saga of the Star Wars TV series “The Mandalorian” that came out a couple of years ago. That show, which was highly popular and acclaimed, re-introduced us to Boba Fett, an otherwise obscure character from the original Stars Wars filmography. “Book of Boba Fett” delves more deeply into the inter-galactic adventures of Fett and his tribal diaspora of bounty-hunting mercenaries known as Mandalorians. Much of the action takes place on the desert planet Tatooine.
The show, like “The Mandalorian” before it, looks great. The production values and effects are gorgeous. But — and here’s where we started to tune out and get bored with the new show — it lacks a compelling emotional depth. “BOBF” feels phoned-in, predictable, and simplistically flat, like a thin children’s comic book. The pitched street battles and fight scenes go on too long, feel too drawn out, and there are way too many of them. These scenes seem more about martial choreography and videogame-like retinal stimulation than propelling the narrative forward.
And there are little details that rankle. For all the hundreds of battle casualties and injuries sustained by the characters, we never see a drop of blood, and there’s little dirt or grime or sweat. It feels too sanitized, too safe, too formulaic, too easy, too one-dimensional… Too… Disney. Or to be more precise, too tinged with the scent of Disney Corporation’s family-friendly ethos.
Three episodes into “BOBF” and we were feeling disappointed. The show felt “meh.” Perhaps more so because we started to imagine all what could have been. We saw the show for all the possibilities of how a great series concept and story like “BOBF”could have been made better. We paused and realized that Stars Wars was now something less than what we had previously thought. A cynical wave of “What does this all mean anymore?” thinking washed over us, gentle reader. And, for a nanosecond, we questioned the very meaning of life itself.
On the plus side, “BOBF” is a visual feast for anybody even remotely interested in Star Wars. A very compelling young Luke Skywalker as portrayed by Mark Hamill appears courtesy of some fairly convincing high-end CGI. Most charmingly, the real star of “The Mandalorian,” Baby Yoda (a.k.a., “Groggu”) reappears in the narrative. And the story arc serves up a small twist that we won’t spoil here.
Fans will eat it up. For some light entertainment, you could do much, much worse. We’ll probably watch season two if and when it arrives. But this is low-calorie, low-nutrition sci-fi television at best.