I don’t honestly have a lot to say about The Book of Boba Fett yet, since the first episode was mostly just laying the foundation for the series. But it’s a new Star Wars TV series about Boba Fett, so I mean it’s not like I can not force my opinions onto the internet.
I really like both Ming-na Wen and Temura Morrison, so I like seeing them be able to take the lead in a series. Especially an action series highlighting lead actors in their late 50s and early 60s — although I hate even mentioning their ages as if it were some kind of novelty, since they’ve made it more or less irrelevant. Before checking IMDB, I would’ve assumed they were at least a decade younger, and obviously, they can both still, as they say on Tattooine, “get it.”
The first episode seemed to be doing everything it could to restore Boba Fett to his 1980 bad-ass status, since the franchise has been piling indignities onto him ever since Return of the Jedi. He didn’t just jetpack out of the Sarlaac, he punched his way out! Granted, the entire episode was basically him getting his ass kicked, but the key was getting his ass kicked and coming out on top. And with his sense of honor-among-thieves-and-murderers intact.
Although I liked it quite a bit, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the budget for this series was cut relative to The Mandalorian. In that series, I can’t remember a single moment where I was taken out of the story by effects or costumes, even when they were paddling down a lava river. In The Book of Boba Fett, though, I kept noticing that they were on a set, or the costumes looked like costumes and the make-up like make-up, or the CGI was noticeably CGI.
One scene in the city had droids that were clearly Boston Dynamics robots in the foreground, which seemed mid-way between a cop-out and a commitment to practical effects. The Gamorrean Guards looked like they found a couple of guys from the Folsom Street Fair and gave them a light coat of green body paint. Speaking of green body paint, one of the Sexy Twilek Servants from the casino looked like they’d brought him in without doing a camera test to make sure the paint worked.
I was wondering whether it was an aesthetic choice, especially when Boba Fett was fighting a monster that looked like an homage to Ray Harryhausen. Some of the animation looked almost like stop motion. To be clear, I’d absolutely 100% respect it as a commitment to practical effects, I just wish I could be more confident that it was. There was a lot of ambition elsewhere in the episode, with perfect costumes for extras only on-screen for seconds.
In any case: I was surprised to see Jon Favreau so heavily involved in the series, just because I’d thought this was more of an independent spin-off with Robert Rodriguez as show-runner. It’s a good sign even though the projects have so much in common, that this already feels distinct from The Mandalorian, with its own tone and a scope that feels just right for a seven-episode series. It’s not exactly what I expected it’d be, but I’m already on board and looking forward to the rest.