The greatest parts of The Book of Boba Fett, so far, have been the more personal takes of Boba Fett’s (Temuera Morrison, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones) rise from the Sarlacc pit and growing leadership within the Tusken tribe as it’s shown a different side of the iconic bounty hunter. So, it’s pretty disappointing that this week’s chapter, ‘The Streets of Mos Espa,’ pretty much scraps what’s worked for mediocre additions to Boba Fett’s story in the present.
The whole story arc with Boba Fett working within this Tusken raider tribe has been a strong part of the series so far and for good reason. It’s been a great way for Boba Fett to start at the bottom to earn respect as a leader, and it’s been great to see what he’s learned from them persist in the present. Thus, it’s pretty frustrating that this Tusken tribe is pretty much discarded off-screen when Boba Fett goes to talk with the Pykes about a protection deal. Given how much time and meaning Boba Fett’s time with the Tuskens has had in the last episode, it feels like this story is cut way too short and feels tacked on with this episode. This series has really struggled to give its two timelines proper balance, and it results in the stronger one being left on an unsatisfying note for the moment while the weaker one in the present gets more time, but the series is still not capitalizing on it well.
Even as the star of this series, it feels like Boba Fett fades into the background in this episode since nothing really remarkable happens to make it feel like his personal story is exciting or important in the present. When you’re watching him go see the Mayor again after the Hutt Twins tell him that he’s constructing some type of conspiracy plan to knock Boba Fett off the throne, it really feels like a supporting storyline rather than the main story thread. There just hasn’t been enough time delegated to the present to make it interesting, and the answers we learn are underwhelming. The Pykes being the ones behind everything just feels like a weak answer and unsatisfying in the moment since we don’t know much about them aside from their feud with Boba Fett. At this point, there just isn’t anything in the present story to keep your interest aside from some action and nostalgia that contain unnecessary distractions.
For a series centered on Boba Fett, it constantly feels like there are reasons to talk about anything but him – especially in the action sequences. It’s kind of frustrating that, for being a great bounty hunter, Boba Fett is either left out of the action sequences or just gets his ass kicked so swiftly. He really hasn’t gotten his time to shine in action sequences and neither has Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen, Mulan), since she doesn’t do much and is just maintaining her underwhelming role as the snarky sidekick. With not one, but two high-profile assassin main characters, you would expect them to be involved a little bit in the action, but they’re just letting lackeys take control, and it’s kind of baffling.
The action sequences here are a little better than in the past episodes, since that awesome-looking Wookiee Black Krrsantan gets fully unleashed to wreak havoc on Boba Fett and his lackeys and the motorbike chase sequence at the end has some rad moments. However, this episode has some of the most shoved-in elements of nostalgia and characters that don’t fit. All of the iconic droids popping up throughout the final motorbike sequence is just force-fed nostalgia, and while there’s some fun potential with Boba Fett now having a Rancor at his disposal, it just doesn’t add anything to the moment except a Danny Trejo appearance that doesn’t fit.
As much as Trejo and Stephen Root appearing in a Star Wars series would sound awesome, they stick out like a sore thumb, and Root’s small storyline as a smarmy vendor who gets tricked by some cyborg teens adds nothing except more characters that visually don’t fit. It’s nice that Boba Fett is expanding his army essentially by adding this gang of cyborgs, but it’s such an odd addition that unnecessarily sticks out badly. Their candy-colored motorbikes and generic cyborg attachments don’t fit into Star Wars’ visual identity at all and the way they overtake this episode doesn’t help.
Although we finally get more of the present storyline in The Book of Boba Fett, ‘The Streets of Mos Espa’ is a total mess that doesn’t push the narrative forward enough and strays too much focus away from its main character. Hopefully, as the mystery of Boba Fett’s secret antagonist unfolds more, there’s more interesting story beats ahead that’ll not only reignite excitement, but divulge more of Boba Fett’s personal story, rather than the nothing we get here.