“Who is this who enters unannounced?” “You know damn well who.”
Following a week of controversial discussion, The Book of Boba Fett returned today with its second episode. Fans and critics alike found themselves divided on the premiere of The Mandalorian spin-off show, once again colliding on social platforms to discuss and nitpick every frame and detail. However, after what I would call an underwhelming start, the seven-episode Star Wars series begins to pick up the pace and the creative vision begins to shine through, which should reunite many of its audience.
The episode wastes no time moving the story forward from the premiere. After an attack on the streets of Mos Espa, Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) follow the trail back to the supposed employer of the assassins. They encounter a few new and familiar faces for those who have a deeper knowledge of Star Wars lore, before the episode shifts to flashback sequences. This was by far one of the elements of the episode that surprised me the most. With a fifty-two-minute runtime, making it one of the longest episodes of live-action Star Wars television to date, I was shocked to see over thirty-five minutes of the episode spent in flashbacks. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed both the present-day and flashback sequences considerably more in the second episode.
What truly stood out to me about this second episode was the sense of direction that the series immediately begins to take. The premiere was primarily composed of exposition and introducing characters, as it should, but walking away I felt that it was missing the final piece to hook a viewer into returning. This episode really begins to give the series direction and pay off a lot of the setup from last week.
Without diving too heavily into spoilers, I was truly impressed with how the flashback sequences were handled this week. The story of Boba Fett and the Tusken Raiders could have been its own series, and I continued to be impressed as the minutes went on with not only how the characters were written but also represented. Temuera Morrison really has carried this series on his back so far and as an actor, it is a difficult challenge to perform against incomprehensible creatures. However, Morrison rises to the challenge and succeeds wholeheartedly.
Many of the lacking production elements appeared to disappear in this episode as well. Whether it be a budget change or a director change, the issues that I had raised last week about the use of virtual production are virtually gone. Steph Green (Watchmen) brings a clear visual direction to this episode, which I really enjoyed. Several strong action sequences in this episode are up to par with those in The Mandalorian and similar Disney+ series, and the stunt choreography also seemed to be raised up a notch.
Finally, sometimes Star Wars can get outright weird, and one sequence in this episode does just that. I would like to take some time to sit on it and rewatch, but I know that it will cause some discussion amongst fans online. As of now, I certainly enjoyed the story implications but found the visual style to be somewhat overwhelming for my taste.
It is incredibly exciting to see The Book of Boba Fett rise to a higher level than I had hoped for. This episode was certainly one of the strongest episodes of Star Wars television we’ve gotten so far, and I expect the series to continue to trend upwards over the next several weeks.
What did you think of this episode of The Book of Boba Fett? Where do you think the show goes from here? Let us know in the comments below and on our social media pages!