The long-awaited Boba Fett spinoff, The Book of Boba Fett, is roughly halfway through its seven-episode season on Disney Plus, which follows the iconic bounty hunter as he attempts to reinvent himself as “literally anything other than a bounty hunter.”
Yes, Boba Fett has a new job in The Book of Boba Fett. After killing off Jabba the Hutt’s former majordomo, Bib Fortuna (who, we’re told, stepped in to fill the Hutt-shaped space in Mos Espa’s criminal underworld), Boba is now the new “daimyo,” the lord and master of the desert planet’s seedier elements.
As we noted in The Verge’s initial review, it’s not entirely clear why Boba Fett is chasing a sudden career change at this point in his life. And after a few more episodes, The Book of Boba Fett has left us with more questions about Boba’s new gig than answers.
Here are just a few:
earth Tatooine would Boba Fett actually want to be the daimyo here? Why would anyone want to run Jabba’s old crime empire on a backwater planet most famous for being so hot and uncomfortable to live on that farming dew is a great job and which has been best described as “if there’s a bright center to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from”?
How extensive is this criminal empire? Jabba seemed to have much bigger reach — he shows up in the special edition of A New Hope to intimidate Han Solo in person in Mos Eisley, but The Book of Boba Fett can’t seem to decide whether Jabba was a planetary-wide force of mob rule or just a dude who had the city of Mos Espa under his thumb.
Why is Boba Fett so bad at his job? For a character whose sole purpose in Star Wars is to be the baddest of the badass, how is Boba so bad at this? We’ve already seen him nearly die multiple times and make plenty of questionable decisions. Is this just the Star Wars version of the Peter Principle?
Boba Fett’s introduction in the franchise is when Darth Vader hires him as one of the bounty hunters to chase down the Millennium Falcon. It’s a scene where Vader calls him out specifically that he wants Luke and friends alive. (“No disintegrations.”) He’s a man who Darth Vader — this guy! the character that did this! — has to rebuke for going a little overboard sometimes. And now he’s taking shit from the mayor’s day planner, the guy who sells water in town, Jabba’s cousins, and the Star Wars equivalent of teenage ne’er-do-wells. Which raises a few more important questions…
Does anyone respect Boba Fett in this town? As previously mentioned, almost no one seems to take Boba seriously in his new role. His competitors don’t think he belongs, his constituents argue with him and question his decisions, and the city’s mayor doesn’t even want to meet with him. Things really hit a personal low point when we find Boba bartering with a bunch of obnoxious teens riding futuristic Vespas; instead of punishing them, he outright hires them. Not the most intimidating course of action.
What does Boba actually do as daimyo? For that matter, what did Jabba do? It seems like the job is mostly sitting in a big chair, listening to people’s complaints, and trying not to be assassinated.
How many people make up this criminal empire? For the first few episodes, the crew of people working for Boba seems incredibly small. There’s his number one (Fennec Shand), an ex-torture droid, and a pair of Gamorrean bodyguards. We don’t see anybody else under his command until he hires the aforementioned quartet of mechanically altered teen troublemakers. That’s pretty small for someone who is supposed to rule over a criminal empire. And how does the hiring process work? Boba seems to just hire whoever he comes across — aside from Wookie assassins — with little in the way of due diligence.
Is Boba Fett just having a midlife crisis? By the chronology of Star Wars, Boba is roughly in his mid-40s at the time of the show, which would put him squarely in the “early mid-life crisis” zone. Maybe this whole “taking over a criminal enterprise of indeterminate size that you have literally zero experience or capability to run” is just Boba’s attempt to add a little spice and flair to his life, especially after the priority clarifying near-death experience of almost finding “a new definition of pain and suffering as you are slowly digested over a thousand years” in the Sarlacc pit.
Is Boba just in this for health insurance? Hear us out here. Prior to taking over Jabba’s job, Boba Fett was a bounty hunter, the Star Wars equivalent of a Taskrabbit or Uber driver, except they chase down and capture / kill / occasionally disintegrate(?) people for money. We know from The Mandalorian that there’s a literal guild of bounty hunters, with bosses who offer a selection of jobs for these heavily armed gig workers to take (like Carl Weathers’ Greef Karga), but they’re clearly independent contractors with little to no corporate benefits.
Contrast that with the Boba Fett of The Book of Boba Fett. Suddenly, Boba can afford a fancy and expensive Bacta Tank for healing up his Sarlacc-inflicted wounds. You’re telling me that he’s getting that kind of medical treatment on Tatooine with freelancer insurance rates? The deductibles alone would be ruinous. Between the Bacta treatments and Fennec’s cybernetic reconstruction, the two are clearly on some sort of group plan within the larger post-Jabba organization, and Boba, like so many freelancers, is just looking for some stable benefits to help manage his chronic injuries as he’s getting up there in years.
Does Boba Fett even want to do this job? It’s hard to get the sense that he’s genuinely enthused about actually being a crime lord. He seems to have no desire for the trappings of luxury, eschewing the apparently traditional palanquin for his trips about town and showing little interest in the lavish feasts put in front of him. “Not now, I’m busy” is Boba’s first reaction when his droid butler tries to pull him away from playing with his new rancor buddy.
With four episodes left, The Book of Boba Fett still has plenty of time to try and answer some of these questions. But it’s possible that maybe the galaxy’s most infamous bounty hunter is just more suited to mayhem than middle management.