Sometimes when you love something and it disappoints, you’re more inspired. I don’t hate the Book of Boba Fett, I just feel it lost its way.
My frustration with the Book of Boba Fett is that it is only fine when it could have easily been great. It had the potential to not only being an excellent piece of genre fiction, but also a gut punch of both socially aware and emotionally devastating art.
So here are some notes I came up with to adjust how Boba Fett should have gone if it placed its priorities on its current story, and not sidelining its characters for guest appearances.
This was very off-the-cuff and written late at night, do not expect perfect editing. This is establishing why focus, structure and dramatic tension are essential for storytelling.
—Episode Five does not have Mando. Cad Bane arrives starts causing problems and a confrontation leads to Bane bringing up Boba’s past, his sins, his father, before he shoots Boba injuring him badly. Forcing him back into the Bacta tank. Episode six begins here—
Boba wretched as he felt himself dragged once again to the bacta tank. The greasy smell of the Gammorians reminded him he was safe.
The pain in his shoulder, his arm, his knee… everywhere. Bane. Why’d it have to be Bane? A galaxy of scum and they get Bane on the payroll… He felt his armor being stripped, piece by piece, blood and burnt flesh clinging to his robes. Fennec will secure the situation… she always does. He winced, groaning at the pain webbing through his body.
The calloused hands of the Gammorians haul Boba into the tank, shoving the rebreathing into his mouth. He bit down, fading in and out of consciousness.
The warm blue liquid rose, calming his wild senses until they were finally silenced.
Boba Fett, would-be daimyo of Tatooine, conqueror of Jabba’s Territories… once again fell into deep sleep.
Rain pattered against the window.
Thunder rumbles over the endless ocean world. The mushroom-shaped structures—Tipoca City—where the future Grand Army of the Republic was being grown. Boba, age nine, watched the window. Hoping to glimpse his father’s Firespray gunship on its re-entry.
Boba never knew when his father would return. He always left on jobs. He always left in the night when he thought Boba was sleeping.
The anger at his father festered like a scabbed-up wound. Why can’t he just take me with him?
The door whooshed open and Taun We entered. The kaminoans long ethereal strides always hypnotized the young Boba. He only really had his father—when he was around—and the Kaminoans. He’d seen the clones plenty, but he wasn’t allowed to spend time with them.
“Dinner, young Boba,” said Taun We, voice smooth and flowing.
“I’m not hunger,” snapped Boba.
Taun We didn’t answer. She interlaced her long fingers and stood next to Boba, looking out at the storms that eternally battered the city.
“You have not completed your studies,” said Taun We. “Your father will be displeased.”
“I don’t care,” said Boba. “He’s never around anyways.”
Taun We didn’t answer. The awkward cadence of their species forced patience into Boba when all he wanted to do was scream. The Kaminoan floated through the egg-shaped apartment, tidying the mess Boba refused to clean. The young clone wrapped his arms around his knees, still watching the stormy black sky.
“Your father will return,” said Taun We. “He always does.”
“Stop defending him!” snapped Boba, throwing the dataslate against the wall.
The Kaminoan moved slowly, but decisively, as if they were still underwater. She swept up the shattered device without a pause or comment. Boba didn’t know how they could be so reserved, so controlled.
She interlaced her knobby fingers and starred down at Boba. “Your father—”
“He’s not my father! He’s my donor! I’m just another clone!”
Taun We blinked, faster this time. “Your father, chose you, Boba. He could have taken his money and left, only returning when we required more material. He asked for you, he chose to live here, he chose to raise you away from his… profession.”
“I don’t know,” said Taun We, her understanding of human behavior reaching its limits. Clones were certainly easier to understand when they are modified to be simpler. “The clones are assets. The army is still growing… but you are another clone. You are pure, Boba. He is your father, and you are his son.”
Boba hadn’t realized he was clenching his fists, tears streaming down his face.
Before Taun We could leave, the door slid open and Jango stood in the blindingly-white corridor. His Beskar armor still slick with rain, a bundle under one arm and his visored-helmet hiding his face.
“Jango, we were unaware of your return,” said Taun We, bowing slightly. “Was your trip productive?”
“Fairly,” echoed father’s voice, boots clattering on the floor.
“I shall bring you nourishment.”
“No need, Taun,” said Jango. “Seems Boba isn’t hungry.” He’d already seen the food. Boba glared at his father’s helmet. That’s his real face.
Taun We bowed and left the apartment.
The door whooshed shut and Jango dropped the bundle on the couch. A sigh escaped Jango’s helmet as he passed through the apartment, seeing the mess of clothes and electronics. Jango removed his helmet, setting it on the table. The Beskar made a heavy thunk against the smooth surface.
Jango’s face was scarred in ways none of the adult clones were. There was wrinkles, blemishes and marks that could only come from living a full life, a real life, not an artificial one. Jango was real where Boba was still just a clone. Regardless of what Taun We said.
Jango scooped up some of the food and shoveled it into his mouth. He clearly hadn’t eaten in days. He then moved to the bedroom to remove his armor.
Boba sat back on couch, watching his father remove his pauldrons.
“How was it?” asked Boba, trying to fill the silence. “Did you catch him? For the Hutts right?”
Jango kneeled down, grunting to remove his greaves. When a latch wouldn’t release, Jango looked at his son. “If you’re gonna gawk like a Bantha, make yourself useful.”
Boba crossed to the bedroom and sat to help his father. He removed the greaves and boots. Jango turned around and Boba helped off pieces of the jetpack and breastplate.
“What’s it called?”
“A JT-12 Jetpack, constructed by Merr-Sonn Munitions, Inc., capable of—”
“What’s it called?”
“The Rising Pheonix.”
“And these,” said Jango, holding out his bracers that housed his rockets and flamethrower.
“Whistling Birds. Dragon Breath.”
“Good,” said Jango. “You have been studying, eh?”
Boba picked up the pieces of armor and set them by the corner, they were heavy but he couldn’t let his father see him strain. He placed it on a shelf, organized, set with his father’s blasters and spare rockets. Tomorrow Boba would be expected to clean every piece of armor, count every ounce of tibana, and polish every piece of beskar.
Jango removed his fatigues and put on a loose tunic and slacks. He saw Boba starring up at the helmet.
“When you’re ready,” said Jango, cutting straight through to Boba’s thoughts.
Boba whipped around, glaring at his father’s matching eyes. “You never take me with you.”
Jango gave a flat look. “You’re not ready.”
Jango scoffed, crossing into the apartment and taking the tray of food, falling onto the couch. Boba stood in the doorway, fuming. “You and that Changling took a boring job! You complained about it for weeks! You could take me!”
Jango laughed. “And you’ll learn what? How boring some jobs can be?” He took a bite of the protein cubes. “When you’re ready.”
“How am I supposed to be ready when you don’t let me do anything?!”
Jango put his bare feet on the table. “When you keep his apartment clean, when you finish your studies, clean your clothes, do the work I expect you to do while I’m away.”
“What does that have to do with bounty hunting?!”
“Everything!” shouted Jango, voice cutting. Boba’s mouth clapped shut, realizing he reached the edge of his father’s patience. “If you don’t have the discipline to keep things in order here, you can’t even begin to handle the boredom of waiting out a job. If you won’t listen to me about chores, you won’t listen when I order you to hide. If you won’t study on a dataslate, you won’t study your friends when they lie to your face.”
Boba starred at his feet, unable to meet those eyes that matched his own exactly.
“We are not Mandalorians.”
A smirk crept across Jango’s face. He put down the tray of food and crossed the apartment, kneeling to look into Boba’s face.
“Whatever we are, we survive in this universe. We survive.”
Boba didn’t answer, still unable to look into his father’s eyes. Jango put his rough hands-on Boba’s shoulders, forcing the son to look into his father’s eyes. For Jango it had been very uncomfortable looking at Boba as he grew. One never remembers seeing yourself in the mirror as a baby or small child. It was as Boba grew Jango felt the discomfort of seeing himself in reverse, walking around, seeing inborn habits and ticks he never realized he had. Having a son, exactly like oneself, a perfect genetic copy…
Jango sighed, realizing that the discomfort of himself was unfair to Boba. The poor child didn’t ask for this. He didn’t have his clan or the other foundlings. He only had the aliens of this ocean planet.
“Boba,” said Jango. Finally getting those eyes to stare back. “You are my son. My son. I didn’t have a father; I had a clan. I fought in wars and never removed my helmet until I was already a hunter. Now the pacifists of Mandalore say I stole this armor, that my clan is extinct and our ways are dead. I don’t give a pudu what they say or what Vizsla’s crazies say.”
Boba looked up, those mirrored eyes glistening with tears.
“We’re both alone, mate,” said Jango. “We’ll find our way. Our own way.”
Boba jumped forward, embracing his father. For a mere moment, Jango held him too. The moment passed quickly and Jango recovered himself.
“It’s time to start your training… properly,” said Jango, rising to his full height. “You will become a hunter, I know that, a great one. You will carry our name. You will wear that armor. We will make our own way in this universe.”
“This is the way,” said Jango, half-joking.
And the older, tired, would-be warlord Boba, opened his eyes.
—After this we see Boba and Fennec prepare for war with the pykes. They call their allies and that’s when Mando enters the series when he is clearly in a darker place, confused and frustrated after having to give up Grogu. The finale continues as it was presented, but now there is actual weight to the drama with Cad Bane, Boba’s Redemption Arc and sets up Mando S3. In the conclusion, Boba returns many swathes of the desert to the remaining Tuskens, ensuring peace on the sands for the first time—