*Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode 6 of The Book of Boba Fett.*
What is The Book of Boba Fett supposed to be about now? The show went from a sluggishly paced reintroduction of the titular bounty hunter (Temuera Morrison) while setting up a war with the Pyke Syndicate in the process that was going to be the main focus of episodes 5 through 7. But no, I guess the creators had other things and planned and quickly transformed The Book of Boba Fett into The Book of Glup Shitto.
Sure, the cameos aren’t relatively unknown characters (save for one, if you haven’t seen The Clone Wars), but they have no place in this damn thing. Let me be clear: I’m all for a barrage of cameos if they make sense within the story’s context. For example, in Deadpool 2, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) complains about the lack of X-Men in the X-Mansion. Without even realizing it, here are the main X-Men characters in the background having a meeting. It’s a fun cameo and makes complete sense within the joke and the story. But The Book of Boba Fett barely has a story, and so it has more liberty to shove in FIVE characters from the expanded universe of Star Wars just…because?
Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) makes sense because this is a Mandalorian spinoff, after all. So does Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant), introduced last season. But Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has no place in this, except to contextualize a reunion with Mando and Grogu. Unfortunately, the reunion doesn’t even happen. Instead, Djarin gives his “gift” to Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson, who is also randomly here), who will give it to Skywalker. If the scene ended there, it would’ve been fine, even if the show is called The Book of Boba Fett, and we still don’t know who the main antagonist of the story is!
I know some will say, “they’re saving it for the finale!” which is OK if the episode revolved around setting up the antagonist and the battle which will occur next week. Hawkeye meticulously set up Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio)’s return in the last episode, and the series ended with a bang. But that Marvel show, while incredibly flawed, at least progressed the story forward. The apparitions from other MCU veterans made sense, and none of the characters were only there for cameo’s sake.
We spend more than half of the episode watching Luke train with Grogu, even after Mando leaves the planet. So why are we watching this? I don’t know, to fill time, even if there’s one episode left? Yeah, I understand the parallel of Luke training Grogu pretty much the same way Yoda (Frank Oz) trained Luke, but if I wanted to watch this, I’d click on the Luke Skywalker Disney+ spinoff instead of what was promised to be a Boba Fett-centered series. Heck, Boba Fett is barely in this episode here (literally, blink, and you’ll miss him).
I want to see Boba Fett planning a battle against the Pyke Syndicate with Mando, Cobb Vanth, and other characters who have a PLACE in the show. I don’t want to do the Rick Dalton pointing meme at the screen and go AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH (!) all the time when none of the Jedi-related characters have a connection with the series’ barely a fleshed-out story. You can save Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka, and Grogu for Season 3 of The Mandalorian instead, or the Ahsoka spinoff, which will come out next year.
Oh, and the cherry on top was Cad Bane (Corey Burton) showing up. Bane makes sense; he’s a bounty hunter employed by many antagonists in The Clone Wars. He was the only extended universe cameo I enjoyed in Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which relies on pre-established characters. But Bane shows up, quite literally, out of nowhere, to threaten Vanth on teaming up with Fett. So there’s obviously another villain lurking around the shadows, which will be revealed next week. However, since there’s been little to no development on the threats and the justifications for the Pyke Syndicate to take over Mos Espa, it’ll likely be yet another emotionless reveal.
I’m happy for the fans who are enjoying The Book of Boba Fett, and I’d love to be one of them. Unfortunately, unless some 11th-hour miracle comes with the last episode, I don’t think I will be one of them. Already, there are RUMORS (very important here, I know nothing) that a de-aged Harrison Ford will show up as Han Solo, and Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra will be the show’s main villain. First off, Alden Ehrenreich should play a young Solo. It’s time to recast the de-aged characters because Luke looked and sounded entirely off. We can live without Mark Hamill playing young Luke, but he should, of course, come back if there are stories to be told with him as he gets older. Secondly, it makes no sense to cram as many characters as possible in a 45-ish minute-long episode for fans to get excited about seeing their favorite characters, even if they have no place in the show.
Marvel Studios has always been great at cameos because the characters they choose to integrate always make sense within the story’s context and its main characters. Now that Kevin Feige is working on a Star Wars project of his own, maybe he should talk to Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau on integrating expanded characters in a way that feels justifiable and satisfying. Because now it feels like we’re watching a high-budget fanfiction film on YouTube. My hopes aren’t high for the finale anymore.
The sixth episode of The Book of Boba Fett is now streaming on Disney+.