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‘The Book of Boba Fett’ Exit Survey

With Mando (and another friend) by his side, our titular bounty hunter went to war in an action-filled finale. Now it’s time to decide how we felt about it.

Disney+/Ringer illustration

Betrayal. A standoff with Cad Bane. Annihilator droids. A King Kong–aping rancor. A surprise visit from an old friend. And finally, quiet on Tatooine. The finale of The Book of Boba Fett was filled to the brim, wrapping up a season of Star Wars television that, in retrospect, barely feels like a season of television at all. There’s a lot to cover here, so let’s put down our gaffi sticks and get to it.

1. What is your tweet-length review of the Book of Boba Fett finale?

Ben Lindbergh: If last week’s episode was the best of times for Star Wars, this week’s was … well, not the worst of times, but a massive step down. You know how the sequel trilogy felt disjointed because it was the product of two different (and often kind of conflicting) creative visions? So did Book of Boba, except somehow the same person wrote (or cowrote) the whole thing.

Miles Surrey: The single most bizarre experiment to come out of the Disney Star Wars pipeline—though it was hardly ever boring.

Daniel Chin: A fun yet unsatisfying conclusion to a strange season of Star Wars TV. I kind of wish we got more chapters of The Mandalorian instead of The Book of Boba Fett?

Arjuna Ramgopal:

Rob Mahoney: Editors wanted: What should have been a two-part spec script for The Mandalorian got way, way out of hand.

Andrew Gruttadaro: They wrote Boba Fett off his own show and then wanted us to be worried that he might not survive the finale. That … is not how it works.

Jomi Adeniran:

Claire McNear: I don’t know what spice is, but at this point I think it’s only fair that Disney+ send me some.

2. What was the best moment of the season?

McNear: I have never experienced a show that seemed—in real time—to hear and respond to my complaints like this one did. (Unfortunately for the show, those complaints were about the main characters and plot.)

Chin: Baby Yoda attempting to jump in front of Luke Skywalker and barely getting off the ground. Even after all this time, I can’t get enough of Grogu.

Mahoney: To go full nerd: Luke Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano having an actual conversation was an incredible, unfathomable payoff to decades of Star Wars. It never seemed possible until it was right there in front of us. What a gift.

Surrey: The Mando-led fifth episode was a thrilling reintroduction to the character. (Although, it’s not a great sign for Boba Fett that he could be so easily overshadowed on his own show.) Also: The rancor was a very good boy.

Gruttadaro: Grogu peeking out from the seat of an X-Wing; Peli being like “I’m not gonna call you Grogu;” Grogu leaping into Mando’s arms; Grogu taking a nap next to the rancor; Grogu repeatedly tapping on the glass to make Din go fast. The Star Wars brain trust seems to have only semi-control of all its disparate parts, but at least they know that Baby Yoda is their meal ticket. That little dude is the sun in this far, far away galaxy.

Adeniran: Din firing up the Darksaber for the first time was elite. Even though he barely knew how to use it, seeing Mando slice up those baddies made me so happy.

Ramgopal: The entirety of Episode 6. Dave Filoni combined decades of storytelling into 47 minutes of pure joy. Whether you’re only here for Grogu or have been waiting for Cad Bane’s live-action debut, that episode made The Book of Boba Fett worth it.

Lindbergh: Obviously, Book of Boba’s best moments came when it was masquerading as The Mandalorian. But if I limit myself to scenes that actually featured Fett—which really narrows things down—I’d pick the Cad Bane–Boba face-offs in the finale. I appreciated the visual and verbal parallels that set up the long-delayed showdown between the galaxy’s two best bounty hunters, and I wish there’d been more time and attention devoted to exploring their shared history and the contrast between Cad’s contention that peace has cost Boba his strength (oops, wrong Bane) and Boba’s insistence that what Bane—and, at first, Fennec—sees as softness has actually made him stronger.

3. What was your least favorite part?

Adeniran: Every single godforsaken second we spent in Mos Espa.

McNear: … Boba Fett?

Gruttadaro: Any time things got a little too Spy Kids–y. It’s not that I think the street teens don’t have a right to exist, or that there’s some all-holy Star Wars aesthetic that every new entry must adhere to—but these characters truly didn’t fit this specific story and setting. And in every scene they were in, you kind of got the sense that Sophie Thatcher and Co. knew that too.

Mahoney: Not just the introduction of the biker teens and all the questionable design choices that came with them, but the way the finale kept circling back to them as if we had any reason to feel invested. There’s a special kind of cringe that comes with a show insisting upon something that it never came close to earning.

Lindbergh:

Chin: While Boba riding in on the rancor was a very cool visual, it was also predictable and yet still unearned. Why not do at least one more scene of him training with Danny Trejo during the season’s two-episode Mandalorian interlude?

Ramgopal: Boba Fett’s story. Did the guy even change from beginning to end? Cad Bane asked, “What’s your angle” and honestly, I’m still not sure Boba had an answer.

Surrey: Please, in the name of the Force, no more Luke Skywalker deepfakes.

Screenshots via Disney+

4. Apparently the Pykes were the big bads all along. Discuss.

Lindbergh: Robert Rodriguez was right: My mind is blown. (But in a bad way.)

Chin: It didn’t even feel like this season had a “big bad,” which is part of the problem. The setup for the finale could’ve been much better all around.

Adeniran: This wouldn’t have been a problem IF THERE WAS A SINGLE PYKE I COULD NAME. The Pykes were so bad as villains that Cad Bane seemed like the primary antagonist after just 10 minutes of screen time. Why not just make him the villain over seven episodes?!

McNear: I am not going to pretend that I am a Star Wars diehard—I’m not! I’m just a TV viewer, asking for the people with catfish heads in the desert to provide an interesting plot. Which is to say that I’m frankly not sure who the Pykes are (were?) or what their motivations were (are?). I consider this a strength of the finale.

Ramgopal: ​​Why? Why not use the Hutts the show introduced? Why not use the houses on Mos Espa? The Book of Boba Fett had a lot of problems, and finding an antagonist was chief among them.

Mahoney: The opportunity was right there for a twisty, compelling mystery in which Boba Fett tried to uproot a space cartel by drawing on his lifetime in the shadows, only to find the Pykes even deeper entrenched in Tatooine’s criminal underworld than he ever could have imagined. Their level of control could have been really intimidating. Instead, we got a boring shoot-out with a cut-rate version of the Pykes, in which their whole freaking syndicate gets chased offworld by Boba Fett, five biker teens, and a car full of yokels.

Surrey: I still think Mephisto was behind all this.


5. Do you feel like you know more than enough, not enough, or the right amount about Boba Fett?

Gruttadaro: I somehow know too much and not enough. On the one hand, Boba Fett was perfect as an unexplored mystery. On the other hand, since they insisted on building out his story, I really wish they wouldn’t have gotten bored halfway through.

Mahoney: Way, way too much. The very fact that they would kick off a Boba Fett series by showing him literally crawl out of the sarlacc pit betrayed a painful misunderstanding of what makes that character work. There’s power in making us wonder. Instead of using Fett’s reputation—in his world and in ours—to keep us guessing as we separate fact from myth, they took his helmet off at every opportunity and made everything exactly as it seemed.

Surrey: I appreciated the time spent with Boba and the Tusken Raiders, despite the fact that their massacre at the hands of the Pykes felt like a cheap attempt at character development. Outside of that though, Boba just makes more sense in a supporting role. When it comes to the character’s badassery, less is more.

Chin: I would’ve liked to see more ties to Boba Fett’s life on Kamino or with Jango Fett, as some brief flashbacks alluded to. (You already have Temuera Morrison, why not have a little fun with the fact that he started off playing Boba’s father?) That said, half of the season definitely didn’t need to be shown through bacta tank–induced flashbacks dedicated to the Tusken Raiders.

Ramgopal: Unmasking Boba to give us … whatever this was isn’t what anyone was looking for. I hope we don’t see Boba or Tatooine for a long, long time.

Lindbergh: I knew less about Boba when he was a bounty hunter driven by a desire for credits and revenge, but I understood him better. I’m on board with Boba making a career change and becoming a more complex character, and it wouldn’t have been tough to convey that because the Tuskens got caught in the crossfire between Boba and the Pykes, he’d decided to repent his life of conflict, turn over a new leaf, and try to stop the spice trade. Instead, the series never made his motivations or the planet’s living conditions clear, leaving us to wonder what was so bad about Bib Fortuna, how Boba would be different from the Daimyos who preceded him, and why he was hell-bent on saving a city that had nothing to do with his Tusken tribe.

Adeniran: Between this and Clone Wars, I think we’ve gotten enough of Boba’s backstory. It’s fine if he shows up here and there, but we don’t need to focus on him anymore.

McNear: I understand that for Star Wars Fans of a Certain Age, Boba Fett is important. I get it! I do. Was this show intentionally structured to upset them? I do not know. But it was a very convincing argument that Fett’s four lines in the original trilogy might have been an appropriate amount.

6. Be honest: Were you rooting for Fett or Cad Bane?

Chin: Cad Bane. My guy was right: Boba has gotten soft.

Mahoney: Is there any question? I still can’t believe they made live-action Cad Bane so perfect and so menacing and then killed him off in one of the dumbest showdowns in Star Wars history. Ugh.

Adeniran: I was obviously rooting for Boba, but … I didn’t want him to kill Cad. Does Cad deserve to die? Absolutely. Just not like that.

Ramgopal: Cad Bane is one of the most badass characters around, and he should not have died like that. What an absolute waste to do away with him so quickly.

Gruttadaro: That guy was way too cool to die so quickly.

McNear: I love my dad, the Elderly Blue Man Whom I Just Met.

Lindbergh: Bane, baby, Bane. Normally I wouldn’t want a character killed in a climactic moment to undercut the scene’s significance by evading death after all, but in this case, I’m hoping Bane gets the bacta or cybernetic hardware he needs to make that mysterious readout on his chest keep beeping. He’s too good to go down so soon.

Surrey: Cad Bane had the coldest live-action Star Wars introduction in ages, while Boba Fett has been spending his days napping in bacta tanks. At the very least, we need these bounty hunters to have a rematch. I want Garnett points and rebounds, and Bane rightfully taking round two.

7. Should The Book of Boba Fett get a second season?

Ramgopal: Please, god, no.

McNear: No, but I do think more shows should secretly be about Grogu and Mando, with zero warning or explanation.

Mahoney: This show didn’t make me care about a single new character it introduced or give me any real reason to believe the motivations it tried to sell. I’m here for the references and the callbacks and the new-and-improved Luke CGI, but let’s shoehorn it all into a more interesting frame.

Lindbergh: The structure of Season 1 didn’t do Fett any favors, but he always seemed like a better fit for a supporting role. So I’ll say it again: Stop trying to make Fett happen.

Chin: They did Boba a disservice this season by drawing too much attention away—and not giving him a compelling story in the first place. It’s fitting that the last moments of the finale belong to Grogu and Mando instead. So, I wouldn’t mind them giving this another shot and trying, in earnest this time, to explore Boba’s reign in Tatooine.

Surrey: No, but I wouldn’t mind if Boba made future appearances in The Mandalorian, which, given that Ming-Na Wen acknowledged The Book of Boba Fett as “The Mandalorian 2.5,” seems very much in play.

Adeniran: Another season of The Book of Boba Fett?

8. After seeing Din and Grogu reunite, what’s on your wish list for The Mandalorian Season 3?

Gruttadaro: More dung worms please! Baby’s gotta eat!

Ramgopal: I need to see Grogu attempt to wield the Darksaber, a return to Mandalore, and most importantly, the identity of who saved Grogu at the Jedi temple on Coruscant!

McNear: Given the willingness of the powers that be to do a completely different show under the banner of the announced—and much hyped—show, I suppose I live in fear of Boba Fett popping up without warning. Or Lizzie McGuire? The wizards of Waverly Place? Please just put the Mandalorian on The Mandalorian. Thank you.

Adeniran: I need to see Mando and Grogu with the Darksaber and a lightsaber, respectively, slicing up bad guys in the name of justice. This is the way, especially after The Book of Boba Fett.

Lindbergh: If Disney can decanonize decades of Star Wars storytelling, surely Mando can let go of some fundamentalist Mandalorian lore and stop adhering to the Armorer’s rigid rules. In my perfect Star Wars world, Grogu gets the Darksaber—following in the footsteps of the blade’s Mandalorian Jedi creator, Tarre Vizsla—and Mando gets to take his helmet off and spend more time looking on Grogu with his own eyes.

Chin: The reunion feels bittersweet in that Grogu has clearly made the wrong choice in returning to Din—just look at how much he’s already learned from hanging out with Luke! While it would unfortunately mean seeing less of Grogu, Mando should drop him back off at Jedi school and go about his business with the Darksaber and the throne of Mandalore.

Mahoney: I’m not picky! Episode 5 of The Book of Boba Fett—in which Fett doesn’t appear at all—was a great reminder of how satisfying The Mandalorian can be when it’s working in stride. It can do bounty of the week, it can do starfighter repair, and it can go deep on Darksaber lore, all in 47 minutes. Now that Grogu is back in the sidecar, I’m just curious to see where the show finds its new narrative drive.

Surrey: The galaxy is a big place, fellas. Please, hang out anywhere except Tatooine.