One week ago today, the finale of season one of The Book of Boba Fett premiered!
I’ve shared my thoughts on the season as a whole, but I thought I’d take a brief look at my favorite episodes of the season, ranking them in reverse order. This is, of course, just my take on it, and you may have had different favorites – which is great! But here’s my thoughts on it:
There’s a significant gap for me between sixth and seventh on this list, and this is the only episode of the series that left me feeling underwhelmed. In this episode, Boba Fett recruits the Mods to work for him – and that comes in handy as he’s attacked by Black Krrsantan. The Hutt twins show up and apologize, gifting Boba a Rancor and saying that they are leaving the planet, since another has laid claim to it. Curious, Boba heads into town to discover – after a chase through the streets of Mos Espa – that the Mayor is working with the Pykes.
This episode was fine, but it comes in a very distant last place for me in this season. The scene with Boba and the Rancor was fantastic, and I liked seeing Boba’s approach to offering the Mods a job instead of punishing them, but a lot of the rest fell a bit flat. The chase through the Mos Espa streets felt incredibly slow and like it just kept dragging on and on without anything new happening, and the fake-out with the twins and Krrsantan from one episode to the next was disappointing (the show wouldn’t find a truly compelling villain until the second-to-last episode). It was fine… but nothing more than that.
Like I said, there’s a significant gap between this one and seventh place, as I thought the pilot was a good episode. A lot of this episode is about filling in Boba’s backstory before The Mandalorian, as we encounter him healing in the bacta tank and see his escape from the sarlacc, his “rescue” by the Tuskens, his time enslaved to them, and his earning their respect by defeating the sand beast. In-between, we see the present-day story of Boba paying a visit to the Mayor – and getting ambushed by a group of assassins, showing us that someone isn’t happy he’s there.
This episode is pivotal in unpacking some of what happened to Boba and to setting the stage for the series as a whole.
Told mostly through flashbacks, this episode focuses on Boba Fett rescuing Fennec Shand in the desert, and the two of them joining forces to retrieve Boba’s ship from Jabba’s Palace. Once they do that, Boba gets revenge on the biker gang, and then thanks to Fennec’s quick-thinking, gets “revenge” on the sarlacc after another close escape. In the present timeline, Boba tries to enlist help from the other families of Tatooine, but ultimately comes to the conclusion that he needs to hire muscle.
This episode gives Fennec the most time to shine, and that’s a good thing! She’s great, and it’s cool how it all connects with The Mandalorian as well. The whole infiltration of the Palace was awesome (both funny and tense), and the ensuing scene with the sarlacc was as well. Plus, who didn’t love that epic musical tease at the end?
Now we’re really getting rolling, as this episode was easily the most fast-paced and action-packed episode of the season. The time comes for the battle of Mos Espa, but Cad Bane and the Pykes are ready for it, setting a trap for Boba’s forces. This forces him and Din Djarin to fend for themselves – until help arrives. Boba brings more reinforcements in the form of the Rancor, and he faces off with Bane. Plus, Djarin and Grogu are reunited, so it’s bound to be adorable.
This episode had the unenviable task of tying up so many of the plot threads that had been developed over the first six episodes, but it managed to do so really skillfully and in a satisfying way. And it featured some of the very best moments of the whole series: Boba and Din fighting alongside each other; Boba riding the Rancor; Boba vs. Cad Bane. There are a lot of re-watchable moments that manage to capture the heart and feel of the season while bringing things to a conclusion.
Some might be surprised to see this episode ranked as high here, but I think this one is at the core of what this series is really about and the message it’s trying to convey. In the present day, Boba and Fennec pay a visit to the Mayor to find out why he sent the assassins after them, but soon come to learn that the Hutts have laid claim to the planet (and have Black Krrsantan working for them). The threat is building, and then we flash back to Boba’s time with the Tuskens, as he grows to become more and more a part of the tribe. He defeats the bikers and steals their speeders, teaching the Tuskens how to ride it (“like a bantha”) and launching an attack on the Pyke train transport. Later, Boba goes on a journey in a lizard-induced dream, confronting the confines of his past, and he is then embraced as a part of the tribe.
There’s a lot to like about this episode, but like I said, I think one of the best parts about it is that it captures the main feel for Boba’s character and his journey in this entire series. The stuff with the Tuskens is great, and we are seeing how Boba comes to value this new family more and more. He takes leadership and runs point on the train attack, which is really cool, but even cooler is him being welcomed in by the Tuskens, getting fitted with robes, getting his own gaffi stick, and participating in a ritual dance. His dream is also telling, as it’s reflective of Boba breaking free of the bonds of all he’s known (being a bounty hunter) and emerging as someone different. Of all the episodes in this series, this is the one that most focuses on Boba’s character growth and development.
Boba Fett never shows up in this episode, but it’s a fantastic chapter in this overall story, and I think it’s one of the best live-action Star Wars episodes, period. Din Djarin has gone back to his bounty hunting ways and then tracks down the Armorer, wanting to reunite with his clan. The Armorer teaches Djarin about the darksaber, tells him what happened to Mandalore, fashions a gift for Grogu, and teaches Djarin to use the darksaber. But he’s nonetheless banished from his clan for having removed his helmet, causing him to go to Tatooine, where Peli Motto has found a new ship for him. The two of them (alongside the droids, including a BD unit!) repair the N1 starfighter, which Djarin tests out and comes to love. Fennec then approaches him about working a job for Boba, which he agrees to do.
There’s so much to love here, and it tells a very compelling story about Din Djarin and what he’s up to in this period. He’s trying to find his way after parting with Grogu, and in this way he really serves as a nice contrast and thematically similar story as Boba Fett in this series, needing to move on from being a bounty hunter to embrace a new destiny. And in the process, we get some awesome moments that pay tribute to all eras of Star Wars and are incredibly exciting for any fan of the saga.
If you had told me after Chapter 5 that it actually wouldn’t be my favorite of the season, I’d have looked at you like you were crazy. And especially if you had told me before the season that my favorite two episodes of this series wouldn’t be about Boba Fett, I would have just laughed. Yet here we are! This episode follows Luke Skywalker training Grogu, while Din Djarin talks with Ahsoka Tano about wanting to see the Child. Luke offers Grogu the choice of who to stick with, while meanwhile on Tatooine, Cobb Vanth prepares to help Djarin and Fett when a stranger arrives: Cad Bane.
Luke, Grogu, Ahsoka, Mando, Cad Bane, Cobb Vanth, and more. Enough said, right? This episode is so great.