Now before I get into the meat of the review of the finale, let me just assure readers right up front that here’s nothing wrong with the above estimation. Much like the entire run of Star Wars motion pictures, I’d argue we can all agree that there are good ones and bad ones. Each of us have our favorites. Each of us cling to certain characters or certain sequences more than we do others. Experiencing entertainment is a very personal experience, so we just have to learn to accept ‘it is what it is’ when it comes to the delivery of these streaming series for better or for worse.
As I’ve tried to remain consistent from Fett’s first episode, I’ve no qualms whatsoever with his new mythology. I think of it as a new take on a classic character, and I’ve found some of it grand storytelling. In some ways, much of it has made perfect sense, even though there’s been very little established definitively about the galaxy’s greatest bounty hunter. Showrunner Jon Favreau delivered a solid product – yes, one with a few flaws – and while I don’t see it as being anywhere near the greatness that is The Mandalorian’s first two seasons I certainly don’t expect every series to smash a homerun just because. That isn’t an easy achievement, and I do think fans should be a bit more appreciative and maybe even a bit less destructive.
In fact, just yesterday I engaged with a Star Wars fan over ‘The Twitter,’ that Dark Side of the World Wide Web.
His argument against the Fett show was that it was entirely too short, that seven episodes do not a series, and someone (if not all someones) should get on the horn to Walt Disney itself and let them know we’re not gonna take this anymore. Being of ripe age and somewhat still ripe mind, I had to remind the youngling that, back in the day, die hard Star Wars fans had to wait three years between roughly two hours of programming; by comparison, the Mouse House is delivering anywhere from five to twenty hours annually theses, so I think a bit of appreciation is owed. This stuff isn’t cheap; and I’d rather the powers that be take some time to get it done right instead of shoving that JJ Abrams’ garbage down our gullets again.
In other words, let’s try to be a little more thankful, ok? I’m not encouraging folks to like a show maybe they didn’t like because as all of you should know by now that isn’t my ‘way.’ I’m more of a ‘to each his own’ kinda guy. But show a little appreciation for the fact that – in the very least – someone is trying to continue the legacy of the galaxy far, far away in a meaningful way. Let’s not demand more for the sake of demanding more. That usually doesn’t end well.
Just like The Book Of Boba Fett took a side journey as ‘The Mandalorian: Season Two-And-A-Half,’ I’m now back on track with a review for “In The Name Of Honor.”
In my mind, Fett has always worked best as a character somewhat shrouded in mystery; I think while others may not have realized that there are far more who agree with those sentiments based on his show’s reception. I’ve read reviews that postulated ‘Boba wouldn’t do this’ and ‘Boba wouldn’t do that,’ and – while much of it has been interesting – I don’t know how these folks in the know have reached their conclusions. Granted, the clone has enjoyed a reasonable amount of exploration in the books and comics; but Disney is already on record as removing them as canon. Consequently, his choices in the program are all we have as establishing parameters.
That said, I’m dismayed that he’s decided to kinda/sorta settle down.
As show co-star Ming-Na Wen recently promised in an interview, “In The Name Of Honor” did deliver a thrilling finale, much in the same way most tentpole summer films want to go out with signature action sequences, kinetic action, and a slam-bang intensity. The 60-minute installment started with a trickle, but once it was up to speed it didn’t relent until the final shots were fired. So in that respect, “Honor” embraced its true Star Wars undercurrent, delivering a spectacle that was big, loud, and explosive.
Alas, I thought it was also a bit dumb.
Audiences had already been treated to visuals of the Pyke Syndicate arriving on Tatooine in fairly big numbers, but these characters apparently were unaware of it. Furthermore, the Pykes rather easily convinced the Mos Espa crime families to join up with them – viewers learned this in the show’s opening moments – so it’s safe to say that Fett and his very, very, very small clan of warriors were not only outnumbered, they were VASTLY outnumbered. Alas, Favreau seemed to have forgotten this, as “Honor” only had a handful of thieves and cutthroats stepping in to attack Fett’s allegiance.
While there are other ways that the bounty hunter and his small crew could’ve worked to level the playing field, Favreau stuck to the path of least resistance and played out the cards in a relatively predictable way, turning our heroes into superheroes and removing any true risk of loss of life or limb from the equation. Star Wars, after all, is a kids show … though Fennec Shand’s last series of deadly deeds against the Pyke’s surviving members would likely get the Mouse House a campaign of letters from outraged mothers in any other day and time.
Though the hour did boast a welcome surprise here and there (the true identity of who killed Fett’s Tusken Raiders’ tribe and Peli Motto’s evolution to a lady-of-action), much of it felt a bit too cookie cutter for my tastes. The people of Freetown arrived just in the knick of time, and Fett finally put Mok Shaiz’s sniveling city official to good use … but I think we all knew that would happen. Even the arrival of a rampaging Rancor across the cityscape of Mos Espa should’ve been anticipated – certainly once Fett raced away from combat – but I’ll give you that it was a glorious development, one that I think was the high point to an otherwise obvious affair.
It's over now. Fans hungry for a return to The Mandalorian were given scenes to whet their appetite. They’ll no doubt revisit in the days between now and the fantastical ‘Mando and Grogu Magic Hour’ return to prominence on the streaming platform. In the meantime, those of us wishing to get to know the galaxy’s one-time deadliest bounty hunter a little better will hope and pray a second season gives us more Boba and less everything else.
May the Force be with us. Always.