In this video I will give you my spoiler-free reaction to chapter 5 of The Book of Boba Fett, called ‘The Return of the Mandalorian’. I will tell you 10 highlights of this episode, but at the end of this video, I will also tell you 3 problems I have with it.
This episode blew me away for many reasons.
Story-wise, it is a temporary pause to prepare us for the big finale in the last 2 episodes.
But it is doing more than that: it is setting us up for the next season of another Star Wars series as well. Which also has a downside, I’ll explain later
1. The surprising contents of the story and how it ties into a number of other Star Wars series and movies. I didn’t expect this, I loved it and it is going to make a lot of fans super happy.
2. The introduction of a new location that we have never seen before in Star Wars, but that is very familiar to gamers and fans of a famous Microsoft franchise. Even though the concept was already used in classic sci-fi stories from the last century.
3. Speaking of video games: If you have played Fallen Order, you are going to be very excited about a small character that makes an appearance here. Not CGI, but puppeteered in a similar way as we’ve seen with BB-8 if I’m not mistaken.
4. There are two parts of the story in this episode, preceded by a short introduction story, and each part has a fantastic action sequence: a fight scene and a flight scene. Fight and flight. I LOVED the flight scene and how they honored a couple of the best moments from the Phantom Menace. I was thrilled to relive the excitement I felt when I saw the premiere of The Phantom Menace all those years ago in the US.
5. The return of a couple of well-known actors that we love. Not just as cameo’s, but with important roles for the story in this chapter.
6. The dialogue is excellent. There is quite a bit of exposition and one flash back scene that is super important for us to understand the gravity of an event in the past, and very important for a series that’s still to come. But despite the exposition, it is never boring. The second part of the story also has some great flowing dialogue that feels very natural and well-directed.
7. Visual variety: lots of different environments, all beautifully rendered thanks to the technology of the Stagecraft set. Some previous chapters were all taking place in the same kind of environment, this chapter takes us on a spectacular visual journey. Including space, which I was very happy with!
8. Physical props: two highlights: a full fledged spaceship that made my heart jump with joy. Also nicely using a familiar trope from George Lucas 70-ies era movies including a montage. And a physical puppet that was immediately endearing and made me want to have a model of it. Or Lego!
9. Very good direction and editing (I assume with the director Bryce Dallas Howard). Good structure, restraint (clear narrative), perfect episode length.
10. Teases and connections: this episode builds so many bridges between the various TV series and movies. It pushes the nostalgia buttons, and also the anticipation buttons for this series and for future series. That could however also be a weakness which I’ll discuss in the 3 problems I had with this episode.
1. They are setting up more than they can probably pay off in this series. Which could lead to disappointment.
Especially if they don’t pay off the tease of a particular character in the next episode…
The setup in the first part of the episode is definitely not going to be payed off in this series, and I’m fine with that.
2. About that first part: there is a very sudden twist of the story that felt too rushed, came out of nowhere. I understand that it was necessary to explain what happens next, and that it’s more than just fan service, but this twist was too important and dramatic for the time it was given.
3. The very different story that they are telling in this episode, even though in itself is great, does completely stop the story of the Book of Boba Fett and felt almost like something from another series altogether.
However, in TV this is not uncommon: it is a backstory, an excursion to add variety to the series. But in such a short series, it seems like an awful lot of time to spend on a side story.
❓I rate this episode a 9/10. How would you rate this episode? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! Hope you keep enjoying my videos, and I will see you soon. MTFBWY!
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