Has The Book of Boba Fett taken too many detours into cameo appearances by other Star Wars characters? It's certainly a question worth asking after the release of The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 6, which veered even further away from its titular character than the previous episode, which centered on The Mandalorian. (WARNING: Book of Boba Fett Episode 6 SPOILERS Follow!)
In The Book of Boba Fett "Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger" we get screen time with no less than seven other major Star Wars characters. It's gotten so bad that fans are now making jokes about Boba Fett being a cameo in his own show!
To be upfront and honest: I was one of the first to defend The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5: "The Return of The Mandalorian". The episode seemed to devote its focus and time to building a deep thematic link between Din Djarin and Boba Fett, as two Mandalorian warriors who never quite had a family or tribe to belong to. However, it gets harder to maintain that view with Chapter 6, and the very scattered set of stories it tells. Mando gets a whole segment with Ahsoka Tano; Grogu and Luke Skywalker have their own segment; even The Mandalorian bit character Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) gets his own side-story – complete with Star Wars fan-favorite bounty hunter Cad Bane stealing the spotlight with his live-action debut.
It's easy to see why some viewers think that thick paragraph of Star Wars cameos and fan service above is too much. Certain promises were implied by a title like "The Book of Boba Fett" – namely a deep-dive into the once-mysterious bounty hunter icon. And we get it: The first four episodes of Book of Boba Fett are heavy deep-dives into the man himself; and Chapter 6, in particular, is about rallying those who have been down similar paths as Boba Fett (tribeless ones, trying to build new families ) to his side. There's an epic, Avengers-style team-up finale waiting on the horizon – but at what cost?
Have these detours to build up Boba Fett's coalition of the willing taken too much away from the arc of Boba Fett himself? It's arguable that Chapter 6's director, Dave Filoni, has been building up Boba Fett longer than anyone. Filoni's Star Wars animated series Clone Wars was the first to really focus on Boba Fett's backstory, following Jango Fett's death in Attack of the Clones. How Boba learned to get into the underworld trades of smuggling and bounty hunting were all elements Filoni built. So if he wants to focus on building Boba a crew, he's arguably earned that right.
That all said: it seems like it wouldn't have been all that hard to make simple tweaks to make the show's diverting path seems less jarring. Like, say, having Boba Fett himself approach the various parties he's attempting to recruit, alongside Din Djarin. As it stands, it seems like the ComicBook Nation podcast called it, when labeling The Book of Boba Fett as Star Wars' version of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Awesome at its heights, but uneven in its pace.
The Book of Boba Fett streams on Disney+.