Released: December 29, 2021
Writer: Jon Favreau
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Running time: 38 minutes 57 seconds
Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land
Leading on from the events of Chapter 16 of The Mandalorian, Boba Fett has claimed the throne once held by Jabba the Hutt from Bib Fortuna and with Fennec Shand as his enforcer sets about bringing a new regime to Tatooine.
Moving through Boba’s memories of the events directly where we left him at the end of The Return of the Jedi to his new beginning of his reign on Tatooine and the new friends and foes he is about to make as he tries to rule with respect and not fear.
The wait is finally over, and I think it’s safe to say after decades of waiting, fans of the character are finally going to get the adventure they wanted. Although Chapter 1 is only just short of 39 minutes, we learn a lot. I think it easy to see where Robert Rodriguez, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are going to take us.
In Chapter 1 we learn how Boba Fett got out of that Sarlacc Pit and ended up in the wilderness of Tatooine. Whilst very similar in tone to The Mandalorian this is a very different show exploring the scum and villainy that was alluded to by Ben Kenobi in A New Hope.
Although I am tinged with sadness that Jeremy Bulloch never got to continue with the character he created, this is still very much the Fett we love. He is a man of very little dialogue really and it is through the actor’s movement and mannerisms this character truly comes to life. Temuera Morrison brought a huge amount of gravitas to Fett’s character in The Mandalorian, and this continues here. Without spoiling the plot, it is also nice to see a nod to Daniel Logan’s part from Attack of the Clones acknowledged as Fett recovers from his ordeals.
Whilst Din Djarin has Grogu, Boba Fett is accompanied by his loyal enforcer Fennec Shand as played by the excellent Ming-Na Wen. Having loved her no-nonsense character in Agents of Shield, the character of Shand is very old school mindset of shoot first and ask questions later. I am looking forward to the progression of this character and the relationship developing with Fett.
As a non-spoiler review, I am not going to delve into the many characters and groups introduced in this episode. What is being done in Chapter 1 is establishing the new order of Tatooine while still making it still feel familiar. As we have seen previously, the producers know how keep the viewer feeling safe that they are not going to think this is not the place introduced to us by George Lucas in 1977.
Along with the familiarity of the setting it is nice to hear the return of Ludwig Goransson with a new style of theme that whilst similar to The Mandalorian is unique to this series. The score for the end credits to accompany the amazing concept artwork now incorporates a style of chanting that made me think of Temuera Morrison’s Māori heritage and the famous Haka. This to me was a very unique way of changing the series to give it its own style whilst also honouring something of the actor’s own heritage.
Overall, this episode was a great start that set the scene although gave very few hints to the story arc we are about to be on. It has certainly whetted the appetite and I look forward to next week’s instalment with the anticipation that we are going to begin to see who friend or foe is. As Fennec Shand say’s… “I am keeping an eye on everyone”.
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