The Book of Boba Fett is the newest small screen Star Wars installment. How does it compare to other live-action (and animated) Star Wars shows?
The Book of Boba Fett marks Star Wars‘ second venture into live-action streaming TV, so how does it compare to The Mandalorian and the animated Star Wars shows? The Star Wars universe has always been known as the epitome of big-screen cinematic storytelling, but with more and more Star Wars stories coming in the form of episodic streaming series, and fewer Star Wars movies on the horizon, the future of the franchise currently sits on the small screen.
Television isn’t a new thing for Star Wars. In fact, it dates back to before The Empire Strikes Back with the Star Wars Holiday Special, and there were multiple additional Star Wars TV movies and shows after that, from the Ewok Adventure movies to the animated Star Wars: Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO or Star Wars: Ewoks shows in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until Star Wars: The Clone Wars that Star Wars television became an essential part of larger Star Wars canon. After the launch of Disney+, that’s more true than ever, with the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, and now, The Book of Boba Fett, with even more on the way.
Since Star Wars: The Clone Wars in 2008, Star Wars television has seen great reviews and high scores on Rotten Tomatoes, and after a below-average start, The Book of Boba Fett has a Rotten Tomatoes score in line with the average scores for both animation and live-action. The show’s initial score wasn’t quite as high as we’ve come to expect from Star Wars television, opening at 83 percent. A score that high isn’t a cause for concern, but since TV scores are often inflated on Rotten Tomatoes it’s also not anything to write home about. Comparatively, the average score for The Mandalorian‘s first episode was 90 percent, and the Star Wars live-action TV average is 93 percent, while the average for all Star Wars TV since Star Wars: The Clone Wars is 95 percent. Fortunately, The Book of Boba Fett’s second episode scored 100 percent, bringing the show up to match the 93 percent franchise average.
In the first episode’s negative reviews, critics citing a generally bland and uneventful installment, especially for a premiere, was one of the most common complaints. After The Mandalorian, a show about a bounty hunter in armor originally popularized by Boba Fett, created intrigue around his particular sect of Mandalorians and corners of the galaxy previously unexplored in a fresh section of the Star Wars galaxy, Boba Fett offered very little new material. His big return to Star Wars already happened in season 2 of The Mandalorian, and with a setting on Tatooine, there just wasn’t much there that hadn’t already been seen in the Star Wars shows before it. Thankfully, episode 2 started to reveal more about the character and brought some much bigger action and higher stakes to the table, which was enough to get critics unanimously behind Boba Fett’s story.
It remains to be seen if the five remaining episodes of The Book of Boba Fett can keep critics interested, but if history can be a guide, Star Wars shows tend to leave the bulk of a show’s excitement for the second half of the season. With the show’s creators and talent teasing a number of big reveals and possibly massive character appearances, a lot can happen before the season is done.
- Rogue Squadron (2023)Release date: Dec 22, 2023
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