Rob Watches Boba Fett – Hijacking the Show

The Book of Boba Fett, Mandalorian posterSERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E5. “Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Amy Sedaris
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Bryce Dallas Howard
PREMIERE DATE:
January 26, 2022
SYNOPSIS: 
The Mandalorian gets a new ship, and learns more about the power of the Darksaber.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Let’s call out the elephant in the room. The big critique of this episode, as well as the following episode, is that they’re episodes of The Mandalorian shoehorned into The Book of Boba Fett. Whether anyone likes it or not, that’s a fair and just criticism. This is supposed to be a Boba Fett show, and he doesn’t even appear in this episode.

That’s not to say Mando has no place in this story. He could have come to Tatooine to help Fett in his fight against the Pykes. But this? Basically hijacking two episodes of Fett’s show to shift back to his story with Grogu? That’s too much. It’s good stuff, but it doesn’t belong here. It should have been saved for season three of The Mandalorian.

So what happened? How did The Book of Boba Fett get hijacked? I’ve got two theories…

The first is that the showrunners realized they didn’t have enough story with Boba Fett to fill an entire season. So they fall back on the Mandalorian stuff, which they knew fans would like. That doesn’t excuse it, but it’s a reasonable explanation.

The second is that the higher-ups at Disney and/or Lucasfilm said, “Mando and Grogu are popular. So put them in the show.” I’m not sure how likely that is, as Jon Favreau seems to have a good amount of control over the “Mandoverse.” But never underestimate the possibility of non-creative people trying to exert control over creative people. There’d be a sad irony there, as George Lucas fought vehemently against that sort of thing while making the original trilogy.

But to reiterate, even though these two episodes don’t belong here, they are pretty damn good. So let’s dive in…

The Book of Boba Fett, Mandalorian

Awesome entrance for Mando, not surprisingly. A sure fire way for a Star Wars project to impress me is to show us new and unique places in the Star Wars universe. “Return of the Mandalorian” manages to do that not once, but twice. We get this slaughterhouse in the opening scene, which is pretty cool. They could have gotten a little more creative with the fight and maybe had Mando and the goons smacking into bloody slabs of meat. But maybe that’s a little too much…

But what I really loved was the city of Glavis, which is situated on a gigantic ring structure in space. They could have just had Mando on another desert planet, or a jungle planet, or an ice planet, or whatever. But instead they got creative. Excellent.

Amy Sedaris is back as Peli Motto. Given her background, I’m curious if she has any input on what she says. That stuff about dating a jawa, for instance. Did she come up with that, or was it in the script?

Mando’s new ship is a modified Naboo starfigher, like the ones we saw in The Phantom Menace. It looks cool, but I miss the Razor Crest. This fighter doesn’t double as a home base the way the Crest did.

Mando has Mandalorian armor made for Grogu, and wants to deliver it to him personally. He apparently knows where Luke took him. But how? Luke didn’t exactly give a forwarding address. And you’d think he’d want to keep its location a secret. So what gives?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: The Samurai

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE:
S1:E4. “Chapter 4, Sanctuary”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal (Voice), Gina Carano, Julia Jones
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR:
Bryce Dallas Howard
PREMIERE DATE:
November 29, 2019
SYNOPSIS:
Mando and the child seek sanctuary on the planet Sorgon, but are drawn into aiding a village against vicious raiders.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Oddly enough, Pedro Pascal wasn’t there for the filming of this episode. He was apparently on broadway doing King Lear at the time. Apparently the performance we see in this episode comes from a combination of stunt doubles Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder. Apparently Pascal and Wayne worked closely together in developing the title character. What’s more, Wayne is the grandson of screen legend John Wayne. Ironic, considering what Mando has in common with a lot of the characters John Wayne played…

When Mando looks at the child and says, “Stop touching things,” he briefly becomes the personification of every parent who’s ever had a toddler.

Here we have Cara Dune, played by Gina Carano. Mrs. Primary Ignition isn’t sold on Carano as an actor. Me? I think she’s perfectly adequate for the role she’s in. The one aspect of the character I’m not completely sold on? The tiny Rebel Alliance/New Republic tattoo she has on her cheek. She’s supposed to be making her living as a mercenary, right? Isn’t that an odd thing for a mercenary to keep tattooed on her face? You’d think she’d want the thing removed.

The samurai film influences on The Mandalorian are quite evident in this episode. And that’s even if you discount the fact that this village on Sorgan matches many depictions of such places in feudal Japan. You’ve got the nomad warrior sought out by a community of innocents to help them overcome an invasive evil. Thus, he trains the villagers to fight alongside him. It’s essentially the same plot as the classic film Seven Samurai, by Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawa was famously one of the filmmakers who inspired George Lucas during the conception of Star Wars.

On the subject of connections to Lucas, our director for this episode is Bryce Dallas Howard. She’s, of course, the daughter of Ron Howard, who starred in Lucas’ first big hit, American Graffiti. She’s gotten quite a bit of praise for her work on The Mandalorian, and rightfully so. Carano credits Howard with helping her figure out how to best translate the Cara Dune character from script to screen.

The combination puppeteering/CGI work with Baby Yoda is at its strongest yet in this episode. It blends so seamlessly. It’s not a fair comparison, given the near 20-year gap, but it’s a far cry from how fake CGI Yoda looks in Attack of the Clones.

I give a lot of credit to Julia Jones, who plays Omera, Mando’s kinda/sorta love interest in this episode. She performs the hell out of her scenes here, playing off someone who essentially has a bucket on their head. Now that’s acting.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: From Animation to Live Action

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE:
S2:E3. “Chapter 11: The Heiress.”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Mercedes Varnado
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR:
Bryce Dallas Howard
PREMIERE DATE:
November 13, 2020
SYNOPSIS: 
Mando meets a trio of his own kind, and winds up taking on the Empire once again.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This episode requires a decent amount of exposition, only some of which we actually got. Katee Sackhoff’s character is Bo-Katan Kryze. Long story short, her sister was the duchess of Mandalore. Thus, her trying to get the Darksaber. 

“The Purge,” meanwhile, was when the Empire killed most of the Mandalorian people, forcing the survivors into hiding. All this stuff was covered between the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoon shows.

I’m fairly certain this is the first time we’ve seen an ocean dock in live-action Star WarsIt makes for a different vibe. I like it. That’s one of the things that’s been so great about The Mandalorian. It shows us the Star Wars universe from different angles.

When Bo-Katan dropped out of the sky, Mrs. Primary Ignition exclaimed: “It’s a lady Mandalorian!” I’m hoping there were a lot of little girls in the audience saying the same thing.

There’s been a lot of talk about what a “true” Mandalorian is. We know Jango Fett and Boba Fett weren’t. And now we get talk that Din Djarin isn’t. Can we maybe get some clarification on this issue? I’m a Star Wars geek, and even I’m confused….

I was curious to see how they’d credit WWE’s Sasha Banks, who plays Koska Reeves. They used her real name, Mercedes Varnado. Which makes sense, of course. I’m not the world’s biggest Sasha Banks fan. But I was proud of her for this. She even got a decent number of lines and wasn’t just a muscular body in the background.

Even after all this time, I’m still getting used to Star Wars music that isn’t a classical score. Case in point, the sort of industrial-style beat they had going during the action sequence aboard the Imperial ship. It works. It’s just not traditional Star Wars.

Hey! Stormtrooper! When you see a grenade rolling toward you, maybe…I’unno…kick the damn thing away instead of staring down at it like a friggin’ nincompoop!!!

And there it is. Destination: Ahsoka Tano. Here’s my question: Katee Sackhoff voiced Bo-Katan Kryze for the cartoons, and now she’s playing the role live. Did they even ask Ashley Eckstein if she wanted to play Ahsoka? Nothing against Rosario Dawson, of course. But it seemed like Eckstein was up for it. Yes, Dawson is a renowned on-camera actress, as opposed to Eckstein who’s more famous for voice acting. But Eckstein had a hand in the creation of the character. She should have had the chance to play Ahsoka if she wanted it.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.