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 Boba Fett – He Kept the Ship?!?

The Book of Boba Fett, Fennec Shand posterSERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E4. “Chapter 4: The Gathering Storm”
STARRING:
Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, Jennifer Beals, Carey Jones
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Kevin Tancharoen
PREMIERE DATE:
January 19, 2022
SYNOPSIS: 
Boba Fett gathers his forces far war against the Pyke Syndicate.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Boba Fett, now wandering alone, finds a nearly dead Fennec Shand in the desert. He takes her for cybernetic augmentation, saving her life. He then recruits her to help him take his ship back from Jabba the Hutt’s palace.

Fett saving Shand means, chronologically, these flashbacks are now in the era of The Mandalorian. In other words, five years after Return of the Jedi. Thus, I must pose the question…why is the ship still at the palace five years later? What possible use could Bib Fortuna have had for it? Why not dismantle it for parts? Or auction it off as the last remanant of the great Boba Fett?

The real answer, of course, is that from a storytelling standpoint, Jabba’s palace is the last place we the viewers saw the ship. So it’s easiest to simply have them go back there and get it. But someday, even if it’s just in a novel or something, I hope we get some kind of answer as to why Fortuna kept it.

Incidentally, Boba Fett’s ship is called Slave I. For whatever reason, Disney doesn’t want it referred to by the name anymore. I imagine they don’t want the protagonist for one of their big TV shows riding around in a ship with slave in the name. But I’m old school. It is, and always will be, Slave I.

Some of these sequences are really, really dark. Not tonally. I mean it’s difficult to watch them during the daytime because they look almost pitch black in a sunlit room. The sequence in the previous episode where Black Krrsantan attacks Fett in the bacta tank was like that too. Does that make me sound like an old man? Yes. But is it still true? Yes.

The Book of Boba Fett, Fennec Shand

Why does Shand decide to stay with Fett after her debt to him is paid? What’s her interest in him? Is it professional admiration? Is it romantic? What’s the deal?

The visual of Slave I hovering face down over the sarlaac pit is pretty absurd. I get that it served the purpose of killing the sarlaac. But still, it was awkward.

This episode gives us some insight into why Fett wants to take over Jabba’s operation. He wants to run an organization that’s better than the ones he’s worked for. That’s…not the best answer they could have given. But it’s fair enough, I suppose.

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

Living in Disney Hell

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Disney Hell is a very real place.

It’s not filled with villains, or kidnapped princesses, or evil magic. Rather, it’s a song. One song. That your child keeps asking for over…and over…and over…and over…

The make-up of Disney Hell varies depending on the family and child. But in the Siebert house, Disney Hell is this “I’ve Got a Dream” song on a constant loop. My two-year-old will specifically ask for, “Dream Song?”

And no, “I’ve Got a Dream” does not feature Martin Luther King Jr.

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

WandaVision Episode 8: A Few Thoughts on Cars

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

You know what I came away from the latest WandaVision episode thinking about? It wasn’t about Agatha Harkness, Wanda’s past, or the mysterious white Vision…

It was Wanda’s car.

If I were a superhero whose parents, brother, and robot boyfriend had all been murdered over the course of my life, you know what I’d have invested in? A really nice car. The one she was driving in this episode looked so pedestrian.

I’m not even a car guy. But maybe get her something sleek. Like a sports car. Something in the Corvette family. And of course, make sure it’s red. Not just because of the whole red thing Wanda has going on. But I mean, who can be sad when they’re in a red Corvette?

Maybe if she’d splurged a little after Avengers: Endgame, maybe she wouldn’t have…y’know…abducted a bunch of people and created a big fantasy land with her dead robot boyfriend.

Just a thought.

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

Dory, Sesame Street, and Why Characters Matter

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Baby Primary Ignition is slowly but surely learning to talk. Two of her favorite words are “Dah-wee” and “Mo.” Which are apparently baby talk for “Dory” and “Nemo.”

The older she gets, the more I’m starting to realize just how much mass media characters matter, especially when kids take to them so early in life. They become a big part of how they discover and relate to the world around them.

I couldn’t help but compare Baby’s love of Dory to my love of Sesame Street when I was about that age (she’s one and a half). In the mid ’80s, Bert and Ernie were it for me. Bert specifically, for some reason. I had these little stuffed Bert and Ernie dolls, and my mother tells me Bert went everywhere with me. Perhaps even at that young age I realized I’d one day, like Bert, be a nerd with a nasally voice.

Actually, those Bert and Ernie dolls have ended up in Baby’s toy chest. I actually get a pretty big nostalgic kick out of seeing her play with them.

The wife and I haven’t exposed Baby to Sesame Street yet, largely because we don’t subscribe to HBO Max these days (I guess the Justice League “Snyder Cut” didn’t draw us in.). Full episodes are available on YouTube, though. So I imagine it’s only a matter of time before Elmo’s voice echoes off the walls of the Siebert house for hours at a time.

I don’t want to dislike Elmo. He was around when I was a kid. But too much of anything, and I tend to turn against it…

Maybe we’ll reach a compromise with Daniel Tiger. He’s the stand-in for Mister Rogers these days, right?

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

Intro to Tarzan

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

At one and a half years old, Baby Primary Ignition doesn’t see a great deal of TV. But she has been exposed very selectively. We have a Disney+ subscription at the PI household. She loves the Frozen movies, Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, and as we very recently found out, Tarzan.

Released in 1999, Tarzan came down the pipe a little late for Mrs. Primary Ignition and I. But she recently turned it on for Baby, and was amazed at how responsive she was to the opening sequence. So much that she showed it to us this morning.

The sequence that’s pretty dramatic even by Disney standards. Baby Tarzan loses his parents to a leopard attack, and we see blood next to their shrouded corpses. This is after said leopard kills a baby gorilla. So of course, the gorilla’s mom adopts baby Tarzan, and we’ve got ourselves a movie.

As she gets old, Baby has started to point to things and say, “What’s that?” (In her own special toddler language, of course.) She was quite responsive during the movie’s opening, as Tarzan and his parents escape a fiery blaze. She also responded to the gorillas. Animals of all sorts are big with her. She’s started to point to different ones and say “Cow,” “Sheep,” etc. She also calls fish “elmo,” which we think is supposed to be Nemo.

But what really surprised us was her reaction to the bloodthirsty leopard. When the tiger leapt out and attacked, she actually called out “No!” She wasn’t afraid for herself, but the characters on screen.

It’s both scary and exciting to think that she’s becoming more aware and responsive to the world around her. That can only mean being a parent is about to become harder, and we’ve got to make more small decisions about what content is and isn’t appropriate for her. My days of watching John Oliver while she plays nearby may nearly be over.

Then again, we just showed her a movie where a ferocious leopard kills two humans and a baby gorilla. So maybe the child psyche is more durable than we give it credit for.

Incidentally, that Phil Collins soundtrack? Highly underrated.

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

Finding Nemo: A Horror Film

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Finding Nemo is a great movie. But it should really come with a parental warning. Not for the kids, but for the adults.

Before you’re a parent, Finding Nemo is a fun, heart-felt family movie. But as a father with introvert tendencies, Finding Nemo becomes a kind of horror movie.

Think about it: The kid gets abducted before the dad’s eyes by masked Australians dressed in black, and the only way to save him is to travel across the planet with some loud, ditsy broad who won’t stop singing and talking about whales. And apparently somebody slipped you a hallucinogen because everybody looks like a fish.

Honestly, it’s a degree or two away from being a Taken movie.

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

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: Return of a Jedi

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE:
S2:E8. “Chapter 16: The Rescue”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Giancarlo Esposito, Katee Sackhoff, Gina Carano, Ming-Na Wen
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed
PREMIERE DATE:
December 18, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Mando and his allies storm Moff Gideon’s ship to save Grogu.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Yes, I understand we skipped an episode. But for obvious reasons, this episode had to be talked about ASAP. We’ll come back to “The Believer” in a few days. Promise.

I hate Rogue One. I absolutely hate it, and can’t understand why so many people love it. But there’s one thing that movie did right: Captions that told us which planets we traveled to. Too many of these Disney-era Star Wars planets look the same.

Koska Reeves’ crack about Boba Fett being a sidekick rings true. That’s unexpected, considering this season is basically his big comeback. He’s got clean armor and everything!

Koska hitting Fett with a DDT is one of the most pro-wrestling things the episode could have done. I kind of love it.

See, if I’m a regular stormtrooper, I’m looking at that dark trooper armor and thinking, “Can I get at least half the protection that black armor provides?” Maybe then these damn troopers wouldn’t be so expendable…

Seriously. Cara Dune’s gun getting jammed was the worst thing that happened to our heroes as they faced down a virtual army of stormtroopers. It’s frustrating.

Those dark troopers are definitely nightmare fuel. Kudos on the design.

“…properties that have the potential to bring order back to the galaxy.” It’s reasonable to assume that means properties that can resurrect Palpatine, properties that can eventually be used to create Snoke, or some combination of both.

I like that the Darksaber was burning Mando’s staff the longer the two weapons had direct contact. It indicates the lightsaber is more powerful, which is as it should be.

Luke. Skywalker. Holy. Crap. This show just pulled out all the stops. The anticipation, the tension, leading up to the reveal of Luke’s face, was amazing. What a moment…

What’s more, they got Mark Hamill involved! I’m very anxious to see if it was just his voice, or if he was somehow involved on set as well.

And we get an appearance by R2-D2 as a bonus!

I just saw a headline that indicated this episode betrayed its characters by “indulging in the Skywalker saga.” The sub-head indicated new Star Wars had succumbed to old Star Wars. That’s a frustrating sentiment to read. But it’s a valid point. Despite a wonderfully emotional goodbye between Mando and Grogu, Luke pulled focus. It was inevitable. Anything from the original trilogy is going to have that effect. I mentioned Rogue One above, and Darth Vader had the same effect in that movie.

It’s a little bit like dangling a shiny object in front of a little kid. With this finale, Jon Favreau basically dangled a shiny object in front of the little kid in all of us. I really can’t dispute that.

But I would argue that, despite Luke pulling focus, the heart of the episode was indeed about Mando and Grogu. Those are two new characters that we’ve come to know and love over the course of two seasons. I also can’t dispute that.

And honestly, where else could this story have gone? Side effects of bringing in Luke notwithstanding, it’s logical that Grogu, being as strong in the Force as he is, would encounter him at some point…

Mrs. Primary Ignition was quite curious about what this episode means for Grogu’s fate, as he’s obviously not in the sequel trilogy. At the moment, I have two theories.

  1. Grogu’s attachment to Mando eventually lures him toward the dark side, and he has to abandon his training and return to his surrogate father.
  2. He stays with Luke, but is killed by Ben Solo during the events leading up to The Force Awakens.

Understandably, she was horrified at option 2. But I suspect we’ll discover the answer sooner or later.

Another headline I saw recently? How the “Marvel-fication” of Star Wars has officially begun. In other words, new shows, spin-offs, and all sorts of inter-connected content. You won’t find a clearer piece of evidence than The Mandalorian taking a page out of Marvel’s book with a post-credits scene. A pretty awesome post-credits scene, but a post-credits scene nonetheless.

We see that Bib Fortuna has taken over as the head of Jabba’s palace. Does he actually control anything? The throne seems to suggest he does. So is that what The Book of Boba Fett is about? Fett taking control of Jabba’s crumbling criminal empire?

I think the best season finales often leave us with questions. So what questions did this episode leave us with?

  1. What’s next for Mando? He’s got the Darksaber now, and is seemingly in conflict with Bo-Katan Kryze. So does he get involved with re-building Mandalore? Or does he go back to bounty hunting?
  2. Despite getting captured, Moff Gideon accomplished his goal. He got Grogu’s blood. So what now comes of that? Do the experiments start? Have they already started?
  3. The Boba Fett questions are rather obvious.
  4. Are we going to hear more from Luke and Grogu? Or does that become territory for another series? The recently announced Ahsoka spin-off comes to mind.

Definitely no shortage of questions. We’ll have a lot to think about over the next year!

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

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: Return to Tatooine

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE:
S1:E5. “Chapter 5, The Gunslinger”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Amy Sedaris, Jake Cannavale, Ming-Na Wen
WRITER/DIRECTOR:
Dave Filoni
PREMIERE DATE:
December 6, 2019
SYNOPSIS:
After stopping on Tatooine for repairs, Mando takes a job alongside a young bounty hunter.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

So did we need to come back to Tatooine? No, not really. But I’m glad we did. Going to a classic Star Wars setting reinforces that this is, in fact, the universe we know and love. And yes, nostalgia is a factor. It’s nice to see Mos Eisley again.

I’m a little surprised they used pit droids, i.e. the “hit the nose” robots from The Phantom Menace. I don’t mind Episode I as much as some people do. But you’d think in this, the first live action Star Wars television show, you’d want to avoid allusions to what’s often considered the franchise’s worst film. (It’s not. But that’s another story.)

Question: Aren’t most rifles in Star Wars blaster rifles? If so, Peli Motto asking the droids to get her blaster rifle doesn’t really make sense. It should probably just be, “Get my rifle!”

Yeah. I’m nitpicking at that level, folks. But it’s because I care, damn it!

So he just left the child on the ship? That’s uncharacteristically stupid for Mando.

Dr. Mandible, the giant bug in the cantina, is also stupid. He makes his debut in this episode.

Fun fact: The Mos Eisley Cantina has a name. Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina.

Another fun fact: They squeezed Mark Hamill into this episode. He’s the voice of the droid at the bar (shown below). Apparently that’s the very same droid that spoke to Threepio in Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi. What a remarkable coincidence…

I wonder if Mando would have taken Toro Calican under his wing before he picked up the child. Perhaps being a father figure softened him in short order.

That’s a recurring theme in the original Star Wars trilogy. The “scoundrel” who becomes a good man. The big one is Han Solo. But it applies to Lando Calrissian as well.

I must confess, I’ve never seen Agents of Shield, or much of anything else with Ming-Na Wen. But she makes a pretty good bounty hunter. And Fennec Shand is yet another powerful female character added to the Star Wars universe.

I don’t recommend watching this episode in a room with a lot of sunlight. I did so, and could barely make anything out during the nighttime scenes.

So the general consensus was that the person who comes to Fennec’s aid at the very end of the episode is Boba Fett. In the end, that obviously turns out to be true. That speaks to the amount of foresight the showrunners hopefully have.

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

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: An Attack of Conscience

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE: S1:E3. “Chapter Three: The Sin.”
STARRING: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Werner Herzog, Omid Abtahi
WRITER: Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Deborah Chow
PREMIERE DATE: November 22, 2019
SYNOPSIS: After returning the child to his client, Mando has an attack of conscience.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I assume those stormtroopers have to keep their armor on full-time, as if they were still on duty. One would think they’d want to avoid outfits that would get them recognized. But I suppose you can’t be recognized if you don’t go out in public.

I wish we had something to call the Werner Herzog character besides “the client.” Even the mad scientist character has a name: Dr. Pershing. Granted, that sounds like the name of somebody’s podiatrist. But at least it’s there.

While we’re on the subject, are we to assume Baby Yoda has no name? See, that one I’m okay with, as we can assume he’s been in Imperial research facilities for much of his life.

Carl Weathers’ Wikipedia page says that he took the Greef Karga role on the condition that he be able to direct an episode in the second season. Take everything you read on Wikipedia with a grain of salt. But if it is true, that’s some clever bargaining on his part.

With this episode, Deborah Chow became the first woman to direct a live-action Star Wars project. Those kinds of milestones are a double-edged sword for me. Yes, you obviously want diversity in the director’s chair. But the fact that it took more than 40 years for it to happen is cringeworthy.

Then again, it’s not like there’ve been a massive surplus of live action Star Wars projects. The Mandalorian is, after all, the franchise’s first live-action TV series.

Don’t get personally involved. That’s got to be, like, the first rule of bounty hunting, right? If it’s not rule #1, it should be rule #1A.

One of the big themes in The Mandalorian, and Star Wars at large, has to do with fatherhood and parenting. We’ve had Luke and Vader, Boba Fett and Jango Fett, Han and Ben Solo, etc. And now, we’ve got Mando and the child. Heck, even Mando himself has some lost parent issues.

What I like about this episode is that we’re with Mando as he makes the decision to become a parent, albeit a surrogate one. We see the struggle between his mercenary instincts and his conscience. And we get through the whole thing with minimal dialogue from him. It’s beautifully done.

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