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The following contains spoilers for the final three episodes of "The Book of Boba Fett."

If the pacing and thematic storytelling of the first four episodes of the Disney+ series "The Book of Boba Fett" were any indication of where the remaining three episodes were headed, you might expect the journey of the former bounty hunter Boba Fett to tie up nicely as the season rolled toward its end. While that does end up being the case, albeit with a few open-ended questions about the character that could promise a second season, the final three episodes toss up a mixed bag in terms of consistent storytelling and emotional payoff for its central character. As the series reframes its focus around the return of a slew of familiar faces, it ultimately manages to saddle its titular helmeted anti-hero in the back seat of his own show. In a move that is both frustrating and rewarding in various ways, "The Book of Boba Fett" lands on far less stable footing as it wraps up its final chapters. 

It is difficult to discuss exactly how Boba Fett's story concludes without first pivoting to where the show takes us following its fourth episode. As war mounts on the doorstep of Fett and his lieutenant Fennec Shand, and their fragile residency in the town of Mos Espa on Tatooine is threatened by a crime syndicate known as the Pykes, the action holds off long enough for the fifth episode to show us what's going on with the galaxy's other notable helmeted bounty hunter, the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal). With "The Book of Boba Fett" existing as a direct spin-off of creator Jon Favreau's previous series, it isn't that surprising for the character to pop back up in Fett's story. However, it is surprising is how much time we spend with the Mandalorian as we pick up on his exploits following the conclusion of his own show's second season.

The Mandalorian, or Din Djarin as he is also known, takes the spotlight for nearly the entirety of the fifth and sixth episodes. Despite a few other guests joining him on-screen, it's Din's world, and we're just living in it. We find the character falling back into his old habits of bounty hunting after relinquishing his role as the protector of Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) and obtaining the ancient weapon of the Mandalorian creed, the Darksaber. While he is destined for a greater purpose now that he has the saber, he uses the weapon in a less-than-noble manner as he continues his violent tendencies as a gun—or sword—for hire. When he is later confronted by the surviving members of his own clan, including the Armorer (Emily Swallow), Din's role as a Mandalorian comes into question, and he must reckon with his past. Din's continued story mirrors that of Fett's in that the two characters seek to leave behind their muddied pasts as faceless mercenaries, both granted new opportunities to gain new agency in their own lives. Din quickly falls back into his habits from before he took Grogu under his charge and remains uncertain about where his path leads, a contrast to Fett, who is actively working to build up a tribe of his own and reinvent who he was. 

The sixth episode follows Din further as he works to reunite with Grogu, the child who we last saw under the care of a certain Jedi seeking to train him in the ways of the Force. An extended sequence of Grogu training with Luke Skywalker on a distant planet shows us what the pair has been up to since the season finale of "The Mandalorian." Din arrives, only to be greeted by Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), also reprising her role from "The Mandalorian." She advises him to let Grogu continue his training, fearing that the child will lose focus if he sees Din. As Din departs back to Tatooine, Luke gives Grogu a choice to continue his training as a Jedi or return to Din's care. This decision finishes off the sixth episode, seemingly setting up the suspense of where we might find the child in the third season of "The Mandalorian." 

The mystery doesn't last long, though, as the season finale places us back in the town of Mos Espa. As a battle looms between Fett and the Pykes, Grogu emerges back at Din's side almost immediately. While this isn't surprising from a story standpoint, as his path has been tied to Din's for two seasons, the entry of the character during Fett's final standoff with Pykes brings more questions about who this show is really about. Din returning to Mos Espa to aid Fett makes sense as the character owes the ex-bounty hunter a favor or two for saving his skin in his own show. However, as the series dedicates two whole episodes to Din and his supporting characters, "The Book of Boba Fett" blurs the line between corporate synergy and a lack of direction on where exactly the series wants to take its titular character. It's hard not to feel like a piece of Fett's story is missing, or rather that the showrunners just don't quite know how to end it. While the events that transpire in the fifth and sixth episodes are easily some of the best Star Wars television we've gotten so far, they are more in service of expanding Din's journey than tying up the final chapters of Fett's.

As war inevitably erupts in the show's final episode, we're given an odd mix of semi-satisfying conclusions for our main characters. As Din is reunited with Grogu (much quicker than even he probably imagined), Fett has his own reunion as he blasts his way through a pair of giant droid mechas. Crossing paths with an old friend in the form of the blue-skinned, red-eyed bounty hunter Cad Bane, Fett's motives as daimyo are challenged as Bane questions whether the character's days as a cold-blooded killer are indeed behind him. The entry of the swaggering cowboy-mercenary Cad Bane (a familiar face to fans of the animated "Clone Wars") into live-action proved to be a worthy inclusion in the final episode not only because of how great he looks but also what he represents for Fett's character. In their face-off, Bane disarms Fett of his blaster, the symbol of his days as a hired gun, leaving the former mercenary to fight only with the weapon gifted him from his time with the Tusken Raiders. Despite how the duel ends, with Bane seemingly (spoiler!) dead in the dirt and Fett still holding onto some semblance of his life as a killer, the scene encapsulates how Fett has grown to use the skills he has gained from his tribe. While he still has much to learn regarding restraint, he defeats his old foe in combat with the weapon that symbolizes his change from a faceless bounty hunter to a respectable leader.

"The Book of Boba Fett" as a whole is a very frustrating show. By the season's end, we are given a fair amount of convincing evidence to understand the character of Boba Fett as more than the faceless mercenary in cool-looking armor we met on-screen in the 1980s. A simple man just trying to make his way through the galaxy like his father before him, Fett adapts to the conditions around him as his position in the grand hierarchy of power begins to shift. The first four episodes of the series encapsulate the themes of change and adaptation fairly well. The flashbacks to Fett's time with the Tuskens give us plenty of action and emotional progression. The bait-and-switch of the fifth episode isn't surprising considering the show's connection to "The Mandalorian." Still, it's difficult to see the shift away from Fett's story as anything other than a minor disservice to fans watching the show to see how its main character's story progresses toward the finale. Even an extended and generally exhilarating finale with its own set of surprises just didn't make up for the fact that "The Book of Boba Fett" was more concerned with advancing the status of other characters and stories rather than giving its titular character a fitting end.

Rating: 6/10

All episodes of "The Book of Boba Fett" are now available to stream on Disney+. You can read my review of the first four episodes of the season here.

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