Boba Fett Ep. 4 Reaction: Another Slow Outing

Boba Fett Ep. 4 Reaction: Another Slow Outing

BY MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME

IG@matt.tuck.writer

FB@ The Comic Blog

It was another slow episode for The Book of Boba Fett, and we can only hope this isn’t a trend as the series gears up for its final episodes.

Maybe it’s time to admit that BOBF isn’t what we’d hoped for. Sure, there’s a heaping helping of nostalgia to help us all reminisce on the classic Star Wars trilogy. Rest assured, nostalgia sells. Look no further than Ghostbusters: Afterlife for validation of that fact. Similar to BOBF, if you take away all the nods and allusions to the original movie, the actual plot for Afterlife is mediocre at best. Sadly, that appears to be the case with BOBF.

The first two episodes got the free pass because longtime Star Wars fans had waited so long to see Boba Fett return from the Sarlacc pit. We waited decades to see him claw his way out of the monster’s belly and right the wrong of his lame death in Return of the Jedi. From there, things slowly went downhill. 

Critics have often wondered what made Boba Fett so alluring for all these years. Between The Empire Strikes Back and ROTJ, he had little screen time and a few lines of dialogue. We saw him in action only briefly before Han Solo accidentally knocked him into the Sarlacc’s mouth. Why, then, did he become one of the most popular characters in all of Star Wars? It all comes down to presence and aesthetic. Unfortunately, Temuera Morrison doesn’t have that presence, and seeing Boba Fett without his helmet and armor negates that aesthetic quality. For a 61-year-old man, Morrison is in great shape, but neither his age nor his physique are right for this unless Boba survived being in the Sarlacc pit for 30 years. If he were to stay in the suit and helmet, that would hide those facts, but the show insists on reminding viewers there’s a man behind the mask as often as possible.

Truth be known, the acting isn’t good for Boba Fett. Granted, it wasn’t The Mandalorian’s strong suit, either, but BOBF is taking it down another notch. Few of the lines come across as natural, and the dialogue tends to be clunky and forced. Don’t get me started on the Mods, the show’s supposedly tough-as-nails teenage biker gang that comes across more as Star Wars’ answer to the Power Rangers. Nothing about them fits within Star Wars, and we see more Mods in Episode Four, complete with techno music and trendy hairstyles that simply don’t belong on Tatooine. 

BOBF’s biggest sin by far has been watering down Boba Fett. As I mentioned in last week’s Episode Three reaction, I understand if Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau are aiming to dispel the toxic masculinity associated with a character like Boba. They clearly want to humanize him, which usually makes for more interesting and complex characters. The problem is the path Filoni and Favreau have chosen has stripped away Boba’s mystique and edge. Even in the fight scenes, he doesn’t come across as a real threat. Fennec Shand plays the part of feared assassin much better than Boba, who feels like an out-of-place moisture farmer at this point.

Ming-Na Wen has promised that the BOBF finale will change people’s minds about the show. That comes across like a direct hint that Boba Fett will finally return to being the warrior we always wanted him to be by the last episode. Since this show follows the classic Western format so closely, BOBF will probably take a page from Shane and have Boba return to his violent ways in order to save those he’s come to love, as cliche as that sounds. At this point, I’ll take that over the passive former bounty hunter we’ve seen so far.

The episode wasn’t without its high points. Black Krrsantan is still hanging out in Mos Espa, and we get to see him rip an arm off for no real reason. Afterwards, Boba hires Krrsantan as one of his bodyguards, so we have more raging, bloodthirsty Wookie battles to look forward to before the season comes to a close.

THE KEYS

We weren’t introduced to any significant new faces in this week’s entry, so there won’t be any suddenly-hot keys as a result. With the attention on Boba Fett and his supporting cast, there has been plenty of activity for their keys despite the lukewarm reception for BOBF. On that note, let’s check on the state of the market for those Boba keys.

STAR WARS #42

Starting at the top, we have Star Wars #42. It has been long held as the key among keys in the Boba Fett realm despite it not being his first comic appearance; that spot is reserved for the Marvel Super Special #16. Although MSS #16 has been gaining respect with more sales and higher prices, it has yet to overtake SW #42 in the eyes of most collectors. 

In recent years, SW #42 has become more popular than ever. The Mandalorian not only gave us our first live-action Mandalorian besides Boba Fett, it also brought the famed bounty hunter back to life in the second season. That gave fans plenty of incentive to stockpile this issue, especially those of the slabbed variety. Last year, a 9.8 sold for a ridiculous $4,990 and ended 2021 with an average FMV of $3,519. While that record has been out of reach so far in 2022, the last sale of $3,840 from January 15 was well above the 2021 FMV.

The only way I can see the prices for Star Wars #42 bottoming out would be if the season finale of BOBF is a total disaster. That is always a possibility, but I don’t see that happening.

STAR WARS #81

One of the early keys to get a boost from the BOBF premiere was Star Wars #81. This issue was the first story to revive Boba Fett after his shameful demise in ROTJ. For Boba fans, that was welcome news despite it not being considered canon. Nonetheless, readers rejoiced at the prospect of original comics with their favorite bounty hunter that would help dilute the taste left over from the movies.

Once Boba Fett made his triumphant return in The Mandalorian, this issue felt the heat. As fans waited for the canonical fight out of the Sarlacc pit, they took to the auction sites for Star Wars #81. Just yesterday, a raw copy sold for $57 on eBay. Earlier this month, a graded 9.8 sold for $650.

DARTH VADER #1

Without speaking a discernible word (I get that he speaks Wookie, but really it’s all just a bunch of growls), Krrsantan has become the new face of Star Wars, at least for now. Both comic and mainstream fans cannot get their fill of the bounty hunting Wookie. His moment in BOBF Episode Four was brief, but he managed to show the ferocity and strength that has catapulted him to stardom. He is everything Chewbacca was described to be, only Krrsantan actually does rip people’s arms off, as we saw in the show. At this rate, we can expect to see him appear in other Disney+ shows as the company profits off the character’s surging popularity.

Speaking of profits, those Darth Vader #1s have never been more valuable. The standard covers are selling for $40-$50. Meanwhile, the graded 9.8s are hauling in as much as $455 this year after this was a $159 comic a year ago. 

STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS #8

Fennec Shand’s comic appearances have been few and far between as far as I can tell. The only canonical issue I have found is Bounty Hunters #8, which is the first time she was mentioned in a Star Wars comic. Granted she had been in art books and Mandalorian magazines, this was the first comic that specifically named her. A mention was basically it, and I have not found her second appearance. That leaves the pickings for Fennec’s keys quite slim.

Since she is only mentioned, it makes sense that Bounty Hunters #8 isn’t on fire. However, I would be surprised if Marvel didn’t give her a starring comic series in the near future thanks to her popularity in BOBF. Last year, the graded 9.8 sold for a high of $225 and averaged $102. There has only been one 9.8 sold in 2022, and that one went for $56 on January 9. 

The graded sales may be slow, but the raw copies are on the move. Several Bounty Hunters #8s have been trading hands on eBay in the past week, most of which stayed in the $15 range.

FINISH STRONG, BOBA

Reportedly, there are seven episodes in BOBF’s first (and possibly only) season. That gives the show time to turn things around with three episodes remaining. If Ming-Na Wen is right, things will pick up beginning next week in order to finish strong. Audiences tend to have short-term memories when it comes to series. A show can be great but finish weak and fans admonish it as a horrible series, a la Game of Thrones. On the other hand, WandaVision was the exact opposite. It began slow and extraordinarily campy with missed opportunities for great moments, but then it had one of the best endings in all of the MCU. Now, some fans talk about WandaVision as if it is the greatest product Marvel Studios has ever produced.

Book of Boba Fett may be lackluster now, but all that really matters is how it crosses the finish line. A good, solid ending will have audiences begging for more regardless of the earlier episodes.

Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.


Leave a comment. You do you.

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published