When The Book of Boba Fett premiered, viewers were surprised to see the Disney+ series spending so much time in the past. The show’s first four episodes all adopted the same split timeline structure, following Boba Fett’s (Temuera Morrison) life both after Return of the Jedi and during his post-Mandalorian Season 2 rise to power on Tatooine.
The choice earned The Book of Boba Fett comparisons to another gangster epic, The Godfather Part 2, and fans understandably assumed that the show would maintain its flashback-heavy format throughout the season. Episode 4, however, suggests that’s not actually the case, and so the whole point of the show’s flashbacks have been called into question.
Bacta Tank Daydreams — The first three episodes of The Book of Boba Fett featured flashbacks that provided some much-needed insight into Fett’s past. Exploring his time spent with the Tusken Raiders, they helped explain how Boba went from a ruthless galactic mercenary to a wannabe crime lord who cares about honor and respect.
Episode 3 also threw a twist into its flashback story when it set Boba on what seemed like an important revenge mission. Unfortunately, The Book of Boba Fett not only seems to have done away with the storyline, but it wrapped up Boba’s feud with the Nikto Sand Riders in disappointingly nonchalant fashion.
Even worse, for as much time as Episode 4 spends with Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), The Book of Boba Fett doesn’t explore the character in any meaningful way.
Meaningful Exploration, Or Just Filler? A significant portion of Episode 4’s runtime is spent exploring the beginnings of Fennec and Boba’s friendship. On paper, that seems like an interesting and important period for The Book of Boba Fett to depict. But the episode doesn’t actually tell us anything new about their bond or who they are as people.
Instead, Episode 4’s flashbacks only serve to fill the few remaining gaps in Boba’s story. It shows us things we’ve already been told about, like how Boba saved Fennec’s life, and explains things that didn’t need explaining, like how Boba reacquired his ship from Jabba the Hutt’s palace.
The episode makes for an unengaging viewing experience. There’s no tension in the Sarlacc Pit sequence because we already know, thanks to The Mandalorian Season 2, that it was defeated and that Boba survived its destruction.
Had the scene served as a bonding moment for Fennec and Boba, or told us anything new about their characters, then its lack of tension might not be a problem. But the episode’s biggest moments feel like they only exist to show previously unseen plot points, which makes the episode a disappointing end to The Book of Boba Fett’s flashback storyline.
The Inverse Analysis — In its first three episodes, The Book of Boba Fett uses its flashbacks to develop its lead in compelling ways. In doing so the series justified its split timeline structure, making its trips into the past feel like worthwhile explorations rather than unnecessary detours.
Episode 4’s flashbacks don’t succeed in the same way, offering little in terms of character development or thrilling spectacle. The episode’s pre-Mandalorian Season 2 sequences are so unengaging, in fact, that they force you to wonder if the flashbacks were ever meant to be more than padding to fill out the show’s seven-episode season.
That’ll be especially disappointing if, as Episode 4 suggests, the show’s latest flashbacks really do prove to be its last.
The Book of Boba Fett is streaming now on Disney+.