Boba Fett’s Crunchy Fight Scenes Set It Apart From The Mandalorian

I'm a Boba Fett believer. Sue me. I know that in the films he just walks around looking cool, then dies, but I don't care. I know that The Mandalorian was basically invented so Star Wars could make a Boba Fett show while conveniently being able to use a much more interesting new character, but I don't care. I know my own website is against me, with features editor Andy Kelly writing a few months ago that Boba Fett has destroyed his own appeal by losing his aura of mystique, but I don't care. I'm glad The Book of Boba Fett exists, and its crunchy fight scenes are already setting it apart from The Mandalorian.

I get that it's not necessary. And not even in the way that Star Wars is ultimately frivolous and meaningless on a rapidly heating planet content to ignore its own fate and expedite the process of extinction by trading pictures of cartoon monkeys. The Book of Boba Fett tells a story that works so well because it's untold. The fact it's a clone and doesn't interfere with the 'real' Boba isn't that relevant – I know Boba Fett is a legend because we want to know more about him, yet never will. Or at least, never would. Now we do. It's unnecessary in the way Disney remaking Aladdin is unnecessary. Unlike Aladdin though, I'm willing to go to bat for it.

Related: Kena Is The PS5's Jedi: Fallen OrderWhen I say 'setting it apart', I don't mean it's better. The Mandalorian is one of the best sci-fi shows to have come out in a decade. Maybe the best. Boba Fett has had a single episode, and it was okay. Right now, there's no contest. But considering Mando only exists in the first place because Star Wars wanted to appeal to Boba Fett fans but without having to use Boba Fett, it would have been easy for the two shows to feel too similar, inevitably casting The Book of Boba Fett in Mando's considerable shadow. So far, things seem very different. Well, as different as a show about two nomadic mercenaries in Star Wars can be.

Fight scenes in The Mandalorian are glorious. They're slick and stylish, recalling '80s adventure movies like Indiana Jones. They're perfect for a video game, and even perfecter for a video game with Bryce Dallas Howard involved. That's not how they work in The Book of Boba Fett. Though the two characters have fairly similar arsenals, we've already seen them fight in very different ways. While Mando is cool, debonair, and makes everything look easy, Boba Fett is weightier and more brutish. It's lightweight versus heavyweight. It's fencing versus UFC. It's not about which is better, but the fact Boba Fett brings something completely new should assuage any fears that Boba Fett is Mandalorian 2.

Fennec Shand adds something to Boba's fight scenes, in the way that Grogu added a new context to Mando's but also often felt like it was in the way. Not so with Shand. Every punch seems to hit harder, bodies seem to rattle. When the fleeing mercs scramble across the rooftops, you feel every thudding footstep. Fights glide by serenely in The Mandalorian. They aren't ballet, but they're a helluva lot closer to it than Boba being bounced off energy shields.

I don't know where the story is going to go, or what we'll learn about Boba Fett by the end of it. I don't even know if I'll be happier knowing more about Boba. But if the fight scenes keep up this intensity, I'll be watching every week.

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