It was a good ending to a good series. All plotlines were brought to conclusion, even those that had nothing to do with Boba Fett. Boba got to ride a rancor. The Rancor got to play a King Kong. There were epic shootouts, everyone got their moment in the sun, even the majordomo and the ad hoc formed ladies’ team. There was nothing to object to in terms of plot conclusion. However, one still cannot resist the feeling that things could have been done a tiny bit better.
The Protagonists: Separate
Let us start from the show’s two main characters: Boba Fett and Fennec Shand and their relationship. While there was a final scene that showed them as continuing partners, most of the final episode they had spend separately. That is okay: both are, after all, lone fighters rather than teamwork-oriented people. Still, given the dynamic they had developed, their overall relationship could have been addressed in one or two more dialogues.
An ideal opportunity was the seeming disagreement over the treatment of spice where Fennec did not seem to have such qualms about letting the spice trade continue. We could have seen, even if brief, disagreement between the two protagonists, perhaps even baiting the audience into wondering whether Fennec might switch sides. Their subsequent reconciliation on the subject would just add to the depth of their relationship.
What About A Battle of Naboo?
Instead Boba’s main partner in the episode was Din – and an epic duo it was! In a truly Mando fashion, they were pesimistically ready to die fighting before some unexpected reinforcements arrived. To be fair, said reinforcements did not prove to be the saviours for long, but they stuck around and actually did something. Just like all the other characters, the rancor who has finally been unleashed, and of course Grogu. All of these appearances were completely expected, but still nice. And while the warriors battled, Peli Motto, unexpectedly teaming up with the majordomo, provided the comical relief.
But returning to Fennec, all this would have been okay if Fennec herself also received a little more screentime. Heck, even the majordomo got more space than her. For the entire big action she had disappeared – ten minutes into the episode, to reappear five minutes before its end. And when she finally made her appearance it was in a rather lackluster fashion. Do not misunderstand me: the way she disposed of the crime bosses was perfectly fitting, it was cool and it showcased who Fennec is – a master assassin. It is the “when” it happens that is the problem: only after the main battle has been won and the audience no longer fears for the protagonists. Fennec’s deed, however epically performed, is a mere cleanup.
How much better would it have been to treat the final battle like the Battle of Naboo, with Fennec providing an intertwined second storyline, taking the bosses hostage at some point and therefore turning the tide of the battle (and perhaps also shutting down the droids, or at least one of them, remotely, just like in the Battle of Naboo?).
Escape Now, Hug Later
One more opportunity that could be considered rather wasted was the reunion of Din and Grogu. And what makes it worse is that this show was not even supposed to be about them! Such a major event of their lives happens in a series that is about somebody else – and just in passing in the middle of other, more pressing events.
The reunion of the “father” and “kid” occurs in the middle of a chase with no proper time for “awww”-inducing reactions from the audience. It may be realistic under the circumstances but it makes for bad cinema.
Another issue – in line with the problems of the previous two episodes – is that Grogu has now returned to Din without much of a hassle, and it happened “off-screen”, meaning, in-between The Mandalorian Seasons 2 and 3. TBoBF effectively negates the entire buildup of The Mandalorian‘s second season with a snap of fingers. Last episode of S2 ended with a heartbreaking scene of a “father” leaving his “child”, well now the child is back as if nothing happened. Perhaps the studio felt that the audience would not watch even a single episode without “baby Yoda”.
The Book Closes
All in all, however, “In the Name of Honor” was good in terms of that it finished the story of Boba Fett. It brought all the plotlines to satisfactory conclusion (not a self-evident task!), it gave each of the characters, including minor ones, some screentime and at least one scene where they got to be epic. That is great and I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to give each of the characters such opportunity. (Compare to, say, the space given to Poe, Rose and especially Finn during the latter parts of the sequel trilogy.)
Still, all of it could have been done a little better and with only a little more effort it could have been perfect. And was it really necessary to kill Cad Bane? He has only just been introduced. It is almost like Darth Maul in Episode I: an epic-looking enemy who gets killed off too soon. Well, perhaps in the maul-esque fashion, Cad will return with robotic legs… maybe rather not.
With the last episode done, The Book of Boba Fett can be considered a finished series. I won’t say self-contained: chapters 5, 6 and parts of 7 (those about Din and Grogu) should have happened somewhere else. Nevertheless, it is a good series, full of nostalgic Star Wars atmosphere, old-fashioned action and return to familiar places and characters. The whole is good, and falls just a couple of minor details short of being perfect.