Battle Lines – Review of “The Book of Boba Fett” Chapter 7 “In the Name of Honor”

In the end, fighting for honor is all that matters.

If there is one sentiment that runs through the finale for The Book of Boba Fett, titled “In the Name of Honor”, it’s that fighting for a noble cause is an end unto itself. Throughout the season, even with its missteps, The Book of Boba Fett has been about a former killer trying to live a more honorable life. The finale highlights this most explicitly during its closing moments, which I’ll get to in a moment.

Spoilers ahead, obviously, so don’t read if you haven’t watched the episode.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, “In the Name of Honor” is frenetically-paced from practically the start, pitting the beleaguered Boba Fett and his crew against the overwhelming numbers of the Pyke Syndicate, backed up by one of the most ruthless bounty hunters in the galaxy in Cad Bane. For those that haven’t watched The Clone Wars (and you seriously should watch that series), there is a history between Cad Bane and Boba Fett. When Boba was a young man during The Clone Wars, Cad Bane took him on as part of his mercenary crew, teaching the boy the ways of being a bounty hunter. Bane is a mirror opposite of who Boba is now, a cynical, profit-driven mercenary who openly admits to being a killer and proud of that moniker. What Bane cannot abide by is self-delusion, which he feels Boba is indulging in with his quest to be Daimyo of Tatooine.

Boba Fett and Din Djarin, back-to-back badasses. Source

The action sequences for the finale are top-notch, which is not surprising given Rodriguez’s experience in making action films such as Desperado and Planet Terror. The tension builds early on when it’s revealed the other crime bosses of Mos Espa have broken their vow of neutrality and sided with the Pyke Syndicate. We also learn that it was the Pyke’s who slaughtered the Tusken tribe that adopted Boba, using the markings of the Kintan Striders to throw Boba off their scent. Even though Boba is wearing his helmet when Cad Bane reveals this nugget of information, you can tell just by Temura Morrison’s body language that the revelation hits Boba extremely hard.

In any drawn-out action sequence (which the majority of this episode is made up of), there are ebbs and flows to the battle. Seeing the Mods and Black Krrsantan getting caught in ambushes and fighting for their lives, you feel the circle closing in on him. But then there are moments, like Din Djarin and Boba Fett standing back-to-back as they gun down Pyke soldiers, where you feel like Boba and his crew are going to win the day. Then the Scorpenek battle droids show up (industrial size tank droids similar to the Droideka models from The Clone Wars) and everything goes to hell quickly.

The moments that stand out for me are when Boba brings his pet rancor into the fight, showing just how deadly these creatures can be (and how dangerous when Boba loses control of it). The arrival of the Freetown militia was a glorious moment as well, proving that Cad Bane’s philosophy was incorrect. Bane had hoped that by gunning down Cobb Vanth and his deputy he would instill enough fear in the Freetown residents to prevent them from getting involved. In fact, the opposite effect occurred. Enraged by the attempted murder of their beloved sheriff, the people of Freetown showed up in-force, turning the tide of battle briefly. This goes to show that Boba Fett and Din Djarin’s method of respect and reciprocity pays dividends.

We also see the return of Grogu, having made his decision to return to the Din Djarin (with a heartfelt moment of the little creature jumping into Mando’s arms in the midst of a life-and-death chase). And despite his short stature, Grogu manages to play an integral role in the battles, first by saving Djarin from a Scorpenek droid (by Force-pulling a joint out of socket in one of the droid’s legs) and then by using the Force to communicate with the enraged rancor, communing with the creature and putting it to sleep. Seeing Grogu and his adopted father-figure together again pulled on my heartstrings in the best way possible, especially seeing them fly off from Tatooine (with Djarin begrudgingly hitting the afterburner to speed away).

Boba Fett (Temura Morrison) ends Cad Bane. Source

The final showdown between Cad Bane and Boba Fett is one of the best moments in The Book of Boba Fett. Two bounty hunters, probably the two most feared people in the galaxy, and now so diametrically opposite that they cannot even fathom how the other person operates. To Bane, anything other than self-interest above all else is weakness. For Boba, showing respect and treating others with respect has become his new creed. Bane cannot see the changes Boba has endured during his time on Tatooine, either because he ignores them or because he writes them. Even still, Bane is the better shooter, landing several shots that take Boba to the ground. But when he comes in closer for the kill, Boba is able to use his gaffi stick and the lessons he learned from the Tuskens to disarm and kill Cad Bane, bringing an end to someone who has long escaped justice for his misdeeds. In a way, this is a symbolic killing, showing that Boba has cast away the bounty hunter in favor of something better.

The finale also finally shows why Fennec Shand is a master assassin. Early on in the fight, it’s determined that the best way to prevent further carnage is to take out the leadership of the Mos Espa gangs and the Pyke Syndicate (who also happen to have Mayor Mok Shaiz with them as well). The duplicitous Ithorian Mayor begins to show hesitation with the amount of bloodshed and destruction the Syndicate is bringing to Mos Espa but it is too late for that at this stage. When Fennec finally reaches their hideout in Mos Eisley, she rapidly takes down all of the people inside without being seen, showcasing just how deadly this woman can be. I’m reminded of Ming-Na Wen’s time in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Melinda May, particularly when she saves the Mods from the ambush. Much like Melinda May, Fennec Shand is the Cavalry.

By the end of the episode, we see Boba and Fennec enjoying the respect of the citizens of Mos Espa, Cobb Vanth healing in a bacta tank (with the mod doctor ready to provide cybernetics for his wounds), as well as Djarin and Grogu heading off on their next adventure. If this turns out to be a standalone series without any additional seasons, I can be satisfied with that. While I did not enjoy some of the storytelling choices with the Tusken Raiders, I am glad to see that they were humanized to a larger degree than previously seen in Star Wars. Overall, I would definitely recommend The Book of Boba Fett for fans of Star Wars and for people who have never watched Star Wars before.

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