The story of The Book of Boba Fett continues with “Chapter 4: The Gathering Storm”. This episode continues the series’s nonlinear structure with one present-day timeline following Boba’s new life as a crime lord and a past timeline taking place after he escaped from the Sarlacc Pit. The series has gotten off to a slow start, and despite continuing a few of those issues, the episode is a minor improvement over Chapter 3 and offers an inkling of promise for the future.

ComingSoon spoiler alert

The episode begins with a flashback of Boba attempting to recover his ship, Slave I, from Jabba’s palace. Upon seeing the number of guards, he decides to retreat. Soon after, he sees a flare shot in the distance, accompanied by a familiar musical note. Boba investigates, and he discovers Fennec Shand, lying unconscious after being shot by Din Djarin in an episode of The Mandalorian. This opening ties in very well to the final moments of “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger,” and it is fascinating to see what happens after.

Boba seeks help from a mod artist to replace Fennec’s wound with cybernetics. It’s an exciting development for Fennec’s character told unconventionally. The episode is helmed by Kevin Tancharoen, a director primarily working in television. He makes the oddball choice to have a montage of the mod artist repairing the wound with all the flair and music choices of Tokyo Drift. It’s not a choice for everyone, but it’s bold and different for the long-running franchise.

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The issue with most of the scenes in the flashbacks is that they feel disconnected from the main storyline. The dialogue scenes contain little intrigue, and they typically reiterate character details that the audience is already aware of. As a result, the flashbacks take up a lot of precious runtime without offering much to enhance the present-day storyline of Boba as a crime lord preparing to face off with the Pyke Syndicate. The flashbacks and present-day storyline can feel entirely disconnected as a result.

There are attempts at fun throughout the episode. Boba and Fennec fighting chef droids is an enjoyable sequence, with Fennec beheading a six-armed droid wielding six knives. The two arrive to recover Slave I. Boba powers up the ship, and the two are ambushed. The action sequence is familiar for Star Wars, as we’ve seen guards shoot at heroes as they try to escape a ship many times before. This sequence isn’t bad, but the direction is underwhelming. Every time a character shoots a blaster, the camera cuts. Every time a character is hit, the camera cuts. The sequence never lingers on wide shots that can give the scene a better sense of geography, instead feeling like the bare minimum for a Star Wars action set piece.

Once Boba and Fennec make their escape on Slave I, we get one of the best scenes in the show, where Boba exacts his vengeance on the Nikto gang for murdering the Tuskens. This scene is incredibly satisfying as Boba flies through, blasting them with the laser cannons and using a rocket to destroy the lead bike. This sequence is set up well in Chapter 3, and it is excellently executed.

Afterward, Boba and Fennec reenter the Sarlacc Pit to recover Boba’s armor. While it’s initially difficult to understand why this scene exists in the show as those who have seen Season 2 of The Mandalorian already know how Boba gets his armor back, the sequence is thrilling as Fennec drops a seismic charge into the Sarlacc. We understand why Boba trusts her as a result, seeing her value in having brains and muscles. The flashback scenes feel longer than they have to be, but they do an excellent job of finally offering a bit of context for Boba and Fennec’s relationship.

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Boba awakens from the bacta tank, and it appears that the flashbacks have finally come to a close as the droid tells Boba that he has fully healed. In our present-day timeline, we see Boba hire Black Krrsantan, and he unites other crime lords to work against the Pyke Syndicate. The crime lords agree to remain neutral, and Fennec suggests finding more reinforcements for the coming war.

This is a 49-minute episode that ends on nearly the same note as the previous episode. The Book of Boba Fett is gearing up the audience for a war, but we’ve seen so little of the Pyke Syndicate that they don’t feel like much of an antagonistic force. Furthermore, the episode remains on the lifeless planet of Tatooine and still feels emotionally hollow. However, the possible future of this show with a war and hints of Ludwig Göransson’s The Mandalorian music may have this series headed towards a positive trajectory. This was an adequate episode that may lead to something phenomenal in the coming weeks.

SCORE: 6/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 6 equates to “Decent.” It fails to reach its full potential and is a run-of-the-mill experience.

Disclosure: The critic watched the episode on Disney+ for ComingSoon’s The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 4 review.

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