Under Review: “The Mandalorian” vs “The Book of Boba Fett”


Lucy Walker

Drawn by freshman Lucy Walker, this illustration shows the Mandalorian facing Boba Fett.

In November 2019, Disney launched their streaming service Disney+ with the first episode of their new Star Wars adventure, “The Mandalorian. People instantly fell in love with the unique style and charm of a space western set in the Star Wars universe. 

Following the immense success of the first season of “The Mandalorian,” it was inevitable that Disney would give the fans a second season that brought back the iconic Star Wars character Boba Fett.  His appearance would inspire “The Book of Boba Fett,” a spin-off released in 2021 that followed Boba Fett in the years after he escaped the Sarlacc Pit in “Return of the Jedi.”

Star Wars fans have a tendency to compare every movie,  series or book from the franchise, and that’s exactly what I plan to do with the first seasons of “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett.”  

When comparing the debut seasons of both shows, the titular protagonists instantly come to mind. Boba Fett has been a Star Wars icon since his initial appearance in “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980. His armor, blaster and jetpack drew the attention of millions of fans and put him right up there with Star Wars icons Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.  While Boba Fett’s design helped sell countless action figures and put millions into George Lucas’ pocket, fans were never able to get any sense of who he was behind the visor. However, with his own series, he gets more screen time than ever before, and we spend a lot of time with him outside his armor. This may seem weird for some fans, but it allows us to see how his character has changed since his “death” in “Return of the Jedi.”

The Mandalorian has become a fan-favorite since his first appearance and left many craving a second season. He began as a mysterious and reserved character, but as the first season progressed, his time spent with Grogu, aka “Baby Yoda,” helped him feel more relatable and allowed him to better connect with viewers.  

Though the first four episodes of “The Book of Boba Fett” are entirely dedicated to Fett and how he developed as a character in the time we’ve spent away from him, he is completely sidelined in favor of the Mandalorian in episodes six and seven.   What makes this decision even more interesting is that the two episodes that feature the Mandalorian are the clear best episodes of the whole show. Now that both first seasons of these Star Wars shows are in the books, I tend to agree with the notion that the Mandalorian is a cooler and far more interesting version of Boba Fett.

One of my complaints for “The Book of Boba Fett” is that much of the show lacks diversity of setting.  With the exception of the sixth and seventh episodes as well as a handful of flashbacks, the entirety of the first season of “The Book of Boba Fett” takes place on the desert planet Tatooine.  It’s an iconic location for the franchise, but at this point, fans have seen so much of it and other iterations of desert planets that it no longer carries the same weight. “The Mandalorian” takes advantage of the huge Star Wars galaxy and gives the characters new places to explore, allowing for a much more engaging narrative.

At the end of the day, Star Wars is all about a journey through a galaxy filled with great characters we all love.  The first season of “The Mandalorian” is the closest a live-action Star Wars project has gotten to the magic of the original trilogy of films, and for that, it takes my vote as the better first season.


“The Mandalorian” Season 1: 9.5/10

The Book of Boba Fett” Season 1: 6.5/10