It’s Free Real Estate – Why a Cameo in The Book of Boba Fett Didn’t Work When It Should Have

The following article contains spoilers for this week’s episode of The Book of Boba Fett.

Y’know, if it had been a different episode, if it had been a different pair of episodes, I would have been excited.

The issue is…well, let’s call it Free Real Estate. This is when a story set within a pre-established universe is sidelined to prioritize references to another, unrelated part of the universe. The script, the runtime, the pages that could have been dedicated to telling the story that was promised instead goes to rehashing beats for nostalgia or setting up backdoor pilots. The creators saw that this story was taking place in the same universe as the characters they wished it was about and said, “It’s free real estate.

Free Real Estate is the affliction faced by the two penultimate episodes of The Book of Boba Fett.

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We Are All Jurassic Park – An Examination of The Fallen Star

This piece contains minor spoilers for The Fallen Star.

These spoilers discuss the scope of what the novel does and does not cover.

The three Del Rey novels of The High Republic’s first phase are essentially disaster films, centered around a specific Event. Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule opens with “The Great Disaster” and the rest of the novel is about preventing the aftereffects. The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott is centered around the attack on the Republic Fair. The Fallen Star is about the Titanic-style collapse of Starlight Beacon.

However, out of all the options of disaster films to reflect upon, out of all the sub-genres and styles, what kept returning to me as a comparison was a single franchise: Jurassic Park.

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More Than One Way to Be Mandalorian

The Mandalorian’s first season establishes early on that Mandalorians are recognized both by their armor and by their refusal to remove it. An essential part of their creed, removal of the helmet was so great a sin that it would excommunicate someone from the culture. An essential part of fandom meant that we had to immediately argue about what this meant.

Theories, jokes, and accusations of canon contradictions flew, but there seemed to be at least some draw towards a consensus. A consensus that the show would confirm in the second season.

In “The Heiress”, three people in Mandalorian armor remove their helmets in front of Din Djarin. Din immediately accuses them of stealing the armor, of not being true Mandalorians. Problem is: one of them is the former regent of Mandalore itself. Bo-Katan of House Kryze.

Mandalore’s culture applies to Din as well as to Bo-Katan and her warriors because of the simple fact that there is more than one way to be a Mandalorian.

Star Wars has tackled the nuances of several in-universe identities over the years. We know that there are endless variations on what it means to be a Jedi, a clone, a Separatist, an Imperial, a rebel, all nuances well worth exploring. I only wish Star Wars showed the same sort of dedication to nuance when it comes to real-life representation.

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Stories of Light and Dark: Is There Merit in a Clone Wars Adaptation?

The merits of page-to-screen adaptations are an endless discussion, and “The Book Is Always Better” seems to be an adage that will never die. However, between my middle school years and now, it seems that people are more willing to make allowances for the differences in medium. You can’t tell a story through film the same way it was told on the page. Different tools are required to tell the same story, and usually there’s a time constraint, which causes certain elements to be cut.

Less frequently discussed is the reverse: the screen-to-page adaptations. The various novelizations of film and TV. What is the merit of books like The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark?

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Second Look: Memories From the Menu of Dex’s Diner

Second Look is Eleven-ThirtyEight’s biannual tradition of highlighting some of our most interesting pieces from recent months. Every day this week you’ll find a different older piece back on our front page for another moment in the spotlight. – Mike, EIC

Cooking is supposed to help your mental health in these quarantined times. Unfortunately, peeling out laughter because a splatter of chicken gore hit your face is the opposite of helping. In fact, every step of making Aunt Lilja’s Liver Pancakes was tinged with horrified regret. Though the end result was an anticlimactic set of normal(ish) sausage(esque) patties, this is a journey I don’t aim to repeat. At least not with the liver pancakes.

See, my regret was premeditated. After all, one simply doesn’t purchase chicken livers on a whim (chicken gizzards, on the other hand, is a different story). This deliberate decision was driven by an unearned confidence from The Galaxy’s Edge Cookbook, a perfectly healthy fascination with Dexter Jettster, and a Finnish family tree.

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