Boba Fett: Hunted

May 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Reads)

huntedBoba Fett: Hunted by Elizabeth Hand


On the one hand, it’s nice to see books in the Star Wars universe that aren’t about the Jedi and the Force and all that. It’s not like the Boba Fett books are the only ones with that focus, but they remind me that they’re few and far between, what with the Skywalkers pretty much running the galaxy.

On the other hand, these stories aren’t that exciting. Hunted is the story of Boba Fett finding Jabba on Tatooine and completing one job in order to secure his employment with the Hutt, and even though Hand populates the story with a variety of characters and action, the end result is pretty disappointing. The story takes him through Mos Espa, where he deals with thieves and other brigands, and ultimately to Jabba’s palace, where he contends with the sinister Hutt and his cronies, including other bounty hunters. We know Boba goes on to work for Jabba, so what we’re seeing is the beginning of that relationship.

Hand writes Boba sympathetically here, which is odd, since he’s supposed to have a reputation for being ruthless. Granted, Boba is still young here, but it’s strange seeing him so easily dismiss a friend in one book, only to see him go out of his way to save strangers here. Is he embracing the idea of having allies and opponents, as Jango has taught him, or is he getting unnecessarily caught up in the plights of others and becoming sentimental? I can see him starting out one way and becoming another, but the way she presents him in this book is at odds with how he’s been established in the previous books of this same series.

On top of that, the story hinges on coincidence, especially at the very end. Not only does that coincidence strain credibility, but it also reinforces the idea that Boba is not above making friends, even as he’s trying to make himself out to be the greatest bounty hunter to ever live. Granted, there are two more books in the series, and it’s possible that Hand will have him betray that friendship, but it seems unlikely in the way she sets up the story here. Jude Watson has this same sort of balance to maintain in Jedi Quest, but so far, she handled it better than Hand has done so far with this series.

I would love to be surprised by how Hand concludes this series, but I’m reluctant to expect it. I know it must be hard writing for characters she didn’t create (as well as picking up a series someone else started), but it seems like Hand doesn’t get the character of Boba Fett at all. Either that, or I don’t. Now that I think about it, why does Boba Fett have a reputation for being so ruthless?

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