The Book of Boba Fett writer Jon Favreau compares Boba Fett to Vito Corleone. Likely you’ve all seen The Book of Boba Fett. Some fans felt like Fett was a bit tame compared to the character they had in their heads. I’m not sure I necessarily agree with this, but the show had some issues. Jon Favreau who wrote The Book of Boba Fett has now explained his own thoughts on Boba Fett in a recent interview with Vanity Fair.
“You think about Don Corleone,” Favreau says. “There’s a tremendous amount of restraint because he knows that to be sustainable, there has to be [peace.] You don’t do well unless there’s some political balance, because if you keep going to the mattresses, nobody’s earning.”
The elder Corleone in The Godfather also rejects the drug trade and resists calls to “do murder.” Stability and safety are more important to the boss at that point in his life. “You think about what things are off limits. Don Corleone wasn’t just doing everything to line his pockets as he got later into his career,” Favreau says. “You look at De Niro, in the flashbacks in The Godfather: Part II, as he’s walking down the streets. He’s seen as somebody who’s actually creating, someone the people respect because of the way he conducts himself. There’s lots of different ways to run an empire. There’s the Sonny Corleone way, there’s the Michael Corleone way and then there’s the Vito Corleone way.” One is hotheaded, the other is coldblooded.
I mean, leading up to The Book of Boba Fett, this example was exactly the one that Kyle Malone and I were putting forward within The Cantina for how this show could work. Yet, after all is said and done, I also have to be honest and say that this time, they didn’t pull it off. Outside of the two Mando episodes, The Book of Boba Fett was too slow, and the design choices made didn’t work often enough for me. Therefore, comparing Boba Fett to Vito Corleone, just doesn’t quite work for me.
I get the idea of wanting to make Fett a more morally grounded crime boss, and Vito is the perfect example. However unlike The Godfather Part II, which is an undisputed classic, it just didn’t work for Boba Fett. I’m not going to list all the issues I had with the show, however there were quite a few. I think there were also moments within TBOBF that worked well, but they were not fully supported and leaned into.
The Godfather shows a Vito Corleone who is wise, but also old and tired. Vito is clinging to the mob life of old, and one of the themes of The Godfather is how this life is changing. Vito realizes that going forward it is time for Michael to lead the business. Michael isn’t inherently evil, like his father he doesn’t want violence, where it can be avoided. However when faced with direct attacks against his family Michael defends. Realistically, Vito would have done the same thing if necessary. The ultimate difference between Michael and Vito is that Michael loses his family to the business, whereas Vito kept his intact.
Michael’s ambition is what places him into difficult situations. He wants to make the Corleone family legitimate. Vito on the other hand had no grand ambitions beyond maintaining his crime family and his blood family. Michael instead neglects his blood family to achieve his legitimacy goals and ultimately still fails, losing everything.
In other words whilst it might be cool to look at Fett and compare him to Vito, we are talking about completely different genre’s. The Godfather movies are an exploration of the mafia life and one man’s life’s failures transposed against his father’s successes. I don’t think The Book of Boba Fett was ever going to be strong enough to carry this type of complexity. Add in some forced humor that wasn’t needed, some slow and boring fights and some weird hovering Vespa’s and what we were left with would be laughable to compare seriously to The Godfather.
I’m all for aiming at the stars. However, on this occasion the show barely managed to hover at head height. Despite these criticisms, I think a future Season 2 that further explores Fett’s burgeoning criminal empire and gives him really complex issues to revolve could work. I’m just not sure Favreau will get a chance to tell this story in a singular focused show again. Especially as the The Book of Boba Fett ultimately looked cheap. Perhaps that was down to the signature stylings of director Robert Rodriguez? Star Wars should never feel or look like We Can Be Heroes, and yet, it kinda did.
What do you think of his comments as Jon Favreau compares Boba Fett to Vito Corleone? As said, I get why they aimed for this, they just didn’t pull it off for this fan. Leave your thoughts below, or over on Discord.