The sixth episode of “Book of Boba Fett,” was both emotional and unpredictable. Though it was heavily focused on the Mandalorian Din Djarrin’s arc, like the previous episode, it dropped a huge bomb when a character from Boba Fett’s past unexpectedly appeared.
In addition, the episode slowly weaved what is to come with Boba’s war against the Pyke Syndicate and it left viewers with a cliffhanger at the end.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
While the Daiymo Boba Fett is dealing with the escalating war against the Pyke’s Syndicate, Marshal Cobb Vanth, the man who previously donned Boba Fett’s Mandalorian armor encounters a group of Pykes and tells them that they are in his jurisdiction. Despite not having the Fett armor to protect him, Vanth (portrayed by Timothy Olyphant) is still a formidable fighter as he is able to shoot down three of the four Pykes. Vanth tells the remaining Pyke that he knows of the Syndicate and to take their credits back with him. He also warns the Pyke that if he were to encounter anyone trading spice in the Mos Pelgo territories “will be lost forever.” The Pyke notes that the spice is worth more than Mos Pelgo and Vanth jokes that maybe he’ll retire. After the Pyke leaves, Vanth kicks down the chest which is full of gold-colored spice.
Like the cinematography of “The Mandalorian,” the cinematography involving the Vanth scenes in the “Book of Boba Fett” has a western feel to it. The stand off between Vanth and the Pykes is similar to the standoffs seen in the old western films. Olyphant is no stranger to being in wester unrelated shows since he previously portrayed a US Marshall on the FX TV series “Justified.”
And the mindset of Cobb Vanth and the people of Freetown mirrors that of small town folk wanting to look out for their own affairs rather than get involved in the global affairs surrounding them. This is shown when Vanth meets the Mandalorian and they speak about Boba Fett’s upcoming war with the Pyke Syndicate. The amazing chemistry between Olyphant and Pedro Pascal helps flesh out Vanth and Djarin’s opinions on the situation involving the Pykes. Their conversation starts off on a friendly note with Vanth being intrigued by Din’s new customized Naboo Starfighter. But when they talk about the Pykes, the conversation gets serious.
Vanth clearly agrees with Fett that spice trading is wrong; however, he is apprehensive about joining the Daiymo, who is wearing the armor he once donned, since his people have fought against many dangers in the form of the Mining Collective and a Krayt Dragon. Ultimately, Djarin is able to convince Vanth to start forming a garrison when the marshall realizes that once he informs his people of the news, the Pyke situation might be their problem.
After the Mandalorian leaves, a figure from afar approaches Freetown. Vanth, being rightfully cautious, tells everyone to get inside for safety. As the figure approaches, it is revealed to be none other than the notorious Clone Wars era Duros bounty hunter Cad Bane, alive and well. Since Dave Filoni directed this episode, he pulled another one of his swerves since it would seem that the episode’s title “From the desert, comes a stranger” would refer to Cobb Vanth coming to Boba Fett’s aid but it actually referenced Bane. The two are in a standoff that once again, shows a scene reminiscent of the duel scenes from the old westerns.
Bane tries to persuade Vanth and the Pykes could pay equal to what Fett would pay to Vanth but with the condition that they trade spice through Freetown. Vanth tries to get the identity of the bounty hunter, Vanth’s deputy, clearly spoiling for a fight like he tried to with the Mandalotian, tells Bane that he cannot buy the marshall. The deputy’s hotheaded attitude gets Vanth shot. The deputy also gets shot multiple times. Bane tells the people of Freetone that “Tatooine belongs to the Syndicate” and “as long as the spice keeps on running, everyone would be left alone.”
Following this scene, the Pykes come to Garsa Fwip’s Sanctuary and take a seat for a couple seconds. Garsa’s Twi’lek hosts offer them some of their hospitality but the Pykes menacingly reject it. It is clear the Garsa is concerned about the Pyke presence and that she used her hosts to get information on them. Little do they know, the Pykes left a kantono that had a bomb inside it and suddenly, the entire Sanctuary explodes, apparently killing Garsa and her patrons. It is clear that the Pykes are sending Boba a message that they want their territory or they’re going to kill anyone to get it.
One of the notable things in this episode was that while Boba Fett was in this episode, he did not utter a single line. Fett is only seen looking at the hologram of the situation involving the Pyke Syndicate. One could argue that this might have been an homage to how Boba was presented in “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back:” a man of very few to no words. But Tamuera Morrison is not portraying Boba Fett the bounty hunter, instead he is now a daiymo of Tatooine ruling with modesty and conviction. Instead of being led asunder Fett is now extending an offering of refuge to those afflicted by the treachery of the mercenary lifestyle. In addition, it was Ming Na Wen’s Fennec Shan who was doing all the talking in regards to the situation. This could have left viewers wondering if perhaps she was the Diaymo of Tatooine.
And many viewers should remember that this was heavily influenced by Boba’s past experiences as a bounty hunter. It was the epiphany that he had when living along the nomadic Tusken Raiders in the Dune Sea. They were the only family he had ever had besides his “father” Jango Fett.
The Tuskens may have been seen as savages or barbarians on other “Star Wars” movies like “A New Hope” and “Attack of the Clones,” but in the “Book of Boba Fett,” they are seen as nomadic and peaceful. They want to be left alone and have a rightful claim to the Dune Sea. Viewers also need to remember that Boba’s first encounter with the Pykes spice trade was when he was with the Tuskens.
Before all the chaos that is about to unfold in Tatooine, Din travels in his modified N-1 Starfighter to the unnamed world that will become the future site of Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy that is seen in the Sequel Trilogy.
The cinematography changes from the wild west-esque desert landscape of Tatooine to the tranquil lush and green landscape of the unknown planet. A landscape that is fitting for the reborn Jedi Order under the son of Anakin Skywalker. This is an emotional and touching scene of a father coming to visit his son at school and to see how he is doing.
When Din meets R2-D2, he asks to see Skywalker and the faithful astromech droid takes him to the site where the Jedi Academy is being built by construction droids. Viewers, especially ones who are parets, would notice the concerned father Djarin get impatient as he witnesses the school being built while his foundling and the Jedi Master are nowhere to be seen. In addition, Artoo also shuts down. The droids create a bench for Djarin to sit and wait for his foundling.
While the Mandalorian waits to see his foundling, Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamil) is seen training Grogu. The CGI features of Luke Skywalker in this scene is a remarkable improvement from the CGI seen in Season Two of “The Mandalorian.” The CGI is a very close resemblance of Mark Hamil from 1983 and the voice almost matches as well. As teacher teaches students, a light-hearted scene shows viewers that Grogu is still up to his childish antics as he uses the Force to grab a frog out of water and eat it.
At this point, this is an optimistic Luke. Mark Hamil is not portraying the jaded and bitter old Jedi Master that we see in “Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.” He’s portraying the hero of Yavin IV turned Jedi Master. He’s portraying the Luke Skywalker many fans have grown up with. The scene of Luke running through the jungle while carrying Grogu on his back is reminiscent of his training session withMaster Yoda in “The Empire Strikes Back.” He also brings up some of Yoda’s teachings including “there is no try, only do.” However, one can argue that several instances seem to allude to how Luke becomes disillusioned with the Jedi Way after Ben Solo destroys the Jedi Academy that he had worked so hard to build.
Many diehard “Star Wars” fans would know that in the Expanded Universe, Luke establishes the New Jedi Order which is far more progressive than the previous Order before it. In the Expanded Universe New Jedi Order, Luke’s students are allowed to have attachments. This shows that the New Jedi Order did not want to make the same mistake that the old order did which ultimately led Anakin Skywalker to fall to the Dark Side.
However, Luke in the Disney continuity has decided to adhere to the old ways of the Jedi. While Grogu accomplishes many amazing feats, including increased agility and telekinesis, Luke feels that as a teacher, he is not sure if he’s really teaching the padawan since he is remembering his abilities from his past when he was living at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. It is possible that Luke tapping into Grogu’s memories of seeing the clones massacre the Jedi during the night of Order 66 might have triggered this.
Meanwhile, Din is sleeping and is awoken by none other than Ahsoka Tano (played by Rosario Dawson) who has not been seen since “The Mandalorian” Season Two. Like the conversation with Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth, the conversation between Pascal’s Djarrin and Dawson’s Ahsoka shows amazing chemistry. The conversation, while friendly, is a contention between the Mandalorian and Jedi philosophies.
As Djarin once said in the previous episode, the Mandalorian Way fosters solidarity as opposed to the Jedi Way. Many can argue that the reason why the Mandalorians were able to survive throughout galactic history was because they believe in the concept of family as opposed to the Jedi. The Jedi take away the very young from their families and raise them in a temple. However, one can also argue that the Jedi also believe in the concept of family but in a different way. The Mandalorians are not afraid of attachments whereas the Jedi believe that attachments can stray a Jedi from their path.
When Djarin gives Ahsoka the gift for Grogu, the former Padawan of Anakin Skywaler questions if he is giving the gift for Grogu or if he was doing it to have the padawan remember him. Djarin points out that as a Mandalorian foundling, Grogu has a right to have the gift. Ahsoka also points out that while the little green guy may have been a foundling, he is now a padawan once more. She promises Din that she would give Grogu his gift and the Mandalorian reluctantly leaves.
The next scene shows Luke and Ahsoka witnessing Grogu’s improvement. This scene between Luke and Ahsoka mirrors the interactions between the former padawan and Anakin. Luke brings up his concerns about training Grogu and the Mandalorian’s bond with the padawan. Ahsoka notes that she advised him of their strong bond. Luke also questions if Grogu’s heart is in his Jedi training which Ahsoka comments that Luke is so much like Anakin. The Jedi Master asks what he should do with Grogu and Ashoka tells him to trust his instincts. The scene ends with a fatigue Grogu laying on a rock.
The ending of the episode leaves on a cliffhanger. Grogu is seen sitting in front of Luke as the Jedi Master presents him with two choices in the form of Din’s gift, which is a beskar chainmail armor and Master Yoda’s lightsaber. According to Luke, the armor represents Gorgu going back to the Mandalorian and embracing his attachment to his loved ones and Yoda’s lightsaber represents Gorgu staying with the newly restored Jedi Order and becoming the first student of Luke’s Jedi Academy.
This leaves many to wonder if Gorgu really did become a student for Luke’s Jedi Academy. And if he did, did he survive Kylo Ren’s attack on the Order? Or perhaps, did Grogu choose to return to the Mandalorian because of his strong bond and perhaps, forseeing the destruction that Luke and his students will face in the form of Skywalker’s nephew? The next and final episode of the “Book of Boba Fett” may answer the question as to whether Grogu reunites with the Mandalorian or stays with the order. Or perhaps, viewers may find out on Season Three of “The Mandalorian.”
The “Book of Boba Fett” is now streaming on Disney +.