The title of the fifth episode of the “Book of Boba Fett” said it all; the Mandalorian returned to grace the screens of Disney +. The episode was basically the first episode of “The Mandalorian” Season Three and we see the bounty hunter without his Force-wielding companion, Grogu since he had left him in the custody of Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker.
This was the first episode without Tamuera Morrison’s Boba Fett and it was focused entirely on Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin.
Once again, a lone hired gun, it is like any other day for the bounty hunter as he completes yet another bounty on a Klantoonian named Kaba Baiz on the ring world of Glavis. This time, the Djarin is armed with the noble Darksaber that he won from Moff Gideon from Season Two. However,Djarin has some trouble with wielding the weapon and during a scuffle with his bounty’s henchmen, he injures himself with the Darksaber. Djarin returns to the Mandalorian covert and reunites with the Armorer and Paz Vizsla.Djarrin presents the Armorer with the legendary Darksaber and she educates him about the weapon.
Many Star Wars fans know that the Darksaber was a unique black-bcolored lightsaber created about a millennia ago by Tarre Vizsla, who was both a Mandalorian and a Jedi. After the Jedi Mandalorian’s death, the blade was kept in the Jedi Temple until the members of House Vizsla snuck into the building and stole it. The Mandalorian legend surrounding the Darksaber says that whoever wields the blade becomes ruler of all of Mandalore. The legend also says that the Darksaber has to be won in combat.
The Darksaber made its appearance in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” animated series which takes place a little more than twenty years before the events of “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett.” The Darksaber was possessed by several involved with Mandalorian history including Pre Viszla, Maul, Sabine Wren, Gar Saxon, Bo Katan Kryze, Moff Gideon, and now Din Djarin.
While the Darksaber is a noble and fabled weapon, its prestige post-Maul has come in question. No Mandalorian ever challenged Maul for the blade. And if one did, it probably did not end so well since Maul was a brutal Force-weilder and most Mandalorians got in line with the former Sithlord. The blade was kept in a Nightsister cavern on Dathomir and was taken by Mandalorian Sabine Wren. And a little bit after that, Maul was defeated by longtime adversary Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sabine never challenged Maul and when the blade was in her possession, her mother, Ursa Wren, tried trading the weapon to Gar Saxon for the young Mandalorian’s safety. Sabine won the weapon back and handed it over to Bo Katan since she saw her as the rightful leader of Mandalore.
However, as the Armorer stated, Bo Katan was a “cautionary tale” since her possession of the weapon brought a curse to Mandalore. She tells Djarin that this led to an event called the Night of a Thousand Tears where the Galactic Empire invaded the planet and carried out a planet-wide massacre of Mandalorians.
Shortly after the history lesson, the Armorer takes Djarin’s spear that was gifted to him by Ahsoka Tano and forges it as a gift for Grogu. The Arnorer also instructs Djarin on how to wield the Darksaber since it is heavy. Paz takes note of this and claims that he is the rightful wielder of the blade since his ancestor built it. Despite Viszla almost defeating him. Djarin bests his Mandalorian brethren and is declared the winner. However, the Armorer asks Vizsla if he had ever taken off his helmet and he tells her no. Then she asks Djarin the same question. After much hesitation, Djarin confesses his sin and the Armorer tells him that he is a “Mandalorian no more.” Djarin begs for forgiveness and the Armorer tells him that the only way he can atone for his sin is to bathe in the waters of Mandalore’s mines. Din notes that the mines have been destroyed but the Armorer tells him that “This is the way.”
This scene symbolizes how legalistic the Mandalorians have become. They are no different than the Jedi Order. Legalism was fertile ground for Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the Dark Side. And it is safe to say that Master Yoda and Obi-Wan realized this after Luke Skywalker defeated Darth Vader and helped redeem him back to being Anakin. It was Luke who ushered a new age of the Jedi Order that did not shun attachments altogether and believed in seeing the good in others.
Earlier in the episode, the Armorer regales the legend of the mythosaur who rose to start a new age of Mandalore. It is possible that Din Djarin symbolizes that mythosaur and he is the key to not only uniting all Mandalorians but beginning the new age for the people that took him in after his parents were killed by Separatist droids. It is possible that whenever Din is somehow able to cleanse in the waters in the mines of Mandalore, he will create a new Way where Mandalorians do not have to follow strict legalistic practices and become more open-minded. Similar to how Luke’s Jedi Order, in the “Star Wars Legends” continuity, was more open-minded. Din’s travels with Grogu and his bond with his foundling taught him that the love for those closest to him are what superseded the legalism that he had grown up with. Also, seeing other Mandalorians, like Bo Katan and Koska Reeves take off their helmets taught Din that there were other Mandalorians who were not strict adherents to the Way. Furthermore, his encounter with Boba Fett made him understand that one did not need to be told that there was something nor should they care what others thought of him. In his heart, Din knows that he is still a Mandalorian and that he does not need some legalistic doctrine to tell him otherwise.
Din leaves the covert and heads to the planet Tatooine on a liner where he looks at the gift he plans on giving Grogu. The Mandalorian heads to Mos Eisley to reunite with the mechanic Peli Motto who says that she bought him a new ship to replace the Razor Crest. She presents Djarin with a salvage N-1 Starfighter from Naboo, which debuted in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.” Djarin is unimpressed but Peli convinces him that once they restore the vintage starship, he will be satisfied.
During the ship building scene, there are several funny and ligh-hearted moments. It is revealed that Peli once dated a Jawa and that she speaks their language. Din also welcomes a BD droid to help him build the vintage starfighter.
The next scene shows Djarin’s N-1 starfighter that is a callback to the Razor Crest with its silver color scheme. The ship also has an engine on its frontal area which makes it resemble a muscle car. When Mando takes the ship for a test flight through Beggar’s Canyon, the episode’s cinematography echoes the podrace scenes with young Anakin Skywalker and Sebulba in “The Phantom Menace.” Djarin also flies his ship toward the space orbiting Tatooine and flies near a liner only to get the attention of two New Republic X-Wings on patrol. This is another callback to the second episode of Mandalorian Season Two. This time, Mando is able to outrun the pilots (one of them who encountered Djarin in the second episode). The icing on the cake for this scene is when Peli asks the Mandalorian how his new ship was handled and his response was: “Wizard.”
At the end of the episode, Fennec Shand encounters Djarin and recruits him to help in Boba Fett’s war against the Pyke Syndicate. The Mandalorian agrees to do it for free but first, he makes a plan to pay a visit to Grogu.
It was awesome to see Din Djarin back and to see what he has been up to since he and Grogu parted ways. I have no doubt that we will see more of Mando before the next chapter of his story which I believe will involve him redeeming himself and ultimately changing the Way of the Mandalorian. With two more episodes of “The Book of Boba Fett,” I am looking forward to see what happens next.
“The Book of Boba Fett” is currently streaming on Disney+.