Movies & TVReview: The Book of Boba Fett - Episode 6

Review: The Book of Boba Fett – Episode 6

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Well, that was quite the fifth Episode last week with a reaction amongst Star Wars fandom across social media so huge and vibrant that it surpassed any reaction to previous big screen film releases. It was huge but as I said in my review, despite how gloriously brilliant the episode was, leaving fans teary and happy and jumping for joy, it also created a massive issue for “The Book of Boba Fett” as a show because it was a brilliant episode of “The Mandalorian” that did not feature Boba at all. With just two episodes remaining, it will be interesting to see if we do return to the impending war with the Pyke Syndicate or indeed continue with what was teased at the end of Chapter 5 and a visit to someone’s dear little friend.

Once again this episode is both fantastically brilliant and full of fan service for any Star Wars fan familiar with Dave Filoni’s work with Clone Wars, and seeing how he himself took the reigns of directing this episode, it will be no surprise to anyone that what was has been delivered once again is just a start to finish exceptional story in the Star Wars Universe but underneath the hat of a Star Wars fanboy who has been utterly spoiled in the last two weeks, it is once again however, a complete distraction away from the character of Boba Fett who is supposed to be the star of this show, but more on that a bit further on.

We are certainly starting to get to the impending War between the Pyke Syndicate and their attempt to have complete dominance of Tatooine for their Spice trafficking and the yet to be cemented rule of Boba Fett as Daimyo. This episode opens with another familiar face from ‘The Mandalorian’ and the brilliant Timothy Olyphant as Cobb Vanth, who we last saw giving up Boba Fett’s armour he had been wearing whilst serving as The Marshall to his township, aided by Din Djarin to take out the Sand Dragon that was threatening his people. Now without the Beskar Amour of a Mandalorian, he is still serving the people as the law which is where we find him in the opening scenes as he comes across a Spice Deal happening between Pyke Syndicate members. Stopping them in their tracks and adding yet another quotable line of dialogue in “Think it through” as Vanth attempts to prevent a gun fight, a Pyke attempts to draw his blaster causing Vanth to quickdraw and kill three of the four, leaving one alive and again telling them to “think it through” before telling them to leave the Spice chest and go, which they do. Highlighting the disdain for the drug known as Spice, and a subtle reminder to the audience of what the Pyke Syndicate want control of Tatooine for, Vanth kicks it over to let the Spice just disperse in the winds of the desert.

I genuinely really enjoy the call backs that all the Star Wars Disney Plus shows make in terms or bringing back characters such as Cobb Vanth so we the audience get to see the locations featured, even if just in a one-off story, and how they have continued long after the main hero of the story has moved on shows the talent and dedication to world building that Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau has just experts in handling. From the opening we then return to following The Mandalorian, which was a surprise to me if honest as I did expect to immediately jump back to Boba Fett after such a big pay off last week but we were treated to even more fandom satisfaction as we finally get to see the “visit to a little friend” as Din flies his new starfighter to a forest planet and after landing is greeted by R2-D2 himself and so began the nostalgia overload that had me pausing the episode to take a few minutes to prepare myself for what was about to happen.

Din is then lead to a clearing where multiple ant-type droids are collecting rocks and building a structure that would soon become the school, the Jedi Academy that Luke will setup which turn will then lead to the events we all saw in the big screen Episode Eight – The Last Jedi. But here we see it still being built, and whilst Din is forced to sit on a bench and wait, the cameras quickly move to what fans have been waiting and hoping to see since the finale to the second season of The Mandalorian, Luke and Grogu together….training.

Right away you can see that the digital face rendering for Luke has been vastly improved since his cameo at the end of the above finale, something that whilst being a huge HOLY S**T moment for fans when Luke came and single handedly put down an entire squad of Dark Trooper droids. It would be fair to say that the special effects and digital artist teams are very close to perfecting this technology, first used in the MCU films of course. We see Luke sitting with Grogu, in meditation as Grogu becomes distracted by a frog, because of course he did but Grogu then uses the Force to bring the frog to him which we the audience know means “lunchtime for Grogu” before Luke stops him, in that way a grown up would when a young kid is being a bit cheeky in doing something wrong. This then leads to a teaching moment as instead of telling Grogu off, Luke instead extends his right hand and with a gesture lifts all the frogs from the nearby pond as a demonstration of how The Force can be used, impressing Grogu.

Star Wars fans of a certain age, like myself, have always wondered what Luke did after Return of the Jedi with very little outside of novels and comics book which stopped being Canon sadly once the last trilogy and Disney buying Star Wars. The Last Jedi told us that Luke created a School, a Jedi Academy where he attempted to train a new generation of Jedi only to see it destroyed by his mistake with Ben Solo who would become Kylo Ren. To see how Luke is training Grogu, his patience, using the same techniques that Master Yoda himself used on Luke and to see Grogu respond with some self-doubt but a willingness to learn, well I must be honest and say I did get a little teary eyed as a fan who never dreamed of seeing this level of storytelling.

Of course, Dave Filoni is not finished, and not only do we see Luke training Grogu but we also see Luke helping Grogu to remember his home, and a sequence shows what Grogu thinks about when he is asked to think of home which for him, is back at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant in the moments after Order 66 has been given and a battalion of Clone Troopers are firing at three Jedi trying to protect Grogu and other younglings no doubt only to fall to the fire and what I would consider to be the moment that Grogu is captured by the Empire. The audience knowing this in some way allows us to understand the bond Grogu has with Din, someone who rescued him and protected him at a time where he was being experimented and cruelly treated at the hands of Moth Gideon and the Empire.

Was Filoni finished delivering his fine dining of fanservice, no and a returning Ashoka wakes a sleeping Din and helps him to understand that whilst she understands his need to make sure Grogu is safe, seeing him again would make it even harder for Grogu’s training. Reluctantly but understanding why, Din gives his gift for Grogu to Ashoka to deliver and leaves, which Grogu of course sensing him forces Luke into a difficult position. For the very same reason that Ashoka said she could not train Grogu due to his bond with Din, Luke sees that Grogu is being pulled in two directions and not fully able to dedicate himself to the training necessary to become a great Jedi. I do have to say, the moment of having Ashoka, who was a Padawan to Anakin and was betrayed when he turned and became Darth Vader, now standing with Anakin’s grown-up son Luke and seeing the familiarities between Luke and the Anakin she knew, just more moments that I as a fan never expected to see and shows the strength of these shows under the stewardship of Filoni and Favreau.

We again follow Din back to Tatooine, landing at Jabba’s former palace to meet up with Boba and Fennec and we see Fennec, not Boba, conducting a briefing about the danger of the Pyke Syndicate, admitting that they still do not have the numbers to control the area should the Pyke’s start the offensive. Din then says he may be able to help and we then once again, follow him as he goes to see Cobb Vanth, hoping that he and the townspeople will step up to fight alongside him to protect their town and way of life from but naturally, Cobb Vanth is weary of getting involved knowing the dangers open fighting would bring to the town and its people. The dialogue between Din and Cobb is amazing, two gun fighters who highly respect one another with Cobb teasing Din into asking for a favour knowing full well its why he came was just a lovely touch to this friendship. Din then leaves and Cobb asks for a town meeting to see who would be interested in helping but then a shadowy figure on the horizon is seen walking towards town and Cobb Vanth is immediately concerned, so concerned that he asks the people to step inside their homes out the way and instructs his new gun ho Deputy to leave this to him.

At this point I have already been spoiled with all the nostalgia and Star Wars fanboy dreams coming true that my nerd emptions were close to running on empty and then Filoni does it once again as this shadowy figure, slim and wearing a cowboy style hat, slowly comes into view and I am literally out of my seat shouting at the TV because once again, a character from the Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels that I never ever expected to come to live action, just like with Ashoka and Bo-Katan, as Cad Bane himself, a bounty hunter of such infamy that many would put him above Boba Fett in fact, speaks to Cobb, telling him that he and the town would be paid to not get involved with Boba Fett, that he is working for the Pyke Syndicate and that Tatooine is theirs. The deputy then steps up leading to Cobb giving the most impactful “WTF are you doing” Side glances ever on screen forcing a shoot out that leaves Cobb shot in the shoulder and down and the deputy dead as Cad bane simply turns and leaves with the dialogue of “you should never have given up your armour” still ringing in the audience ears. The Pyke Syndicate are making their move as following this, we see two of them go to The Sanctuary cantina, with Madam Garsa Fwip suspicious, the two walk out but leaving the container they had brought with them and as Garsa realizes two late what this means, a bomb explodes.

All of this happens in just 42 minutes of television, 42 minutes of television that saw the character the show is named after, Boba Fett, feature in one scene where he says nothing other than looking around the room and giving a nod of acknowledgement to Din Djarin. That is all we have had this week after he did not feature at all last week, in the penultimate episode of this series, the main character says nothing, does nothing and all the best moments features The Mandalorian and characters from his own series. At this point I no longer am seeing this as Boba Fett’s show, just a Star Wars series telling a story that is almost a crossover event much like fans would have in the Arrowverse where the characters of multiple shows all come together in one special story. Boba Fett is now a side character in his own story and whilst the finale next week may indeed have Boba speaking and doing something, two episodes of his series have focused on bigger characters with bigger story reasons than simply come back to this “skirmish” Boba is about to have. I loved the first two episodes, was disappointed by the third episode, lost completely by the fourth, overjoyed by the return of The Mandalorian in episodes five and six and left wondering if it matters what Boba Fett does unless this battle puts The Mandalorian and the characters he has brought to this story in danger, which I am not actually feeling they are such is the weak way we come to the finale.

This point is cemented even more by another big teasing cliffhanger as the episode ends with Luke sitting down with Grogu and gives him a choice. That choice is to either accept the gift Din brought him, a chainmail of Beskar he had forged for him in episode five or accept Yoda’s Lightsaber and in doing so accepting that the training to become a Jedi could mean never seeing Din Djarin again. A decision that we will have to wait to see what Grogu made. I am more excited to see this outcome thanks to this and last week’s episodes that at this moment, the final confrontation with the Pyke Syndicate is furthest from my mind and with only a single episode to wrap things up, I am again left wondering if Boba Fett is going to do something or just stay at the palace and feed his Baby Rancor.

I am buzzing with Star Wars fandom right now but not because of The Book of Boba Fett, but because of the Star Wars world of storytelling that The Mandalorian can generate. Which is not where I thought I would be when Boba’s own series started. I really do not know what this series was meant to do other than a vehicle to remind fans how awesome The Mandalorian and his adventures have been. Boba does not feel like a threat as he was shown to be in The Mandalorian and Cad Bane was more evil and threatening in the few minutes of screen time that he had than Boba has had in all the episodes he featured in. This is a show that has somehow forgotten its own title and leaving the audience just wanting more Mandalorian story than Boba’s own tale.

Sean McCarthy
Sean McCarthy
Freelance writer but also a Gamer, Gooner, Jedi, Whovian, Spartan, Son of Batman, Assassin and Legend. Can be found playing on PS4 and Xbox One Twitter @CockneyCharmer

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