Star Wars Television

The Return of the Mandalorian, ‘Nuff Said

The Mandalorian S3, Ep 1 The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5 Review

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5 Title Card Modified
Source-Tumblr, Disney+

I’ve cut The Book of Boba Fett a lot of slack on this site while reviewing it. I try to balance what the show did good (the train hijacking and depicting the Tusken Raiders) with the bad (the Modders being like Power Rangers). However, when the best episode for a show doesn’t even have the title character in it? That could be seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back. This week’s episode for TBoBF wasn’t even an episode of that show. Instead, what we got was an episode of The Mandalorian.

Mind you, this is probably some of the finest that we’ve seen of The Mandalorian thus far, but it undermines the whole focus of the series.

What the Return of The Mandalorian Says About TBoBF

Before we get into the details, we should discuss why giving Mando an entire episode to himself on another person’s show isn’t a good idea. 

Firstly, there’s a lack of time left for the miniseries. There are only two episodes left in the first season of The Book of Boba Fett, and there remains a lot that needs to be covered. The Pyke Syndicate has yet to be fought. Boba’s still trying to build his criminal empire and deal with his unresolved trauma. That’s a lot of ground to cover in just two episodes. 

What I’m trying to say is that fans have been wanting to see Boba Fett become the badass we all think he should be. The fans want the action and excitement typical of Star Wars, and two episodes might not be enough time to give that to us. Then again, Jon and Dave’s team have pulled this off with The Mandalorian before, so there’s still hope for the show.

That said, having an entire episode focused on the main character for another show, albeit one in the same universe, doesn’t give a lot of confidence to this particular show. It’s why fans are calling this the unofficial premiere to Season Three of The Mandalorian rather than an episode of The Book of Boba Fett. The use of fanservice in a show is fine when done right, but this may have done more harm than good for Boba Fett’s story.

With that out of the way, let’s start gushing about the episode that is, paradoxically, TBoBF’s best and worst episode.

The Return of the Mandalorian

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5-Return of the King
Source-Tumblr, Disney+

When we last saw Din Djarin, the Mandalorian, he parted ways with his adoptive son, Grogu. Baby Yoda went off with Luke Skywalker to train to become a Jedi, leaving Mando on his own once more. So, how does Mando deal with his new empty nest syndrome? By backpedaling into the familiar territory of bounty hunting.

Despite his possession of the Darksaber indicating that he may have a higher calling as the leader of the Mandalorians, Mando struggles with his inner turmoil over his son being away from him and not being able to wield the Darksaber properly. Then, he gets another blow when the Armorer (who he reunites with) forces him to reveal he took off his helmet in front of Grogu, breaking their Creed. As a result, she declares him no longer a Mandalorian.

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5-Baby Yoda is Missed
Source-Tumblr, Disney+

What a bunch of Bantha Poodoo. What gives them the right to say that he’s no longer a Mandalorian? Djarin’s more than proven himself to be a true Mandalorian. Once, when people thought of Mandalorians, they’d think of Boba Fett; now, we think of just Mando. Besides, Djarin’s already learned that the Tribe is considered zealot’s by other surviving Mandalorians. As such, their decision to declare him persona non grata might have little weight. Din Djarin is the Mandalorian, no matter what others may say.

Any attempts to challenge this decree get sidelined, though, as Mando travels to Tatooine. He gets a call from Pelli Motto that she’s got a new ship for him.

A Ship Worthy of the Mandalorian

You may recall how Mando’s old ship, the Razor Crest, got destroyed by Moff Gideon in Season Two. Now, he’s finally getting a replacement ship. To his initial dismay, it’s not like the Razor Crest, as it’s just a starfighter. To everyone else’s delight, though, it’s one of the coolest starfighters in all of Star Wars.

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5-Mando's New Ride
Source-Tumblr, Disney+

Mando’s new mode of transportation is a modified N-1 Naboo starfighter, AKA a vintage sportscar of Star Wars. These ships were first seen in Episode I: The Phantom Menace as the ships used by pilots on Naboo. They’re fast, sleek, and deadly works of art. Thanks to Mando and Pelli, though, Mando’s new fighter got a rugged aesthetic to it that makes it even more impressive. Following an extended building montage, Mando takes it for a test flight above Tatooine.

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5-Episode I Comparisons
Source-Tumblr, Disney+

As someone who grew up loving cars and the Star Wars prequels, the flight scene almost brought tears to my eyes. The Mandalorian flies his new ship like a majestic bird of prey through Beggar’s Canyon. And when he opens up the throttle in space, he goes so fast, two New Republic pilots think he’s gone to lightspeed! In other words, it’s beautiful—the perfect craft for the potential future Mandalore.

A Tale of Two Mandalorians

As far as episodes for The Book of Boba Fett go, this was both the best and the worst episode of the series thus. It’s the best because it sees the return of fan-favorite Mandalorian after two years, and it is glorious. The bad news is that Mando’s so amazing, he ends up weakening TBoBF as a whole by stealing the spotlight from Boba Fett.

With only two episodes left and a war with the Pyke Syndicate coming, TBoBF will need a truly memorable finale to stick the landing. The odds are very much against Boba Fett, though, both in-universe and meta-wise. Fingers crossed that they show us the Way.

I Give “The Return of The Mandalorian” a 4.8/5 for A Mandalorian Episode….and 2.5/5 for a Book of Boba Fett Episode

Stray Observations

  • It’s revealed that Moff Gideon was turned over to the New Republic for his crimes
  • Pelli Motti once dated a Jawa, and that they’re very furry. So many questions.

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