Star Wars Television

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Fanservice

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Episode 6 Review

As with many things in the Star Wars fandom, the fifth episode of The Book of Boba Fett divided many fans. Some praised it for its focus on the Mandalorian, showing what he’s been up to since he parted ways with Grogu. Others saw this as a detriment to the miniseries, given how it’s supposed to focus on Boba Fett. Bringing in the larger Star Wars Galaxy undermines that focus. I was personally somewhere in between, loving the return of Mando, but concerned nonetheless. Fanservice and cameos are good, so long as they’re in proper doses. That said, the penultimate chapter of TBoBF doubled down on the fanservice; instead of just being an interquel to The Mandalorian though, the episode more like a mini-crossover that superhero comic books love to do in their shared universes.

Also, let’s take a moment to praise Dave Filoni for directing this episode.

Praise Dave Filoni Meme
Source-Twitter
Major Spoilers Ahead. I Cannot Help it, it Has to Be Said!

The Return of Baby Yoda

As was the case before, this week’s episode relegated Boba Fett to the sidelines on his own show, much to fan’s dismay. However, that dismay was drowned out on social media by people going gaga over the fanservice in this episode, with a fan-favorite making his big return:

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Ep 5-Daddy?
Source-Tumblr, Disney, Star Wars

Yes, Grogu, AKA Baby Yoda is back, and remains as adorable as ever. He’s been training with Luke Skywalker for some time now, and is starting to remember everything he was taught at the Jedi Temple before Order 66. It takes some effort, but between Luke’s gentle encouragement and “learn through experience” mentality, Grogu catches on quick. Before long, we see him doing backflips and dodging a training droid much like Yoda did before him.

Besides being fun to watch, it also gives us insight into what Luke’s like as a mentor in his prime. As someone who hated what The Last Jedi did to his character, I was overjoyed to see Luke becoming the master fans wanted to see. He’s kind, compassionate, and a total badass. However, he doesn’t exactly know how to help Grogu reach his full potential. He knows he’s still thinking about Mando, who did come to visit him, but left when he realized it would be a distraction.

Thankfully, he has someone else to give him advice.

Two Legendary Jedi=The Ultimate Fanservice

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Ep 5-Ashoka and Luke
Admit it: you cried when you saw this. Source-Tumblr, Disney, Star Wars

I still remember when we first met Ashoka Tano back in 2008, and she’s gone from being hated by fans to being one of the most beloved characters in the franchise. At this point, she’s every bit the legendary Jedi as Anakin, Luke, Yoda, and Obi-Wan are. When The Clone Wars ended and Ashoka left the Jedi, I thought about just how badly I wanted to see her meet Luke Skywalker in the future. These two characters, bound together by their relationship with Anakin Skywalker. Dave Filoni must have heard the fans wishes, because this episode gave us what we wanted.

It wasn’t a long scene, and there was no sharing of stories about their experiences as Jedi or with Anakin. We didn’t get to see Ashoka make peace with the memory of her master, or Luke learn more about his parents. However, seeing the character that Dave Filoni created as an equal alongside Luke Skywalker was enough to bring tears to my eyes. This is how fanservice is done properly. Give the fans what they want, and let them know that more could come in the future. She does, however, say that his desire to help others is just like Anakin, and that he should trust his instincts.

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Ep 5-Like Father, Like Son
Source-Tumblr, Disney, Star Wars

Which Path Will Grogu Choose?

Suprisingly, Filoni chooses to bring things regarding Grogu’s path to a head sooner than expected. At the end of the episode, Luke presents two things to Baby Yoda. The first is the beskar chain mail Mando had made for him. The second? The lightsaber that Yoda built in exile on Dagobah. Both are incredible, but Luke says he can only choose one.

This is a bittersweet moment for Baby Yoda fans, but a necessary one. If Grogu stays, he could become a Jedi and spend centuries turning into the second coming of Yoda, but likely never see his adoptive father again. Or he could become a Mandalorian Foundling like his Dad. Two awesome paths await him, and the choice is up to him.

Personally, I think that Grogu should choose to return to the Mandalorian. While Luke knows better than most Jedi the redemptive power of love, it’s a double-edged sword. It would be cool if Grogu could be a Mandalorian Jedi, but his place is with the Mandalorian. Also, if he stays with Luke, he might die due to Ben Solo’s…misunderstanding.

Another Fan-Favorite Character Appears

Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett Ep 5-Live Action Cade Bane
Source-Star Wars, Disney+

Speaking of fanservice, when the story returns to Tatooine, Boba Fett’s getting ready for war, but he still lacks the manpower. Thankfully, Mando tries to recruit Cobb Vanth, the Marshall of Freetown (formerly Mos Pelgo) to the fight. However, it would seem the Pyke Syndicate was one step ahead of Fett and Mando, as they send someone to make sure Freetown stays out of the fight: Cad Bane.

If you’ve seen the animated series that Dave Filoni created for Star Wars, then you know how badly fans have wanted to see this bounty hunter in live-action. If not, then here’s why you should be worried: he’s the Star Wars equivalent of Angel Eyes from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Bane’s worked for the Sith and the Hutts in the past, held his own against Jedi Masters, and was once considered a rival to the likes of Jango Fett, Boba’s father. Any non-Force User who can best a Jedi or Sith Lord is someone to be feared. In other words, the Pykes mean business.

If Cad Bane’s joining the fight for Tatooine, then next week’s finale might end up being a worthwhile spectacle, for several reasons. Firstly, if Bane and Fett came to blows, we would get to see the Boba Fett fans have wanted, and decide who’s the best bounty hunter in the Galaxy. If Luke and/or Ashoka were to show up, then that would be even cooler! Bottomline, even though the show has had trouble establishing its identity, it might be worth it in the end if the finale’s good enough. It would be the most fanservice-y way to end The Book of Boba Fett and transition to the next season of The Mandalorian.

Here’s hoping that that happens. And that Cobb Vanth isn’t dead.

I Give “The Stranger in the Desert” a 3.5/5

Stray Observations

  • Turns out, the writers always intended for this miniseries to be The Mandalorian Season 2.5. That explains a lot.
  • How did Luke get his hands on Yoda’s lightsaber?
  • Go Watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch to see more of Cad Bane.

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