By George Bate and Josh Reilly B.
Warning: This review contains spoilers for Chapter 6 of The Book of Boba Fett
After a slow burn start to the series, The Book of Boba Fett is certainly racing to the finish line. The first four episodes were largely flashback focused, with writer Jon Favreau teasing the Pykes as the present day threat for Boba Fett and Fennec Shand. Chapter 5 flipped the script, with Fett not appearing at all, with the Mandalorian the center focus of the episode. Chapter 6 spends a bit more on the villainous Pykes and the actual plot of the series, but also continues to focus on expanding the world of The Mandalorian.
As teased at the end of the last episode, Din Djarin and Grogu are set for a reunion…or so we thought. Djarin traveled to see his adopted son, and was greeted by R2-D2 and even Ahsoka Tano before finally giving and leaving, allowing Grogu to train with Luke without attachment, as is the Jedi way. There’s some amazing scenes here with Luke and Grogu in particular, and Dave Filoni does a great job as director to show us this amazing new planet that they’re on. Fans never got to see Luke with a Padawan like this in live action, with the Jedi a recluse and beyond his prime in the Sequel Trilogy. It definitely seems as if they’re going down this route to show us what fans have always wanted to see, Luke as a Jedi master.
All of this culminates in an incredibly emotional way, as the episode certainly hits these beats. Djarin being so close yet so far from Grogu, the little green alien training with Luke and even an Order 66 flashback, and Ahsoka telling Luke that he’s similar to his father are all some of the strongest emotional moments in Star Wars in recent years. Emotionally, this episode succeeds wholeheartedly.
The rest of the episode takes place on Tatooine, where Cobb Vanth has been reintroduced and is not fond of the Pykes and the spice they’re bringing into his town. Boba Fett needs warriors, and Mando arrives to help, and goes to Vanth to recruit him. Vanth is hesitant, particularly as he doesn’t want to risk the lives of the people he’s supposed to protect, so Djarin leaves uncertain if he’ll get the help Fett needs. Vanth then has a shootout with none other than Cad Bane, and looks hurt as he gets shot by the bounty hunter first seen in The Clone Wars.
Overall, this episode is full of cameos, from R2-D2 to Ahsoka to Cobb Vanth and many others. With so many, it would be relatively easy to struggle to fit all these characters in to the same episode, but Filoni and Favreau do a good job with it here. All of it seems logical and not simply an appearance for the sake of having a famous character return. Luke and Grogu are training together, so if they latter was going to show up then it would be strange to not have Skywalker with him. Cobb Vanth is a formidable and honorable warrior on Tatooine, so Fett trying to recruit him makes sense. Some have criticized fan service in recent years for being a disservice to the overall story, citing their belief that it’s designed purely for an initial thrill of seeing something that the audience recognizes from the past, but it’s hard to see how one could be against the events of Chapter 6 of The Book of Boba Fett. Again, it’s all logical and feels right.
Once again, Boba Fett takes a backseat in this episode. As purely an episode of Star Wars TV, it doesn’t make much of a difference, as the story of Fett’s show is progressed as well as expanding the world of The Mandalorian more broadly, and it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is an amazing episode. Still, with only one episode left of the season, it’s unclear how much character development Boba Fett will have in this initial solo outing, or how much more audiences have learned about the character. It seems a bit of a missed opportunity to not explore Fett further in his own show, but future seasons are now the most likely place for that.
Chapter 6 of The Book of Boba Fett feels more aligned to the Skywalker Saga or the Star Wars franchise more broadly than just Boba Fett. It’s an incredibly emotional episode that hits all the major beats it attempts, and is well directed by Dave Filoni. The Pykes are more interesting now that we’ve learned more about them, but Boba Fett once again is almost non-existent. It’s a shame that more hasn’t been done with Fett in his own show, but it doesn’t take away from how great this episode is.
Images courtesy of Disney and Lucasfilm