Grogu, Ahsoka, Luke Skywalker And Live-Action Debut Of Cad Bane In The Book Of Boba Fett
The latest episode of The Book of Boba Fett keeps the guest stars coming as we see Baby Grogu, Ahsoka, Luke Skywalker, and the live-action debut of Cad Bane. This all should come as no surprise (though it does) because this episode was co-written by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, with the latter directing. Like “The Mandalorian Returns,” this episode is both a joyous celebration for Star Wars fans and a baffling choice in a show ostensibly about Boba Fett. At least, this week, Temuera Morrison’s Boba Fett appears in the episode for all of 30 or so seconds. The Star Wars fan inside is overjoyed to see Luke Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, Grogu training, and Cad Bane coming to live in The Book of Boba Fett. Yet, there are valid criticisms of this move, too.
Before we get into major spoiler territory, I will simply say that even though it is its own show, The Book of Boba Fett is, effectively, season 2.5 of The Mandalorian. A third of the series has been dedicated to Din Djarin and Grogu, with Boba himself appearing for a single scene over two episodes. This is a strange choice, but the delight of seeing all these familiar faces almost justifies it. I do find myself wondering why they didn’t just call this The Mandalorian: Boba Fett or something like that. Because as much as the first two-thirds of this show was about how Disney ruined Boba Fett by making him an actual character, it’s not just about him, obviously. Chalk it up to the realities of creating the kind of shared universe we take for granted in the MCU or the Arrowverse.
Okay, full spoilers below, so if you’ve not seen “From the Desert Comes a Stranger,” Chapter 6 of The Book of Boba Fett, do so and come back.
The Book of Boba Fett – and Grogu, Ahsoka Tano, Luke Skywalker, Cobb Vanth, and the Live-Action debut of Cad Bane
Image via Disney+
When I watched The Mandalorian season 2 finale, the second the X-Wing showed up, I couldn’t believe they were going to do what they were about to do. This is exactly how I felt throughout this entire episode, though I admit I did fully expect to see the live-action debut of Cad Bane. Yet, I never expected that we would get to see Grogu in The Book of Boba Fett, let alone Luke Sykwalker and Ahsoka Tano. (The two of them together? Even less.)
Yet, I feel like Dave Filoni wrote and directed this episode like it was the last Star Wars story he was ever going to tell. We saw a flashback to the Fall of the Jedi Order. We saw Din Djarin seeing Grogu and leaving him behind because it’s what is best for the child. They gave us Ahsoka Tano reunited not just with her old friend R2-D2 but also casually pals with Luke. She even talked about Anakin Skywalker with him! We also see Cad Bane taking out Galaxy’s Hottest Dad Number 2 Cobb Vanth. (Though, it looked like a shoulder-shot to me, so I trust he’s still alive.)
The most interesting question in this episode is the choice Luke Skywalker asks Grogu to make after talking to Ahsoka about what “to do with him.” He shows Grogu the beskar chainmail armor Din brought him. Then he pulls out frickin’ Yoda’s frickin’ laser sword. And he tells him to choose. This feels like a fakeout, more a test for Grogu than an actual choice. Especially since both Luke and Ahsoka understand the value of healthy attachment. It’s a glorious story I want more of, but I can’t help but wonder if The Book of Boba Fett is where it should have been told.
The Book of Boba Fett is a Disjointed Story Because of These (Great for Fans) Choices
Image via Disney+
The reaction to The Book of Boba Fett has been mixed from the beginning, and the inclusion of Grogu, Luke Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano feels especially out-of-place in this story. Again, these past two episodes make me think that the rumors that The Mandalorian’s story was all but done in his own series after season 2 were true. It feels like they hoped to continue the tale of Din Djarin and Grogu via these other series is what they meant during the Star Wars Disney Investor’s Day presentation when they said they were working on crossovers. The fan in me loves this, but to at least attempt some objective critique, it’s a confusing choice on the part of the storytellers.
One of the great things that Marvel Studios did in its early days was handle these crossover elements. If you only cared about Tony Stark’s story, you didn’t need to see The Incredible Hulk post-credit scene where Robert Downey Jr.’s Stark talked to William Hurt’s Thunderbolt Ross. Yet, if you love The Mandalorian, you definitely need to watch Chapters 5 and 6 of The Book of Boba Fett to understand where the story will pick up in his third season. It almost feels like Lucasfilm is more in the DCEU camp than the MCU camp in that they don’t seem to have the patience needed to truly build a shared universe that feels real.
So, it’s definitely possible that The Book of Boba Fett is doing what The Mandalorian did before it. It’s establishing this character as a character and the world he lives in. The true story won’t being until the finale of the first season. The storytellers, however, should have had confidence in Boba Fett’s story alone to carry the show along.
The Live-Action Debut of Cad Bane We Knew Was Coming
Image via Disney+
Along with Din Djarin, R2-D2, Ahsoka Tano, Grogu, and Luke Skywalker, Filoni gives us one more bit of joy. However, this appearance is a little more expected and one I knew was coming from the moment the series was announced. Near the end of the episode, we meet the titular stranger who comes from the desert. Ladies and Nerfs, it’s the live-action debut of Cad Bane, the original character created for The Clone Wars. Real deep fans of the series know that one of the unfinished stories in that series was a showdown between Boba Fett and Cad Bane. Also, the dent on Boba Fett’s beskar helmet came from the barrel of Bane’s blaster.
The live-action debut of Cad Bane involved two performers. First, we get the return of voice actor Corey Burton who is responsible for the iconic growl of the Duros bounty hunter. Dorian Kingi, a stunt performer who appeared in Ready Player One and Venom, it the physical performer of this character. He’s working for the Pikes, yet he may have a personal vendetta against Boba Fett. We see him take out JJ Dashnaw’s abrasive Deputy Scott permanently. He also shoots Timothy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth, though it looks like just a shoulder wound. Either way, it feels Boba Fett versus Cad Bane is in the cards for the finale. Sadly, thanks to all the Jedi Business with Luke Skywalker, Grogu, and Ahsoka, the live-action debut of Cad Bane was slightly overshadowed, yet nonetheless fun and exciting.
What’s Next for Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Grogu, and The Mandalorian?
Image via Disney+
It’s a valid complaint to say the past two episodes were overladen with guest stars to the detriment of the central character’s journey. In fact, if we wanted to be really harsh, you could say that by the home stretch of this first season, the storytellers realized the central characters and their story was too weak to really get Star Wars fans jazzed up for what comes next. Mando could have just shown up with a new ship and an oblique reference to “the little guy,” teasing us for what’s to come. Yet, both Favreau and Filoni decided to make nearly a third of this series about characters other than Boba Fett. Your mileage, of course, may vary, but it feels like a questionable decision. Then again, I’d have taken 7 episodes of Boba Fett living with the Tuskens and learning to be a badass without his father’s armor.
Still, I suspect that we will get more of the story of Ahsoka Tano, Grogu, and (a much better VFX enhanced deepfake) Luke Skywalker in the other upcoming series. We know that The Mandalorian season 3 is coming, as is the Ahsoka series. I also now wonder if those characters will show up in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Yet – for me at least – I find myself actually missing Boba Fett’s story. If we do get a season 2 for The Book of Boba Fett, I hope that they tell a more linear and focused story. Still, the fan in me has enjoyed this show, diversions and all.
The Book of Boba Fett featuring the live-action debut of Cad Bane, is now streaming on Disney+
What did you think of this episode of The Book of Boba Fett from the live-action debut of Cad Bane to seeing Luke Sykwalker, Ahsoka Tano, and Grogu again? Do you enjoy these asides, or do you think the show should have kept the focus on Boba Fett? Share your thoughts, reactions, and theories in the comments below.
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book of superhero short stories, Tales of Adventure & Fantasy: Book One is available as an ebook or paperback from Amazon.