Mandalorian Returns On The Book Of Boba Fett – Din Djarin Saves The Series?
Star Wars fans deal with a lot of irony, even if they don’t realize it. Things like how today’s Star Wars fans lament the loss of George Lucas’s singular vision, as if the reason he sold Lucasfilm in the first place wasn’t that fans were so cruel after the prequel trilogy. Another bit of irony is that when the first look at the titular Mandalorian from the new Star Wars series came out, those fans scoffed and said things like: “If you want to make a Boba Fett show, just make one.” Fast forward three-ish years, and we have The Book of Boba Fett where fans are overjoyed that Din Djarin, The Mandalorian, returns to ‘save’ the series. Yes, in the latest episode, directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, the discount Boba Fett is back to both fill and break our hearts again.
Alas, Baby Yoda, who we guess we have to call Grogu, is not seen in this episode. Like He-Man in Masters of the Universe: Revelation, his absence is what drives the tale. In fact, we don’t even see Temuera Morrison’s Boba Fett once in this episode. This is a strange decision on the part of the producers. It’s also one that makes me wonder if they didn’t anticipate the lukewarm (to downright disgusted) reactions to the show. I mean, while it’s nice to see that Din Djarin returns sooner than we thought, this felt more like an episode of The Mandalorian than The Book of Boba Fett series.
I’m shocked, in fact, that what happens to Din is in this episode because it’s all very important. These feel like things that should have happened in his own series.
Why The Mandalorian Returns Is Such a Powerful Episode of Star Wars on Disney+
Image via Disney+
As we’ve previously discussed, part of the reason folks say that Disney ruined Boba Fett is because his characterization was so much a part of fans’ imagination. Who he is in The Book of Boba Fett matched who he was when he returns in The Mandalorian season 2. Yet, it may not match who he was in the imaginations of fans who only know him from the movies or select appearances in Legends materials like comics, novels, or Droids. Boba Fett is either John Wick just in armor, a Mandalorian with a code, or something else entirely. Yet, as much as Din Djarin is similar to Fett, Djarin is a character we understand deeply.
No matter which version you prefer, we are getting to know the post-Sarlacc Pit Boba Fett for the first time. “The Mandalorian Returns” episode of The Book of Boba Fett is like checking in with an old friend we know and love. It’s another one of those delicious Star Wars ironies. We’re not getting into spoilers in this post (unless you count Din Djarin’s appearance at all as one). Yet, as an episode of The Mandalorian, Chapter 5 of The Book of Boba Fett has everything you want. We get more insight into the history of the Darksaber, Din Djarin’s sect of Mandalorians, and another familiar, beloved character.
Also, and this is also a point of consternation among Fett fans, the on-screen kill count is likely higher than any previous episode. It stands as a reminder to the true brutality of the galaxy, and why perhaps Boba Fett might want to write his book with a gentler hand. The other main contrast is that, even though he is one, Din Djarin still doesn’t think like a leader. Perhaps Boba Fett can help him with that.
The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 5 Adds Mandalorian Cultural Themes to the Tapestry
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My favorite part of The Book of Boba Fett thus far has been the Tusken storyline and the way the storytellers continue to develop their culture. In Star Wars: A New Hope, the inspiration for the Tusken Raiders came from the problematic villainous savage trope popular in the genre stories George Lucas grew up with. In the prequel trilogy, Lucas developed the culture a bit more and made them the victims of Anakin Skywalker’s second-worst killing spree before he became Darth Vader. Boba Fett grew up as the offspring of a Mandalorian foundling first in cloning facility and then later on-the-run with bounty hunters. He doesn’t have a culture of his own.
The Mandalorians as a people in the Star Wars canon are from the planet Mandalore and, at least during the prequel trilogy, were pacifists. There are other sects, though. The Death Watch, among whom Katee Sackhoff’s Bo Katan Kryze lived, craved conflict. The sect that Din Djarin belongs to is more of a religion based on “the way,” and never removing their armor around other people. The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5 may be titled “The Mandalorian Returns,” but we get more than one. This feels like a sneak peek at what season 3 of The Mandalorian will be exploring, aside from the big Grogu-shaped hole there. (And we may even get a sneak peek at what’s in store for that.)
Part of what made The Mandalorian so fun was that it was Lone Wolf & Cub in Star Wars. Unlike Kazuo Koike’s epic, however, Din Djarin only had to see Grogu to “his kind,” meaning the Jedi. Given the events of The Mandalorian season 2 finale, Mandalorian culture will play a big role in season 3.
The Book of Boba Fett debuts new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+
What did you think of Chapter 5 of The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian Returns? Share your thoughts, reactions, and theories about the future in the comments below. (Though, if you’ve not watched the episode, avoid the comment section until you see it.)
Featured image via Disney+
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.