The Grogu Choice – The Lesson Luke Skywalker Taught In The Book Of Boba Fett
People have very strong feelings about The Book of Boba Fett. This is no surprise. It’s Star Wars, and the main character is the most popular one we know nothing about. In fact, it’s fair to say that Disney “ruined” Boba Fett by making him a character at all. As an empty shell of menace and our fan projections of what’s cool about him is where Boba Fett works best. Instead, let’s focus on Luke Skywalker and how the choice he gave Grogu at the end of Chapter 6 of The Book of Boba Fett may actually be a lesson. Fair warning, we’re going to get pretty nerdy here.
Before we get into the Star Wars of it all, we should note that this seems a direct homage to Lone Wolf and Cub, an iconic manga that inspired The Mandalorian. In a scene that comic, movie, and Wu-Tang Clan fans know: When Ogami Ittō offering a similar choice to his son Daigoro. Though, in Lone Wolf and Cub, he offers the choice between a sword and a ball, representing childhood. If the child chooses the ball, Ittō says he would “join his mother in death.” (Thankfully, the kid chose the sword.) Still, some fans saw the choice Luke Skywalker gave to Grogu as similar. No, he wouldn’t put the kid to death. (Killing padawans apparently skips a generation in Skywalkers.)
However, what we all think is the “right” choice for Grogu to make in order to become a Jedi may not be the obvious one. There are two ways to look at this, and both of them might even turn out to be true.
Spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett to follow.
The Lesson in the Choice Luke Skywalker Gave to Grogu
Image via Lucasfilm
As has become a familiar refrain from Star Wars fans unhappy with a Luke Skywalker appearance, some are saying that he is behaving out of character. In this case, there is a fair argument there. A hallmark of the Star Wars original trilogy – and what the prequel films and The Clone Wars tried to underscore – was that the Jedi Order failed. For all their wisdom, both Obi-Wan and Yoda told Luke that he would fail to be a Jedi if he saved his friends in Empire Strikes Back and didn’t destroy Vader and the Emperor. In fact, the Jedi dogma is what led to both Anakin Skywalker’s fall and Ahsoka Tano leaving the order.
Personally, I don’t think Luke (or, more accurately, Dave Filoni) forgot this. I think it is possible that Luke remembered when he was the student, and the little powerful green guy was the teacher. He learned control and that his potential was limitless, yet his instruction was muddled by his worry for his friends. Luke tells Grogu that what is a short time for him can be a lifetime for others. Rather than force him to give up on his adopted father, I think Luke knows that spending what time Din Djarin has left with Grogu will ultimately be good for him. Luke isn’t saying that Grogu won’t become a Jedi, I think he’s just implying Luke might not be his teacher.
If Grogu goes off with Din, it will be much more dangerous than traditional Jedi training. Yet, Luke probably can sense – and have it confirmed by Ahsoka – that the Mandalorian is an honorable man. What he can impart on Grogu over their “short time” together will be more valuable than lifting rocks with the coolest Jedis on the block.
Why Both Luke and Ahsoka Would Fall Back on the Order That Failed Them
Image via Disney+
There is, of course, another option. The canon appearances of Luke Skywalker since Return of the Jedi and before Episode VII focus on his quest to learn everything he could about the Jedi order of old. Think about it. He doesn’t know how to train padawan learners. Even if he disagrees with certain dogmatic aspects of the Jedi Order philosophy, not everything is wrong.
Also, while the Jedi Order was hoodwinked by Palpatine into falling from grace, they are at least partially right about attachment. Fear of losing people or things we love can lead people to do truly terrible things. Trying to possess someone is not the same as loving them. Grogu’s intense attachment to Din Djarin could push him to the Dark Side of the Force, especially if the Mandalorian dies. His work, after all, does often put him in mortal danger. Luke could worry that if Grogu carries too much regret and fear inside of him, his fall to the Dark Side would be inevitable.
But what about Ahsoka? She was there. Ahsoka left the Jedi Order after she was falsely accused of murder. She knows firsthand that the Jedi were wrong about a lot of things. Still, the greatest failure of her life was not being there when Anakin needed her. It makes perfect sense that she would still have doubts about the value of attachment to a Jedi. Especially since the Jedi Master in this equation is the son of her former teacher who is “so much like” his father.
The difference here is that Ahsoka knows for a fact that one need not be a Jedi to serve the light and wreck shit with a lightsaber or two. Again, going with Din Djarin might the correct path for Grogu according to the Force.
The Luke Skywalker of The Book of Boba Fett Leads Directly to The Last Jedi
Image via Lucasfilm
No matter what the lesson behind the choice Luke Skywalker gave to Grogu in The Book of Boba Fett, the end result is the same. Either he fell back on the old ways of doing things or he tried to blaze a new path for padawans. Whichever he chose, it still ended in failure, death, and a new Dark Side power overtaking the galaxy. This is the lesson that Star Wars tries to teach us over and over again: the “systems” and “dogma” we create for ourselves will always eventually fail us. The rules aren’t what makes progress, it’s just people.
At this point, if anyone should have the trust of Star Wars fans, it’s George Lucas’ own padawan Dave Filoni. I don’t know what he’s doing exactly, but I know two things. First, he’s not careless and has a reason for guiding the characters where he did. Second, this is part of a larger story that will take years, possibly decades, to tell. Patience is not a virtue for many Star Wars fans these days, but some of us remember being forced to wait 26 years to find out what the hell “the clone wars” was.
Personally, I think Filoni is doing what he does best. I think he is tell stories that stay faithful while proving context to the stories told in the films. He did it with the prequels via The Clone Wars. The scene where Commander Cody gives Obi-Wan his lightsaber and then tries to kill has much more emotional weight for those of us who watched their animated adventures.
We all want the best for Luke Skywalker, but we know what’s coming. The real magic trick Lucasfilm can pull is surprising us, breaking our hearts, and making us love it.
You can see the results of the choice Grogu made in The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+.
What do you think about the choice Luke Skywalker gave Grogu in The Book of Boba Fett? Do you think it was out of character or do you trust the storytellers to have an endgame in mind? Share your thoughts, reactions, and theories about the future 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.