Warning: This is the Way to our The Book of Boba Fett episode 6 review which contains spoilers – turn around to go in completely clean!
Before The Book of Boba Fett arrived, Ming-Na Wen – who plays Fennec Shand – promised a Star Wars series that would be The Godfather in space (opens in new tab). The first four episodes hinted at gangster antics on Tatooine but failed to build Boba into a Don Corleone-like character. And now, Boba’s been basically forgotten about.
Last week could have been the Mandalorians season 3 premiere; this week should have been simply titled Star Wars. The episode opens with Timothy Olyphant’s Cobb Vanth taking on some spice merchants. Then, Mando flies across the galaxy to a mysterious, luscious planet where R2-D2 awaits. Luke Skywalker’s training Grogu and they talk about Yoda. Ahsoka’s there to deter Mando from seeing Grogu in person. There’s a flashback to Jedi fighting Clones. Ahsoka mentions Luke’s father. Back on Tatooine, Cad Bane – from The Clone Wars – shows up. Somewhere amidst all that, Boba’s war on the Pykes continues.
No prizes for guessing Dave Filoni was sitting in the director’s chair. Filoni has mastered Star Wars, able to swiftly bring aboard classic characters and make them work in new settings. Better still, the filmmaker has created a new Star Wars mythology – Grogu, Cobb Vanth, and Mando, his Clone Wars characters Cad Bane and Ahsoka – that’s even more exciting than bringing back familiar faces from the movies. Do we really care about Boba now that Mando’s on the scene and Grogu’s training to be a Jedi? The show certainly does not…
Yet, even on the merit of progressing the story developing on Tatooine, this episode does more for the Book of Boba Fett than the opening four combined. The Pykes are a threat to Cobb Vanth’s territory, as made clear in the opening scene. And while these creatures are not initially threatening, when the bounty hunter Cad Bane turns up, the true reckoning of the Pykes is felt. In a scene stolen straight from a Spaghetti Western, the red-eyed monster swiftly defeats the marshall and his deputy. He’s the biggest and best threat the show has had so far – and there are no disclaimers that, like the Wookiee Black Krrsantan, the character will turn good. Cad Bane is an evil force to be reckoned with. The only thing disappointing about his appearance is that there’s only one episode left for him to go toe-to-toe with Boba. (Let’s forget about the one scene that Boba’s actually in where we’re reminded of the Space Mods’ existence…)
Off-world, Mando’s trip brings a few other story strands together. Luke’s using ant-like droids to build a Jedi temple, establishing his new academy with Grogu as his first student. Grogu’s not come particularly far when Mando appears and the masked warrior leaves after Ahsoka tells him that Grogu’s no longer a foundling, but a padawan. That’s a sentence that gives me goosebumps. The emotional tie between Mando and Grogu is the gift that keeps giving, and by the episode’s end, I’m completely torn – I want Grogu to pick up Yoda’s lightsaber and train with Luke; I also desperately want to see him reunited with his father. Woah. That’s an interesting, high-stakes dramatic beat that’s not about someone dying. Where have those been this season?
Before that, Grogu has a training montage – and if you watched him leaping around using the Force and felt nothing, I’m sorry but you are a Sith Lord. Luke Skywalker is also very much the Luke we remember from the original trilogy; a man reckoning with what it means to be a Jedi Master though with a few more years of wisdom. By offering Grogu a choice between going with Mando and choosing Yoda’s lightsaber, Luke has moved beyond the old Jedi council. He’s giving into his intuition. Just like his father.
Star Wars excels when it pulls at your heartstrings, opens up the galaxy, and moves the story forward. This episode encapsulates all that – you just need to forget that it’s part of The Book of Boba Fett and not The Mandalorian. Maybe they should have just cracked on with a new season of Mando instead.
The Book of Boba Fett is released weekly on Disney Plus. Check out our full The Book of Boba Fett release schedule for more details. And if you want to know even more about what’s coming to that galaxy far, far away, then read our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and show heading your way soon.
4.5 out of 5
The Book of Boba Fett episode 6 review: “Encapsulates what makes Star Wars special”
The Book of Boba Fett delivers another startlingly good episode – once it forgets all about Boba Fett