THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes A Stranger
Plains of Mos Pelgo, middle of nowheresville in the midst of many moisture evaporators, there are four Pykes around a landspeeder. There is an intricately carved wooden chest and a camtono, a security container typically used to store valuables, full of credits placed on the hood of a landspeeder. “We’ll leave the spice and take the credits back to Mos Eisley. The rest will follow,” one of the Pykes explains.
“Do you know where you are, gentlemen?” Cobb Vanth interrupts, hand on his blaster, ready to draw, “Think it through,” he warns one Pyke as he sees them reaching for their blaster. “I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt being you’re not from around here and say you figured you’re in the middle of nowhere. But everything out there to everything out there is the Mos Pelgo territories and these stripes,” he points to his belt buckle, ”indicate I’m the marshal of said territories. Now, I don’t know what arrangements you have with the authorities of Mos Espa, and let’s be honest in Mos Eisley, anything goes, but out here, I’m the one tells folks what to do.” Vanth makes it clear he understands there may be certain ‘arrangements’ in other territories, but anything happening in his territory is his responsibility.
There is a prolonged silence, a western-style standoff between the Pykes and Vanth. “I didn’t see what’s in that chest, and consequently, no laws have been broken far as I’m concerned. If you gentlemen load up your wares and head back to where you came, we can chalk this one up to you guys reading the map wrong.” Vanth is not looking for a fight. He is reasonable yet firm in spelling out the law and setting his expectations of not seeing them again in his territory. Two of the Pykes look at each other; one turns slightly and draws a blaster. Vanth sees the movement and pulls his weapon, blasting three of them from the hip. One remains standing. “Think it through,” Vanth says again. The Pyke surrenders, hands up.
“I got a proposition for your bosses. Tell ‘em I’ve heard of the Syndicate. Take their credits back with you. And I say this with respect, anyone gets lost running spice through Mos Pelgo again will be lost forever. Now, unload that chest and go. Consider it a fine for trespassing,” Cobb cuts to the chase; he doesn't want trouble in his territory. The Pyke indicates the chest is worth more than Vanth’s town. “Well, then, maybe I’ll retire,” Vanth has no intentions of retiring any time soon. The Pyke places the wooden chest on the ground next to the landspeeder and secures the bucket of credits, jumping into the landspeeder. Vanth twirls his blaster, placing it back in its holster.
The Pyke drives off with his message for his bosses, life intact. Vanth approaches the intricately carved wooden chest opening the top with his boot. The entire chest is filled with a golden brown, slightly metallic-looking powder. He tips the chest over, the spice spilling out and blending with the sands of Tatooine.
Visiting A Little Friend
The N-1 starfighter emerges from hyperspace, heading toward a lush green planet, making its way through forested mountains and the occasional drifting fog. Din Djarin looks to the forests below, checking for any signs of life. An alert on his dash sounds. R2-D2 picked up the visitor on his scanners. Djarin lands the starfighter right next to R2. I wonder if R2 remembers his time in one of these N-1 fighters during the Battle of Naboo in Episode I: The Phantom Menace? Djarin exits the ship, greeting the droid in an uncharacteristically upbeat, pleasant tone, “Hello, friend. I’m looking for Skywalker.” Din Djarin has a customer service representative voice. Who would have thought? R2 greets him in his signature tweedle of beeps. “I came to see the kid, Grogu.”
R2 slowly leads Djarin through a bamboo forest, happily humming to himself. A rock appears to be mysteriously lifted over a small ridge in the forest. An ant droid makes its way into view carrying it. Djarin stops to gawk. R2 reminds him to keep up, leading him to the beginning of what will be Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy. There is a colony of the ant droids slowly building the construct we saw in Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.
R2 gives one of the ant droids an order. “Is this where they are?” Djarin inquires, still openly interested in the project’s construction. R2 powers down. “Hey. Droid. Hey. Don’t shut off. Wake up,” he goes over to inspect R2, clearly frustrated, waving his hand in front of the droid’s photoreceptor. The ant droids start building something near him. “Hey, I’m looking for Skywalker. He had a kid with him. Is that a bench? How long will I be waiting? Is anyone here? Anyone alive?” He reluctantly takes a seat on his new bench next to R2 and settles in to wait.
Meditation With A Master
Tranquility. A peaceful view of the bamboo forest. A hill with a short tree shading a Jedi and his new pupil. Grogu sits opposite Skywalker, who is wearing the familiar black Jedi robes we have seen him in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Both are meditating when Grogu breaks his concentration as a frog leaps into view. He tries to go back to meditating but pops one eye open, tracking the frog as it leaps into a small pond.
The frog starts levitating before it can breach the water’s surface. Grogu brings the frog over to himself using the Force, essentially ‘Force’ feeding himself. Luke opens his eyes, giving his pupil the distinctive disapproving Luke look, “Grogu.” Grogu drops the frog, and it escapes back into its natural habitat.
Grogu goes back to meditating. Luke side-eyes the pond and reaches out his right hand lifting all of the frogs into the air. Grogu looks over when he hears the audible ribbiting; he’s surprised at this display. The surprise turns to absolute joy, and then a slight sadness crosses his face as he looks at his own little hand as if to say, “I was only able to lift one froggy while Master Luke lifted them all.” Luke drops the frogs back into the pond.
“All right, let's go for a walk.” Luke gets up, and little Grogu follows. Luke lets him walk independently but uses the Force in an arcing sweeping motion to help Grogu keep pace with him. “I want to tell you about someone you remind me of a great deal. His name was Yoda. He was small like you, but his heart was huge, and the Force was strong in him. He once said to me, “Size matters not.” That’s how he talked. He would speak in riddles. Have you heard anyone talk like that back home? Do you remember back home?” Luke pauses, and his face gets intense, “Would you like to remember? Let me help you remember.” Luke places his hand on Grogu’s head. Grogu seems apprehensive at first, but then his little ears droop as he tries to remember with Luke’s help.
Grogu is wide-eyed tucked into blankets. Three Jedi stand their ground against a Legion of 501st clone troopers during the siege on the Jedi Temple during Order 66, 28 years before. The lead Jedi wielding a green lightsaber gets shot down first, the other two Jedi fall shortly after. One of the clones blasts the downed Jedi, ensuring the job is done. The 501st move in toward Grogu as we come back to the present.
Grogu’s force memory is portrayed differently from Boba Fett’s dream memories. When we were getting a glimpse of Fett’s past, they were through his dreams which would transition from a slightly hazy filter overall before clarifying we had taken a step back in the timeline. Grogu’s memory vision was consistent with the warm Jedi vision filter of the haloed fish eye lens, where the vision is focused briefly on specific people and events in time.
“Welcome back,” Luke and Grogu are sitting next to a scenic river surrounded by mountains. “The galaxy is a dangerous place, Grogu. I will teach you to protect yourself.”
“Attachment is Forbidden”
Djarin made himself comfortable on the newly constructed bench as he awaited an audience with someone other than droids. Laying flat on his back, he hears a twig snap underfoot. Quickdraw, ever ready. Ahsoka Tano poses next to a tree. “You. I didn’t expect to see you here,” Djarin says, surprised to see this familiar face. “I’m an old friend of the family,” she explains. That’s an understatement. “I thought you weren’t going to help train Grogu,” Djarin inquires, confused. “I’m not. Master Luke is,” Ahsoka is not offering up much information. “Then what are you doing here?” he presses further. “That’s my question for you,” she approaches R2 with a smile on her face. “I’m here to see the kid,” Djarin explains. “That’s why R2 brought you to me instead,” she rubs R2’s dome with an impish giggle. “What is this place?” Djarin is still looking for answers after being ignored. Ahsoka explains how it will be a great school one day, and Grogu will be the school's first student. “I’d like to know how he’s doing,” Din admits. “He’s doing fine,” the elusive gatekeeper says. “I wanna see him,” he pushes. Ahsoka heavily sighs, “I know you do. Let us take a walk.”
She leads him away from the unfinished temple back through the bamboo forest. Djarin checks to see if R2 will be following. R2 stays put. “I warned you when we met that your attachment to Grogu would be difficult to let go of,” she reminds him. “He was a Mandalorian foundling in my care. I just want to make sure he is safe,” Ahsoka can see through that simple reasoning knowing Din’s attachment to Grogu. “There is no place in the galaxy more safe than here with Luke,” she makes a strong point. “I don’t understand why you’re all right with Skywalker’s decision to train the kid when you wouldn’t,” Djarin is still trying to understand the ways of the Jedi. “Because it was his choice. I don’t control the wants of others,” Ahsoka did not want to take Grogu on as a padawan, but Luke is eager to start a new Jedi Academy and rebuild the Order. “Then, it’s my choice to go and see him,” determined to not let Ahsoka stand in his way. “Of course. If that is what you wish,” she looks off to the hill with the short tree with Luke and Grogu in the distance.
“Are you doing this for Grogu, or are you doing this for yourself?” she asks. Djarin stops, “I just… I wanna give him this.” He pulls the founding gift wrapped in the orange and white kerchief resembling its recipient from the back of his belt. “Why? So he will remember you?” she presses, trying to expose his true intentions. “No. As a Mandalorian foundling, he should have this. It’s his right,” he explains. “Foundling. Perhaps he is a Padawan now,” she emphasizes that Grogu’s path has changed since he’s now in Luke’s care. “Well, either way, this armor will protect him,” Din gazes off into the distance, seeing Grogu with Luke in his new life.
“If you are set on it, then allow me to deliver it,” Ahsoka offers a compromise. “I came all this way. He’s right there,” Din wants to reunite with Grogu. It’s not just about the Mandalorian right as a foundling. Ahsoka approaches and places her hand on his shoulder, “Grogu misses you a great deal. If he sees you, it will only make things more difficult for him.” Djarin looks on for a moment. He turns to Ahsoka, “Make sure he’s protected,” handing over Grogu’s right.
She takes it from him, slightly surprised at his understanding of the situation and his sacrifice in not seeing him up close. He leaves her with the gift, making his way back to his ship. Grogu watches the unfamiliar ship leave, reaching out toward it. Was he able to sense Din’s presence?
From One Generation to the Next
Luke sets down the backpack he was carrying Grogu in. “All right. It’s time to continue your training. Let’s see you jump.” Grogu does a little froggy jump. “Really? That’s all you got? Bend down, jump, and as you do, feel the Force flow through you,” Luke instructs. Grogu hesitates, thinks hard, and attempts another froggy jump. “You’re trying too hard. Don’t try. Do,” repeating what Master Yoda told him to do in his training days.
Luke takes Grogu for a run in the backpack through the bamboo forest, reminding us of the days he trained with Yoda on Dagobah. “Hang On,” he does one of his signature flips. Luke jumps out on what appears to be a rock but is really some kind of water buffalo boar. He jumps from rock to rock, makes his way back to the forest, and climbs a tall bamboo stalk giving them a view of the valley and river below. “Look. The wide world exists in balance. Feel the Force all around you.” They close their eyes in meditation. Luke’s theme song plays. “Through the Force, you will find balance as well.”
Down near the river, Luke and Grogu run through a concentration exercise. Grogu precariously balances on one leg on a downed mossy tree in the river. He slips but remains on the branch. “Use the Force,” Luke urges. He tries again. “That’s it. Very good. Better,” commends Luke. Grogu balances on bamboo, watches as Luke ignites his green lightsaber, and goes through the training stances and movements.
Luke introduces an old familiar tool, “This is a training remote. It will test your reflexes.” He sets it next to Grogu, who is unsure of what to do with it, so he rolls it back toward Luke. “No, that isn’t how it works,” he sets it next to Grogu again. “This is how it works.” He uses the Force to turn the remote on. The remote starts to whoosh around. It blasts at Grogu’s feet. Grogu flies back, and lands on his backside, stunned that this thing would dare shoot at him. “Get back up. Always get back up,” a great life lesson from Luke. Grogu gets up. The training remote takes another shot at him, but Grogu leaps out of the way with the aid of the Force. “Very good.”
Grogu’s training progresses. He’s a fast learner. He leaps from rock to rock into the river, dodging the training remote shots. He adorably jumps and scurries away as Luke watches from the shore. Ahsoka joins Luke. She has the orange and white kerchief in her hands. Grogu seems to tire of his training, and Force focuses on the training remote, crushing it. It explodes, falling into the river. Grogu squeals happily at his accomplishment.
“You’ve taught him well,” Ahsoka commends. “It’s more like he’s remembering than I’m actually teaching him anything,” Luke admits. “Sometimes the student guides the master,” she offers a layered riddle. They stand observing Grogu from afar for a moment. “The Mandalorian was here,” Luke felt Din’s presence. “As I told you. The two share a strong bond, and he brought him a gift,” she offers the kerchief. Luke weighs the gift in his hand, “Sometimes I wonder if his heart is in it.” “So much like your father,” Ahsoka smiles admiringly at Luke, remembering her old Master, Anakin Skywalker.
“What should I do about him?” Luke muses aloud, troubled. “Trust your instincts,” Ahsoka reminds him. Grogu decides to take a nap on the rock in the river after his busy day of training. “Will I see you again?” Luke sensing Ahsoka will be leaving. “Perhaps. May the Force be with you,” she puts her right hand over her heart and bows slightly, taking a final look at Grogu. Luke looks again at the gift contemplating what to do, watching over Grogu’s naptime.
The Motley Crew
Djarin heads back to Tatooine. He lands the N-1 fighter in Fett’s palace hangar. He’s greeted by one of the Gamorrean guards who inquires of his business, not keen on letting him pass. “I’m here at the request of Fennec Shand.” That seems to be the magic password; the guard leads Djarin further into the palace.
Boba Fett, (There he is!), with the Mods, Krrsantan, and Fennec Shand gather around a holo map of Mos Espa for a meeting, “The Pyke Syndicate has been gathering soldiers the last few weeks. Mayor Mok Shaiz is on their payroll and has flown off-world, which leads us to believe the storm is about to break,” Fennec circles around the map, explaining the current situation. Mok Shaiz’s majordomo approaches and corrects her, “It was a scheduled vacation, actually.” Fennec gives him a dirty look and continues, “Here’s a map of where they are gathering, based on whispers. The three crime families of Mos Espa seem willing to lay low and let the Pykes move on our territory,” she turns to acknowledge a new presence in the throne room. “This is the Mandalorian, Din Djarin.” He nods at Fett, and Fett nods back. “Thanks to him and Krrsantan, we now have enough experienced muscle to act as enforcers. The Mods have done a thorough job of surveying the streets, but we lack the numbers to cover our territory if an all-out war comes. We need foot soldiers.” “I might be able to help with that,” Djarin offers, prompting a surprised turn from those in the circle around the holomap.
Djarin makes his way across the desert in the N-1 fighter on his new quest. He spots a Jawa Sandcrawler with the skull of the Krayt dragon mounted on top, acting as a sunshade canopy, and circles it. In The Mandalorian Chapter 9: The Marshal, we see Djarin’s battle with the Krayt dragon with a number of unlikely allies taking down a large communal problem. It seems the Jawas laid claim to part of it as a trophy. Djarin has been making a lot of waves out in the Dune Sea with his recent adventures. The Jawa’s recognize his ship since they have helped bring in rare parts and excitedly point and wave as he flies away. You always remember a good tipper.
Attempting New Alliances With Old Friends
Djarin brings the N-1 fighter over Mos Pelgo, landing at the edge of town. “You want to park your starship; you got to do it out there in the flats,” the new deputy swaggers over. Ignoring the suggestion, Djarin states, “I’m looking for Marshal Vanth.” “I don’t think you heard what I said,” the deputy says condescendingly. “I heard you,” Djarin affirms. “I’ll take it from here, deputy,” Cobb Vanth approaches with a big smile on his face. There is a pause as the deputy walks away out of earshot. “He’s new. Still a bit jumpy. Is that a Naboo starfighter?” Vanth excitedly changed the subject and showed himself to be a real prequel fan.
“That’s what it started off as. Haven’t seen you since you gave up your armor. How have you been?” Djarin inquires. “More careful. Where’s the little guy?” Vanth asks about Grogu. “Back with his own folk,” Djarin simply explains. “That’s too bad,” Grogu leaves behind a big impression on people despite being small in size. “I guess we both lost something we were fond of,” Vanth commiserates. “Can I buy you a drink?” Djarin offers. Vanth takes one last look admiring the shiny antique ship. Freetown’s local cantina has gotten an upgrade since the last time Djarin was here. The ribs and spine from the Krayt dragon have been assembled inside, adding an extra source of ambiance.
“I need you to lead a garrison. Your people are good fighters, and there’s plenty of credit in it for them too,” Djarin explains. Fett is more than happy to compensate the people of Tatooine who will stand against the Syndicate. “The peace is intact, Mando. We took out that dragon. My people don’t want to fight no more,” Vanth is straight with Djarin of the current mindset of his people. “Your town might be good for now, but it’s all part of the same planet. We need good people to step up, or the spice is bound to come through these parts,” Djarin is unaware of Vanth’s previous run-in with the Pykes. “As long as I’m here, that’s not a problem,” Vantha takes a drink, “so why should they risk their lives for this Boba Fett?” “Mos Pelgo might be good right now…” Djarin taps the table and reiterates his point as he gets corrected by the Weequay bartender, “ Freetown.” “It’s called Freetown now,” Vanth confirms. “We changed the name. Suits us better,” the Weequay goes on to explain. “Well, I fought side-by-side with the citizens of Freetown, and they’re brave people, and the Pyke Syndicate has us outnumbered, and we need your help,” Djarin reasons. “The town wants no part of it. That’s a city folk fight,” the Weequay again interjects.
“Is that what you say too, Marshal?” Djarin pushes, wondering what the Marshall’s real stance is on the situation. “We’re square, you and me,” Vanth says, weighing the safety of his citizens carefully before he agrees to anything that may disrupt the peace. “Yes, we are. But I didn’t think you were one to back down from bullies,” Djarin calls Vanth out, knowing very well this lawman has a strong sense for justice and doing what’s right. “See, that’s what I like about you, Mando. That big smile of yours lets you get away with anything,” Cobb playfully teases. “There’s no easy way to ask for a favor,” Din openly admits. “I’ll tell you what. Things are tough around here, but I’ll see what I can do,” Vanth seems to want to help but knows his responsibility is first to his people and their wants and needs. Djarin nods.
Vanth and the Weequay stand outside the cantina and watch Djarin leave in his starfighter. “Get the word out. I want all men and women of fighting age to come to town. I want to have a meeting,” it’s time for Vanth to have a town hall about what’s been going on in their territory. “It’s not our problem, Marshal,” the Weequay argues. “No, but it might be, after they hear what I’m gonna say,” Vanth wants to come clean about his recent experience and see if there have been any other ongoing issues with the Pykes. The Weequay goes back inside.
A Lone Stranger on the Horizon
The heat of the Tatooine suns distorts a new apparition on the horizon. Vanth immediately recognizes a threat, “Hey, Jo. Do me a favor and tell these people to head inside for a spell.” Jo takes a look at the incoming stranger, “Is something wrong, Marshal?” she asks. “I hope not. Just rather err on the side of safety,” Vanth being honest.
Cobb Vanth walks out into the middle of Freetown’s street to square off with the visitor. The townsfolk head inside, as deputy Scott steps outside, “What’s going on, boss?” “Let me handle this, Deputy,” Vanth doesn’t want the amateur adding any extra distractions. “I’m not leaving you out here alone,” Scott stubbornly refuses. The stranger approaches and squares off, “Cobb Vanth,” the newcomer says in a dry, gritty, distinctive voice. “And who might you be?” wonders Vanth. “Whatever Fett is paying you, we’ll match, and all you’ve got to do is stay put and let things play out,” keeping his head low and eyes obscured. “Hey, the Marshal ain’t for sale,” the deputy unhelpfully offers from the sidelines. Vanth gives him an incredulous look.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name,” Vanth carefully pries. The stranger finally looks up. A blue-skinned, red-eyed Duros with jagged pointed teeth. The stranger doesn’t give his name to Vanth, but he is a familiar face to the Star Wars universe: Cad Bane.
“I’d be careful where I was sticking my nose if I were you,” warns the stranger. The Deputy starts slowly advancing, trying to be discreet. “Is that friendly advice or a threat?” Vanth asks. “Boba Fett is a cold-blooded killer who worked with the Empire,” the stranger reminds Vanth. “You tell your spice runners Tatooine is closed for business. This planet’s seen enough violence,” Vanth’s stance is becoming more evident as a direct threat is being sent his way. “You should’ve never given up your armor,” the stranger is well informed of recent events. News travels fast in these parts. The stranger draws back the left side of his long coat, revealing his blaster. Vanth instinctually moves for his blaster, ready for a draw. There is a prolonged standoff.
Deputy Scott slowly inches his way toward Bane with itchy fingers ready to draw. Vanth can sense the amateur about to make a big mistake and takes his eyes off Bane. Bane draws and blasts Vanth. The amateur doesn’t even get his blaster out of his holster and Bane guns him down next with multiple shots.
“Tatooine belongs to the Syndicate. As long as the spice keeps running, everyone will be left alone,” Cad Bane slowly turns and walks out of town. The people of Freetown come out from hiding and rush to Cobb Vanth’s side. “Is he okay?” “The Marshall, is he breathing?” Cobb Vanth is not moving. The Weequay looks after Bane as he’s leaving vengeance in his eyes. If Freetown wasn’t concerned about taking a side before, the Syndicate just forced their hand.
A Sanctuary No More
Two Pykes enter The Sanctuary, a cantina run by the Twi’lek Garsa Fwip, with a camtono. As always, The Sanctuary is lively and full of customers. Garsa notices the Pykes enter and speaks closely with the yellow Twi’lek server we have seen throughout the series. There is a black and white drum droid that looks to be a modified R5 unit laying down some solid, rhythmic beats. It looks like Max Rebo is either on break or took the night off.
The yellow and green Twi’lek servers approach the Pyke’s table, “Can we take your helmets for a cleaning?” This gesture typically implies Garsa will pay tribute to them. The Pykes refuse the ‘cleaning.’ The two servers return to Garsa and shake their heads. The two Pykes get up to leave, Garsa watches them go, perplexed. She was willing to pay to keep peace.
A server droid calls out, “Oh, wait! You forgot your camtono.” Realization lights Garsa's eyes as we see a massive explosion. The Sanctuary erupts in flames. The Pyke Syndicate has declared war.
A Big Choice For A Little One
The main building of Luke’s Jedi Academy has been completed. Luke sits cross-legged from Grogu with a maroon cloth set between them. Luke places the orange and white kerchief on the maroon cloth to his left and unwraps Din’s present for Grogu: It’s a small chainmail shirt made from Beskar. “The Mandalorian wanted you to have this.” Grogu gets up to go to his new present, “But before you take it, I will give you a choice. This is a lightsaber.” Luke ignites the blade, and Grogu makes little excited breathy noises in anticipation. “It belonged to my teacher, Master Yoda. And now, I’m offering it to you,” he places the lightsaber on his right with his gloved hand.
“But you may choose only one. If you choose the armor, You’ll return to your friend, the Mandalorian. However, you will be giving in to attachment to those that you love and forsaking the way of the Jedi. But if you choose the lightsaber, you will be the first student in my academy, and I will train you to be a great Jedi. It will take you many years to master the ways of the Force, and you may never see the Mandalorian again because, Grogu, a short time for you is a lifetime for someone else,” knowing Grogu’s species can live for hundreds of years Luke is trying to give the child a realistic view of his connection to his human, Din Djarin. Master Yoda was 900 years old when he passed away in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Grogu contemplates which path he will choose, looking at both items, back and forth, weighing what each means. “Which do you choose?” Grogu looks up at Luke.
Easing back into the story, getting teased with a standoff between Cobb Vanth and the Pykes, I thought we would be seeing a further in-depth development between the Syndicate and Boba Fett since the tension is running high on Tatooine and we spent the last chapter solely detoured with Din Djarin. I was wrong.
Getting to see Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy in the first phases of being built was a welcomed surprise. The intermingling of fates throughout Star Wars history is brought to the fore once again but left me wondering when we would return to Fett’s story arch. Djarin is eager to see Grogu, but the man literally gets benched by R2 and Ahsoka while we get an introduction of Grogu’s training with Luke.
Let’s talk about Luke. The technology used to capture young Mark Hamill’s essence has greatly improved from when we saw him last in the finale of the Mandalorian Season 2. A popular YouTuber that goes by the alias Shamook was hired by Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic, also known as ILM, after they greatly improved the visual effects on a de-aged Mark Hamill and posted a side by side comparison on their channel. Since Shamook is now a part of ILM, we can assume they had a large part in helping the believability of making sure the visual effects of a much younger Luke Skywalker were pristine. Shamook’s alias is not credited for this chapter, but their real name remains unknown. Their work is phenomenal, and it’s great to see talent being recognized and utilized for the greater good of the galaxy.
Grogu’s memory of his time at the temple, while Order 66 was taking place, was intriguing and still leaves us with a lot of questions. During his memory vision, there was a focus on one of the 501st, highlighting their helmet and T-shaped visor very reminiscent of the Mandalorian helmet’s T-shaped visor. Did Grogu feel kin to Djarin when they first met because he had grown to trust that familiar helmet? Who saved Grogu from the Jedi Temple? Was it one of the clones? Did the clones take Grogu to Anakin as he was descending into darkness? Maybe Grogu sensed Luke’s likeness to his father? We can only speculate at this point.
Speaking of Anakin Skywalker… Anakin, Luke’s father, trained Ahsoka. Yoda, presuming he’s Grogu’s father, trained Luke. Luke is now taking on his former Master’s child as hopefully his first student with some help and guidance from Ahsoka. Ahsoka clearly adores Luke, reminding her of another life during the Clone Wars, when Luke’s father was once a good man. It was refreshing to see them all together, being the last of their kind, sharing some warmhearted moments after all they have each been through in their own turbulent journeys. When timing and the right circumstances align, we should note and treasure those quiet moments when we’re with our tribes.
Djarin insisting on Grogu being given a right of a Mandalorian foundling despite returning him to the Jedi created a reason to see Grogu again. Once being expelled from his own Tribe for violating his creed, seeing Grogu again carried a weight it may not have before. Coming to terms with the code Grogu would have to live by if he followed the path of a Jedi was like watching a father realize his child was growing up and that child didn’t need to rely on him any longer. His conversation with Ahsoka shed further light on how different Mandalorian and Jedi creeds are in terms of loyalty and attachment. He was able to see Grogu from afar, ensuring he was safe and happy. But was left disappointed without a formal reunion with his child, understanding ‘this is the way’ Grogu will need to follow from now on if he is to be a successful Jedi.
When Djarin returns to Tatooine to follow up on helping Fett, we get to see our man Boba Fett for a total of one minute and nine seconds. Yes, I timed it. Fett did not say anything during this scene, only offering a nod to Djarin on his arrival. The Pykes have been busy, and Fett and his crew have been making preparations. Djarin offers to try to add numbers to help support Fett’s endeavors against the Syndicate taking hold of Tatooine. Paying a visit to Cobb Vanth, an old friend and ally, Djarin attempts to rally Vanth’s support from the people of Freetown, showing he has diplomacy skills and is willing to take the initiative on behalf of a good cause. He leaves with no guarantee anyone would want to get involved and formally take a side. As far as Freetown is concerned, the Syndicate problem is not their problem. Yet.
A stranger arrives with a message from the Syndicate. Even though I was barely able to make out who it was within the first glimpse on the horizon, I knew who the Pyke Syndicate was sending to make a statement. I feared for Cobb Vanth and was not surprised by the outcome of the duel. I knew this character had a storied past with a younger Boba Fett: Cad Bane. Cad Bane was first introduced in The Clone Wars animated series. Cad Bane’s character design is inspired by the villainous Angel Eyes played by Lee Van Cleef from the classic western: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Cad Bane is one of the most notoriously ruthless and dangerous bounty hunters in the galaxy who leaves a trail of bodies in his wake and doesn’t care about collateral damage. He only cares about himself and the credits. This man knows nothing of loyalty, creeds, or tribes. The ante has been upped for the stakes of Tatooine.
Luke giving Grogu a choice to determine his own future is something new for the Jedi. Before the Empire, the Jedi of the Republic would recruit its members shortly after birth, not giving the being a choice in their own destiny. The choice Grogu faced meant a beginning of a new chapter. That choice would cement his fate on that path. Luke presents Din’s gift of a beskar chainmail shirt and then offers Yoda’s lightsaber with the admonition that Grogu could only choose one. Will Grogu follow in the footsteps of his presumed biological father as Luke did? Or will he return to his adoptive father and try a new way of life very different from what is expected of him because of his force sensitivity? We’ll have to wait to see in the next chapter.
What did you think of Chapter 6? Let me know in the comments!