Book of Boba Fett - Getting to Know the Man Behind the Mask Chapter 6

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.

“Think it through.” 

“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. 

Spice. Fortunes can be made from peddling the illicit substance.

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. 

Order 66

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. 

Conclusion

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!  

Book of Boba Fett - Getting to Know the Man Behind the Mask Chapter 5

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS 

Chapter 5: The Return of the Mandalorian 

The title of this chapter is a throwback to Return of the Jedi. Immediately we are met with a shift in the storyline. In a Klatooinian meat processing warehouse, the Mandalorian, silhouetted in a doorway, walks in like he belongs there, finding his way to his quarry. Amid the noise, you can hear his armor’s distinctive clanking, reminiscent of the sound of spurs. “You look lost,” an unnamed Klatooinian states. I thought this was Boba’s story. Perhaps a jest as to why we’re seeing Din Djarin instead of Fett?  

“I’m here for Kaba Biaz,'' Djarin says, speaking directly to the one that seems to be in charge sitting at a table. He takes out the tracking fab from his belt, shows it, and puts it back, “He owes someone important money.” “Well, if I see him, I’ll let him know,” the lead Klatooinian dismisses him. “I see him right now,” Djarin persists, placing a holopuck on the table showing the Klatooinian’s face. “That’s not me. That doesn’t even look like me,” it’s clearly the same Klatooinian with the same facial piercings and distinctive face tattoo. “I’m going to give the rest of you the opportunity to walk out that door. I have no quarrel with you,” he’s offering the rest of the crew an easy out. Kaba Biaz insinuates that Djarin is surrounded and outnumbered, “You look like the practical type. Let’s discuss our options.”

Djarin pauses before delivering his signature line, “I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold.” As he starts reaching for his blaster, a Klatooinian on his right makes a move and bites his hand making him drop the blaster. He headbutts the biter and turns to a second attacker coming at him from his left side punching him out of commission. The one behind him starts shooting at him. He is used to taking hits with the Beskar armor and steels himself for his next attack. 

He activates the Darksaber, spins, and takes a swing at the blaster happy baddie. He lets out an oddly surprised grunt as if he’s not used to the weapon’s feedback. Another attacker takes a swing with a meat cleaver, and Mando kicks him away. He punches another out and turns back to the one he kicked away in a slow circular motion dragging the Darksaber in an arc to finish him off. 

The blade seems heavy, which is unusual for a weapon of this caliber. He spins again and stabs another of the attackers straight through with the heavy blade but misjudges the weapon weight and arc, burning the outside of his left thigh in the process. A very accurate depiction of what can happen to someone who is not well-versed in using a lightsaber and is only just beginning to learn the weapon. 

Two more Klatoonians attempt to grab him, but he holds each on either side of himself, the three locked in a brief struggle before he can break free and swing the Darksaber, slashing the two offenders. Kaba Biaz gets up from the table and starts unloading his blaster into Mando’s back. Again, in the defensive pose, weathering the attack because of the beskar, he waits until Biaz is within grappling range, spins, sticks a knife into Biaz’s chest, picks him up and lands him onto the table filled with credits. He does a complete over the head attack with the Darksaber cleaving Kaba Biaz and the table in two. Kaba Biaz is coming in cold. 

The workers in the other room had stopped and gathered outside the door hearing the fray from within, only seeing shadows and shades of the fight through the semi-translucent doorway. Din steps out, with a bag in his hand presumably containing the head of Kaba Biaz, and sees the crowd, “Your boss is dead. I’m here to collect on his bounty. I have no trouble with any of you. There is a pile of New Republic credits in there that I have no right to. If you do me the honor of letting me pass, you all can help yourselves to whatever you think you deserve from your former employer.” The workers all look at each other in silent agreement; they are not looking for a fight. One starts to edge around Mando, giving him a wide berth yet wanting a chance at that pile of credits. The rest of them rush past him into the back room. He slowly limps through the warehouse making his exit. 

Glavis 

Glavis is an immense ring space station floating in the cold of space, with day and night cycles alternating throughout the ring. We see Djarin slowly limp his way to his destination stepping from night to day. He enters an elevator with a Caskadag who looks down toward the bag, slowly eyeing upward, checking out the Beskar armor. Din turns to look at them, and the Caskadag sharply turns back, acting like they were not just eyeing him up. Way to make an elevator ride even more awkward. 

The elevator door opens, and Djarin steps out into a sophisticated bar with ambient laid-back yet upbeat electronic lounge music. The patrons are dressed in the familiar flare of what we’ve seen in Coruscant’s nightlife in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. I love the aesthetics, and this place fits right in on the modern ring world. 

“That was fast. You’re a good hunter,” the mystery client admires in Huttese. “I would like my reward and the information you promised,” ever straight to business, he places the bagged head of Kaba Biaz on the table amidst the diverse party-goers enjoying dinner. “Why are you rushing business Mando?” presses the client. “My business is my own. Where is it?” he gently demands. “Sit and feast with us or I will tell you nothing,” urges the client. If he were to feast with them, he would have to remove his helmet, and that’s against his religion. Insulted, he says, “You can keep your reward. There is a bounty on the Klatoonian. If you won’t give me the information, someone else will.” He grabs the bag and turns to leave. “It’s down Kolzoc Alley by the heat vent towers.” He turns back, places the head on the table again, and claims the credits, “I’d put that on ice if I were you,” referring to the now cold bounty.

He makes his way back to the elevator. When he is alone, he checks the side of his left thigh where he incurred the wound from the Darksaber. Getting a closer look, it's bad, Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar bad. Charred skin around deeply burned muscle tissue. The elevator stops near the Klozoc Alley. As he approaches the location, he pushes some buttons on his forearm, which changes his visual perspective in his HUD (heads-up display). He starts seeing secret indicators of which direction to go, finally seeing a secret mythosaur skull painted above a nondescript door. Accessing the substrata of the station, he starts to climb down to the walkways but loses his grip on the ladder and has to catch himself. 

The Armorer kneels at the end of one of the walkways, with the belly of the city overhead and an undisturbed view of the starscape below. Djarin makes his way slowly to her, but his injured leg gives out at the bottom of the descent of the stairs leading to her. She turns, “Tend to him.” Paz Vizsla, voiced by Jon Favreau, the larger hulking Mandalorian in blue armor, approaches Din with a medkit and kneels to help him, “I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again.” “Thank you for saving me on Nevarro. I am sorry for your sacrifice,” Din is referring to the last time he saw his tribe who abandoned their covertness to help Din escape Nevarro with Grogu. In retaliation, the Empire massacred their now exposed tribe. “There are three of us now,” says Paz. Djarin is clearly in a lot of pain as his wound is being tended to.  

The History of the Mandalorians & The Night of A Thousand Tears

“What weapon caused such a wound?” inquires the Armorer. Din holds out the Darksaber. The Armorer orders Paz Vizsla to bring it to her. Paz carefully takes the weapon and reverently carries it to the Armorer. “All this talk of the Empire, and they lasted less than 30 years. Mandalorians have existed 10,000,” she activates it, “What do you know of this blade?” “I am told it is the Darksaber. Whoever wields it can lead all of Mandalore,” Din offers. “If it is won by Creed in battle. It is said one warrior will defeat 20, and the multitudes will fall before it. If, however, it is not won in combat and falls into the hands of the undeserving, it will be a curse unto the nation,” she sheaths the blade, “Mandalore will be laid to waste and its people scattered to the four winds.” “The hilt is of a quality of beskar I have never seen before,” Djarin notes. “It was forged over 1,000 years ago by the Mandalore Tarre Vizsla. He was both Mandalorian and Jedi,” she explains. “I have met Jedi.” Ascertaining that he has completed his quest, she says, “Then you may rejoin our covert as we rebuild.” “This is the way,” they each repeat. The Armorer returns the Darksaber to its rightful owner. Vizsla has taken an obvious interest in the blade.

Din and Paz get to work on setting up the Armorer’s forge. Vizsla inquires how Djarin came across the Darksaber. “I defeated Moff Gideon,” explains Din. “Did you kill him?” Paz asks a loaded question. “No. But he was sent off to the New Republic for interrogation, and he will face justice for his crimes,” Din prefers the course of diplomatic justice than brutal vengeance. “Death would have been justice for his atrocities,” Vizsla disagrees. “This is true. The blood of millions of our kind is on his hands,” the Armorer agrees with Paz, referring to the Moff’s participation in the Empire’s Great Purge of Mandalore. “Then he will be executed for his crimes by the New Republic Tribunal,” says Djarin, convinced his course was the better for justice. 

“We shall see,” the Armorer turns as the forge is fired up. She goes to unpack the rest of her tools, “The songs of eons past foretold of the Mythosaur rising up to herald a new age of Mandalore. Sadly, it only exists in legends.” I, for one, am hoping to see this Legend brought to life. The Armorer notes Djarin has acquired a beskar spear. He explains how it came to be in his possession and how he used it to defeat Moff Gideon. Djarin seems to fancy the spear and how it’s so far served him. “It can pierce beskar armor. Its mere existence puts Mandalorians at risk. Mandalorian steel is meant for armor, not weapons,” the Armorer makes a valid point. “Then forge it into armor,” he readily offers the spear. “The Darksaber is a more noble weapon for you to wield,” the Armorer immediately gets to work on the spear. Din takes his place next to the forge as she works, watching the process. 

“Have you ever heard of Bo-Katan Kryze?” asks Djarin. “Bo-Katan is a cautionary tale,” explains the Armorer as she further works on the spear. “She once laid claim to rule Mandalore based purely on blood and the sword you now possess. But it was gifted to her and not won by Creed. Bo-Katan Kryze was born of a mighty house, but they lost sight of the way. Her rule ended in tragedy. They lost their way, and we lost our world. Had our sect not been cloistered on the moon of Concordia, we would have not survived the Great Purge.” Bo-Katan was gifted the Darksaber by Sabine Wren in Star Wars Rebels and used it to rally the remaining Mandalorian clans in a resistance against the Empire. 

We see a flashback of TIE bombers over Mandalore coalescing in a major attack on its capital domed city Sundari which can be seen in The Clone Wars animated series. “Those born of Mandalore strayed away from the path. Eventually, the Imperial interlopers destroyed all that we knew and loved in the Night of a Thousand Tears.” The imperials decimated everything on the surface, leaving the planet scorched. Imperial Security and probe droids searched for survivors to finish them in the complete annihilation of the Mandalorian people. 

“Only those that walked the way escaped the curse prophesied in the Creed. Though our numbers were scattered to the winds, our adherence to the way has preserved our legacy for the generations until we may someday return to our homeworld,” the Armorer finishes recounting their turbulent history.

Not Ready to Say Goodbye 

“What shall I forge?” the Armorer asks. “Something for a foundling,” he clarifies, “For a specific foundling. Grogu.” “He’s no longer in your care. He is with his own kind now,” she reminds him. “I want to see him. Make sure he’s safe,” Din is not ready to leave Grogu completely just yet. “In order to master the ways of the Force, the Jedi must forgo all attachment,” she says. “That is the opposite of our Creed. Loyalty and solidarity are the way,” he reasons. Even if Grogu has accepted the path of the Jedi, Din’s way of life means he will forever be loyal to Grogu because of their attachment. “What shall I forge for the foundling Grogu?” the Armorer concedes. 

Metalworking montage; it’s a process to forge the toughest metal in the galaxy. We see small chain links in a pile which probably takes even longer to forge due to its delicate intricacies. Will Grogu receive his own chainmail? The Armorer wraps the finished piece in a small orange and white kerchief. How she artfully wraps it resembles the recipient. She gently places the wrapped gift into Din’s hands. 

The Blade Never Lies

In Mando’a: Solus. T’ad. Ehn. One. Two. Three. The Armorer and Djarin spar with the Darksaber. She dodges one of his attacks, and he follows through on his momentum from the swing and falls off of the walkway. “You are fighting against the blade,” she observes. He uses his jetpack to return to the walkway. “It gets heavier with each move,” he admits. “That is because you are fighting against the blade. You should be fighting against your opponent. Stand up,” she chides. He stands, but it’s clear the blade is indeed heavy as he drags it along the ground until he’s ready to strike again. They resume sparing, but he’s slow. She knocks him on the top of his helmet with her hammer with a loud ring that reverberates. Ouch. She grabs the lower end of the T-shaped visor with her tongs. 

Reset. Before he is able to get the Darksaber up in a defensive position, she strikes fast and presses the attack. They lock. “There. Feel it. You are too weak to fight the Darksaber.” As they are locked, she presses him into taking a knee. You can see the saber is heating the beskar tools, which she has been fighting with. “It will win if you fight against it,” she pulls away, “You cannot control it with your strength.” “I want to try again,” he says determinedly. “Persistence without insight will lead to the same outcome. Your body is strong, but your mind is distracted,” the Armorer senses. “I am focused,” Din lies. “The blade says otherwise,” she reminds him.  

“Maybe the Darksaber belongs in someone else’s hands. It was forged by my ancestor, founder of House Vizsla,” explains Paz. “And now it belongs to me,” Djarin evenly states. “Because you won it in combat. And now I will win it from you,” Vizsla states his intent. The standoff feels like a disagreement between two brothers. 

Duel of the Fates

“Do you agree to this duel, Din Djarin?” inquires the Armorer. “I do,” Djarin is not backing down from his claim to the Darksaber. The two Mandalorians face off. Both remove their jetpacks and place them to the side. Din removes the Darksaber from his belt and ignites it. Paz’s weapon of choice is a vibroblade and gauntlet shield. 

They approach each other with intent and purpose. Din strikes low at the shield, the blade still heavy in his hands. Paz strikes his blade between Din’s chest plate and pauldron, driving him back a few steps. Attempting to lift the blade in defense, Din fails and gets hit in the helmet by Paz’s gauntlet shield. Din is able to manage a telegraphed overhead swing, but it is met by Paz’s shield, and again the blade sinks to the ground. Attempting another wide arc from the left, Din meets Paz’s right gauntlet but bounces off. Paz tries to take advantage of the opening on Din’s right and goes to strike with his vibroblade, but Din sees it coming and lifts his left arm in defense, blocking the blow. Paz uppercuts him with his fist with a loud clang and slashes overhead with the blade again, which is met by the Darksaber cutting the blade's hilt rendering it useless. Paz stares down at the blade for a moment, and Din takes the opportunity to elbow him in the face. He tries to take another swing at Paz with the Darksaber, but Paz grabs the hilt. They are locked in a struggle over the blade. Din headbutts Paz and turns to elbow him again in the face. Din is able to swing the blade around for an upswing attack at the unguarded Paz. He pushes the attack. Paz takes a knee as Din swings down and meets Paz’s gauntlet. Paz alters his grip to occupy Din’s grip on the blade and returns the headbutt. Paz grabs Din, being much larger in size, throws him to a lower segment of the walkways. Din lets out a surprised noise as he falls. He took off his jetpack, so any type of freefall in this environment would not be welcomed as they are still in the underbelly of the city with nothing but open space below them. 

Paz jumps down with a loud thud and grabs Din as he is trying to recover from the fall, brutally throwing him against a pillar. Paz reaches down and claims the fallen Darksaber, igniting it. “Fate has brought this blade back to my clan, and now fate will end yours,” he exclaims as he takes a downward swing at a downed Djarin. Din is quicker and moves out of the way, stabbing Paz in the leg as he passes on his missed swing. Paz is struggling with the blade as well. Paz takes two more swings at Din but gets the blade stuck on the pillar. Din gets up, but Paz grabs him by the helmet and throws him once again against the pillar, downing him. Din gets back up and moves backward as Paz advances with the blade. Paz swings and gets stuck on the pillar again. Din jumps up and stabs Paz in the side and knee, where he knows there is a defenseless spot in the armor. Paz takes a labored overhead swing, but Din is quick and avoids it taking another slash at Paz and spins around behind Paz, grabbing him and placing the vibroblade to his throat. 

A Victorious Loss 

“It is done,” states the Armorer. “Paz Vizsla, have you ever removed your helmet?” she asks. “No,” he says.” “Has it ever been removed by others?” she inquires. “Never,” he says, defeated. “This is the way,” she continues. Paz repeats after her. As this exchange is happening, you can read Din’s body language shift, there is a cold realization of what is coming, and there is no way to avoid it. The reliance of subtleties in the building of a fully masked character is done spectacularly. 

The Armorer shifts her focus, “Din Djarin, have you ever removed your helmet?” He doesn’t respond. She presses, “Have you ever removed your helmet?” He remains silent. “By Creed, you must vow,” she reminds him. He lets go of Vizsla. “I have,” he admits. There have been two occasions where other living beings have seen his face: the first time with Mayfeld in the Imperial refinery obtaining information for the quest to find Grogu and the second on the bridge of Moff Gideon’s ship saying goodbye to Grogu as Din turns him over to Luke Skywalker. 

“Then, you are a Mandalorian no more,” a heavy statement from the Armorer. “I beg you for your forgiveness. How can I atone?” he pleads. “Leave, apostate,” Vizsla says. “According to Creed, one may only be redeemed in the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore,” she offers. “But the mines have all been destroyed,” Din says. “This is the way,” there is a finality in the Armorer’s statement. They stand in prolonged silence. Djarin reclaims the fallen Darksaber along with his jetpack and leaves the new enclave without another word. He’s been banished from his Tribe. 

Commercial Flights & Security Checks

He makes his way to the spaceport and is forced to take a commercial flight because his Razor Crest was destroyed. As he tries to board, an alarm sounds, and he is greeted by an RX-Series droid, “Excuse me, sir. You're going to have to remove your weapons.” “I’m a Mandalorian. Weapons are part of my religion,” Djarin says. The calm perky droid is persistent and states he will have to remove his weapons to board the commercial flight. “Fine,” Din takes the ticket for the cargo container. Unarming montage, the Darksaber being the last weapon he parts with. “I know everything that’s in there,” he reminds the droid. Personally, I’m not sure I could part with the Darksaber. He boards the starcruiser. 

Window seat, gazing into the void of space, contemplating what’s transpired, Din turns to look at a child Rodian who’s intently peering at him from over the back of his seat. The child waves and its mother pats the child, reminding them not to be rude and to turn around and face forward. This child reminds him of his child. He reaches for his present resembling Grogu and looks at it, contemplating his little green friend. The ship lands in Mos Eisley. Din is greeted by another RX-Series droid and finds all his weapons intact in the case. Nothing is missing. 

Return to a Spunky Mechanic 

In Peli Motto’s hangar bay, a BD unit cutely wanders into view, shortly after getting grabbed by a womp rat. BD units were designed as small companion droids programmed to be the assistant to explorers alone in the field. BD-1 appears in the video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. This kind of droid is rare to see in the galaxy because its manufacturer went out of business many years prior. 

Peli is taking potshots at the rodent disturbance, “Treadwell, get in there and move that engine block so I can blast it.” Treadwell does not go to move the engine block. “No? You can’t say no. You’re a droid. What is this, a democracy all of a sudden? R5?” Remember the R5 unit that had a bad motivator in A New Hope? “Fine, I’ll take care of it,” Motto says, her odd collection of droids cowering in fear behind the spunky mechanic wielding a blaster. “Come out, come out, wherever you are,” she chides as she slowly moves toward where the rat was last seen. She screams, and something takes her down behind the engine block. She hangs on to the edge, trying desperately not to get dragged away. “Oh, it’s got me! It’s chewing!” 

Enter Djarin. He blasts the womp rat, and it lets go of Peli. “What an entrance!” she exclaims as she gets up. She checks on BD. The little droid seems okay, but its right leg seems injured. “Hey, look, everyone. It’s Mando.” The droids don’t seem as enthused as she is to see him, but he doesn’t really care for droids, so I’m sure the feeling is mutual. “What do we owe the pleasure? You here to slay another dragon? Chasing down some elusive bounty?” she recounts his recent adventures. 

“I got your message,” he says. “Message. What message?” She is genuinely confused. “You said you found me a replacement for the Razor Crest,” he reminds her. “Yeah, that's right. That’s what I said. That’s what I do. I’ve been working my butt off, yeah. Did you bring the cash?” she inquires. She instructs the droids to count the money he hands over and fire up the grill before the womp rat gets gamey.

“Where’s the Razor Crest?”

“Where’s your unlikely companion?” she inquiries of Grogu.“I returned him to his own kind,” Din explains. “Why the hell would you do that? I could’ve made good money off that thing. Open a petting zoo,” ever the entrepreneur. I mean, she has a point. I would pay good money to go hang out with Grogu at Peli’s Petting Zoo. “Ready to have your mind blown?” She unveils the ‘ship’ from under a heavily dust ladened cover. “Where’s the Razor Crest?” Djarin exasperatedly asks. “I never said I had a Razor Crest. I said I had a replacement for a Razor Crest,” Peli reasons. “I don’t have time for this,” he turns to leave. “Hang on a second,” here comes Peli’s hard sell, “Do you have any idea what this is? This is an N-1 starfighter handmade for the royal guard and commissioned personally by the Queen of Naboo.” “This is a pile of junk,” he’s not sold. “Droids, bring this lovely man his money. Sorry to waste your time.” 

Caption: The N-1 Starfighter as seen in Episode I: The Phantom Menace in its original condition 

She heavily sighs, and there is a shared awkward silence between them. “While we’re waiting, can I tell you a little something about this honey? I know she doesn’t look like much, but you got here a lot earlier than I expected, and I didn’t get a chance to finish. I mean, clearly, you can see I’ve got all the parts right here. It all has a home.” This ‘ship’ clearly has seen better days and is in pieces; long abandoned, it will need a lot of work. “You know how hard it is to find all original parts from way back in the Galactic Republic?” As Peli is making her way around the ship, Din starts taking a closer look at it. “I mean, these are all handmade. No droids.” That’s quite a selling point for him. “And not only that, what I’m gonna do, just because I like you, is I’m going to add on some custom modifications that’ll make her faster than a fathier, and because this baby’s pre-Empire, she’s off the grid. And did I mention she can jump into hyperspace with no docking ring? I mean, come on! You gotta see the potential.” She pulls off the last sheet so he can get a good look at the entire piece. “I’m telling you, Mando, you gotta believe me. This is a classic. Look, at least let me put her together before you decide. Can you give me that? Get this baby up and goin’. You know it’d be a lot faster if you helped,” she offers him a wrench. Peli Motto knows how to make a sale. 

Parts are everywhere. Djarin is a car mechanic lying under the grounded starfighter working on its underbelly. The little BD droid is working on getting the lighting just right for him. “Great news. I found you a turbonic venturi power assimilator. You’re going to be the fastest ship on the Outer Rim,” Peli celebrates. “Where did you get this?” Din inquires. “It’s brand-new. Well, Jawa new,” she goes on to explain that she gives the Jawas a list of parts she wants. They go and find whatever she needs under a strict “don't ask, don’t tell” policy, “Tatooine is a garden of many bounties.” Djarin wants to meet the Jawas. Peli asks R5 to summon them, admitting, “Dated a Jawa for a while. They’re quite furry. Very furry,” she makes a weird licky face, “Lot of issues.” Din shrugs unphased, nonjudgmental. The Jawas enter the hanger. Peli speaks Jawaese, “They said make a wishlist, and they’ll see what’s available.” The Jawa says something to Peli in Jawaese. “Oh, that’s okay. I’m working on me right now. Just go find the parts.” She turns back to Din and shakes her head, “Furry.” 

Fixing the ship montage: Djarin sanding the yellow paint off one of the engines, Peli fixing the cockpit display’s wiring and finding a scurrier inside, both cutting the underside of one of the wings, the pit droids trying to find the right parts. “I don’t know why you’re always in such a hurry. Build me a ship. Fix my blaster holes. You know, I never went anywhere, and look how good I got it. You know, I’ve never even been off-world. That’s all right. I’m a local gal,” Peli admits while they’re working. Din finds some of Peli’s modifications, and she explains why her way will be more efficient overall. With all of this ship-building montaging happening, I feel like I know more about Djarin’s new ship than I do my own car. 

“Where does this panel go?” asks Din. BD scans the part and holoprojects where it should be placed on one of the engines. “Thanks, little guy,” Din seems to be warming up to the little droid, and the droid is excited to be helping. They get the canopy in place over the cockpit and part of the 2 Nubian 221 sublight engines in place with the pit droids.

The Jawas approach with one of the requested parts. “That was fast. Where did they get a cryogenic density combustion booster?” Din asks. Peli speaks Jawaese again, “They said they crawled under a Pyke spice runner and crimped it off while they were refueling.” “Gutsy little fellas,” Din is impressed. “Let me tell you something. Pykes do not mess around. Ever since they’ve been moving spice through the system, everything’s gone to hell. Everyone’s afraid of ‘em, and law enforcement won’t even go near ‘em,” Peli explains Tatooinie’s current situation, bringing us back to the series' ongoing conflict. “Well, thanks,” Din throws the Jawas a few credits.

Quite the Pair 

Dawn of a new day on Tatooine. The now silver N-1 fighter stripped of all but a few yellow stripes of paint gleams in the sun as the pit droids glide it out of the hangar. Din walks around the ship hesitantly, admiring her. Din noticed the droid port had been changed, “I figured with your disposition you’d wanna forgo the astromech,” Peli knows him well. He continues revering the ship, Peli looking on, noticing his change of opinion toward the once pile of junk. A stringed version of the Mandalorian theme plays. He looks good with his new ship; they make quite the pair. “Think she’s ready?” he tentatively asks. “Ready as she’ll ever be. Start her up,” Peli urges.  

After giving the ship a little more juice, she turns over, and the engine starts up powerfully. “That’s a lot of engine for a little ship. Shouldn’t we run a diagnostic first?” he worries. “Nah! I can hear her! She’s purring! Send her up!” Peli wants to see what the ship can do. The N-1 Fighter gradually rises above Mos Eisley. “She handles a little bumpy,” he admits at first. “You’re used to a gunship, but she’s a starfighter, so fly her like one,” reminds Peli. “Okay, I’ll open her up,” engines fully engaged, he takes her out of the city, “Dank Ferrick, she’s fast.” “Point your navigational disposition between the two suns. You’ll come up to Beggar’s Canyon,”  Peli instructs, then asks, “How's the handling?” “ Tight. She tracks like a railspeeder,” he says. “Let’s see what she’s got.” Djarin pulls out of Beggars Canyon and straight into the atmosphere. 

Check Out the Beggar’s Canyon Run From Episode I versus Din Djarin’s Test Flight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HstwEUUGfYY 

We see the Rodian child and its mother again on a commercial flight. Din pulls up alongside the star cruiser in the N-1 Fighter. The child stands up and takes note of the shiny little ship. Din gives the kid a nod and buzzes the cruiser. He’s out for a joy ride as he’s testing the controls, looping the ship. An alarm starts to beep. Dank Ferrick. It’s two New Republic X-Wings. What a buzzkill. 

“Was I doing something wrong, officer?” Djarin inquires as he is getting pulled over by the authorities. The first X-Wing pilot goes on to state the law about not flying so close to a commercial ship, operating without a beacon, engine model not matching the power drive, title tabs, sending a ping, the whole nine yards of bureaucratic rundown for the legalization of a starship. Djarin remains calm and respectfully explains the situation of the newly built ship and taking her for a test run. The X-Wing pilot wants Djarin to relinquish the controls so these officers can help him get things sorted. The second X-Wing pilot, Carson Teva, finally speaks up, “I think we can let him off with a warning this time. One thing before you go. Your voice is mighty familiar. Did you used to fly a Razor Crest?” Teva was in one of the X-Wings that tracked Djarin with the Frog Lady passenger when the Razor Crest crashed on the ice spider world, Maldo Kreis, “That ship showed up on a transponder log back in Nevarro in an incident involving Imperial remnants. I’m just connecting some dots here. You mind answering a few questions?” Djarin looks over and activates his sublight thrusters. He’s gone. “There’s no trace of him on our sensors. We reporting this?” Lieutenant Reed asks, played by Max Lloyd-Jones, who was also a double for Luke Skywalker in the Mandalorian. “You want to go back to base, fill out reports all day?” Teva retorts.   

“Well, how was it?” Peli asks on Din’s return. “Wizard,” he says. What a great throwback line of Kitster, Anakin Skywalker’s friend in Episode I. Speaking of old friends… “By the way, an old friend of yours dropped by; she said she was looking for you. Don’t worry. I told her I didn’t know where you were. Then I locked her out and engaged the hangar security system,” Peli has Din’s back. “She tell you her name?” he asks, genuinely curious.  

"Wizard"

“Fennec Shand,” Fennec calls from one of the rafters of the hangar bay. Fennec descends fancifully. “By any chance, are you looking for work?” she approaches with a pep in her step, “The pay is good,” she offers as she tosses him a bag of credits. “What’s the bounty?” Djarin asks. “No bounty. We need muscle,” Fennec explains. “Boba Fett,” Djarin understands. “He sure would appreciate it,” she states. “Tell him it’s on the house,” he tosses the credits back to her, “But first, I have to pay a visit to a little friend.” 

Conclusion

Intrigued by Mando’s current situation and slipping deep into the escapism the Star Wars universe easily offers, I felt like this next phase of the story needed to be told at this particular moment. We are seeing how there are unique intricate facets of the universe, each playing a key role in larger events yet bringing our main characters together to achieve aligned goals in massive galaxy-altering story arcs. 

I didn’t mind stepping back into Djarin’s life for a moment to see how his story would cross once again into Fett’s. We were all ecstatic to see Boba make his appearance in The Mandalorian Season Two. As much as I love Fett, it felt fair to welcome Din back into Boba’s story, as the larger story starts to foreshadow the two of them becoming brothers in arms. The obvious respect for each other, along with Djarin’s eagerness to help Fett out with his current situation on Tatooine shows a growing camaraderie between the two. Perhaps Djarin is redefining what he has always thought was family? 

Din and Boba’s lives share a similar tragic arc. Both were orphaned in the Clone Wars, finding their way to hunting as a career path. Boba figuratively died in the sarlacc pit and put to rest his old life, to be reborn into a new life with grander aspirations. Din started to experience internal change as he discovered the true meaning of family with Grogu. His priorities shifted, and now he has been shunned by his tribe because of two occasions he prioritized Grogu over his own vows to his strict order. Both men have come to realize that they are stronger with loyal ones at their back rather than alone. Boba and Din, both the last of their ‘tribes,’ have forged an inevitable friendship and bonds of loyalty true to the Mandalorian way. 

I find it interesting they decided to do a full rundown of Mandalorian history within the Book of Boba Fett and not in the Mandalorian. Could they be foreshadowing a story arc that will intertwine both men’s fate? Fett has his eyes set on grander goals and may be able to help Djarin realize his full potential now that he’s acquired the Darksaber. The Book of Boba Fett seems to be setting the stage for a much larger tale. 

Bryce Dallas Howard knows how to weave a seamlessly flowing story where we crave to see more. Once we realize we are at the end of her Chapter, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next as we get new glimpses into the events of the Star Wars universe as the story continues to unfold. 

A brief summary of Chapter 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evMEJT0STp4 

What did you think of the transitioning story of Chapter 5? Let me know in the comments!