Book of Boba Fett - Getting to Know the Man Behind the Mask Chapter 7

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS

Chapter 7: In the Name of Honor 

Mos Espa, down a familiar street strewn with debris, the Sanctuary’s outer door scarred with the charred memories of the bomb the Pykes left as their declaration of war. Boba Fett and Fennec Shand examine the interior of the once lively, bustling cantina, which now lay in silent ruins. “We are at war,” Fett states. “It was inevitable,” Fennec reasons, knowing it was just a matter of time before the tension escalated into a strategic strike. “Even if we win, there might not be anything left of this city,” Fett descends the stairs deeper into the Sanctuary.

“That was fast,” Fennec acknowledges Din Djarin’s arrival, “Were you able to hire any foot soldiers?” “I think so. Cobb Vanth is raising a garrison for us,” Djarin explains. “What price did you negotiate?” Fennec asks. “Free.” “Free?” That's a bit hard to believe, even for Fett. “He’s been holding off the spice trade single-handedly. I told him we could shut it down,” Djarin explains. “That’s not free,” Fennec corrects, “That’s most of Jabba the Hutt’s business.” “That’s what the town wants,” Djarin states their ‘price.’ “I agree to their terms,” Fett easily agrees, knowing that any business with spice typically leads to nefarious dealings. 

“There’s a lot of credits to be made from that orange powder,” Fennec is thinking in terms of mere profit. “In the long run, it is better for us as well. Mos Espa can become a prosperous city under our protection. Spice is killing our people,” Fett sees the larger picture. Could he be trying to legitimize his claim and protection for Mos Espa? “Let Marshal Vanth and the people of Mos Pelgo…” “Freetown is its name now,” corrects Djarin. “Let the people of Freetown know they have my word,” Fett makes the correction and the promise. 

“You can tell Cobb Vanth himself when he arrives here with the reinforcements,” Djarin knows the Marshall and is relying heavily on the assumption Vanth will be able to rally his people to the cause. “You are confident he will come?” Boba approaches Din, face to helmet. Does Fett pick up on Djarin not having a sure guarantee? “I am,” Djarin trusts the Marshall will do the right thing. “Well, if he does not, we are doomed,” Fett realizes how dire their situation is, “Our skill is no match for the Syndicate numbers. We must buy time until they arrive. We’ll lockdown at the palace.” 

“That’s a bad idea,” interjects one of the Mods. “And where do you propose we wait for reinforcements?” Fett genuinely asks. “Here,” Skad says. “Here? In these ruins?” Fett doesn’t seem to think it’s a good idea strategically, “Nonsense. The palace offers greater protection.” Drash, the Mod’s stubborn leader, strongly speaks up, “If you want to abandon Mos Espa and hide in your fortress, go ahead. We’re staying. The people who live here need our protection.” Fett reexamines his stance, realizing she’s right, “We’ll stay.” 

Lines Crossed In the Sand

Jawas scrounging for parts at night see a stranger pass and quietly whisper to each other in Jawaese. Cad Bane makes his way through the streets entering the Pyke stronghold. Mok Shiaz, the Mayor of Mos Espa, is rambling on about the recent developments within the city. The Pyke leader stops Mok Shiaz and addresses the new arrival, “You returned so quickly. Was your venture successful?” “You won’t have to worry about Freetown,” Bane says confidently. “Did you convince the Marshal to remain neutral?” asks Mok Shaiz. “Yes,” Bane draws out the word.  

“Good. I want this over as soon as possible. Does Fett have any other resources to call upon? He used to live among a Tusken Raider tribe in the desert,” Shiaz further inquires. “They no longer exist,” confirms the Pyke leader. Bane's curiosity is peaked. “We destroyed them ourselves,” the Pyke leader admits. “Does Fett know that?” Bane asks. “He has no idea. He thinks they were killed by Nikto speed bikers. We left evidence behind to encourage such a conclusion. He meted out his revenge on them. In his mind, the matter is resolved,” the Pyke leader haughtily confesses. Bane seems surprised and somewhat impressed, “I didn’t realize the Pyke Syndicate was so ruthless.” “Pragmatic,” corrects the Pyke leader, “They were charging us protection. We have to protect our margins.” Bane evilly smirks in an understanding way, “Indeed, you do.”

“So, when will this all be over?” Shiaz is eager for things to return to normal. “That all depends on how much your two stomachs can bear,” Bane explains, hinting that things will get quite messy. “No more explosives. I didn’t sign off on bombing Garsa’s Sanctuary. I agreed to surgical strikes, not open warfare,” Shiaz realizes he’s in over his head with how far the Syndicate will go to get what they want. “With apologies, it seems that line has been crossed,” the Pyke leader doesn’t seem very sorry. “Well, I am still the mayor of Mos Espa, and I will not see it destroyed,” Shiaz is still attempting to act like he has some control of the situation. “The Fett Gotra is taking refuge in the ruins of the Sanctuary. It will take extreme measures to remove them,” the Pyke leader explains. “I think I have an idea how to draw Boba Fett out,” Bane offers. 

Grogu’s Choice

An X-Wing with a familiar R2 unit flies low over Mos Eisley, landing in Peli Motto’s hangar bay. Her three familiar pit droids make their appearance along with the BD droid. “It’s an X-Wing. What’s an X-Wing doing here?” Peli asks, panicked that the ‘law’ may be checking in on the port of scum and villainy. She instructs the droids to hide and lock up different parts and items that may not have been acquired legally. They hurriedly scurry about. “Hello, Officer!” She changes her tone in an upbeat, friendly greeting, “I filed for my New Republic certification seal just as you were landing. Quite a coincidence, if you ask me.” Peli better get her papers in order. She awaits the pilot to disembark the craft. 

A familiar little green head pops over the edge: Grogu. “Well, look who it is!” Peli is ecstatic to see her tiny green friend. Grogu makes an adorable noise at her greeting. “Aw! Did they teach you how to fly an X-wing already?” she asks as she climbs the ladder to retrieve him from the cockpit. “I know an astromech flew the ship,” Peli turns to her gaggle of droids as they chitter at her from below. Grogu sits back down deeper into the cockpit and babbles a bit. 

R2-D2 tweedles a question at Peli. “The Mandalorian? He’s not here. He’s on a job in Mos Espa. But just slow down. Give me a second. You just got here. Let me say hello to my old pal. Well, hello, bright eyes. Come here,” she gathers Grogu from the cockpit. R2 chitters at her again. “Grogu? Whoa! That’s a terrible name. Sorry about that, pal. No way am I calling you that,” she noticed something shiny under his beige robe, “What do you have here, huh? Something shiny. Well, look at you, all fancy. You must be starving,” Peli babysitting Grogu is a whole vibe, and I am here for it. “Bring him some dung worms,” she orders the droids below.  R2 beeps at her again. “Oh, keep your dome on. I don’t care how big of a rush you’re in. Baby’s got to eat,” she places Grogu next to a plate full of worms. Grogu happily digs right in and slurps one of the worms.

Waiting & Watching

Djarin carefully keeps an eye out for any new arrivals at the Sanctuary. “As we wait for the reinforcements to arrive with Cobb Vanth from Freetown, our forces are quietly patrolling the streets of the old city. The Pyke Syndicate has not yet arrived in numbers, but the minute they do, we will see them before they see us,” Fennec explains. Fett nods to Djarin. Fennec continues, “The truce you negotiated with the other families of Mos Espa will ensure that they will remain neutral and allow us to gain the upper hand by surprising the arriving soldiers.” 

Drash and Skad make their way around the city on their speeder bikes, looking for any suspicious developments. “The Gamorrean guards are posted in the Klatooinian territory at the starport and will alert us if any Pyke Syndicate forces arrive. Krrsantan is in Trandoshan territory, keeping tabs on the streets of the municipality in front of City Hall. Drash and Skad are keeping an eye on the Worker’s District and the Aqualish Quarter with the other Mods. As you can see, all our flanks are covered. Nobody is sneaking up on us. When the people of Freetown arrive, we will have the forces required to pivot our strength to whatever region the Pykes choose to attack from,” Fennec concludes, ever the narrator. 

“For now?” Fett asks. “We wait,” Fennec says. The Mayor’s majordomo is with them, sitting patiently to the side. Djarin pulls his blaster and points it to the door after hearing movement. The 8D8 droid from the palace enters, “Lord Fett? There is someone here to see you.” “I thought you said nobody could sneak up on us,” Fett chides Fennec. 

Baneful Negotiations 

Fett leaves the safety of the Sanctuary and approaches a familiar figure in the street: Cad Bane. “I thought I smelled something. If you’re looking for a job, you’re late,” Fett and Bane have a storied history. “I’ve already got a job. I’m here to negotiate on behalf of the Pyke Syndicate,” Bane states. “I don’t negotiate with gutless murderers,” Fett says. “If that’s not the Quacta calling the Stifling slimy,” Bane is calling Fett out for his deeds in his former life. “Clear out. And tell your bosses we know they’re outnumbered,” Fett’s not going to back down. “I wouldn’t be counting on the people of Freetown to be coming anytime soon. I paid Marshal Vanth a visit. You should’ve never left him without his armor,” Bane taunts. 

Fennec and Djarin ease out of cover, backing Fett, blasters ready. “Before you get any ideas, I’ve got back shooters too,” the Pyke snipers make their presence known on the lower rooftops by exposing their locations. “Let the spice move through Mos Espa, and all this can be avoided,” Bane offers. “No,” Fett won’t budge. “What do you propose then?” presses Bane. “I will only negotiate with the head of the Pyke Syndicate,” Fett wants to talk directly to the top. 

“You mean the one that massacred your Tusken family and blamed it on a speed bike gang?” Bane is trying to invoke a reaction from Fett. Flashback to Fett’s Tusken camp in flames with everyone dead. The Nikto bandit symbol left on one of the shredded tents. Fett watching the funeral pyre. Bane gets pleasure from knowing Fett was devastated by the loss of his Tribe; he smirks, “You know it’s true.” The smirk turns into an evil jagged smile. 

Fett touches his blaster. Fennec rushes out from cover to stop him, “Boba.” “Let’s do this right here, right now,” Cad Bane pushes his long jacket back and gets ready to quick-draw if these terms are agreed on. Fennec reminds Fett with her voice of reason, “Not now. You pick when.” “He killed Vanth. The reinforcements aren’t coming,” Fett sounds defeated. “We fight on our terms, not theirs,” Fennec knows they must stay in control of the situation. “I can take him,” Fett states. “You’re emotional,” Fennec knows him. “I can take him,” Fett says again with more edge in his voice. “We need to adjust,” Fennec says, talking him down, “You’ll have your moment.” Fett rests his left hand on top of his blaster again. He will stand down for now, “Tell you client negotiations are terminated.” 

“You’re going soft in your old age,” Bane smirks. “We all do,” Fett admits. Cad Bane slowly stalks off. The Mayor’s majordomo approaches Fett, “That was an impressive display of restraint. Exemplary stratagem. If I may be so bold as to offer additional counsel….” “I wonder how much he would pay for the Twi’lek,” Fett says aloud. 

“It’s a Trap!”

“Come in, Boss! Come in! Something feels strange over here,” Drash says via comlink. “Have the Pykes arrived?” Fett inquires. “Not yet, but something feels off,” the Aqualish in the Worker’s District start pulling weapons from hidden caches in the Mod’s alley. They fire on the Mods as everyone else who isn’t involved in the war hurries away. The Mods draw and start firing back, but they are cornered. “The locals are attacking,” Drash confirms. “I thought we had a treaty,” Djarin says. “So did I,” Fett is angry. “They laid a trap!” Drash yells into her comlink as one of the Mods takes a direct hit to the torso. 

“Santo! Santo, come in!” Fett tries to make contact with Krrsantan. Krrsantan notices something is off in his territory as the Trandoshans in the area draw different kinds of blades, electing a scream from a passerby, which initiates anyone who is not a Trandoshan to rush away from the area. Krrsantan, as mighty as he may be, looks worried with the odds stacked against him. 

The Gamorrean guards stand next to a repulsor train and notice a gang of armed Klatoonians disembark. One of the Gamorreans pulls a comlink from his belt and tries to make contact with Fett. The blade-wielding Trandoshans rush Krrsantan and Krrsantan starts blasting them. The Klatoonians are wielding blades as well as they back the Gamorreans to the edge of a large cliff. They drive the guards over the edge, and they fall to their deaths. Rest In Peace, beloved Gamorrean guards

“It’s a coordinated attack,” Fett declares as he, Fennec, Djarin, and the majordomo head back into what’s left of the Sanctuary, “We’ll have to gather our people.” “There’s no way to overcome their advantage,” Fennec points out, “We need to take out command and control.” Fett turns to the majordomo, “Does the Pyke Syndicate still operate out of Mos Eisley?” “Oh, it’s difficult to say for certain that,” the majordomo starts stalling. Fennec cocks her blaster aggressively. “Mos Eisley? Yes, now that I think of it, indeed they do. More specifically, the Desert Survey Office,” the majordomo keeps singing like a Yuzzum. “Can you do that? Can you get there in time?” Fett asks Fennec hurriedly. “Worth a shot,” she turns immediately and exits the Sanctuary, jumping on a speeder bike and heading off to her new target down the now abandoned streets of Mos Espa. 

Krrsantan gets overtaken by a horde of Trandoshans on the municipal building’s steps. He briefly breaks out his electric brass knuckles before getting taken down to the ground. The Trandoshans, being known to hunt Wookiees, swarm him completely, and we are left wondering how he will get out of this hairy situation. 

The Mods are still pinned in the alley in the Worker’s district by the Aqualish. They’re holding their own for now. “We can’t retreat. We’re pinned down,” Drash gives an update of their situation over the comlink. “Stay put,” Fennec instructs. “But they’ll swamp our position,” reasons Drash. “Keep your heads down,” Fennec says as the Aqualish start getting dropped by blaster fire from an unknown source. The Aqualish, who survive the first onslaught, retreat. Fennec appears on one of the rooftops behind the Mods and does a flip down to the street, “Get to the Sanctuary.” Drash approaches her as she climbs onto a different speeder bike, “Hey. Thank you.” “Manners,” Fennec pulls the hood of her helmet down so you can see more of her face and warmly says, “I like it. You’re welcome.” She takes off once again down the newly deserted streets of the Worker’s District. 

This is the Way

The Pykes slowly move in toward the Sanctuary, taking up positions. “They’re here,” Djarin says. The majordomo perks up. “It was just a matter of time,” Fett takes up position on the opposite side of the door from Djarin, “Is Cad Bane with them?” “Don’t see him. Any news on the others?” Djarin asks. “Would be a miracle if any survived. All three Gotras of Mos Espa turned on us,” Fett explains. “It was the smart move,” Djarin recognizes the Syndicate's power. “It was,” Fett agrees, “I suppose you’ll be heading out.” “I’m not,” Djarin says. “You should,” Fett doesn’t want Djarin to fight a losing battle. “It’s against the Creed. I gave you my word. I’m with you until we both fall,” Djarin explains. “You really buy into that bantha fodder?” Fett skeptically asks. “I do,” Djarin is a believer. “Good,” Fett is glad to have him by his side.

“The way I see it, we have two choices. We wait until they get into position and launch a siege on their terms,” Djarin evaluates. “Or?” Fett probes. “We rush out there, catch them unaware. Then we can escape to your ship at the palace,” Djarin finishes the other possible plan. “I can’t abandon Mos Espa. These people are counting on me,” Fett isn’t going to run. “Okay, then. We’ll both die in the name of honor,” Djarin concludes. “You sure you wanna stay?” Fett asks again, willing to give his comrade an out. Djarin unholsters his blaster, “This is the way.” 

Poetic Politics 

As Djarin is about to step out into the street, the majordomo speaks up, “If I may offer an alternative?” the majordomo tentatively approaches them with his hands up. “Shall I continue? I’ll continue. You may not know this about me; in fact, how could you, except perhaps what vestiges remain of my accent, but I was educated on Coruscant. Not that that makes me better in any way.” “Get to it,” Fett rushes him. “I attended finishing academy. My parents were not wealthy by any means. I specialized in Civic Council Negotiations. Now, if you would feel confident empowering me to negotiate on your behalf, I’m fairly certain we would be granted passage off-world with, at worst, some theatrical symbolic, groveling gestures and an exchange of funds,” the majordomo makes a face and places his hands together waiting on Fett’s response. 

“Very well. Give me your tablet.” Surprising the Twi’lek, Fett steps deeper into the Sanctuary, following the majordomo's advice, “I will write out my statement and what I am willing to pay.” “I shall go as your emissary,” handing the tablet to Fett, who starts writing, “I have no compunction whatsoever genuflecting or even groveling, if needs be, which would save you from any potential bruising of ego, so to speak.” “Now go before I change my mind,” Fett hands the tablet back to the Twi’lek. 

“Yes. Excellent,” the majordomo hurries out the door immediately and theatrically greets the Pykes. “Salutations! Salutations! I am unarmed but for this tablet bearing the terms of surrender. I wish to present to whomever spokesperson is empowered to deliberate an acceptable outcome in the eyes of the Oba Diah high council.”

“Read it to me, tail-head,” the lead Pyke demands. That wasn’t very nice. Leave the Twi’lek’s lekku alone. “Oh, because of the enchanting sobriquet and one of which I never tire. Someday I hope to see the fabled Obsidian Cliffs of Oba Diah with my own eyes,” the Twi’lek trying to connect with his foes. “Read it,” the Pyke again demands. “Let us dispense with the pleasantries,” the negotiator clears his throat, “I, Boba Fett, speaking as Daimyo of the Tatooine territories formerly held by Jabba the Hutt,” Fett again overlooking Bib Fortuna’s five-year reign, “do present the following offer,” the Twi’lek pauses and realizes he should have proofread what Fett wrote, “Perhaps we should discuss what you’d be willing to….” “Read it,” the Pyke is losing patience. The Twi’lek picks up where he left off, “following offer: Nothing. You will leave this planet and your spice trade. If you refuse these terms,” he clears his throat, “the arid sands of Tatooine will once again flourish with flowered fields fertilized with the bodies of your dead.” Poetic words from a complicated ex-bounty hunter. 

The Pyke slowly starts aiming his blaster at the majordomo. “His words,” the Twi’lek reminds the Pyke. The lead Pyke gets shot down by a blaster bolt from above. Fett is on the offense using the majordomo’s attempt at negotiation as a diversion. Using his jetpack to elevate himself, he gets a clear overhead shot of the Pykes assembled on the street. The Twi’lek retreats back to the Sanctuary. Djarin makes his entrance via jetpack from the left of the Sanctuary, joining Fett in an aerial display of raining blaster fire from above. Fett and Djarin pick off a few more Pykes as they make themselves difficult targets while airborne, Fett on the right, Djarin on the left. They both land in front of the Sanctuary. 

Mando Bros

At street level, Fett and Djarin start thinning the Pyke’s numbers, picking them off one by one. The snipers move in, trying to get clear shots of the two men in Mandalorian armor, but they see them coming and end the threat. This is an epic street battle royale showcasing their unique combat styles and weapons of choice. Fett takes a blaster bolt from a high-powered repeating blaster to his beskar chest plate and takes a tumble, taking a knee, dropping his EE-3 carbine rifle. A Pyke sees the opening and rushes Fett, only to be met with Fett firing his knee rocket at the opportunist. Fett draws his smaller sidearm and starts blasting again. Djarin takes a minor hit to his breastplate but remains standing.

Djarin notices one of the Pykes trying to surround them from behind, and he does a spin to get in place back to back, with Fett taking that Pyke down in the process. One of the sniper Pykes gets a shot in on Djarin on his left pauldron. It rocks him a bit, but he remains standing. Fett sees another Pyke taking aim at Djarin and goes to cover his flank. Djarin again is rocked by a shot to his left pauldron, taking a knee, while Fett covers him unloading blaster bolts in two more offenders. 

Djarin gets rocked again by a blast strong enough to bring him down on all fours. Fett places a hand on his back, making sure he’s okay and steps around Djarin to take on a new batch of Pykes that arrived to the fight using his sidearm and right knee rockets. Fett steps back and places a hand on Djarin’s jetpack while Djarin uses his whistling birds within his left bracer, taking down a few more Pykes with precision strikes. Inspired, Fett uses his own left wrist rocket, which explodes with a heavier impact and sends three more Pykes flying. Djarin gets back up. 

“They just keep coming,” Fett says. A sniper Pyke lands two shots on both men’s backs, getting their undivided attention. Both turn simultaneously and, in unison, repeatedly blast the baddie from his perch. Fett and Djarin start taking more hits to their beskar armor. The Pykes swarm in and keep up their barrage which continues until both men take a knee again. They are now getting peppered with an onslaught of shots, so neither can recover enough to get up and fight back. 

Fortunately, their armor is holding up, but they’re going to be sore after this battle after taking this many repeated shots. A Pyke gets blasted by an unknown source, and there is a pause as both Fett and Djarin wait to see who it might be. They look over to their right and see a few more Pykes get gunned down. “The people of Freetown,” Fett surmises. 

Strength In Numbers

The people of Freetown are a welcomed sight. The familiar face of the Weequay bartender, Taanti, is operating the main gun of the armored landspeeder as they head toward the two men in Mandalorian armor in front of the Sanctuary, where they have been holding their ground. Fett and Djarin get to their feet and can fight back once again. “Help while you got cover,” the Weequay shouts to the others in the speeder as they disembark and take their stance behind the speeder. Fett and Djarin fall in behind the landspeeder and take up position with the people of Freetown. 

Blaster shots are exchanged in the streets, and it’s clear the odds have shifted. The shooting ceases. “I’m sorry about the Marshal,” Djarin says to Taanti. “They gunned him down in cold blood,” explains Taanti. “You didn’t have to come here,” Djarin says. “Yes, we did. This planet deserves better,” Taanti is convinced.

The Mods arrive from the left. Their colorful speeder bikes are a striking contrast against the neutral colors of the city. Skad takes out a Pyke before he gets to the main intersection. A sniper Pyke gets in a solid shot on Skad’s speeder, and he flies off his speeder end over end in a vicious, unforgiving crash. Drash sees him take the dramatic fall and swoops to a stop in front of Skad, shielding him. She takes out a small blaster and takes a shot at one of the Pykes, dismounts her speeder, grabs Skad, and helps him around the larger armored speeder into cover. The remaining Mods meet up and join their allies. 

“You all right?” Fett checks on Skad and Drash. “Got pretty hairy back there,” admits Drash. “Where’d all these sand scurriers come from?” Skad questions referring to their new allies. “We’re here to save the tails of some city rats,” Jo, one of the Freetown citizens, replies back. Seems the folks that live out in the wilds have a bit of a friendly feud with the city folk. “Save it for the Pykes,” Fett cuts in. 

There is a loud beastly roar from around the corner, and two Pykes are thrown in a violent arc into view. Krrsantan has another Pyke over his shoulder, which he flips onto his back while another is trying to wrestle Krrsantan’s large blaster from his grasp. Krrsantan bats the Pyke off, flinging him high into the air, and blasts him with the same blaster before the Pyke hits the ground. Another Pyke charges him, and the Wookiee takes three blasts to the hairy chest from another sniper Pyke, but the retired gladiator remains standing. Wookiees are tough. Krrsantan grabs the Pyke he had downed who he’d been carrying over his shoulder and tosses him straight at the rushing Pyke, clobbering them both to the ground. Krrsantan takes another blast on his bandolier and sends two heavy blaster bolts into the ragdoll Pykes, who are attempting to get up and attack him again. 

Krrsantan heads toward cover behind the well-armored speeder, dragging his right foot behind him while his allies offer cover fire. Krrsantan keeps taking blaster bolt hits, a Pyke getting a lucky shot in the back of the Wookiee’s knee, downing him. “Cover me!” Fett shouts to Djarin as soon as he realizes his big furry ally is down. Fett immediately leaves cover, with Djarin on his heels, grabbing Krrsantan and helping him the small distance behind cover. “Welcome back, Santo,” using the Wookiee’s nickname, ”I have to confess I thought you were gone. I owe you a nice long soak in the bacta tank when this is done,” Fett is happy to see the Wookiee survived the ambush. Getting a closer look at the Wookiee, he has a large gash on the right side of his head. He’s in pretty rough shape. 

“We Got Problems”

“They’re falling back,” Taanti, the Weequay, exclaims. A cheer rises from the fighters. Fett, Djarin, Drash, and Skad hesitate to start the celebration. Djarin edges up to the front and presses a button on the side of his helmet, changing his HUD, heads up display, to thermal. There is a large droid just out of sight around the corner. “I wouldn’t celebrate yet. We got problems.” The massive Scorpenek droid plods along on its four legs, slowly closing the distance. Another droid appears from the same street Krrsantan arrived from, doubling the trouble the fighters are about to face. “We got real problems,” Djarin affirms. As the two massive droids get into position, everyone braces in preparation. Both droids ignite their circular shields, their design reminiscent of the Droideka on steroids. 

The fighters start blasting the droids, but the droid's shields are holding up without a problem. As the droids slowly walk forward, Fett decides to even the odds; bending slightly at the waist, he takes aim directly at their red light photoreceptors and launches his rocket from his Z-6 jetpack. The rocket explodes in a spectacular display of fire and smoke, kicking up the dust from the sandy streets of Mos Espa. There is a pregnant pause as the fighters halt firing to see if the rocket did its job. The dust clears, and both Scorpenek droids are still standing with full shields intact. 

The large droids open fire with their powerful blasters. The armored speeder is not going to hold up long against their attacks. “Run! We’ll distract them,” Fett commands the fighters. The fighters run off to the left of the Sanctuary, and the droids make short work of what is left of the armored speeder. Fett and Djarin, staying behind, now take flight with their jetpacks. Fett lands in front of the droid that turns after the fleeing fighters; he uses his jetpack in a quick dodge to avoid a direct blast, starting to fire into the droid's shield. Djarin lands behind the same droid that has Fett’s attention, igniting his flamethrower trying to weaken the shield. 

The droid slowly swivels its guns to face Djarin while the second droid takes notice and starts getting into place as backup. Djarin sees he will be sandwiched between the two and uses his jetpack to jump over the droid to be on the same side as Fett. Djarin puts his blaster away and takes out the Darksaber. It’s still cumbersome for him as he ignites it. The blade ricochets off the shield as he takes an overhead swing. He better be careful of the kickback. He swings a second and a third time, “I can’t get through.” The droid slowly readjusts and starts taking shots; Djarin and Fett sidestep further out of the way, “These two will destroy the whole city!” Fett is trying to protect Mos Espa, not reduce it to rubble. “Our energy weapons can’t get through, and our kinetic weapons have too much velocity,” Djarin explains. 

“Move!” Fett tracks as the droid starts aligning with them again; the two men side-step back to the other side, “Can you protect the others?” “I can distract them for a spell. Why?” Djarin wonders what Fett has planned. “Watch out!” Fett grabs Djarin, and they both roll out of the way as the second droid finally gets a clean shot on them, “We need reinforcements,” Fett assesses. “From where? You’ve run out of friends.” Djarin doesn’t think they have any other options. “Protect the others,” Fett urges, igniting his jetpack and taking to the skies, barely escaping the droid's fire. 

Droid Diversions 

Djarin runs past both droids in the opposite direction, blasting them, hoping to get both to follow him instead of pursuing the retreating fighters. One of the droids clears a shot near Djarin, sending him flying. He rolls out of the tumble, getting in cover behind the wreckage of the armored speeder. He steps out of cover, blasting one of the droids intending to get its attention. It starts to swivel, and he runs off for further cover, making sure he’s leading it away. 

The other droid follows the fighters, blasting at their heels. Krrsantan hangs back and starts shooting it with his heavy blaster just as it starts to pass where he had found cover. It looks as if his heavy blaster is weakening a spot in the droid's shield, and he reaches out with his electrified brass knuckles to push on the shield. He almost makes it through, but the droid realizes the threat and uses one of its legs to kick him away. Drash and Skad run over to help the Wookiee, just as the Pykes appear behind the Scorpnek droid. Skad does a spin because he is a flashy guy and starts blasting back. Between his stylish shots and Drash and Santos acting as backup, they clear out the Pykes. The two Mods help the Wookiee back toward the others.

Djarin is a busy man, keeping the Scorpenek occupied by dodging, running, and taking cover, staying just far enough away to keep the droid engaged. He rounds a corner and is met with Peli Motto and her three pit droids, who are being driven by a droid in a rickshaw, “Mando! Ha! We found you!” She exclaims, happy to see him. “I got a surprise for you!” “Turn around!” He yells at her waving his arms over his head, adrenaline pumping. “What?” Peli is visibly confused. “Turn around!” he yells again. “Can’t hear you!” Peli sees the massive droid round the corner and yells in her shrill voice at the RIC-droid, “TURN AROUND!” Mando holds off the Scorpenek droid as the rickshaw turns around and starts to escape. Djarin makes a running jump to hitch a ride on the back of the chair, “Can this thing go any faster?” “Go faster, you bucket of bolts!” Peli throws a hammer at the droid, clanking it on the head. The droid punches it into high gear. 

The fighters further retreat into the city, pursued by one of the Scorpenek droids, with Pykes serving as backup. “Take cover!” the Weequay says. The group files into what looks like a good place to hold out. “We have to stop retreating! We need to dig in here!” Drash says to Jo across the doorway from one another. “We’re getting swamped,” the Weequay says as he retreats behind cover. “She said we should stay!” Jo says. “Nonsense! We’ll get vaporized,” the Weequay disagrees. “I grew up a womp hop from here, and if we fall back any further, we’ll be cornered with no cover,” Drash explains. “So, we’re gonna die here?” the Weequay argues. “No. We fight,” determined Drash isn’t going to give up just yet. 

The Scorpenek moves into position and starts blasting away at where they have holed up, the Pykes eager to move in and progress their advancement. “Skad, hold the line with the Weequay. I'll head up there and snipe down,” Drash explains her plan. “Let me see that thing,” Jo indicates Drash’s small pistol, “With that?” Jo shakes her head and turns to the Weequay, “Taanti, we need a cycler.” The Weequay passes over his cycler rifle, “Good luck.” Drash passes over her blaster pistol so he won’t be without a weapon. “Let’s go,” Jo says, feeling better about their odds. “Cover us,” Drash reminds Skad. 

Reunited 

“Hey, Mando! Look who’s here,” Peli calls back to Djarin, who is still riding on the back of the chair, pulling a blanket off her small passenger. “What?” Djarin gasps and does a double-take when he sees Grogu, “Hey, what are you doing here?” Grogu Force jumps toward Djarin to hug him. “Okay, little guy. I’m happy to see you too. I didn’t know when I’d see you again,” despite their precarious situation Din, is genuinely relieved to see Grogu. Grogu won’t stop smiling at Din. “It’s okay. I missed you too, buddy.” Grogu reaches out and touches his helmet. “But uh,” cutting the sweet moment short, ”we’re in a bit of a bind here right now. You be careful. You keep your head down. You stay hidden until the fight’s over,” Djarin instructs Grogu as he places him back into the safety of the seat next to Peli. “Hey, that’s the shirt,” Din notices Grogu is wearing the beskar chainmail, “You got the shirt,” Djarin sounds as if he didn’t believe the Jedi would give Grogu his foundling right. 

There’s a large blast close by that rocks the rickshaw. “Save your tender moment,” Peli chides, “We’ve got a Scorpenek droid chasing us.” Peli starts taking potshots at the droid that continues to follow them. “What is he doing here?” the reality of Grogu being present for this fight sank in for Djarin. “The Force works in mysterious ways,” Peli observes. 

Grogu takes note their RIC-droid’s neck joint is smoking. Peli and Djarin, preoccupied with the adversary behind them, don’t notice. The droid's neck gives way; it rolls over itself, creating a large explosion that sends everyone in the rickshaw chair flying. Djarin uses a boost from his jetpack to grab Grogu from the air and takes a sliding landing on his back, ensuring Grogu is safe. Peli eats dirt. Djarin, on his back, holding Grogu to his chest, starts blasting away again at the encroaching droid. Peli spits out a tooth, grabs her blaster, and slowly gets up, disoriented. 

The Beastmaster

There is an echoing roar in the distance, and silence follows. Djarin and Peli duck into a structure. The citizens of Mos Espa wonder what that noise could be. Loud footsteps can be heard pounding through the city in a steady cadence. Two giant claws grasp the edge of a building as the beast pulls itself into view. Djarin looks on as he is holding Grogu. The rancor! Once again, it roars in the midst of the city. The citizens cower in fear, never seeing anything like this roam their streets. The Scorpenek droid forgets about Djarin and Peli and starts aiming at the rancor. 

Boba Fett! Riding the beast, he finally comes into view. Fett shoots at the large droid, and the Scorpenek droid shoots back. The shots carve away the building the rancor is standing on, driving the monster to an adjacent lower rooftop, making its descent to street level, an even playing field. The rancor starts pummeling the Scorpenek droid, large claw hand over hand in a constant barrage knocking the droid onto its back, which then brings its shield down for a moment. The droid gets back up and reinitiates the shield. Djarin sees a potential opening. Putting Grogu down, he says, “Don’t move. Let me handle this.” Grogu looks up at Din as he ignites the Darksaber and charges toward the droid. 

The rancor continues its onslaught against the shielded droid, putting constant pressure on its shield by applying its full weight. The droid struggles to keep upright, and the shields weaken enough at the back of the droid, so when Djarin takes a few swings with the Darksaber, he can step through the failing shield. He uses his jetpack to land on top of the droid. The rancor takes a significant blast to the right side of its torso, rocking it back so that it falls into a nearby building; Fett along for the ride. Djarin cuts one of the Scorpenek droid’s blaster arms off and sinks the Darksaber down into the central processing area of the droid, its brain, and it bucks Djarin off. 

Djarin completely loses his balance and takes a hard fall at an awkward angle. The droid readjusts, so Djarin is its only target. Grogu walks out from the doorway and watches as the droid advances on Din, reaching out his hand in concentration. Djarin still stunned from his fall, doesn't get up in time before the droid towers over him. It takes one of its legs and hammers it down on Djarin left thigh cuisse. The beskar armor holds, but the hit hurt him. The droid rears to bring both front legs down on Djarin. Grogu, steadfast in his use of the Force, continues to reach out. He yanks one of the leg bolts from the massive droid, which staggers the droid, preventing it from further harming Djarin. The bolt careens toward Grogu, and he catches it, allowing it to roll him over with its momentum. Djarin scrambles away as the droid attempts to regain its footing with a dysfunctional leg. Peli picks up Grogu. 

The droid attempts to follow Djarin, but the rancor jumps behind it, placing a claw over the head of the droid while it smashes the operational gun arm with its other. Peli returns Grogu to Din. The two stand in the street unworried as the rancor grabs the droid in its massive arms, squeezing it tight. “Do it,” Fett commands, and the rancor rips the droid in two in a grandiose fiery explosion raining pieces onto the onlookers. Fett turns the rancor and heads off to another part of the city. 

One Down, One to Go

The remaining shielded Scorpenek droid continues its barrage against the fighters, chipping away at the only wall standing between them and certain death. Each side keeps taking casualties. The droid readjusts and charges its attacks while the fighters brace for impact. Drash and Jo make it to the roof and take up sniper positions. “We make our stand,” the Weequay calls to the Freetown fighters. All the fighters raise themselves, so they’re all looking over the edge of the wall at once going on the offense. 

“Can you pick off some of the fighters?” Drash asks Jo. “I’m used to desert hunting. Can’t miss at this range,” Jo assures her. “I’ll distract the droid,” Drash takes aim with the cycler rifle and lets off a high-powered shot. Jo is a great markswoman and starts downing the Pykes in quick succession. The fighters below hold their own and continue their barrage. Drash takes another shot at the droid but gains its undivided attention as it adjusts its aim and shoots at their sniper position. Drash and Jo stand in unison, leaving cover to take another round of shots, just as…

The rancor smashes through a building right next to their hideout. Fett has come to the rescue in an unapologetic hail of destruction. The rancor roars and backhands the Scorpenek droid into a building across the street, collapsing a portion of the building on top of it. The Pykes retreat. The rancor slams the ground with its arms and leans in closer to the rubble, checking to see if the droid is still online. The streets are quiet, and even the fighters seem to believe the fight may be over. Fett waits, saddled on the rancor, holding its reigns, ready for anything.  

The rubble suddenly moves as the now unshielded Scorpenek droid blasts its way free, hitting the rancor in its shoulder in the process. The poor beast howls in pain but takes a swipe at it, downing the droid for a moment. The droid is quick to get back up, but the rancor grabs the droid's central stalk with both clawed hands and throws it against the building on the opposite side of the street. Staying just out of its firing range, stalking the droid, the rancor grabs the droid's turrets and pushes it back. The droid’s red photoreceptor reassesses and analyzes how it can fight the rancor. It takes two of its sharp front legs and hacks at the rancor’s abdomen in two slashing attacks, unsteadying the beast. 

The beast backs up just far enough so the droid is able to get a concession of shots squarely into its torso. Those shots rock the beast, and even the onlookers wonder if the fight has reached a tipping point. The Scorpenek droid rears back again with its front legs in the air readying another slashing attack. The rancor grabs both raised legs and flips the droid back into the crumbling building, breaking one of the droid's turret arms off. As the droid unsteadily recovers, it blasts the rancor point-blank in the face. The rancor uses the droid's own arm as a shield preventing the blast from connecting.

Grabbing the central stalk of the droid with its clawed right hand, the rancor presses its massive thumb claw through the droid's photoreceptor. It raises the droid further into the air, ripping one of its front legs off, and smashes the droid into the ground. The fighters cheer in unison as they see the rancor has the upper claw in this fight. The droid is still struggling as the rancor rips the other turret arm off and uses that same arm to spear it to the ground, finally putting a stop to the droid once and for all. 

Turning Tides

Djarin appears, running around the corner, blasting at the remaining Pykes, holding Grogu at his side, Peli not far behind, “Keep ‘em on their heels. They’re on the run,” he signals to the fighters who continue to celebrate with smiles all around. The fighters taking his advice disperse, chasing after the Pykes through the streets of Mos Espa. Drash and Jo taking shots from above, Fett at the far end of the street is still mounted on his rancor. Grogu stoically takes in the scene, secure in Djarin’s grasp. 

Peli lays down cover fire with her pit droids trailing behind her. A blast takes out a portion of a bench next to her, revealing the Twi’lek majordomo hiding. Peli sees him and points her blaster his way. “I am not a threat,” the Twi’lek declares, hands up. “Nice, head-tails. Come on. Get behind me, pretty face. Peli’s got you covered,” Peli being a team player, offers help. “Pleasure to make your acquaintance,” the ever polite majordomo says. “We don’t have time for that,” Peli is more concerned with surviving than introductions. 

The rancor grabs the remains of the Scorpenek droid and hurls it deeper into the city after the retreating Pykes. The droid collapses an arch over the street as it lands. Two Pykes decide to be brave and stand and fight. The rancor bellows at them and sweeps one into a nearby building. Fett blasts two more Pykes down before they’re able to get any shots in. More Pykes take cover nearby, but the rancor punches through one pillar one is using as cover and lifts the Pyke into view for a clean shot for Fett. Once Fett makes short work of the Pyke, the rancor tosses the body far behind them. The rancor gobbles up another Pyke. Classic.

“These Are My People”

Cad Bane hasn’t left Mos Espa. He stalks out into the main roadway from a side street. The rancor smashes another Pyke into the ground with its fist. Bane approaches the beast, and it charges Bane. Bane put his arm out, activating his flamethrower. The flames stop the rancor in its tracks, the heat too intense for it to push through. It bucks Fett from his perch, and Fett falls to street level. Bane uses the flamethrower again to dissuade the rancor from further advancing. The rancor is riled and keeps roaring its discontent as it leaves Fett and climbs over the surrounding buildings, getting distance between Bane and itself. 

Fett picks up his fallen E-33 carbine rifle from the sand and gets up, “Clear out and take your hoodlum gang with you,” Fett is giving Bane a chance to leave, professional courtesy. “I’ve known you a long time, Boba. One thing I can’t figure,” there is a long pause between the two, “What’s your angle?” “This is my city. These are my people. I will not abandon them,” Fett explains. “Like the Tuskens,” offers Bane. “Don’t toy with me. I’m not a little boy any longer, and you are an old man,” Fett references their history. “I’m still faster than you,” admonishes the old Duro. “That may be, but I have armor,” Fett acknowledges each of their own strengths. “Let’s find out,” Bane pushes his jacket back, revealing his holstered blaster. 

The Showdown

Boba Fett and Cad Bane square off. Quickdraw. Bane gets the first shot in, knocking Boba flat onto his back. Boba loses his grip on his E-33 carbine rifle, and it falls to the sand once again. “Now’s about the time you jet off to your bacta tank,” it seems Bane has been watching Fett for some time now. “This is my city!” enraged Fett unleashes his flamethrower toward Bane. Bane, agile for his age, rolls out of the way. Coming out of the roll, closing the distance, he takes another shot at Boba. Boba gets knocked onto his back again, his carbine rifle just out of his reach.

 “You gave it a shot. You tried to go straight. But you’ve got your father’s blood pumping through your veins,” Cad slowly walks toward Boba, “You’re a killer.” Cad kicks Boba hard in the chest and kicks his rifle away. “This isn’t the first time I beat you out on a job,” Bane stamps his foot down on Fett’s wrist. Hissing, he kneels over Boba and places his blaster against Boba’s side between the gaps in his beskar armor, “There’s no shame in it.” Cad takes his left hand and rips Boba’s helmet off so he can look him in the face; he stands again. “Consider this my final lesson. Look out for yourself. Anything else is weakness,” Cad points his LL-30 blaster at Boba’s head. Boba closes his eyes, appearing to accept defeat from his former mentor. 

As Cad pulls the trigger, Fett jerks to his right, so the shot ricochets off the upper left corner of his chest plate. He pulls his Tusken Gaderffii, or gaffi, stick from his back and knocks Cad’s blaster from his grasp in a sweeping motion with the pointed end of the stick, twirling around while getting to a knee. He takes the gaffi stick and bashes the curved part hard into Cad’s stomach. He then hooks Bane’s right leg, sweeping it out from under him, landing Bane flat on his back. Bane pulls his other blaster, but Fett knocks that one away. 

Boba Fett towers over his old mentor, Gaderffii stick in hand, a fierce look on his face. “I knew you were a killer,” Bane says as he again tries to gain the upper hand by using his flamethrower on Fett. Fett knocks Bane’s wrist away, avoiding the flames. Boba takes the gaffi stick in both hands and thrusts it straight down into Cad Bane’s chest. Cad grasps the stick instinctually, but Boba keeps applying pressure until Cad stops fighting. Bane goes limp, and Fett removes the gaffi stick from the old Duros’ chest. 

Cad Bane wasn’t wrong about Boba Fett. He was a killer. Boba’s face contorted in rage and anger, perhaps reflecting on his past and how far he’s come, angry that his harsh mentor brought his past into his new life. He walks away from Bane’s body, leaving him in the middle of the Mos Espa street. A small red light on Bane’s chest clicks on and off. Is Bane really dead? Will we see him again? He has a long history of getting away to survive to see another day.

Wrangling the Kaiju 

The Pykes are continuing to retreat with the fighters on their heels. The loud roars of the rancor echo through Mos Espa. “The rancor’s on the loose!” the Weequay notices the beast without its rider. The rancor starts teething on a speeder. The fighters start taking potshots at the rancor, trying to herd the beast, making him angry. He hurls the speeder in their direction, frustrated that the fighters don’t understand its need to explore. “You’re scaring it! Put your blasters down! Stop shooting!” Djarin waves the fighters off, understanding this only adds to the chaos. The rancor starts climbing one of the towers in Mos Espa, King Kong style; when it gets to the top, he starts tearing down the spire. 

Djarin, Grogu, Peli, the majordomo, and the fighters look on as they are helpless to the destruction. Djarin realizes he needs to do something. He hands Grogu over to Peli, “Keep him safe.” “Well, who’s going to keep me safe?” she wonders. Djarin takes Grogu’s favorite toy from his belt, the knob from the Razorcrest, which is the only surviving piece of his previous ship, “Here. Hang on to this,” Grogu looks up at him with those big adorable eyes, “It’s gonna be okay.” Djarin uses his jetpack to reach the wild rancor.

Djarin grabs the chain reins and swings himself around to mount the beast. The rancor is not having any of it. He grabs Djarin from his back and throws him down to a roof below, jumping onto that same roof and pummeling Djarin into the building below. The rancor grabs Djarin from the interior of the building and roars, lifting him high up in the air. The rancor knows this is not his imprinted human. Similar armor, different man. 

Grogu looks worried for Djarin’s safety. “Don’t worry, kid. Your old man’s crafty,” Peli assures him just as the rancor tries to bite off Djarins head. The beskar helmet stops the beast, but the rancor is determined and tries again. This time Djarin uses his flamethrower to burn the rancor’s mouth. The rancor brings Djarin close, squinting its eyes at him, and whips him down to street level. The Mandalorian goes limp on impact. 

Cutie and the Beast 

The rancor roars and spots Peli, Grogu, and the Twi’lek. It starts climbing down to street level after them, leaping to make its final descent. The three new targets hide behind minimal cover and get an up-close look at the howling rancor. Peli and the Twi’lek scream back. The rancor notices Djarin’s body lying in the street and starts plodding toward him. Peli notices Grogu is missing, “Where’d you go, kid?” 

Grogu waddles out into the street, placing himself between Djarin and the rancor. The cute little green kid faces off with the gigantic ugly monster. Djarin comes to consciousness and sees the contrasting standoff. He doesn’t overreact because he’s seen Grogu pull off miracles when facing off against large beasts in the past. 

Grogu remains calm as the rancor bellows at him again. He lifts his little green hand, and the rancor calms down, gradually falling asleep. Djarin looks on, letting his foundling handle the situation. Grogu walks up to the rancor and places his hand on the rancor’s upper lip, petting the docile monster. He sits right next to the rancor’s head and curls up to take a nap with his new gigantic friend. The Twi’lek helps Djarin get to his feet. “I’m guessing there’s not gonna be a barbecue,” Peli was hoping to get a taste of the exotic monster. 

A Job For A Master Assassin 

“The Syndicate forces have pulled back from Mos Espa and should be arriving here in Mos Eisley shortly so that we may disembark,” the Pyke Syndicate’s leader on Tatooine explains to his new allies. The heads of the three families, the Aqualish, the Klatoonians, and the Trandoshans joined by Mayor Mok Shiaz are all gathered in the Syndicate’s headquarters. 

“You can’t just cut and run. We lost soldiers too,” says the don of the Klatoonian family. “We had a deal,” Dokk Strassi, the Trandoshan, agrees. “Our deal was that Tatooine was going to be a hospitable place to do business,” The Pyke leader is quick to put them in their place. “It is,” offers Mok Shiaz. “Half of my men were either shot or eaten by a rancor. Is that what you call hospitable?” the Pyke angrily corrects. 

The muffled sound of blaster fire is heard outside. The conspirators look around worriedly. “Guards!” the Pyke calls. The Aquilish stands, pulling out their blaster, as they all hear a muffled sound take to the roof. Taking a hint from the Aqualish, they all draw their weapons. The Aqualish is the first to get sniped, the second is the Klatoonian, and third is the Trandoshan. The two remaining guards get taken out in quick succession. A line descends from the roof and hooks the Ithorian Mayor by the throat pulling him to the ceiling with feet kicking, and someone breaks Mok Shaiz's neck. 

The faint pitter-patter of running steps on the roof. The Pyke, now alone in his ‘safehold,’ starts randomly shooting into the ceiling. He sees a shadow run past one of the small windows and goes over to inspect it. The Pyke gets stabbed in the side from behind; the culprit is master assassin Fennec Shand. He sinks to the floor, and she is left holding her knife covered in blood. Pykes bleed green. She takes a quick look at her work and leaves the stronghold. 

“I Intend to Rule With Respect”

Mos Espa finally seems quiet. Fett and Fennec walk the streets as the citizens make repairs from the epic battle that raged through the streets not long before. A woman places a closed fist over her heart and bows to Fett as they pass. He returns the gesture. Two more make the same gesture in respect. Boba Fett, politically gracious, mirrors the bow. 

Turning to Fennec, “Why does it have to be the right arm?” He is feeling the effects of the battle and must still be sore. “You should take a nice long soak in the bacta tank,” she reminds him. “It’s being used,” Fett must be allowing the others to heal up before he takes care of his own wounds. “Why must everyone bow at me?” He wasn’t expecting this kind of reception and isn’t used to this kind of positive reaction from the general people. “It’s better than shooting,” Fennec is right about that. “Are those my only two choices?” Fett wonders if maybe there could be less of the two extremes. Fennec reminds him of his position, “When you run the town, it is.” 

Three younger teens run over to offer them some fruit. Fett, smiling, takes a Meiloorun, “Thank you.” Hera Syndulla from Star Wars Rebels is fond of this fruit. The teens runoff and he turns again to Fennec, “We are not suited for this.” “If not us, then who?” she is starting to come around to his original aspiration of taking care of the people. So far, they’ve done a pretty good job at standing their ground and ridding Tatooine of a horribly corrupt organization. Krrsantan and the Mods join them, Fett throwing Krrsantan the Meiloorun fruit. “So, the Wookiee gets a melon, and we don’t?” Skad jokingly says. “Krrsantan, you want to share?” banters Fennec. He roars at Skad. Nah, that’s his melon. 

As the camera pans to the blue Tatooine sky, Din Djarin and Grogu are off on another adventure in the N-1 starfighter. Peli Motto made a good call at modding out the astromech port for Grogu. The little guy is happily content in his bubble with his lever knob toy. He taps the knob on the domed viewport. “No,” Djarin says to him. Grogu keeps tapping. Din tells him no two more times. Grogu insistently keeps tapping. Finally, Din gives in, “All right. But this is the last time.” He pushes the button for the sublight thruster, which catapults them forward at a much higher speed. Grogu loves this new feature on the new ride. 

The end credit theme song has changed just slightly from what we’ve been used to hearing from the series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmD8V0twzsM 

Stick around for a mid-credit break. We discover precisely who is occupying Boba’s bacta tank: Marshall Cobb Vanth. He is alive and making a recovery under the care of the Modifier, the mod artist who helped Fennec Shand survive. I wonder what new upgrades he’ll awaken with?

Conclusion: 

What a grand finale! Boba Fett, with his iconic armor, is one of the most beloved characters of the franchise since the original trilogy. Expounding on his story felt long overdue with how much of a cult following the Fett name holds. I was happy to see the further evolution of his dynamic character brought to the fore so everyone could understand the complicated man behind the mask. The Book of Boba Fett did a phenomenal job telling the tale of a resurrected Boba Fett into a changed galaxy where he decided to undergo his very own transformation after having such a close call with death inside the sarlacc pit. 

Reevaluating his priorities, Fett chose to shoulder the mantle of responsibility of protecting Mos Espa, which was helpless against the encroaching spice trade of the Pyke Syndicate. Despite the odds being stacked against the new Daimyo, Fett chose diplomacy with the three crime families of Mos Espa for a truce and mustered a reliable motley crew he could count on for backup. He proved he has the grit to be a reliable leader for Mos Espa, choosing to stand and fight for his people, not leaving them vulnerable in their moment of need, which solidified the people’s respect. 

And the award for the best babysitter in the galaxy for multiple generations goes to… R2-D2. He has a long career of dutifully watching over others and taking the initiative to make sure his mission is completed properly. I was surprised that Luke Skywalker sent R2-D2 alone to return Grogu to Din Djarin. Grogu is presumably his old master’s child, so the independent send-off felt a bit cold even for a Jedi. Getting to see ‘baby Yoda’ in the cockpit of the same X-Wing that Grogu’s presumed father used to teach Luke a vital lesson was a great reminder of how much history this one X-Wing ties together in the Star Wars universe. Grogu’s return to Din confirms Ben Solo as Luke’s first student for his new academy. Originally this was established as canon in the graphic novel Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren. 

“I can’t believe it!” Yoda: “That is why you fail.” 

Cad Bane’s return to Boba’s story was symbolic of Boba’s past haunting him. Bane was quick to point out Fett’s history and remind him that not long ago, Fett was a notorious bounty hunter. This may pose a challenge to Fett in his endeavors to legitimize his claim to rulership. Boba has a lot of work to do in changing his reputation, but he needs to stay his course and not fall back on old habits. Cad had mentored Boba for a time during Fett’s youth, outlining the importance of building a near-perfect reputation in the craft of bounty hunting and being selective in which jobs were worth taking, ensuring compensation was for a premium price. Bane is cold and ruthless, caring only about himself and his credits. Boba has come to realize that there is strength in numbers, and with a loyal ‘tribe’ at your back, you are more likely to succeed in achieving grander plans.

Boba Fett and Din Djarin’s friendship continues to grow as they continue to face adversity together. After retrieving his armor, Boba agreed to help Din retrieve Grogu when the child was taken by Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian Season Two, and Din agreed to help Boba solidify his claim of Daimyo. Boba giving Din an opportunity to walk away when the situation seemed hopeless showed Boba to be understanding and yielding to the needs and wants of others. Din refused to leave Boba in his hour of need stating it was against the creed remaining steadfast in loyalty and solidarity. Even though Boba does not claim to be a Mandalorian following any of their creeds, he understands their ways and appreciates being able to rely on Din when the going gets tough. There is honor among those who bear the beskar armor. I hope to see the two of them continue to support each other in whatever new endeavors they set out to achieve as the larger galactic story continues to progress and evolve because they make an impressive lethal team. 

It intrigued me that the Pyke Syndicate chose to send two massive Scorpnek droids to thwart Fett and take over Mos Espa. The Separatists during the Clone Wars used droids as their main oppressive invading forces. Both Boba Fett and Din Djarin were orphaned in the Clone Wars, which was a turning point in both their lives leading them down a path of bounty hunting and mercenary work as they each took up the mantle wearing Mandalorian armor. The Pykes have shown themselves to be ruthless and cunning in their use of psychological warfare against Fett with their annihilation of the Tusken Tribe, leaving behind clues that the Nikto speed bike gang was the responsible party for the slaughter. Perhaps droids were used to invoke a deep fear from a lone orphan boy amidst battle? 

Boba Fett and Din Djarin were orphaned in the Clone Wars. 

The droid attack did eventually elicit a frozen hesitation from Din Djarin. Djarin has an ongoing dislike and distrust of droids because both of his parents were killed in a Separatist attack during the Clone Wars, and he was nearly gunned down as a boy. After his hasty reunion with Grogu, there is a moment where the Scorpnek droid almost pummels Djarin to death with its front claws. Stunned, beyond exhausted, and potentially paralyzed by childhood fears and trauma, he almost repeats his own history of dying in front of his own child, Grogu. Fortunately, Grogu is attuned to Din and was able to come to his rescue using the Force. 

Boba Fett, the beastmaster, made a theatrical debut in Mos Espa with his new pet rancor. I never knew I needed to see Fett riding a rancor, but now something in my life seems complete. Boba has had a fascination with ferocious, dangerous beasts since he was a boy watching the fights on Geonosis. Seeing him master the riding skill with his new pet while defending the city made the final battle all the more epic. The rancor keeper had stated that the bond between the rancor and its owner was a strong one. Fett was the first human the beast was imprinted with, so when Djarin attempted to wrangle the beast, things did not go well for him. 

Grogu calming the beast with the Force shows that the rancors are used to being handled by those who are Force-sensitive. Rancors are native to the planet Dathomir. The witches of Dathomir, also known as the Nightsisters, formed a symbiotic alliance with rancors to drive away colonizers from their planet. An exiled Jedi named Allya taught the women on Dathomir the ways of the Force. Grogu made a large unlikely friend by wielding the Force and calming the rampaging giant into taking a nap. 

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm, there was an episode written for the seventh season of The Clone Wars that was never produced because the show had been canceled. In the canceled episode, Cad Bane and Boba Fett would have had a wild west showdown which would have resulted in the explanation of how Boba received his unique dent on his helmet. Cad Bane also took a blast from Fett, which resulted in him obtaining a nice shiny plate on his head. The plate can be seen in the final shots of Bane laid out on the sand in The Book of Boba Fett. Even though the story never made it on screen as canon, the lore and the details are present, adding weight to the history. 

The scene from the never-produced episode of The Clone Wars seems mighty similar to the many showdowns we’ve seen in The Book of Boba Fett. 

Fennec Shand got to fully show off her skills as a master assassin. Single-handedly eliminating every one of the Daimyo’s foes in the Pyke Syndicate’s headquarters in rapid succession, she proved to be a very valuable ally. Fett’s instincts were right about her. Fennec is a wonderful compliment to Fett’s Gotra, and her expertise is invaluable to his new operation. 

I was very happy with how Boba Fett’s story unfolded within this series. His tale started as a slow burn in the Tatooine Dune Sea, which climaxed in an epic battle royale in the streets of Mos Espa. The fate of the planet rested on his shoulders, and he rose to the challenge to bring about change despite making powerful enemies. Putting his former way of life behind him, Fett is adapting and evolving with the changing galaxy and is solidifying bonds of loyalty and trust with those who cross his path and wish to join his new venture. The story rings true to the character I know in my heart as Boba Fett. I can’t wait to see how his next chapter unfolds.  

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! 

11 Films You Need To Watch After The Book of Boba Fett

Not sure what to fill your Star Wars streaming gap until the upcoming Obi-Wan series? Check out these Westerns and samurai films.

Star Wars creator George Lucas was inspired by the American Western and Japanese samurai cinema films he grew up with. At the core of those films is typically a solitary male hero who's an expert fighter with a past life that he is eager to put behind him, a willingness to help others in need, and no hesitation to make sure people get swift justice for their crimes. He lives by his weapon and a strong moral code.

Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni brought a more explicit version of this core character to Star Wars in the form of Star Wars: The Mandalorian. When Favreau got his friend and fellow filmmaking genius Robert Rodriguez to direct some Mandalorian episodes, the creators doubled down on their commitment to these genres. Now, Rodriguez carries that forward as the showrunner on Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett

If you're enjoying what they've brought to the Star Wars universe, check out these films. Fair warning, though, some of these are for mature audiences and not typical of what you'd see on Disney+.

Robert Rodriguez, Jon Favreau, and Dave Filoni have brought in some amazing directors, writers, crew, and cast to usher in this new era of Star Wars storytelling.

Stagecoach (1939) 

Where to find it: HBO Max

What to expect: When this film was released, filmmaker John Ford was already an established filmmaker who'd spent 30+ years building the landscape for the early 20th century Western. Stagecoach is an ensemble piece that includes legendary Western actor John Wayne. The motley group of strangers makes a multi-day journey in a stagecoach, a form of 19th-century public transportation consisting of a carriage pulled by a team of horses. If you can get past the comically stereotyped versions of women, Mexicans, and Native Americans in Stagecoach, you'll appreciate its adventure and humor. (Also recommended by my dad!)

Star Wars moments similar in this film: 

Some of the ensemble cast of Stagecoach (1939).

Seven Samurai (1956)

Where to find it: HBO Max

What to expect: Seven Samurai is one of the most revered projects by legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. This ensemble piece is set in 1586 during Japan's Sengoku period, a time that had similar chaos and conflict to the 19th century West in the U.S. The film is also my favorite acting performance from the incomparable Toshirō Mifune. You'll find that the Samurai films of the 1950s and 1960s reflected a lot of the same themes and storylines of classic American Westerns. It's even hard to say who influenced who between the two genres with similar themes and storylines reflected in both.

Star Wars moments similar in this film:

The hired samurai help the villagers prepare to defend themselves.

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Where to find it: for rent from Amazon Prime, or on Apple TV+

What to expect: John Sturges translated Seven Samurai into the classic American Western genre, and it's great to watch it side-by-side with Kurosawa's original. It featured an all-star cast with Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, and more. There was a remake of this film in 2016 that I admit I haven't seen, but I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on how it stacks up to the original.

Star Wars moments similar in this filmA blend of the things I listed in Seven Samurai with the Western settings and tropes you would see in films like Stagecoach or Shane (1953)

This classic trailer for the The Magnificent Seven (1960) features a cheesy-yet-catchy theme song.

Dollars Trilogy (1964-66)

Where to find it: for free (with ads) on Roku TV or for rent from Amazon Prime, or on Apple TV+

What to expect: Sergio Leone created iconic films that started a subgenre: the Spaghetti Western. These films shared settings and tropes with American Westerns, but they were created in Europe with a mostly European cast and crew. The Dollars Trilogy refers to three consecutive films with separate stories but one common theme: they star Clint Eastwood as a master gunman and antihero, a wanderer trying to earn some money while keeping to a moral code. The films are A Fist Full of Dollars (1964), For A Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966). Lee Van Cleef is a counterpoint to Eastwood in the second and third films, and Eli Wallach (also in The Magnificent Seven) rounded out the title trio in the third film. The success of these films in the U.S. resulted in a revival and evolution for the Western genre for American filmmakers.

Star Wars moments similar in these films:

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly also makes for great memes.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972)

Where to find it: HBO Max

What to expect: If you have followed many internet reviewers of The Mandalorian, you may have heard buzz about it being a modern take on a 28-volume Japanese manga from the 1970s, Lone Wolf and Cub, by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima. This film is the first of three adapted from the manga by director Kenji Misumi. Samurai cinema favorite Tomisaburo Wakayama plays a shogun's executioner, Itto, who is framed as a traitor during a political power play. After losing their household and livelihood, Itto and his son, Daigoro, become wanderers (ronin). In their travels, they get caught up in a series of adventures that involve helping others and fighting off bad guys.

Star Wars moments similar in this film:

Itto assembles a naginata out of parts of Daigoro's cart so he's ready to fight, even if disarmed.

The Train Robbers (1973)

Where to find it: for rent at Amazon Prime and other services

What to expect: Even as Leone changed the landscape for Westerns in the 1960s, director Burt Kennedy and actor John Wayne (then in his 60s) sustained Ford's American Western-style from the 1940s and 1950s. The Train Robbers features a group hired to recover stolen gold hidden in the wreckage of a missing train engine. Ann-Margaret co-stars with Wayne in a female role that ditches the heavy skirts and perfectly curled hair for dungarees and a cowboy hat. If you're watching this film for the first time, you'll definitely not want to miss Ricardo Montalban's lines right at the end! 

Star Wars moments similar in this film:

Mexico Trilogy (1993-2003)

Where to find it: The first film for rent on Amazon Prime; second and third films are on Netflix

What to expect: This three-film series follows a man known only as El Mariachi. The film El Mariachi (1993), famously made for only $7000, was the launch of Robert Rodriguez's career as a writer and director. This led to his meteoric rise and a higher-budget sequel two years later, Desperado, with Antonio Banderas as El Mariachi. Banderas reprised the role in 2003 to round out the trilogy in Once Upon a Time in Mexico. The storytelling styles and directing nuances in these films are part of Rodriguez' signature, and they've found their way into his work in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Throughout Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico, you'll probably also recognize a lot of other familiar faces.

Star Wars moments similar in these films:

For a profile of Robert Rodriguez as a director, check out this IMdB Director Supercut:

Also don't miss these other productions:

It's hard to narrow down a recommendation list like this, but you can help me extend this list in the comments! Let me know what other Westerns and samurai cinema films you'd recommend to fans of The Book of Boba Fett or The Mandalorian

Also, don't miss Candace Bissonette's series for more on Boba Fett:
Book of Boba Fett - Getting to Know the Man Behind the Mask

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