Welcome to my weekly review of The Book of Boba Fett, where I will be walking us though each episode and giving my thoughts on the show. My reviews will follow my usual format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole. Today, we’ll be looking at Chapter 6: “From the Desert Comes a Stranger”.
4 Pykes meet in the middle of the Tatooine desert next to some moisture vaporators with a camtono of credits and a chest. They are accosted by Cobb Vanth, who warns them that they have strayed onto the Mos Pelgo territories, of which he is the marshal. Vanth gives them a chance to leave, stating that they may have simply gotten lost, but warns them not to come back to Mos Pelgo territories. The Pykes attempt to attack Vanth, but he has the quicker draw and kills 3 before the final Pyke surrenders. Vanth informs the survivor that he is aware of the syndicate, and that any future Pykes who “get lost” running spice through Mos Pelgo again will be lost forever. He allows the survivor to return to the syndicate with the credit and his message, but keeps the chest. With the survivor gone, Vanth opens the chest to find it full of spice, which he empties out into the wind and sand.
Din Djarin arrives at a forested word and is guided into land by R2-D2. Din explains that he is looking for Skywalker as he wants to see Grogu. Artoo leads Din through a bamboo forest to a clearing where a number of ant droids are creating a stony building. Some of the droids use the materials theyare carrying to make a quick bench for Din to sit on, and Artoo powers down. Realising he has no choice, Din waits on the bench for someone to arrive.
“Hey. Droid. Hey. Don’t shut off. Wake up.”
Somewhere nearby, Luke Skywalker and Grogu are meditating, though Grogu’s concentration is broken by a frog. As they walk through the forest, Luke tells Grogu about Yoda, and after discussing Yoda’s way of speaking, he asks Grogu if anyone spoke like that back at Grogu’s home. After getting no answer, he asks Grogu if he remembers his home, to which Grogu also doesn’t reply. Luke offers to help him remember and laces his hand on Grogu’s head, which leads to Grogu having a flashback to the clones’ attack on the Jedi Temple. Luke warns Grogu that the galaxy can be a dangerous place and promises to teach Grogu to defend himself.
Din’s time alone is broken by the arrival of Ahsoka Tano,who says that she is an ol friend of the family and explains that Artoo led Din to her rather than Luke and Grogu. Mando queries about the building being built by the droids, and Ahsoka explains that this will one day be a great school and Grogu—who is doing fine—will be its first student. As they walk through the forest, Ahsoka reminds Din of the danger that could be caused y attachment, but notes that there is nowhere safer for Grogu than with Luke. The pair come to a gap in the forest, from where Din can see Grogu seated atop a hill with Luke. Din tells Ahsoka that the brough some armor for Grogu, which is the child’s right as a foundling. Ahsoka notes that Grogu may no longer be a foundling but now a padawan, however she offers to deliver the package on Din’s behalf, noting that Grogu misses Din, so his presence may make things harder. Din agrees to this and returns to his ship, leaving for Tatooine. Luke and Grogu watch as Din flies away in his fighter.
Grogu and Luke continue to train, and as Grogu trains against a remote, Luke is joined by Ahsoka, who notes Grogu’s improvements. After some discussion, Luke notes that Din had been there, and Ahsoka gives him the package from Din. Luke wonders if Grogu is committed to being a Jedi, to which Ahsoka tells him to trust his instincts before bidding him farewell.
Din arrives at Boba’s Palace as Fennec briefs the rest of their forces: Boba, Krrsantan, the mods and the Gamorreans. Shand compliments the surveillance work done by the mods and notes that with DIn and Krrsantan they should now have sufficient muscle to work as enforcers, though they still lack the numbers for an all-out war. Din notes that he may know where to find some reinforcements.
Din flies to Mos Pelgo, where he reunites with Cobb Vanth. Over a drink, Din explains that he wants Vanth and the people of Mos Pelgo (now called “Freetown” by its inhabitants) to come help as there is good money available for them and Din knows they are good fighters from their time together. Vanth and the Weequay barkeep tell Din that the people are not interested in fighting, but Din warns that though Mos Pelgo may be safe for now, they are still a part of the same planet and will eventually come under threat. Asking Vanth to help him as a favour, Din asks Vanth if he is still someone who won’t back down in the face of bullies. Din soon leaves to return to Boba.
Vanth tells the barkeep to assemble all the men and women of fighting age for a meeting in the town hall. However he quickly notices a lone figure approaching from the desert and, sensing trouble, has everyone get inside. As the figure, a blue Duros approaches, Vanth confronts him. The Duros, Cad Bane, has come as a representative from the Pykes and tells Vanth that whatever Fett is paying him, they will match. He tells Vanth that all they have to do is to stay put and stay out. Vanth tells Bane to tell the Pykes that this planet is closed for business, as it has seen enough violence, while Bane replies that Vanth should have never given up his armor. The two face each other, but Vanth’s deputy Scott—who has emerged from the bar during the confrontation—gets nervous and reaches for his blaster, prompting a shootout that sees Bane shoot Vanth and gun down Scott. As Vanth lies wounded on the ground, Bane says that Tatooine belongs to the Pyke Syndicate and that as long as the spice is running, everyone will be left alone. Bane walks into the wilderness while the townsfolk attend to Vanth.
“Tatooine belongs to the Syndicate.”
A pair of Pyke enforcers visit Sanctuary. Garsa send 2 Twi’lek servants over to offer to wash their helmets, the enforcers refuse and soon exit, though they leave behind a camtono containing a bomb, which soon explodes.
At Luke’s new Jedi Temple, Luke presents Din’s gift—beskar chainmail—to Grogu. Before letting him take it, Luke makes clear that Grogu has a choice to make. Luke brings out Yoda’s old lightsaber and offers it to Grogu as an alternative. He makes clear to Grogu that if he picks the armour, he must return to Din, as he is giving in to attachment. However if he chooses the lightsaber, Luke promises that he will be the first student in his academy and that he will train him to be a great Jedi, though it will take him many years to master the ways of the Force and he may never see Din again, as a short time for Grogu may be a lifetime for someone else. Luke asks Grogu which he chooses, and the child is forced to make a decision.
Wow! Just… wow! If last week was great, this episode was absolutely fantastic, and some of the best Star Wars I have seen in a long time! This was a wonderful episode that sent me though a range of emotions, sometimes 4 or 5 in the space of seconds. I laughed, I cried, I cheered and felt nervous all at the same time!
Let me start with my one negative, and that is that after last week’s episode of The Book of Boba Fett didn’t even feature the titular character, he appeared in just 1 scene this week with a grand total of zero lines! However I will admit that this wasn’t as bad as last week, as the Mos Pelgo storyline is part of this preparation for war. But unless Grogu is going to come flying in to fight for Boba Fett next week, there was no need for any of the Jedi training storyline and we have now wasted one and a half episodes on a story that does not feel like it has any place in the story of Boba Fett, time that could have been spent getting deeper into our main characters and building up the approaching conflict.
“We need foot soldiers”
“I might be able to help with that.”
Beyond that, though, this was truly amazing! It did not feel like any of the characters were forced into the show, while every returning character generated reactions from me. Luke looked a hundred times better than in The Mandalorian and as such I never found myself thrown out of his scenes with Grogu or Ahsoka, which allowed me to feel the effects of the wonderful dialogue, such as Ahsoka’s comments about Anakin and Luke’s adoption and adaptation of lines that Yoda used while training him. Cobb’s return felt perfect, and with the introduction of his deputy, it showed quickly that the town of Mos Pelgo is doing well, while it makes sense for Vanth to get involved when the Pykes start causing trouble as they are not really any better than the ones who took over Mos Pelgo after the fall of the Empire before he became marshal. And finally we reach Cad freaking Bane! With the subtitle “From the Desert Comes a Stranger”, I simply assumed that this was referring to Cobb coming to Boba’s aid, but the moment I saw that jacket and wide-brimmed hat approaching Mos Pelgo, I am not ashamed to admit that I squealed in delight, before realising mid-squeal how the episode was setting up a Western-style face-off between him and Cobb and immediately fearing what would befall the most handsome lawman on all Tatooine. I’ve always loved the idea of Bane joining live-action, but just had a little worry ver how well the character model could be adapted. Well those worries are immediately gone after seeing this—now we need to find a way to get Shriv into a live-action show… Rangers of the New Republic, anyone? Bane looked absolutely fantastic and so so threatening, while the continuation of having Corey Burton do his voice just made things even better. Thankfully, it looks like Bane went easy(ish) on Cobb and took the brunt of his lethality out on poor Deputy Scott, whose introduction cleverly showed the growth of the town while giving us an authority figure who could be killed off to prove Bane’s threat while keeping Cobb Vanth safe.
“Haven’t seen you since you gave up your armor. How have you been?”
Of course, it’s not an episode of The Book of Boba Fett without a flashback, and while this was just a short one, boy did it have an impact! Yes we may have seen Order 66 in a number of stories since Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, but to see it in live action again really hits differently, and though we don’t clearly see any recognisable characters (other than knowing we are watching the 501ˢᵗ ) or seeing how Grogu escaped the purge, it’s still a great reminder of the horrors that the poor kid went through before Din found him.
It's only just 9am and #TheBookOfBobaFett has already sent me on a rollercoaster of emotions. Bravo Dave Filoni and everyone involved!—
Tim Etheridge (@PStetheridge) February 02, 2022
And so with just 1 episode left, what have we got in store? Well I think that it could in part depend on whether this series is one and done, or just the first of multiple series. If one and done, expect to see Vanth joining the fight, maybe with some of the townsfolk who feel compelled to act after Bane’s unprompted attack. However if there are multiple series, I could now see them held back until next season, as this maybe becomes a fight for the whole of Tatooine rather than just Mos Espa, which is what it is generally made out to be at the moment. We seem destined for a showdown between Bane and Boba, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see someone of note (my money is on Drash or a couple of the mods) being killed by Bane to remind everyone how dangerous he is before his inevitable defeat. All in all this is going to be a long wait!
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- Just notice how much better this episode felt having the shocks or Luke, Grogu, Ahsoka, Cobb and Bane all appear without having been spoiled by the press following leaks ahead of time
- Having Cobb beat the Pykes on the quick draw at the start of the episode helps set Bane up as a threat with him beating both Cobb and the deputy on the draw later in the episode
- I can’t put into words just how incredible this week’s score was, bringing in so many familiar themes from the series and movies alike
- Luke’s technique for walking with Grogu (using the force to carry him forward a couple of metres every few steps) is just the cutest thing ever!
- Now that we have established in canon that Luke and Ahsoka know each other, and with the knowledge that Rex fought in the Battle of Endor, I so desperately want a story in some medium that sees these 3 characters sharing stories. Imagine Luke being able to hear the stories of his father and Ben Kenobi’s exploits during the Clone Wars, and the happiness it would likely give Ahsoka to hear that Anakin came back to the light at the end…
Moments in Canon
- Cad Bane and Boba Fett have a history. Both Band and Jango Fett were among the best bounty hunters of their time. Unfinished episodes of The Clone Wars, which were never completed following its original cancellation, would have seen Boba (then a teenager) and Bane teaming up for a time, but eventually ending with them facing off in a duel and shooting each other, which led to the famous dent in Boba’s helmet. With the cancellation of the series leaving these episodes unfinished, the canonicity of this story is questionable, but other stories have generally considered the events of the unfinished episodes canon unless contradicted elsewhere, while Bane’s appearance in The Bad Batch with a metal panel on his head adds credence to this event having still happened
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you….