The Book of Boba Fett comes to an action-packed season one conclusion with a battle royale on the streets of Mos Espa. The series can best be described as The Mandalorian 2.5. The first four episodes sluggishly recapped Boba Fett’s (Temuera Morrison) escape from the Sarlacc pit, training by Tusken Raiders, and eventual rescue of the bounty hunter Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). His goal of becoming the “Daimyo” of Tatooine then took second fiddle to Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) aka The Mandalorian’s storyline. This switching of focus resulted in pure ecstasy and exhilaration for legions of Star Wars fans.
Chapter Five, Return of the Mandalorian, started a mind-blowing, three-episode arc that brought back the best characters in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian, still wielding the Darksaber, is banished by the Armorer (Emily Swallow) for removing his helmet. But she melts down his Beskar spear to make chain mail armor as a gift for Grogu, who has earned it as a Mandalorian foundling. Mando goes to Tatooine and purchases a supercharged Naboo starfighter from Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris). He gets a visit from Fennec Shand who informs him of Boba Fett’s upcoming war with the Pike Syndicate. He’ll help them fight the spice runners, but has one more thing to do.
Chapter Six, From the Desert Comes a Stranger, may arguably be the best single hour of Star Wars greatness. On Tatooine, Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) kills Pike spice traffickers as they try to move the drug through Mos Pelgo, which the citizens have renamed Free Town. Meanwhile, Mando flies to an unnamed forest planet to check on Grogu. He’s greeted by R2D2 and, drum roll please, Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). She warns Mando that his attachment to Grogu will only make the child’s padawan training harder. Mando sadly leaves as an incredibly realistic Luke Skywalker (a de-aged Mark Hamill) teaches Grogu about the Force.
Luke Gives Grogu a Stark Choice
These astonishing scenes hearken back to Luke’s training from Master Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. But Luke senses that Grogu has not committed to the path of a Jedi. Back on Tatooine, the Pikes bring a deadly new player to the game. The infamous blue-skinned and red-eyed gunslinger, Cad Bane (Corey Burton), shoots Cobb Vanth and kills his foolish deputy. Bane warns Free Town that the same will happen to anyone who challenges the Pikes or fights for Boba Fett. The Pikes also bomb Garsa’s (Jennifer Beals) Sanctuary to complete their message. At the newly found Jedi academy, Luke gives Grogu a stark choice. Take Mando’s armor and return to him as a foundling. Or choose Yoda’s lightsaber and begin his Jedi training in earnest.
The season one finale, In the Name of Honor, has Boba Fett, Fennec, and Mando leading their vastly outnumbered gang against the Pike Syndicate. The Mos Espa crime families that had sworn to stay on the sidelines betray their pact with Boba. Fennec leaves to target the Pike leadership in Mos Eisley. Boba and Mando cut through waves off Pikes, but they’re unrelenting in their attacks. The Free Town fighters arrive as badly needed reinforcements. But the Pikes unleash their most lethal weapons.
Scorpenek Annihilator Droids pummel Boba’s army in Mos Espa. Energy shields deflect any bombardment as their powerful cannons decimate. Boba and Mando lure the droids away from their remaining forces. Boba flies off and asks Mando to hold the line until he returns. Mando is stunned when Peli Motto shows up with Grogu. The child, now wearing the Beskar armor, was flown back to Tatooine by Artoo in Luke’s X-wing.
How The Season Ends
Grogu uses his powers to help disable a droid. Then in a thrilling return, Boba rides his pet rancor into the fray. The beast rips apart the remaining droids. It almost kills Mando, but Grogu again springs into action and uses the Force to pacify it. Boba Fett has a climactic duel with Cad Bane. The assassin is faster on the draw, but Boba stabs him in the chest with his Tusken spear. Meanwhile, at the Pikes’ Mos Eisley headquarters, Fennec kills their leadership and the heads of Mos Espa’s crime families. The season ends with Fennec and Boba walking the Mos Espa streets as respected rulers; while Mando and Grogu race to the stars in their Naboo fighter.
There’s been a lot of discussions about how The Book of Boba Fett ignored its title character. Showrunners Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni clearly stated before the premiere that the show was a continuing storyline in a shared universe. The Book of Boba Fett played out very much like The Clone Wars. The episodes were chapters in an overall arc. The series set in this timeline, including the upcoming Ahsoka, are all part of the same narrative. Boba Fett is an important character, but obviously not the primary protagonist. Mando and Grogu are clearly the leads. I have no doubts that everything is building to Grogu eventually wielding the Darksaber. The child is exactly like Paz Vizsla, a Jedi, and a Mandalorian.
Lucasfilm has taken special effects to stupefyingly awesome new heights. Luke Skywalker looked flawless. He seamlessly interacted with Grogu, another puppet and digitally enhanced character. Their scenes together delivered what fandom truly expected for the Star Wars sequels. No one can say that they watched The Book of Boba Fett and felt disappointed. Beloved characters were presented in an authentic way. The season can be criticized as “fan service”, but I’ll take that level of dedication any day. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have rescued Star Wars from the banal vision of Kathleen Kennedy. I am chomping at the bit for Obi-Wan Kenobi in May.