This review contains spoilers.
After last week’s epic ending, that teased the hiring of Din Djarin, I was eager to see how they would follow this up, so let’s get straight into the breakdown!
We start with the silhouette of Boba inside a food processing plant, oh, wait, that isn’t Boba… *The Mandalorian whistle plays* OH MY GOD ITS DIN DJARIN!!!! Just like with the Ashoka reveal, we are kicking off an episode of Star Wars TV by getting straight into the thick of things! The Mandalorian is here for a bounty and he isn’t leaving without his man – and this time he has the Darksaber! I loved reusing that classic first episode line of “I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold”. Mando also appears to be on a planet resembling a Halo Array, the ringed worlds from the Halo series. This was such a hyped opening sequence, and it sets the tone and standard for the rest of the episode.
Injured by the Darksaber, Mando makes his way to the lower levels of the city where he is on the hunt for something or someone… After a quick scan of the wall, The Mythosaur symbol is revealed, he must be going in the right direction then? Mando is reunited with the Armorer and Paz Vizsla, who helps tend to his wound. We learn that there are only three remaining Mandalorians of the Children of the Watch. After the Armorer is presented with the Darksaber, she gives a nice, concise history of the blade and its purpose. So, if you hadn’t watched Star Wars Rebels or Star Wars: The Clone Wars, you should now be all caught up! We also learn that Moff Gideon has been sent to the New Republic for trial, but the Armorer is unconvinced justice will be served – could this imply that Gideon still has a part to play in The Mandalorian?
One thing that won’t be back is the Beskar spear! Mando offers it up, as the Armorer makes it clear that the weapon is a danger to all Mandalorians, and that he’s got the Darksaber now anyway, so why be greedy, right? Plus, the spear will be turned into a gift for Grogu! I really enjoyed their conversation here and all their scenes in The Mandalorian Season One were just as great – Emily Swallow has such a great voice and has such fantastic line delivery. There was also a nice Bo-Katan reference, and I like the idea that she is used as a ‘cautionary tale’. We also get to witness ‘the Great Purge’ with some truly stunning visuals and the music here just made this entire sequence ten times more emotional and impactful. Mando also begins his Darksaber training, which soon turns into a real fight, as Paz Vizsla challenges Din for the Darksaber. This was a fight of brute force rather than finesse. Although Din comes out on top, the fact that he has removed his helmet sees him banished from the clan. I think this was needed, Din has gone beyond the dogma of Children of the Watch, it’s time to forge his own path! This whole sequence felt like a huge setup for The Mandalorian Season 3 and beyond, and I think ‘backdooring’ it into The Book of Boba Fett is a smart move!
With the Razor Crest gone, Din is forced to give up his weapons so that he can board a commercial flight to Tatooine. Upon arrival, we see a BD Droid – this gave me major Jedi Fallen Order vibes, taken by a Womp Rat and Peli Motto on the hunt! Din is here to pick up his replacement for the Razor Crest… a N1 Starfighter! While Din isn’t convinced, Peli mentions a lot of benefits! The re-building of the Naboo Starfighter was one for the Star Wars vehicle geeks, with a lot of deep cuts and technical jargon! I’ve got to admit, the completed ship looked great! It even mirrored Din’s armour in some ways. I do have a huge soft spot for the Razor Crest model, and as a ‘living house’ I think it is perfect for a Bounty Hunter, but I think swapping to an N1 suggests that the future of Din Djarin is not collecting bounties, but that he has destined for more. So, when you couple a new ship with his expulsion from The Children of the Watch, it makes a lot of sense that we are heading in this direction. As for the test flight? I never thought I’d see a Mandalorian flying a Naboo Starfighter down Beggar’s Canyon – this sentence alone is just crazy when you think about it!
After a successful test flight, which sees a return of a familiar X-Wing pilot, Din returns to the hanger after a “wizard” time – I can’t believe they went there with that one – Fennec arrives offering Din work. Din refuses the credits, telling her that this job is on the house, however first he needs to go visit a ‘little friend’. So, he’s off to see Grogu to give him the Beskar gift he acquired earlier. I think this is a key indicator that we won’t see Din again until the season finale!
So, an entire episode with less than a minute of reference to the actual show, The Book of Boba Fett – I can now see why this season has seven episodes, as this allows the core show to get at least six focused episodes. I’ll be honest, I don’t mind when shows do this. I think this bodes well for The Mandalorian Season 3 as they have sorted a lot of the ‘admin’ type issues in this episode which will allow them to focus on more story-centric elements throughout the upcoming season. Should that have been done at the expense of taking focus away from The Book of Boba Fett? Given how good this show has been I don’t think it is an issue. Had the series been bad, some would look at this as a way of trying to bump up the figures or overall appeal or fan reception of the show. But I think it does have a place within the show and as this was an additional episode, I don’t see the problem.
So, next week we have the penultimate episode before crash landing into the finale the week after. I expect a lot of story progression next week with a killer of a cliffhanger! – This is the way!