The Book of Boba Fett – Episode 6: From The Desert Comes A Stranger Review

By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

This review contains spoilers.

So, I’m going to start this review with a quick rant. There were some Tweets last week by those who continue to bash this show, that last week’s episode was the best so far only because it wasn’t The Book of Boba Fett. That this episode was put in last minute because “the showrunners knew it was crap”. I loathe the Star Wars community at times, and it pains me to say this, as an active and involved member of said community. The series has the word Book in the tile and just like books, sometimes a chapter can feature different characters that take us away from the main story or characters. So, for me, the title and premise work, and it works well!

Anyway, on to the episode review and break-down!

We find ourselves on Tatooine, amid a small group of Pykes making a spice drop-off. Just as with Ashoka and just as with Din last week, our ‘returning hero’ makes an immediate entrance… ladies and gentlemen, Cobb Vanth!

Timothy Olyphant oozes class and there is a calm rage that he channels so well in Western-type roles. You do NOT want to mess with Cobb Vanth! The fact that we have Cobb kicking off the episode tells me that he, as expected and as I hoped, would also be looking to team up with our other heroes, come the finale!

Cobb Vanth isn’t the only returning face this week! Din makes good on his word about going to see Grogu, and as he lands, he is greeted by R2-D2! Din follows R2 to an open field where a bunch of spider droids are constructing a dwelling for Luke’s academy. R2 powers down and the droids construct a bench for Din, I guess we will be waiting!

Out on a hill, we are reunited with Grogu who is meditating with Luke, but he soon gets distracted when a frog appears. In a twist on the usual lifting rocks training, Luke uses his powers to lift all the frogs out of the nearby pond – much to Grogu’s enjoyment! Seeing that little guy have a huge smile on his face just warms my heart!

Walking through the forest, Luke uses the force so that Grogu can make big leaps rather than having to rely on his tiny little baby steps – so cute. While talking about Yoda, Luke uses the force to try and encourage Grogu to remember his past. We have a flashback to three Jedi fending off a squad of Clone Troopers. Just thinking of Grogu going through the horror of Order 66 brought a tear to my eye. Maybe it’s because his big round head and huge eyes remind me of my eldest dog? I don’t know. Either way, this scene really hit me in the feels and the score was used perfectly.

Remember how I mentioned Ashoka earlier? Well, now it is her turn to make an appearance. Din awakens to find Ashoka smiling and watching over him. We learn that R2 didn’t bring Din to see Grogu, but in fact, he brought him to see Ashoka. She explains that if Grogu sees him, it will make things much worse for him, as he misses Din greatly. Ashoka convinces Din to pass on his gift rather than seeing Grogu face to face. I mean, I get it. Jedis and attachments don’t go hand in hand. So, half of me wants this, so that Grogu can complete his training. The other part of me wants them reunited. Din leaves and Luke and Grogu continue their training – which includes a great tribute to The Empire Strikes Back, incorporates classic John Williams Star Wars themes as well as a great Anakin reference between Ashoka and Luke. This entire Jedi training sequence was excellent, and it was the purest form of Star Wars you could expect to see on the small screen!

Back on Tatooine, Din arrives at the palace to make good on his word. Fennec is giving a briefing, that not only updates her colleagues but also us the audience, as to the current state of play with the Pykes. She mentions that while they have experienced enforcers, they lack the numbers to fight an all-out war. Din has a plan, and that plan is Cobb Vanth! Mando pays Cobb a visit and while not committing outright, he will hold a town meeting to see if any assistance can be offered… that meeting would be delayed however, as ‘from the desert comes a stranger’ and even at a distance, there was no mistaking that silhouette… we were about to see Cad Bane in live-action! This was torture for me, as I was both incredibly excited to see Bane yet terrified for Cobb’s safety at the same time! Bane, working for the Pykes, warns Vanth to stay out of the upcoming war. In a tense three-way stand-off with Vanth, Bane and the deputy, Bane draws hitting Vanth once and the deputy multiple times. While the deputy is most certainly dead, there is still hope for Vanth. Hey, if Fennec can take a blast direct to the stomach, then Vanth can survive this… hopefully. The lack of dramatic music and emphasis on his body means that more than likely he is going to be ok. The entire scene was so tense and incredible, and I want live-action Star Wars to have both Vanth and Bane in it, so hopefully, that will be the case!

To see out the episode, the Pykes bomb the Sanctuary, possibly killing Garsa Fwip and others, and Luke offers Grogu a choice, the Beskar chainmail gift from Mando or Master Yoda’s lightsaber. It is time for him to choose the way of the Jedi or a life with the Mandalorian. I thought at the end of Season 2 of The Mandalorian that they would be separated for good and that Grogu would feature occasionally, but after seeing this here, I think Grogu is going to be a big part of The Mandalorian Season 3 and the pair will be reunited in the finale of The Book of Boba Fett. That’s my hunch anyway.

Wow. What a jam-packed episode! There was so much to take in and I think with an episode like this, of course, Dave Filoni gets involved with the writing! I genuinely loved this episode, as it was just one massive mix of Star Wars from all over the galaxy! Again, I think the haters are going to make the lame jokes about the lack of Boba here, but I do not care when the show is this enjoyable and I refer you back to my opening statement. This is a book and books have different focuses at times. Deal with it! As for Cad Bane? He looked great! A little paler in some shots, but still just as menacing! I thought the effects on Luke with Hamill’s voice were less jarring too. I didn’t think it was bad the first time, but I think they did a good job hiding the dialogue in the edit and it works well.

Next week is the finale and I just don’t want this series to end because I ruddy love Star Wars!

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