The Book of Boba Fett: The Return of the Mandalorian (Episode 5) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
Just as The Book of Boba Fett finally builds momentum to a meaningful, climactic war between Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and the Pykes, it decides to turn into The Mandalorian for a pointless filler episode that completely takes the spotlight off the titular bounty hunter.
If there’s anything The Book of Boba Fett didn’t need, it’s more time away from Boba Fett’s story and “Return of the Mandalorian” simply feels like an advertisement/invasion of another show. It’s no surprise that Din Djarin/the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) is showing up here or that Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) approaches him to assist in their war efforts, but it’s ridiculous that the Mandalorian consumes the entire episode. Sure, he’s a popular, modern Star Wars character, but his invasion in Boba Fett’s story is completely unnecessary and kind of disrespectful.
The Book of Boba Fett is meant to be Boba Fett’s grand return and this series has already kept him out of the spotlight enough with some forced nostalgia and cyberpunk youths, but now letting the franchise’s shiny new bounty hunter get a whole episode dedicated to him just feels a little wrong. Given how this episode honestly does more for the upcoming third season of The Mandalorian than it does for The Book of Boba Fett, it’s essentially a premiere episode for The Mandalorian and that’s kind of disappointing for anyone who simply wants to see more of Boba Fett. It’s also kind of a bummer that this episode concludes on a heavily underwhelming note of Fennec Shand simply pulling a Nick Fury in askingtThe Mandalorian to join their ranks.
It’s incredibly frustrating how this series struggles to effectively build its story, but there’s at least some interesting story material for Star Wars fans. Like I said, for better or worse, this is essentially the season three premiere of The Mandalorian so some questions about the Din Djarin’s future after parting ways with Grogu are answered. After acquiring the Darksaber from Moff Gideon, the Mandalorian is still performing bounty contracts and reunites with the Armorer (Emily Swallow) and Paz Vizsla (voiced by Jon Favreau) – the last surviving members of their tribe.
With this reunion comes some possible story direction as the Armorer talks more about the Darksaber and how it requires a worthy wielder to be effectively used, which is showcased in how surprisingly heavy it becomes, and for its wielder to rule Mandalore. While the Mandalorian defeats Vizsla in a pretty solid duel, he’s reminded that he’s broken the tribe’s code for removing his helmet and now looks to be redeemed. So, it seems like the Mandalorian will be seeking redemption in his next adventure as he tries to possibly head back to the destroyed mines of Mandalore, but he might not be going alone.
Before heading to Mandalore, the Mandalorian gets his ship back and his final conversation with Fennec Shand teases the possible return of Grogu. It’s great that he now has his ship back and avoids a run-in with the law. Not to mention, the return of Amy Sedaris’ Peli Motto and her droids adds some good comedic flair to the episode, but this idea of Grogu coming back creates a bit of a worry with what to expect going forward. With the Mandalorian saying that he needs to get a “little friend” back before helping Boba Fett, does that mean we’re going to have another Mandalorian driven episode or that this “war” might not even happen in this season? Since there’s only a few episodes left, it’s tough to imagine what’s ahead now and that isn’t exactly a bode of confidence.
The latest episode of The Book of Boba Fett might as well be the season three premiere of The Mandalorian with it being solely focused on the titular bounty hunter and while it charts an interesting path forward for that character, it unfortunately breaks the momentum of Boba Fett’s story and creates a murky future for the series going forward.