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The Book of Boba Fett episode 6 recap: Mando diversion brings a scary stranger to town

The penultimate episode of the Disney Plus Star Wars show is absolutely stuffed with cameos, including one that'll delight fans of The Clone Wars.

Garsa Fwip
Garsa Fwip is pretty concerned about the Pykes.
Lucasfilm

Episode 6 of The Book of Boba Fett hit Disney Plus last Wednesday, kinda sorta bringing us back to the former bounty hunter's quest to seize power over Tatooine's criminal underworld after last week's incredible Mandalorian adventure. We're also up to the penultimate episode of this live-action Star Wars show. 

Mando agreed to join Boba's gang as they take on the dangerous Pyke Syndicate, a rival criminal group that wants to use Tatooine in its spice-running operations. However, he decided to go and visit little Grogu (aka Baba Yoda), whom we last saw being sent off with Luke Skywalker for Jedi training. This show is set around five years after Return of the Jedi and shortly after The Mandalorian season 2.

A criminal empire's worth of SPOILERS lies below, as we take a closer look at Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger.

spoilers-starwars

You old Cad

On Tatooine, we reunite with our old pal Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) – the marshal of Mos Pelgo (aka Freetown), former wearer of Boba's armor and perpetual owner of excellent Hollywood hair – who helped Mando kill a Krayt dragon. Cobb happens upon some Pykes conducting a spice deal, killing most of them and warning the survivor to stop conducting Syndicate business in Freetown territory.

Mando tries to persuade Cobb to join Boba's fight against the Pykes, but the lawman is uncertain. Later, the titular stranger strolls from the desert into Freetown – the utterly ruthless Duros bounty hunter Cad Bane (voiced by Corey Burton), a character extremely familiar to Clone Wars fans.

Cad Bane in The Book of Boba Fett

Turns out live-action Cad Bane is utterly terrifying.

Lucasfilm

Now employed by the Pykes, Bane offers to pay Cobb to allow the Syndicate to transport the spice through Freetown territory and reminds him that Boba is a "cold-blooded killer who worked with the Empire."

After a tense showdown straight out of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Bane blasts Cobb and his idiot deputy, seemingly wounding the former and clearly killing the latter. His hat is also pretty similar to the one worn by Lee Van Cleef in the 1966 movie –  Van Cleef's performance served as inspiration when Bane was being developed for The Clone Wars.

"Tatooine belongs to the syndicate," he says as Cobb lies in the sand. "As long as the spice keeps flowing, everyone will be left alone."

This guy was a regular antagonist during the CGI animated series, which is set decades before The Book of Boba Fett, and fought pretty much everyone in that show. He also worked with a young Boba, who was bitter after his father Jango was slain by Jedi Mace Windu. An unaired Clone Wars arc also would have seen Bane training Boba as his bounty hunting apprentice.

Our most recent encounter with him was during last year's The Bad Batch, in which he battled a younger Fennec Shand. So they got beef as well.

cadbane11.jpg

Bane has been bounty hunting for decades.

Lucasfilm

This is our first time seeing Bane in live action; his red eyes, sharp teeth and pale blue skin look absolutely terrifying under the harsh Tatooine sun. It's also just wonderful that this show now has a definite, scary villain beyond the vague threat of the Pykes. Not everyone was entirely satisfied with his look though -- fans have already tweaked the show's CGI to bring Bane closer to his Clone Wars counterpart.

The Pykes also blow up Garsa Fwip's lovely Mos Espa cantina, because they are jerks who can't appreciate excellent music or hospitality. It's likely that this and the attack on Freetown's lawmen will push people to join Boba's fight against the Syndicate.

Ahsoka Tano and Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett

Aaaaah, it's Ahsoka Tano and Luke Skywalker!

Lucasfilm

Return to the Jedi

The Book of Boba who? A chunk of this episode is spent with Grogu and Luke Skywalker (who's once again CGI de-aged to look like 1983 Mark Hamill), as Mando tries to reunite with the little guy on the unnamed planet where Luke is setting up his training temple.

Ahsoka Tano and Mando in The Book of Boba Fett

Ahsoka Tano takes Mando's gift for Grogu.

Lucasfilm

He's ultimately dissuaded from reuniting with Grogu by a returning Ahsoka Tano, the one-time Padawan of Luke's ill-fated father, Anakin, star of The Clone Wars and revealer of Grogu's name. She's also the future star of her own live-action Disney Plus show.

Noting how much Grogu misses Mando, Ahsoka says seeing his armored dad will toy with the green dude's emotions further and make his training more difficult. Mando quietly agrees, and returns to Tatooine without seeing Grogu. 

Grogu remembers

Luke tells Grogu about his late master Yoda, who was of the same unnamed species, in an attempt to inspire and jog the memories of his wee apprentice. It seems like Grogu intentionally forgot chunks of his past and training at the old Jedi Temple on Coruscant as he hid his powers to stay off the Empire's radar over the years, but Luke unlocks his memories with the Force.

Grogu remembers Order 66 in The Book of Boba Fett

Grogu's memories of Order 66 are revealed.

Lucasfilm

A flashback reveals Grogu's perspective of Order 66, in which the Galactic Republic's clone troopers turned on their Jedi allies as part of Emperor Palpatine's plan to seize power. A trio of Jedi try to protect him, but are gunned down by clones.

These clones have blue detailing on their armor, meaning they're part of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader's elite 501st unit. The Sith Lord led this squad in his attack on the Jedi Temple in Revenge of the Sith, so it's possible Vader was off killing younglings at the time of this flashback.

A heartwrenching choice

Luke is struggling with the fact that Grogu is caught between his attachment to Mando and learning to become a Jedi.

"So much like your father," Ahsoka says when Luke wonders aloud if Grogu's heart is in his training.

The episode ends with Luke presenting Grogu with a choice – he can take the beskar chainmail Mando had forged from his staff and return to his armored buddy or take a lightsaber once used by Yoda and continue his training.

Grogu and Yoda's lightsaber in The Book of Boba Fett

Take the lightsaber Grogu.

Lucasfilm

Ugh, I don't envy Grogu this decision (though I'd 100% take the lightsaber). Social media is gonna have plenty of opinions until we find out in next week's season finale or in The Mandalorian season 3. 

He's unlikely to remain with Luke though, since there's no evidence of him at the temple when Ben Solo turns to the dark side in Marvel Comics' Rise of Kylo Ren series (which takes place around 19 years after the events of this show) and it seems more financially lucrative for Disney if he goes on more adventures with Mando. 

As delightful as it is spending all this time with Ahsoka, Grogu and Luke, it feels a little odd to put all this in The Book of Boba Fett. The early episodes were slow to develop Boba's character, motivations and conflict, and we're facing into the finale with little momentum in those areas. It's cool that he's mysterious, but it's hard to care about his plotline right now.

Basically, Boba had better hop on that rancor and be mind-blowingly awesome next week.

Observations and Easter eggs

  • This episode was directed by Dave Filoni, the man behind CGI animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels (he also played a New Republic X-Wing pilot in The Mandalorian and directed three episodes of that show).
  • If you haven't watched The Clone Wars, you should. Despite a slow first season and meh movie, it develops into some of best Star Wars ever made, and the live-action shows are continuing plot threads it started. 
  • This is the first time we've seen Ahsoka and Luke interacting, and it's excellent. I'd love to see their first encounter and hear them talk more about Anakin.
  • "I'm an old friend of the family," Ahsoka tells Mando of her relationship with the Skywalkers, because going into detail would take hours.
  • Luke's CGI face is more convincing here than it was in The Mandalorian season 2 finale, likely due to technological advances and the fact that Lucasfilm hired a deepfake YouTuber who improved on its work.
  • We still don't know who saved Grogu during Order 66. The flashback sure made it look like he was about to be captured by the Empire.
  • Having slightly creepy droids gather stones and build for you seems efficient.
  • R2-D2 shutting off instead of revealing Luke's location mirrors his attempt to keep a similar secret in The Force Awakens.
  • Luke running and jumping with Grogu on his back is similar to his training with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. The blue backpack appears to be the same one he used to carry Yoda.
  • We saw Yoda's lightsaber being destroyed in Marvel's excellent 2017 Darth Vader comic series, but he likely built more than one in 
  • Seeing Grogu doing flips is pretty wonderful.
  • The Jawas are carrying a krayt dragon skull on top of their sandcrawler – presumably the remains of the beast slain in the first episode of The Mandalorian season 2 
  • Boba Fett only appears in one scene and doesn't say a word in this episode. Fennec does all the talking in the briefing scene.

Join us for more Easter eggs and observations next Wednesday, Feb. 9, when episode 7 – the season finale – of The Book of Boba Fett hits Disney Plus.

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