So, the third season of The Mandalorian is going strong. It’s just strange they decided to rename it The Book of Boba Fett and ignore the titular character after a few episodes to fully embrace a follow-up story for Din Djarin. After last week’s episode, Temuera Morrison once again takes a backseat while the series further expands upon the greater mythos that was initially set up with Grogu’s journey to becoming a Jedi. It’s a shame that such a great episode is bogged down by the fact that it feels like you’re watching the wrong show.
I will talk about spoilers in the review, so only continue at your own risk if you haven’t seen the episode yet.
I love what Lucasfilms is doing with the Disney+ series, but I fear what this series’ pacing might mean for other spin-offs from the initial series that kicked off Disney+’s success. Pedro Pascal‘s Din remains one of the most compelling characters, but he also gets the most emotional arc throughout the entire franchise currently. Boba Fett at least shows up this time around, but barely even has a speaking line that makes you wonder if he’s even the protagonist of this story.
Still, what we have is a great episode that is riddled with great cameos that are certain to make many long-time fans gush. The episode starts with Timothy Olyphant‘s return as Cobb Vanth – a personal favorite that I hope gets more focus in the future – and a small insight into what the Pykes trade is going on. You’d think for a large smuggling ring they’d do more than exchange money in the middle of nowhere like that, but it does lead to a powerful moment showing who he’ll side on once the main conflict happens.
Yet, most of the episode is focused on Grogu, who makes his adorable return with some insight into his teachings by Mark Hamill‘s Luke Skywalker. They certainly learned from the previous appearance and the effect looks quite a bit better, even if still off at times. the performance is also quite subdued but works well for the Jedi way that he is trying to teach to his new padawan. It’s great to see the teachings, especially how Grogu echoes moves we’ve seen from Yoda in the prequels. That even gets paid off at the end of the episode.
Din not being able to let go of his little fellow, and traveling all the way to see him was great – even if I don’t quite get how he knew to find them. R2D2 returns for a brief appearance, which seemed like a given with Luke there. However, I never expected Rosario Dawson‘s Ahsoka to make an appearance. It made sense in how she built upon the words she mentioned in her last appearance, and her interactions with Luke were heartwarming for Star Wars: Clone Wars fans.
I do believe that the biggest moment comes at a later date for Clone Wars fans when bounty hunter Cad Cane arrived. Probably the best use of Tatooine’s landscape to build up his arrival and everything just worked incredibly well. Didn’t think the character would translate so damn well to live-action. The Western showdown matched his design so well, and he probably got the most intimidating introduction out of any character in this show yet. It’ll be a difficult one to top moving forward.
We only have one more episode to go, and I am having a hard time imagining all these pieces falling together as they should. Boba is a no-show in his series for the last two episodes. We spent most of the first five revisiting the past and any main threat vanished before they even had a chance to become relevant. The Pykes offer some intrigue but not enough to make the upcoming events feel relevant. Outside of Morrison‘s performance and giving Boba Fett an actual character, it feels like this series is just The Mandalorian 2.5 rather than its own fully fleshed-out show. Even when the show catches back up with Fett’s empire, the big moment towards the end is overshadowed by everything else.
I loved the episode, don’t get time wrong, but I wanted to spend time with Fett, as he raises the Rancor, takes down the underbelly, and sees the build-up to the final confrontation. They tease a big war, but we still don’t know why the Pykes are obsessed with the obvious Dune parallel. The problem lies that its main character was fleshed out in the past while nothing in the present is fully explored outside of fun cameos and Djarin’s story taking over. Perhaps they should’ve split it up into two series and just keep The Book of Boba Fett as a brief 5-episode mini-series.