The fifth episode of The Book of Boba Fett is the best of the series so far. And this is a big problem.
NOTICE: Given the nature of the fifth episode of The Book of Boba Fett , we couldn’t avoid a few small SPOILERS today. Our advice is to read this review after watching the episode.
It is mainly because if the idea of bringing back Din Djarin, alias Mando, was now taken for granted, considering that the fourth episode ended with the entry of the theme of The Mandalorian , it is the way in which this return has been orchestrated that amazes. . We talked about it in detail HERE (but, be careful, there are the real SPOILERS), but the gist is: the fifth episode of The Book of Boba Fett , which is unceremoniously titled The Return of the Mandalorian , is to all effects an episode of The Mandalorian. The opening theme also tells us this, which tastefully superimposes that of Boba to that of Mando. You can’t go around it: it’s not that Mando’s return to the scene is told in parallel with the events of Boba Fett on Tatooine. Indeed, Boba Fett, in the person of Temuera Morrison , just does not appear.
Jon Favreau wrote the episode once again, directed byThe Mandalorian veteran Bryce Dallas Howard , and it is evident that he has much more fun writing the story of Mando than he is much more comfortable. The episode is a succession of typical situations of the Disney + series that started everything, from the mission to collect a bounty, to the digressions on the past of the Mandalorians (of which we are told an important piece), to the explicit references to the mythology of The Mandalorian , between Dark Saber, Grogu, Jedi and the return of another much-loved character from the series.
The Return of the Mandalorian , the most didactic title possible, is a big recap of what happened so far to Pedro Pascal ‘s mercenary with a golden heart, a relaunch towards the inevitable third season and a nice and good excuse to tell us how he ours is passing after saddling Grogu with Luke Skywalker. Spoiler: good, but not great. Certainly Mando hasn’t forgotten his little friend / adopted son, and certainly not Favreau and Dave Filoni have forgotten either , and they clearly intend to bring him back on stage. All of this we will see soon inThe Mandalorian , but this episode is fundamental to understand the next season, and anyone who thought they could jump on foot.The Book of Boba Fett will probably have to think again.
Without going further into the details, let’s get to the point: why is it a problem that this episode is the best of the series? Because it indisputably highlights how The Mandalorian , the series but also the character, are something superior and far more iconic than The Book of Boba Fett can ever aspire to be. It’s a problem with almost all the spin-offs, but re-proposing the protagonist of the parent series, hijacking the spin-off to turn it into an episode of the same, was a very risky and perhaps even a bit reckless move.
Because it is evident how the mix of adventure, tragedy and comedy (with really hilarious moments, but never out of place) works infinitely better if your hero is REALLY one who never takes off his helmet and speaks very little. The fish out of water effect is guaranteed, the iconicity is off the scale. You just need to frame that armor, that helmet, you just have to make Pedro Pascal say a couple of short lines, with his Eastwoodian tone, and you have brought home the result. THIS fans expected from Boba Fett , but it’s obvious that Favreau couldn’t give it to him because The Mandalorian had already walked the path .
And, we repeat, the return of Din Djarin was written in the stars . But Favreau could have brought him back on stage without necessarily dedicating an entire episode to him, and he could have reserved for the premiere of The Mandalorian ‘s third season all the exposure and the booster dose (forgive) of mythology that instead arrives here in a sparkling package.
This episode demonstrates how little we care about Boba Fett’s fate and how much we care about what Mando is up to. Favreau also knows it and, in the end, relaunches with a cliffhanger all focused, once again, on Mando and on the promise of something that should happen next week (maybe they won’t really let us see that!) And that, from alone, it is worth the price of the ticket. With all due respect to Boba, Fennec, all the Rancors and Pikes of the entire Galaxy.
Two episodes from the conclusion, The Book of Boba Fett does not close the ranks and, indeed, is lost in more interesting streams of the series itself. It is not clear at this point where Favreau will end up. But, hey, at least Mando will be there too.