Sooo they just decided to make an episode of The Mandalorian and sneak it into The Book Of Boba Fett? I am not complaining one bit.

You will read in my ramblings below that this is by far the best episode of The Book Of Boba Fett, and it is not even close. It is also the highest rated of the season thus far…which speaks ill of what maybe this show’s initial intention was.

Below are my thoughts on the fifth episode, which is entitled, Return of the Mandalorian.

  • Heading into the Return Of The Mandalorian, I knew of the positive praise and I know that Mando, also known as Din Djarin, is a major part of the story.
  • The first thing that I ever saw on Twitter was that Bryce Dallas Howard deserves all the praise in the world. I am also happy to report that every bit of hype she has gotten is all well deserved.
  • I tried going into this episode with at least tolerable expectations, but it was really hard to keep them tempered.
  • All my objectivity went out the window WHEN I HEARD MANDO’S MUSIC!!
  • Mando walking through the entrance of this slaughter house is the same as him walking into a saloon. Little do the people in this building know that their own slaughter is what is on the menu.
  • “I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold.” – Direct call back to the pilot episode of The Mandalorian.
    • Since that first episode of The Mandalorian, Mando has more than a few upgrades.
    • Mando has the Beskar Spear that he was gifted by Ahsoka Tano, and he has the Dark Saber which he won off of Moff Gideon by defeating him in combat.
      • These are some pretty nice weapons…but it is readily apparent that Mando does not know how to use the Darksaber well.
        • While going off and being all badass, Mando wounds himself by burning off the skin on his thigh with the Darksaber. Mando is visibly limping and it is no light wound.
          • I had the theory that Mando was going to heal in the tank that Boba has…
  • In the end Mando gets the head of his bounty…he is taking in in cold obviously…and he travels to a planet…OR IS THAT THE HALO RING?? I mean come on fellow science fiction lovers, you have to see the similarities there!
  • Mando hands in his bounty and in exchange asks for the entrance to a certain path in this urban landscape
    • This path…is to some fellow Mandalorians.
      • Everyone will remember the Armorer, the leader of the hidden sect of Mandalorians that we met in The Mandalorian.
      • Also with the Armorer is Kaba Baiz, a massive looking dude who looks more than a tad jealous that Mando has THE DARKSABER.
        • It ends up being Kaba Baiz who tends to Mando’s wounds, so my tank theory was incorrect.
  • The Armorer gives a well spoken speech on the darksaber and what it means to Mandalore, to its people and what its fate can mean.
    • First thing first, the darksaber is very old. over 1,000 years old. That is when the Beskar was formed for the hilt.
    • Mando understands that the wielder of darksaber has the power to lead Mandalore, and he learned that from Bo-Katan Kryze
      • The Armorer also tells more of the backstory of Bo-Katan, which was educational for myself
        • She was born into a mighty house but she lost her way. When Bo-Katan last her way, so did the planet of Mandalore.
          • The Armorer notes that the only reason she and her sect survived was because the vacated to a different moon.
        • The Night of a thousand tears was the the Imperials bombed Mandalore and it is said that only those that followed the way stayed alive during the bombardment.
          • This all seems a little bit too high and mighty for me. Your way is the reason you survived? There are more than ones way.
        • This idea that the Darksaber wielder follows the way of the Mandalorian is a backbone of belief that when Mandalore is restored by their savoir then it will be restored in the proper way.
    • The Darksaber was conceived by Mandalore Tarre Vizsla, who was both Mandolorian and Jedi.
      • This was most fascinating to me because later they talk about the ways of Jedi and the ways of the Mandalorian.
        • The Armorer says that Mando’s request to have something made for Grogu from the Beskar Spear is worthless and pointless because a Jedi has no attachment. But Mando is quick to point out that the Mandalorain way is loyalty.
          • How did Mandalore Tarre Vizsla manage it?
    • Also touching on the spear, the Armor says that Beskar is made to protect and not to be a weapon, hence why she wants to break it down.
      • We do not know what has been made for Grogu yet, but if it is a small lightsaber hilt for him to use, the I will fucking lose it.
        • Also the gift itself looks like Grogu. That is no mistake
  • So The Armorer begins training Mando in they ways of the Darksaber, and one thing this clear, Mando is struggling.
    • Mando is struggling underneath the wait of it, and he is fighting against the sword and not against his enemies.
      • This has to be symbolic of the wielders struggling under the weight of what the sword means on a symbolic level. The idea that if you have it then you must save Mandalore.
  • Remember when I mentioned how Kaba Baiz was jealous that Mando had the Darksaber? Well now he has challenged his brother for it. A duel to own the blade.
    • I did not write down much during this fight because it was excellent. It was quickly shot and edited together, and the choreography started out at brutish but funneled down to finesse. It also helped this fight that there were massive stakes on it. We had just gotten the backstory on the Darksaber, so it was fresh in our minds.
    • Mando wins the the fight but without the Darksaber. He was unarmed of it and won instead with what he knows best. Speed and precision.
  • However, come the end, the Mandalorian has lost despite winning.
    • The Armorer asks Mando if he has ever removed his helmet, and to this he answers honestly and truthfully: “yes.”
      • As a result, Mando is told to leave the presence of sect, for he is no longer Mandalorian. When asked how to atone for this, according to the creed he must seek the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore. These mines no longer exist, so now, what is Mando to do?
    • Mando does take the Darksaber when he leaves, thankfully.
  • Well what Mando does after being told he can no longer stay is get on a commercial flight to Mos Eisley. Remember, he has no ship? No Razor Crest.
    • When boarding this ship, Mando must relinquish all of his weapons. He tells the droid that his weapons are his religion, but that does not mean anything to the AI. Mando hands over all his weapons. He has no religion. He then is on the ship and is staring out into nothing. He is looking for what he is meant to do now with no creed.
      • What this lack of tethering means however is that he may be better at wielding the Darksaber. He is no longer weighed down by the burdens of his religion.
  • So now we are here in Mos Eisley, and we are going to be meeting some old friends.
    • Mando has returned to Peli Motto’s garage and we are getting sassy technician and her robots back.
      • Among the robots is a BD droid from the video game Jedi: Fallen Order. That had to get a lot of people excited.
  • What happens over the final 15-20 minutes of this episode has to be director Bryce Dallas Howard just getting in her bag of trucks and proving that she is one of the very best to have Star Wars at her fingertips.
    • Peli Motto convinces Mando that he doesn’t need another Razor Crest; rather this old Naboo guard ship that will look familiar to anyone who saw The Phantom Menace. It is officially called and N-1 ship.
      • This is not the only nod to The Phantom Menace in this episode: when Mando is taking his new ship for a test drive, he goes into Begger’s Canyon, which is a direct reference to the pod-racing sequence that Anakin dominated in his debut.
        • When Motto revealed the skeleton of the new ship to Mando, I at first thought that it was a pod racer itself. So after a brief letdown, it was nice to get that nostalgia back.
        • Also there is a shot that directly shows the debris that Anakin caused when he had to go off-roading do to Sebulba.
    • It is during this final 20 minutes where I really just wrote down “GOD THIS IS GOOD STAR WARS.”
      • I love all the nerdy tools talk and ship parts talk. I don’t know everything they are saying, but that is perfectly fine. I was absorbed in the world. I was back in my happy place. This entire episode flew by and it was able to cover so much in such a fun bit of time.
    • We have more connections to previous Mando adventures when his new ship is pulled over by a pair of rebel X-Wing fighters during his test drive.
      • One of these X-Wing fighters asks about an incident involving imperial remnants on Nevarro…which is exactly what happened at the end of The Mandalorian season one.
    • During the test drive in space, Mando is spinning very fast; that is what happened to Anakin in The Phantom Menace. Just a little call back.
      • Let’s also not forget the “Wizard” worst that Mando uses to describe the ship…that is a called back to the line “This is so wizard, Annie.”
    • Also, it can not be forgotten that Din Djarin did not like droids when his story was first unfurled to us. Now, he is working with them to build up his new ship. That is called growth!
  • Literally the only connection to the traditional The Book Of Boba Fett story comes in the last minute of the episode when Fennec shows up at Peli Motto’s garage and asks is Mando is looking for a job.
    • Mando replies that he is, and he will aid as muscle for Boba Fett for free. He will arrive at Mos Espa only after he pays a visit to a small friend. HE IS TALKING ABOUT GROGU!!
    • The major question I have is if they are going to make this reconnecting moment between Boba Fett and Mando a season finale thing on The Book Of Boba Fett, or is it going to be a teaser for season two to keep people hooked or interested.
  • I think I love Return Of The Mandalorian for a multitude of reasons
    • It is beautifully made.
    • It is written with brevity and characters as its focus. Even the expository speeches are straight to the point. There are no wasted words.
    • The nods to other Star Wars cannon are layered much more so than in any other The Book Of Boba Fett episode. There is stuff that I remembered and recognized, but then there is stuff I can look up and get more information on. It rewards a keen eye but sparks curiosity.
    • Return Of The Mandalorian just reminds me how much I want to get back into the world I knew less about. Let me get lost in a universe where I recognize less.


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