The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5: The Return of the Mandalorian - Spoiler Review

Just when I was finding myself struggling to care about The Book of Boba Fett, they put an episode of The Mandalorian in for chapter five and I am back in. Chapter five titled The Return of the Mandalorian was the best episode, I am still not sure why I liked it so much better, but I know the episode delivered. It was a weird choice for Boba Fett not to appear at all in the episode but spending that time with Mando made me realize how excited I am for season three. I have mentioned before that I am a lore nerd; I love learning the detail behind the history of world building. With Marvel and DC, it is both fun and frustrating due to constant reboots and a convoluted character history for every major character. Star Wars is a little easier to follow, especially if you never went down the novels following the events of Return of the Jedi. I know a little about the extended universe of Star Wars, but for the most part I just know about the central films and TV series. The Mandalorian has been digging into the history of Mandalore for awhile now, Star Wars as a whole has seemed preoccupied with Mandalore. The final season of The Clone Wars was based around the Siege of Mandalore, and a lot of the best arcs from earlier seasons included Mandalore. Star Wars Rebels also had deep ties to Mandalore, which is why I am so excited for what The Mandalorian might be planning for it's third season. I also think there is a chance that Boba Fett becomes involved in that third season too. 

The episode was directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, who has proven herself to be an interesting name when it comes to Star Wars directors. Bryce has now directed three episodes between The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, and with each turn in the director's chair she delivers a better episode. There was an excitement to this episode that has been lacking in the previous two episodes, seeing Mando wield the Darksaber was amazing. I also like that they are setting up a story with Mando needing to learn to wield the saber, the Armorer warned him that the saber is fighting him. Even when Mando used the saber in the opening scene it was a struggle for him, and I reminded of Rebels where Sabine Wren is being taught to wield the saber by Kanan Jarrus. This episode also featured a few fantastic nods to Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, the ship Mando uses and him flying a similar route from the podrace scene in the episode. This episode did a fantastic job of using Tatooine in a new, after four episodes I was becoming bored with Tatooine. Seeing Mando fly the N-1 through Beggar's Canyon brought joy to my heart, I have a complicated history with the prequel films because there is a lot I like about them, but also so much poor execution. The ending of the episode has left me wondering what will be in chapter 6, does the story go back for a Boba focused episode or does it stay with Mando. 


The episode starts in a similar fashion to chapter one of The Mandalorian, with Mando arriving at location to collect a bounty on someone. The bounty refuses and Mando is forced to fight off the bounty's gang, Mando uses the Darksaber to fight them off and kill the bounty. During the fight Mando injured his leg with the Darksaber. Mando then brings the body to someone, instead of getting paid Mando wants information. We see that the information Mando was looking for was the location of the Mandalorians on the space station. Mando finds them, and we learn that there are only two others left Paz Vizsla and the Armorer. The Armorer instructs Paz Vizsla to heal Mando's leg while she inspects the Darksaber. The Armorer tells the history of the Darksaber, that it needs to be won in combat for if it is not, it will be a curse. The blade was forged over 1000 years earlier by Mandalorian who was also a Jedi named Tarre Vizsla. Paz and Mando get the forge ready, and the Armorer asks where Mando got the beskar spear. Mando gives it to the Armorer to melt if down and turn it into something for a foundling (Grogu). Mando asks the Armorer if she has heard of Bo-Katan, the Armorer says that Bo-Katan is a cautionary tale. Bo-Katan once laid claim to rule Mandalore, by virtue of her blood and the Darksaber which was gifted to her and not won in battle. The Armorer says that Bo-Katan's house was mighty, but they lost sight of the way, and her rule ended in tragedy. Had the Armorer's sect not been on the moon of Concordia, then they too would have been lost to the Great Purge. We see tie bombers laying waste to the planet on the night of a thousand tears. The only ones who walked the way escaped the curse. 

The Armorer begins instructing Mando on how to wield the Darksaber, Mando complains that the blade gets heavier with each move. The Armorer says the blade gets heavier because Mando is fighting the blade and not his opponent. Mando cannot defeat the Armorer, he cannot hold the blade and attack. Paz Vzisla challenges Mando to a fight, Vizsla believes the Darksaber belongs to him. Mando struggles, but eventually is able to defeat Paz Vizsla. The Armorer stops the fight and asks Paz Vizsla if he has ever removed his helmet, or if anyone has removed it. Paz Vizsla responds with no, but when she asks Mando he does not answer her. Mando eventually admits that he has removed his helmet, to which the Armorer says then you are a Mandalorian no more. Mando asks how he can atone; the Armorer says he can only be redeemed in the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore. Mando says that the mines have all been destroyed, to which the Armorer replies this is the way. 

After being told he can no longer be a Mandalorian after removing his helmet, Mando heads to Tatooine to see Peli Motto. Peli Motto told Mando that she found a ship for him, while Mando was expecting another Razor Crest; Peli shows him a broken-down N-1 starfighter. Mando wants his credits back, until she explains that with the modifications she will add, the N-1 will be the fastest ship in the Outer Rim, and that it doesn't need a hyperdrive docking ring to jump into lightspeed. Mando then assists Peli Motto in repairs on the ship, while working we see the Peli has a BD droid that is very similar to BD-1 a droid in the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game. The ship is completed, and Peli Motto tells Mando to take it for a test flight which he does. Mando takes the N-1 on flight over the streets of Mos Eisley, and then into Beggar's Canyon before he heads to space. While flying near a starship Mando is stopped by two X-Wings, on of them is piloted by Captain Carson Teva who has been interested in Mando for some time. Mando follows their instructions until Captain Teva says that Mando's voice is familiar, and that he wants to ask him some questions about an incident involving Imperial remnants. Mando not interested in being questioned speeds away, and Captain Teva is more bemused than annoyed. Mando heads back Peli Motto, Fennec Shand is waiting there to ask Mando for help, she says it is for Boba and that Mando will be compensated. Mando says he will help for nothing, but says he needs to go see a little friend (Grogu) first as the episode ends.


I do think there might be a problem when a series' highest rate episode is one that does not feature the main star of the show. My issue is not Boba Fett or Temuera Morrison, but rather the story that has unfolded over the first 4 episodes. I thought the first two episodes were great, but the momentum started slowing down over episodes three and four. Momentum should keep building until the finale or climax, but The Book of Boba Fett did the opposite. I do think there is a great story to be told, but I think their execution of it has missed the mark. I think chapter five has given some momentum back, but I will be curious how the show is handled over the final two episodes. Will we follow Mando on his journey to reunite with Grogu, or will we stay on Tatooine with Boba and Fennec preparing for war. With only two episodes remaining, I am starting to consider the possibility that this war will not end during this season. I think there is a chance that we are only watching season one of this story, if Mando indeed helps Boba then he will need to journey to Grogu and back. I am not sure how the show will handle this, will we see Mando go to Grogu, or will we skip over that (to be seen in Mando season three) to Mando returning to help Boba. I have no idea what to expect, the fact that we spent an entire episode with Mando makes me think all things could be on the table for chapter six. 

I personally will hope that we follow Mando's journey to find Grogu, not only because we will see Grogu again, but also that we will see Luke too. The Luke appearance alone has me thinking this would make for a better/more relevant episode of The Mandalorian. If Mando does not appear before the end of the season, then this episode will be seen as a teaser for season three of The Mandalorian rather than an episode of The Book of Boba Fett. This is the best episode of the show so far, but it also still bothers me that Boba needs an army, and we still know nothing about the Pykes. That is not the fault of this episode, but rather a fault of the show. The show keeps telling us that Boba is preparing for war, but we have no idea why he should be afraid of the Pykes. The show spent so much time setting up red herrings (the twins, Kintan Striders and the mayor), that it left no time to properly give us a reason to hate/be afraid of the Pykes. I wonder if they could have had Mando say he will help Boba, but as soon as they are done, he has to leave. The fact that Mando said he had something to do first is why I believe this war will cross over into a second season. I am glad that we had a diversion in chapter five, in my review of chapter four I complained that the time spent in the flashback was a waste. The diversion to check in on Mando, should also be a waste of an episode, but instead it has breathed new life into the season. Now I feel that there is something to look forward to, I have no idea what the final two episodes will do. 

I look forward to Mando and Boba seeing each other again, especially after Mando being told he is no longer a Mandalorian. Boba admitted that his father (Jango) was a foundling like Mando, I wonder if Boba will tell Mando more about his father's history as a foundling. I also think Boba can help Mando with mastering the Darksaber, Boba's experience with the Tusken Raiders might be of use to Mando mastering the blade. Mando never wanted the blade, he tried to give it away to Bo-Katan, but since she already failed because she did not win the blade through combat she could not accept it. Part of Mando's use of the blade is to accept his potential role is saving/freeing Mandalore. Based on what the Armorer told him, the only way to absolve himself of taking off his helmet is in the living waters beneath the mines of Mandalore. A return to Mandalore has been teased by Star Wars for awhile, we heard it mentioned in Rebels, and now Mando has been told of a quest he must do. I think a big arc of season three of The Mandalorian could be a return to Mandalore, this could be the focal point of the season. Mando will be a great ally for Boba, and it also might lead to the support of Bo-Katan too. Boba himself might not be interested in the Darksaber, but I do hope he can help Mando master it. In Rebels (which I watched before writing) Sabine Wren got help mastering the Darksaber by Kanan Jarrus, part of her mastering the saber was accepting her future. Mando seems conflicted, he does not know which cause to fight for or where he belongs. I got the impression that the only thing Mando wants is to see Grogu, until he gets closure on that I don't believe he can master the Darksaber. 

This was such a big episode for Star Wars, not only did it instantly become the best episode of the season, but it also filled in some more Star Wars lore. We learned a little more about the fall of Mandalore, but we also possibly got an appearance by BD-1. For those that never played Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, BD-1 was the companion droid of the game's hero Cal Kestis. The game was a lot of fun, and it had some really cool Star Wars lore, and BD-1 was an awesome new droid added to the franchise. As of writing there has yet to be confirmation that Peli Motto's BD droid was actually BD-1, but if that is confirmed it is a big deal. Cal Kestis' story is not finished yet (a sequel game is coming). If I had to guess I would say that it is another BD droid, it is a fun nod to the BD model of droid. If it is actually BD-1 it is a big deal, it could also mean that BD-1 could be the key to training more Jedi. There is so much depth to this episode, from the nods to the prequels, to the really amazing circular space station, there is so much to talk about. It was so cool to see Mando flying the modified N-1 through Beggar's Canyon, it brought back fond memories of the prequels.

In an episode that delivered so much entertainment and cool Star Wars lore, it felt more like an episode of The Mandalorian than The Book of Boba Fett. I am going to give this episode a 9/10, the only reason it is not a 10 is because it felt so different than the previous four episodes. I am curious how The Book of Boba Fett will handle the final two episodes of the season; I keep thinking we will not see the war between Boba and the Pykes. I am curious how will Mando be handled, will he appear to help after his journey to see Grogu (with use not seeing this), or will he not appear again until season two. I still think The Book of Boba Fett is a good show, but I am starting to find flaws in the formula. The lack of an antagonist is beginning to be an issue for me, once the Pykes were identified as an enemy we should have learned more about them. I am still excited for the final two episodes, but I am now more excited to see The Mandalorian season three.

Thank you for reading my review of The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5, let me know your thoughts on the episode, and your feelings on the season up until now. 

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