Review: ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ Chapter 6 “From the Desert Comes a Stranger” Is Top-Tier ‘Star Wars’ TV

No one expected chapter five of The Book of Boba Fett to focus so heavily on Din Djarin, and though Boba does make a return in chapter six, From the Desert Comes a Stranger, the episode mostly continues in the same vein, building on plot threads around characters that were established in The Mandalorian.


This spawns a puzzling debate about the episode. I loved it. I think it is one of the best episodes of Star Wars television of all time, and I will delve into that below in the spoiler section. On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder what Boba did to deserve getting the spotlight wrenched away from him for the bulk of two episodes in the second half of his own season.


I can get behind using Chapter 5 as an interlude to Boba Fett’s story — the season says it’s “the book” of Boba Fett after all, and novels often have interludes — but it is strange to have the first 30 minutes of chapter six have very little to do with him or the criminal underworld. The justification for this is likely that there are some thematic similarities between Boba Fett’s story and these other plotlines carried over from The Mandalorian, but it seems to me that Jon Favreau had a very simple structure in mind for this season: establish what happened to Boba after escaping the Sarlacc, have him establish his rule on Tatooine, then have him fight off an invading force (The Pykes) to maintain his rule. It seems that the story he wrote only spanned about five episodes, so they brought in some material from The Mandalorian to stretch the season to seven.


However, the content itself never felt like filler, and that is testament to the story Favreau and Dave Filoni — the latter co-wrote and directed this episode — have built together so far. It is hard to imagine a single Star Wars fan not enjoying this episode. If you love the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, and even The Clone Wars animated series, you will be driven to tears one moment and jumping with joy the next. This episode is a master at manipulating your emotions, with the music playing a big role in that. The episode’s big emotional moments are scored expertly, enabling you to infer exactly what any character is feeling at any given moment without looking at their faces.


It’s just a shame that none of these big emotional moments really involve Boba Fett himself.


Spoilers ahead….


Admittedly, even after Din Djarin’s tease at the end of chapter five that he needed to go visit a little friend, I wasn’t sure we’d be seeing Grogu so soon. I thought we’d get that at the end of the season, or perhaps not until The Mandalorian season 3. I did not expect him to show up this early in the episode, and I certainly didn’t expect to see so much of his training with Luke!


Filoni teased us at first through the perspective of Din as he landed at the building site of Luke’s Jedi Academy. The slow reveal of R2-D2 (who could do with an oil bath) was a great way to get us excited. It’s always good to see the spunky little droid (I enjoyed his low beep that was clearly telling Din to hurry the hell up as he led him through the bamboo forest), and then we had to wait a while with Din before seeing Grogu and Luke.


R2-D2 and Din Djarin in The Book of Boba Fett


I thought it was a tad strange to have an army of ant-like droids build Luke’s temple. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, but I always assumed the temples would have been constructed using the Force to place each individual block. It did make for an amusing scene though, as one droid constructed a bench for Din to wait on until someone came to see him.


That someone turned out to be none other than Ahsoka Tano, whom I definitely did not expect to see in this series. It seems Ahsoka had been there for a while, having already met Luke and presumably spent a few days with him and Grogu. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that introduction. It was crazy to witness her and Luke interacting later on, like worlds colliding. I can only imagine what it must feel like for her to meet the son of Anakin Skywalker and to know that his legacy lives on. She knows that something good came from Anakin before his fall to the dark side, and presumably Luke will have told her of Anakin’s redemption shortly before his death. That must have truly warmed her heart.


Din Djarin and Ahsoka Tano in The Book of Boba Fett


It was nice to have her interact with Din once more, something I wasn’t sure if we’d see again. For someone who doesn’t identify as a Jedi, she sure acts like one. Ahsoka seems wiser now that she’s older, and has definitely picked up the Jedi habit of speaking cryptically. She does have a warmth to her personality though, something that is more in common with the Jedi of the High Republic than those of the prequel trilogy.


She offers some advice to Din, pointing out that it will be harder for Grogu to continue with his training if he sees Din again. Apparently, Grogu already misses him terribly, and you can imagine Pedro Pascal’s pained facial expression underneath his helmet as he watches Grogu and Luke from a distance. It is clearly killing him inside that he can’t spend time with his adoptive child, but he knows the right decision is to walk away. The score punctuates this, and I found it tough as hell to keep it together while watching that scene unfold.


Din Djarin watches Grogu with Ahsoka Tano in The Book of Boba Fett


Ahsoka leaves Luke and Grogu by the end of the episode, suggesting she had only popped by for a brief visit. She presumably has a lot of friends in the galaxy that she checks in on at this point, so we can only wonder where she’ll be heading off to next. We’ll find out when her own show debuts next year.


The Luke and Grogu training scenes were something really special. Seeing them meditating and lifting frogs with the Force was one thing — again, the music made sure my nostalgia levels were sky-high, and I found myself welling up throughout the scenes, and it was just so great to see Luke again — but watching Luke teach Grogu the same lessons he was taught by Obi-Wan and Yoda was incredible. He went through all the classics — training with the remote, teaching his own version of “Do or do not, there is no try” — and it really hit home watching him run through the forest doing backflips with Grogu on his back, mirroring his own training in The Empire Strikes Back.


Luke Skywalker and Grogu in The Book of Boba Fett


I should also mention the fascinating flashback Luke triggers in Grogu’s mind, taking us back to the day of Order 66, when Grogu watched three of his Jedi protectors get gunned down by clone troopers. We see nothing else, but we know someone got him out of the temple safely. We can only assume we’ll see more of this flashback in future episodes of The Mandalorian.


At this point, I have to praise the special effects team. Not only did the de-aging technology on Luke look fantastic (not always perfect, but the majority of the time it was), but they actually made Grogu jumping around on the river look real. It was excellent work.


Ahsoka Tano and Luke Skywalker in The Book of Boba Fett


At the end of the episode, Grogu has a choice to make. Luke admits to Ahsoka (after Grogu destroys the remote) that he feels Grogu’s heart isn’t in it, that his attachment to Din is clearly affecting his ability to focus on his own training. Luke presumably knows that attachment isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a Jedi at this point, but this distraction is clearly affecting his ability to train. So, he offers him a choice. He can either accept Din’s beskar chainmail as a Mandalorian foundling and return to him, or he can accept Yoda’s freaking lightsaber (!) and continue his training as a Jedi with Luke. He can’t do both.


Grogu looks at Yoda's lightsaber in The Book of Boba Fett


The episode ends here, and though it seems obvious that Grogu will return in the final episode of The Book of Boba Fett so that he and Din can be together in The Mandalorian season 3, I really hope he accepts Luke’s offer. I’d love to see him wield Yoda’s lightsaber (I’d also love for him to wear the beskar too) and continue his Jedi teachings, but the story is clearly setting him up to reunite with his adoptive father. We’ll see for sure next week.


Now, 1400 words in, I can get back to the stuff that directly concerns Boba Fett. The episode’s cold open brought a big cheer from me, as we see the return of Cobb Vanth, who is still the marshal of Mos Pelgo (now renamed Freetown). If the story with Luke and Grogu was heavily inspired by old Japanese samurai tales, then everything involving Cobb Vanth was heavily influenced by old Western films.


We see Cobb politely ask the Pykes moving spice on his turf to leave, and when they draw their weapons on him, he guns down three of them in a flash and tells the sole surviving member to leave the spice and send a message back to his superiors. It’s a great nod to the old films of which Favreau and Filoni are such big fans, and reminds you just how skilled and dangerous Cobb really is.


Cobb Vanth in The Book of Boba Fett


When Din Djarin turns up in Freetown to ask a favor, Cobb initially turns him down. This makes sense; as much as Cobb has a strong moral compass, he’s very protective of his townspeople and won’t risk their lives for someone else’s fight. However, he’s smart and realizes that if the Pykes aren’t stopped now, then they’ll soon become Freetown’s problem as well. After Din leaves, he’s about to offer his people the choice to step up and help drive the Pykes away, when none other than Cad Bane shows up on the horizon.


Once again, Cad Bane’s stroll into town gives off a deliberate lone gunman vibe that is a trope of most western tales; the character was designed with that in mind before he debuted in The Clone Wars. It’s immediately clear that we’re in for a classic fast draw duel, typical of westerns. This reveal elicited an even bigger cheer from me than Cobb Vanth’s return at the beginning of the episode; Cad Bane is one of my favorite Star Wars characters, and I’d barely dared to hope that he would appear in this series. I was shaking with excitement when I realized that they’d even kept the same voice actor from the animated series. The design is everything I’d hoped for from a live-action debut. His skin is a bit lighter, but his outfit has been replicated perfectly.


Cad Bane in The Book of Boba Fett


He has come with speak to Cobb Vanth, with the Pykes presumably aware that Boba would be recruiting allies all over the planet. His first mistake is assuming that Cobb has been paid any money at all to stand against the Pykes. This instantly plays off badly with the marshal, whose honor has been inadvertently slighted, so Cad’s second point that Fett is a criminal who worked for the Empire has less strength behind it. It’s a good point, but it’s clear that Cad doesn’t think that’s as important as the money, which is in line with the bounty hunter’s personal values.


Cobb’s overeager deputy (another trope of old Westerns) reaches for his blaster, and Bane guns down both him and Vanth, demonstrating his own skill. It’s clear that he will be a worthy foe when he and Boba presumably meet in the finale. I think Cobb is probably still alive — the townspeople responded quickly to stabilize him — and Cad Bane’s appearance in the town probably did more harm than good. Shooting their marshal has likely convinced the civilians of the need to step up and fight back against the Pykes.


Boba Fett and Fennec Shand at a meeting in The Book of Boba Fett


Boba Fett only appears for a single scene in this episode, where Fennec runs through the situation with all of their allies, including Din Djarin. It’s a small thing really, reinforcing that they have all the recognizable allies they need, but they will need foot soldiers if they end up going to war with the Pykes (which they certainly will). Fett’s forces still seem too small to me, but Favreau and Filoni clearly don’t believe this is the case.


Boba ended up only being a very small piece of chapter six, but everything else in this episode was pure gold, top-tier Star Wars. I can’t wait to see Boba and friends go up against Cad Bane (hopefully his jet boots return), and it will be nice to see The Book of Boba Fett return to the series’ central storyline for the majority of the next (and final) episode. We can discuss whether or not some of the episode’s content was appropriate for a show about Boba Fett, it was a welcome reminder that Star Wars still has plenty of exciting stories left up its sleeve.


Before you leave, make sure to check out “The Mando Minute”, Lacey Gilleran’s one-minute reaction to Chapter 6 of The Book of Boba Fett, and come hang out tonight at 9 pm EST on SWNN’s YouTube channel with The Resistance Broadcast in their recap show The Mando Fan Show.



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Josh is a huge Star Wars fan, who has spent far too much time wondering if any Star Wars character could defeat Thanos with all the Infinity Stones.

Josh Atkins

Josh is a huge Star Wars fan, who has spent far too much time wondering if any Star Wars character could defeat Thanos with all the Infinity Stones.