Man I’m so bummed out. It really does say a lot about my feelings on the Book of Boba Fett when the best episode in the series so far is the one that doesn’t feature the titular character at all. I’m super happy we got this episode, but I’m kind of bummed that it is so good compared to what we’ve been provided so far by this series.
This entire episode stars Din Djarin, the titular Mandalorian from the series that lead into this one. Picking up after the events of the second series, Din is on a Halo from Halo searching out the last remaining members of the almost cultish order of Mandalorians that raised him.
After finding them we learn some more about the Darksaber, how it was build by a man who was both Mandalorian and Jedi and also how it is said to be held by the person who, by rights, can lay claim to be Mandalore. The title of the leader, not the planet. Although it’s not a term I think has made its way out of Legends yet.
Also, for some reason, the more the saber is used in a fight, the heaver and more unwieldly is becomes, which feels very strange for a weapon composed entirely of plasma. I guess it shows it’s much more than a mere Lightsaber and still something uniquely Mandalorian.
The Forgemaster tells Din that the Beskar spear he carries on his back is against their ways and that Beskar should only be forced into armour. Despite the fact that they gave him those chirping bird missiles made out of them before? I dunno. Either way, Din asks her to reforge the spear into something for Grogu.
Which she abides, making some chainmail by the looks of it for him. Already, this episode is giving us so much more than the series has been so far. It furthering the story of Din and Grogu, showing that despite handing him over to Luke Skywalker, he still feels the pull of kinship with the kid and wants to see him again, sooner rather than later.
Shortly after another Mandalorian of house Vizla demanding a duel with Din for rights to the Darksaber, which Din emerges victories from, Din admits he has removed his helmet in the past and is promptly declared a Mandalorian no longer. It’s so weird that all this important, pivotal stuff is happening to Din outside of his own series.
During the second series of the Mandalorian, I spoke about how Din was being introduced to different kinds of Mandalorians in the form of Boba Fett and Bo Katan and how I predicted he would eventually turn his back on the cult-like caste of Mandalorians that raised him and forge a path his own. Now he has been forcibly cast out, and with the Darksaber in his hand, it seems like the stage it set for him to do just that.
While this is all amazing lore and worldbuilding, the final part of the episode is probably my favourite. Din takes public transport to Tattoine to meet with Amy Sadaris’s Peli Motto again to try and find a replacement for the Razorcrest, the gunship the empire destroyed when they kidnapped Grogu.
And to everyone’s surprise, he is presented with what’s left of a Naboo Starfighter. I can’t say any of us were expecting that, what follows are a sequence of scenes that I can only describe as joyful. Despite his misgivings, Din helps Peli rebuild and heavily modify the starfighter, making it scarcely resemble the ship Anakin Skywalker flew into a droid control carrier so many years ago.
It ends up looking more like a chrome hotrod in the end. And then Din takes it for a test flight.
I love this sequence. Seeing Din come to terms with this ship, realise what it’s capable of whizzing through Begger’s canyon and then going into orbit and outrunning a new Republic control is just something so uniquely fun, liberating and happy. Something we don’t see very often.
While I don’t think a fighter is as suited to his work as a Bounty Hunter, this ship is certainly an upgrade for if he gets into trouble in space. Plus, it really does cut a distinctive shape.
The episode ends with Fennic Shand and reconnecting this story to Boba Fett’s showing up and asking Din to work for Boba Fett, a job Din accepts “on the house”.
Man, this episode was so good. Din is a character who feel much more capable of carrying a series. It’s like I said in the last part; Fett is just too stoic. Not only that he, just doesn’t feel as fallible as Din. As Din was using the Darksaber at the start, he wounds himself and ends up limping around for the first chunk of the series.
Boba has been getting knocked around a lot too, but he carries himself much more proudly. Which almost makes it seem like he isn’t suffering at all. I think Din, in general, seems like such an underdog that it makes you like him all the more. Hence why this episode is doubtless going to be a favourite.
Either way, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode of what has turned out to be Mandalorian season 2.5.