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A satisfying return of Din Djarin, who gets a sweet new ride, a new quest and for a moment, joining Team Fett.

The Mandalorian, Din Djarin is back. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. This episode is primarily about the Mandalorian and Boba doesn’t even get a cameo. I was not sad about this, because there were a number of questions answered, lore explored (the Darksaber, the fate of the Mandalorians) and the addition of a new ship for the Mandalorian whose beloved Razor Crest experienced death from above, leaving no scrap larger than a breastplate.

If you were really watching this series, you knew there was going to come a day when the two characters would (likely for the climax of this series) share the screen again. Admit it, the last time they fought together, it was pure blaster fire as the two brought the pain to Moff Gideon’s troops.

Boba Fett, attempting to secure his claim as the new Daiymo of Mos Espa, has been gathering an army for his conflict against the Pykes. Since he was unable to recruit the necessary manpower from the criminal houses of Mos Espa, he plans to use a surgical assault team comprised of Master Assassin, Fennec Shand, the disgruntled youth from Tatooine, the heavily modified Human gang members he hired as enforcers, his newly acquired Gamorrean Guards, formerly in Jabba’s employ, and a recent addition, the former gladiator, Black Krrsantan, a Wookie of few words but incredible fighting prowess.

If we are really lucky, we will even get to see him riding into battle upon his own pet rancor. Even so given the size and scale of the Pyke Syndicate this strike team is probably not going to be nearly enough manpower.

It was hinted he would need to hire even further manpower which I took to mean the Mandalorian at the very least, and if we are truly blessed we can expect to see perhaps a live action version of Clone Force 99 (normally only seen in the animated series, the Bad Batch). Din Djarin appeared in this episode and his popularity has increased both the viewership and the enthusiasm for the Book of Boba Fett which has been deemed to be: “sleepy and kinda dull” by many critics.

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WHY RECRUIT THE MANDALORIAN?

These two characters have met in the past, have great and abiding mutual respect for each other, and symbolically speaking are at opposite ends of the narrative story thread, with Din Djarin reaching what might be believed to be the peak of his career, armed with the Darksaber, wearing a complete set of Beskar armor and having completed what would have been considered a high-quality narrative story.

While Boba Fett has entered the nadir of his career. After a disastrous relationship with Jabba ending in his near death, he would marshal his final resources to escape death and come to the conclusion it was time to consider retirement.

But Boba cannot retire.

He is a warrior, from a line of warriors. He decides he wants to leave a legacy, likely an aspect he discovered while living with the Tuskans of the Dune Sea. He believed in loyalty, though he had never seen it, he believed in friendship, though he chooses his friends slowly, carefully and begrudgingly.

Din Djarin is such a friend. Fenec Shand is such a friend. It was only logical that the Mandalorian, a skilled warrior, a Mandalorian who had already done him a solid by returning his armor, would now be a go-to choice in a battle against the ruthless Pykes who gave Jabba a run for his money.

With his entire enterprise resting upon his next decisions, adding the Mandalorian to Team Fett was a NO-BRAINER.

I DON’T CARE WHAT THE CRITICS THINK…

Personally, I love this show. I am in awe of the slow and steady quality of this story being woven. Instead of rushed reveals and exposition telling you what Boba did and why, we get to live it, to see it and experience what turned the hardened bounty hunter into, in my opinion, so much more than a stereotype.

Where critics see slow, I see thoughtful. While the raging Star Wars fanboys disapprove of Boba’s conversational tone – up to and including the actor, Temuera Morrison, I like the fact Boba was changed by his experience in the Sarlacc pit and his time with the Tuskans of the Dune Sea. His restraint is refreshing and the limited limited use of blasters means we get to enjoy the story being told, not just the number of blaster rounds fired.

I am saddened there is so little enjoyment of nuanced storytelling at a time when quality stories are far and few, but if the next few seasons of these two series, The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett continue to circle each other like the Tatooine stars, it will be a fine addition to the Star Wars franchise, noisy and unpleasant fans be damned.

The high point of this episode was the building of his new ship with Peli Motto and her assortment of droids. Making his new ship a Naboo space fighter was a great callback to the earlier Star Wars franchise and his previous run in with the two pilots who rescued him from the horror of Maldo Kreiss, an unpleasant ice planet and its spider-like denizens, in Chapter 10, “The Passenger” last season.

The scenes where the Mandalorian roves the “Halo-esque” ring and tests his new Naboo starfighter were simply outstanding. I have never loved the Star Wars franchise more than I do right now and I have the Mandalorian and the Book of Boba Fett (and Jon Favreau) to thank for it.

There are still two episodes left in the Book of Boba Fett season one. Rancor-riding, Pyke smashing and Fennec shooting up everything in sight are still on my must see list. I’ll let you know how much of my wish list is realized.

-30-

Answer Man Thaddeus Howze
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