The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5 review: ‘Return of the Mandalorian’

The Book of Boba Fett is not the first live-action Star Wars show to dominate Disney+. In many ways, this show may never have been possible without the one that came before it. Chapter 5 “Return of the Mandalorian” is unlike anything we’ve seen from the series so far, mostly because it feels more like an episode of The Mandalorian than part of Boba Fett’s story. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe this jarring detour in storytelling is all part of a much bigger tale we’re only just beginning to see unfold.

The Return of The Mandalorian

The episode follows Din Djarin as he continues to wrestle with his relationship to the Mandalorian culture. He learns the history of the Darksaber and about the Night of a Thousand Tears. Winning a duel against Praz Vizsla, it seems Din will finally be welcomed into the Armorer’s coven … until he reveals he has previously broken Mandalorian creed by removing his helmet. She strips him of his right to call himself a Mandalorian and sends him and the darksaber away.

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A commercial flight to Tatooine leads Din back to Peli Motto, where (most) pieces of an N1 starfighter are waiting for him. His test run through Beggar’s Canyon almost ends in some trouble with the New Republic (he really needs to be more careful while flying). Returning to Mos Eisley, Fennec Shand approaches him to offer him a job. He’s just the kind of muscle Boba Fett is looking for. Din agrees to help, but only after he can pay a visit to Grogu at Jedi school.

On its surface, The Book of Boba Fett Chapter 5 almost feels like an out-of-place chapter of The Mandalorian. Only several references to the overarching Book of Boba story are made — Peli mentions the Pykes are ruining Tatooine for everyone, and Fennec’s appearance at the end implies we’ll see Din again in an upcoming episode. The Mandalorian — if we can even still call him that — is the episode’s main protagonist, and the weight of his story heavily relies on viewers knowing what happened in the first two seasons of his own show.

Disney playing the long game?

However, it’s important to remember that as these Star Wars TV shows progress, and more of them begin running alongside each other, odds are high that many of their smaller stories will intersect as part of a much larger narrative. Many fans of Book of Boba have criticized the show for not really having a strong A plot — a lot has happened in the show, but in terms of the present-day story, things feel aimless and at times empty. But it’s possible this show, of which only one season has been confirmed as of publishing this post, will serve as a bridge between other stories. Disney Investor Day 2020 also implied that many of the upcoming live-action Disney+ Star Wars shows would weave into each other and essentially lead into one big crossover event.

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What we’re seeing now could be the start of that. Creators like Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, also involved in Book of Boba, are known for playing the long game when it comes to Star Wars storytelling. Everything pays off eventually. You just have to go along with the ride until it all clicks into place.

Adding to Mandalorian and darksaber lore makes sense for Din’s story here, but it’s still unclear how it all ties into the series we’re deep into now. Within a few weeks, perhaps, all of this will make more sense. Very few things, in terms of Star Wars stories, are done by accident.

The Book of Boba Fett is streaming now on Disney+.

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