The Book of Boba Fett's Worst Episode Is One of The Mandalorian's Best

·4 min read
Photo credit: Disney+
Photo credit: Disney+

The Book of Boba Fett episode 5 spoilers follow.

Is it just us or did someone at Star Wars HQ snort one too many brain lizards this week? Sure, we already knew that The Mandalorian was going to hyper-jump his way over to The Book of Boba Fettthat musical cue was about as subtle as Peli Motto's love of all things furry — but still. Did someone over at Disney+ accidentally upload the wrong episode?

The MaThe Book of Boba Fett kicks off this week in an alien abattoir with Din Djarin and his Darksaber in tow. One surprisingly brutal fight later and Mando is off to collect his money. But something's off with Din. The way he sliced that guy in half betrays an inner turmoil that has probably plagued him ever since he said goodbye to Grogu.

And honestly, same. Just like that bounty, we too are cut up over the lack of Baby Yoda in our lives. That macaroon-loving munchkin means a lot to us all. But why are we missing him so much just two episodes away from The Book of Boba Fett's finale? In fact, why does Boba Fett not even show up this week at all?

Replacing the titular character with someone else entirely is a gutsy move, for sure, even if said replacement is a fan favorite. And on its own merits, this episode would have made a very strong premiere for The Mandalorian season three. But what in the name of all things Sith is this storyline doing here in The Book of Boba Fett? And at such a crucial time, no less.

As much as we enjoyed seeing what happened to Mando following the end of season two, The Book of Boba Fett should be working on its own problems right now instead.

Much has been made of the show's slow pace and those momentum-sapping flashbacks. Even fans who love all this world-building backstory must concede that Boba's obsession with nostalgia has robbed the show of direction and purpose. Up until this point, all we've really seen is answers to mysteries we mostly knew and very little forward motion in the present day, often to the detriment of Fennec Shand in particular.

"Give Ming-Na Wen the screen time she deserves!" we scream into the ether each Wednesday morning. But to no avail.

In contrast, this backdoor-pilot-like run-up to The Mandalorian season three feels far more purposeful, aside perhaps from an over-extended look at the building of Mando's new ship. In this one episode alone, Din's love of Grogu and his struggles with both the Darksaber and Mandalore tradition have given us more character development than Boba has enjoyed so far across this entire season. And it's not even Mando's show!

It's no excuse to say that Boba is quiet and stoic either, because the same is also true of The Mandalorian, yet his story has been far more engaging.

In fact, the only issue we have with the episode itself, aside from its random placement, is that much of it hinges on prior knowledge of The Mandalorian. If this narrative had unfolded naturally over on that show, most of the Darksaber exposition could have been condensed or avoided entirely.

While it's natural to assume that most Boba Fett fans would be all caught up on The Mandalorian, that doesn't mean the writers should necessarily make that assumption. Shared universes are more popular these days than even Baby Yoda himself, but the interconnected nature of this week's episode takes things a step too far. There's fan service, and then there's such a thing as over-reliance on said connections.

Did the writers bring Mando in because they were concerned Boba Fett wouldn't do well on his own? Or is this an exercise in housekeeping, to clear the way for a fresh start in The Mandalorian season three? As cynical as this might sound, it's a shame that one of Mando's best episodes was delivered here at this precise moment, because all this does is amplify the issues we already have with The Book of Boba Fett.

You know you're in trouble when the arrival of Fennec Shand, Boba Fett's best character by a long stretch, actually feels like a downer, because this meeting signifies the end of Din's separate arc, bringing us straight back into the mundanity of Boba Fett's main storyline.

And even that Grogu tease at the end might not be enough to justify the existence of this show.

But, to be honest, we should have all seen this coming. For a show that's so obsessed with the past, it makes sense that Boba Fett would continue to trade in nostalgia this close to the end, even if the nostalgia is for a show that's still currently airing alongside this one. At this point, we should probably just snort a few more brain lizards and accept that this is the ride we're on.

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