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The Book of Boba Fett episode five is an odd one, but you’d be forgiven if you called it your favorite of the bunch. On the one hand, Boba Fett is absent for its entire 51-minute runtime, which makes it feel like you’re already watching the third season of a different show—“Return of the Mandalorian” stars Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin back in the beskar. But on a technical level, director Bryce Dallas Howard dazzles from beginning to end. It’s as if she was told this was her chance to show just what she could do with a feature-sized budget, and, frankly, she knocked it out of the park.
Fans of The Phantom Menace will be delighted by the many ways this one pays tribute to that movie, and to the design work of artist Doug Chiang, who was instrumental in guiding the vision for the 1999 film. Other beloved Mandalorian characters return here, as well: the Armorer (Emily Swallow), Paz Vizsla (Jon Favreau), Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) and Carson Teva (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee). I certainly missed Temuera Morrison’s Boba, especially in a seven-episode arc, but I’m sure future episodes will make it up to him.
How can you watch ‘Boba Fett’?
In order to watch The Book of Boba Fett, you need to subscribe to Disney+, the platform that serves as the online home for all things Star Wars. You can watch Disney+ using streaming devices, desktop browsers, a wide range of mobile devices, smart TVs, and video-game consoles.
A subscription to Disney+ costs $7.99 per month or $79.99 for the full year, though you can save by signing up for the Disney Bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu, which gives you access to all three streaming services for just $13.99 a month.
What happens in this episode of ‘Boba Fett’?
After parting ways with Grogu, now in the care of Luke Skywalker, Mando’s back to hunting bounties on a Bishop ring habitat like the ones in Halo. He freely wields the Darksaber, a challenging weapon for any non-Jedi to master—but one that marks him as the rightful ruler of his scattered kinfolk. Paz Vizsla and the Armorer are the only known survivors from the underground tribe that raised Din, and his growth across two seasons of television has weakened his relationship with them and their more orthodox version of the Mandalorian Creed.
After injuring himself with the Darksaber out on a job, Din reports to the Armorer in the underbelly of the ringworld, the stars spinning beneath their feet. He gets a chance to thank Vizsla for his help in saving Grogu from the Imperial remnant in “The Sin,” and the Armorer gets a look at Mando’s two new weapons—the Darksaber and a spear made of pure beskar.
“The songs of eons past foretold of the Mythosaur rising up to herald a new age of Mandalore,” she says, as she examines Mando’s spear and melts it down to forge a gift for Grogu. “Sadly, it only exists in legends.” She tells Din that the Darksaber is a far more noble weapon for him to wield, and speaks of Bo-Katan Kryze as a “cautionary tale” of what happens when their kind stray from the Way of the Mandalore. Kryze once told Din that the Children of the Watch, the sect that took him in as a boy, was a cult of zealots. There’s that old Obi-Wan Kenobi chestnut about differing points of view.
Naturally, it isn’t long before Paz Vizsla challenges Mando to a duel, with the Darksaber going to whichever warrior is victorious. Paz’s ancestor, Tarre Vizsla, was both Mandalorian and a Jedi; it was he who forged the weapon a thousand years ago. This makes for a thrilling, somewhat dirty battle between two men who stand inches from a slip into the vacuum of space. Din brings Vizsla to a surrender, but when the Armorer asks them both to renew their vows, Djarin admits he’s removed his helmet since he last saw them. To them, he’s a Mandalorian no longer.
“Leave,” Vizsla grunts, “apostate.”
His time as a Child of the Watch is over, putting him on similar footing to Boba; they’re Mandalorians acting outside the sole interests of the nation. Din needs credits, and he wants to see Grogu again. But he’d help Bo-Katan if called upon. It makes you wonder if Grogu’s journey as a Jedi might involve a similar break from orthodoxy. Time will tell.
On Tatooine, Peli Motto and her family of familiar droids is at work on an old N-1 Naboo starfighter, which she thinks might be the perfect replacement for Din’s dearly departed Razor Crest. Using custom parts from the Jawas—turns out Peli’s got good relations with those guys—she says she can soup it up and get it running better than ever. I love a good pimp-my-ride montage, and this sequence is right up there with the orange Supra from Fast and the Furious.
When Mando fires it up, it soars like Anakin Skywalker’s podracer through Beggar’s Canyon, whining and thundering and looking magnificent. All it’s missing is a tiny copilot in the empty astromech slot.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: The Book of Boba Fett episode 5 recap: ‘Return of the Mandalorian’