Before we get into it, there are a few asterisks that need to be stated to avoid all sorts of online fandom poop-slinging:
- There will be spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett and for The Mandalorian in this blog post. (If for some reason you haven’t watched these shows yet.)
- There will be rose-coloured-glasses Star Wars love in this blog post.
- There will be predictions that are sure to be wrong.
Proceed at your own risk.
Below are a bunch of thoughts I have about The Book of Boba Fett, current Star Wars storytelling, and some predictions of where we will be after The Book of Boba Fett season finale this week. Most thoughts will be unconnected to the others. I don’t have some sort of magical argument for anything in particular or any rant about this or that not living up to expectations.
I just want to share some love for what I’m seeing on-screen right now.
Here we go.
Grogu is the Best Storytelling Mechanism Ever in Star Wars
Early on, it was easy to say Baby Yoda was created to blow toy sales through the roof.
The more difficult thing to surmise was whether Baby Yoda was a worthy storytelling element.
Disney the company may be ecstatic about Baby Yoda going viral. But I don’t think Favreau and Filoni built Baby Yoda for this purpose.
Grogu — a perfect name, though I presume anything starting with a “Y” would have immediately led to more blood-line speculation — spans every created timeline in the Star Wars universe. He was likely born at the height of the High Republic and was a child during the Clone War era. He was alive, hiding, somewhere, during the height of the Empire. He was found, saved, and trained in the fall of the Empire. He will be alive during the era of the First Order. And he will be alive for the timeframe after the Rise of Skywalker. (My prediction, no spoilers — I’m expecting Grogu will be the next Tarre Vizsla Mandalorian Jedi and lead an entirely different timeline at some point.)
Grogu spans all of Star Wars and will span all of Star Wars forever.
Therefore, Grogu wraps all Star Wars fans together. Whether you grew up with the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, or the sequel trilogy, Grogu relates to your era. You are rooting for Grogu in your own way — whether you want him to be trained by Luke, or you want him to return to Din, or you want to see more Clone War flashbacks.
I’m a Clone-Wars-and-video-game-Star Wars fan. I grew up playing Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, and Battlefront II (the original Battlefront II). Filoni’s animated Clone Wars series expanded the Star Wars universe in my childhood and pre-teen years. These stories made my childhood.
Grogu’s training by a stoic Luke Skywalker is so perfectly reminiscent of the heroic Luke Skywalker seen in those video games. His quick flashback to the Jedi Temple’s hallway-slaughter teases the Clone Wars era such that I’m wanting more.
Grogu is a perfect character for current Star Wars storytelling. I long felt Filoni’s Ahsoka and Cad Bane were his two greatest character creations. No longer — Grogu will be Filoni’s ultimate legacy.
The Book of Boba Fett Was Never Going to be Boba Fett’s Story
After Luke’s stunning hallway scene in the Mandalorian’s Season 2 finale, a post-credit scene showed Boba Fett gunning down Bib Fortuna and taking his seat on Jabba’s throne. There was some sort of question posed to John Favreau that aired shortly thereafter hinting that The Book of Boba Fett was the next book in the stories of The Mandalorian. This made a lot of sense — each Mandalorian episode was titled as a “chapter” and the Mandalorian’s story could have wrapped up quite nicely at the end of Season 2.
This line of thinking took steam in the day or two following the Season 2 finale — many fans thought The Mandalorian was no more. Favreau further clarified, of course, that The Book of Boba Fett was its own show, while Mandalorian Season 3 would debut after.
Hindsight is 20/20. But The Book of Boba Fett is very clearly not its own standalone show. It was never meant to be its own story. Star Wars is too intertwined to be its own story.
Therefore, I prefer to treat The Book of Boba Fett just like many fans did in that day following the Mandalorian Season 2 finale: The Book of Boba Fett is an anthology — a book — of the broader Mandalorian story, which in itself is but a timeline in the ultimate Grand Admiral Thrawn saga.
Dave Filoni has been given the reigns to build out the Star Wars story after Return of the Jedi. The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan Kenobi are all putting puzzle pieces in place for the ultimate story in the end. I am excited to see if they build some of the Thrawn story in Andor.
Star Wars, meet the Marvel Multi-Verse. The Filoni-verse is alive. Grogu ties everything across the Star Wars universe together. Thrawn will be the ultimate bad-guy manipulating things behind the scenes and will, I predict, be the core driver behind the creation of the First Order. Each character has to have an anthology story to show why they get behind Thrawn or why they get behind the New Republic.
It takes a few slow episodes and a few slow seasons to get there, but this is a long, long-term story, and it was never going to be about Boba Fett. This will culminate in something much larger.
The Book of Boba Fett Has Been Beautiful
The Book of Boba Fett has shown more Star Wars artistry than any other Star Wars series to date. There are so many little dualities shown and so much lore uncovered.
- Where Boba Fett was born and raised on an ocean world, he rises to power on a planet of sand and dust. This is a perfect duality and was expertly shown in his hallucination story in Epsiode 2.
- The Tusken Raider story has been wonderfully depicted. Without a single word of English, storytellers were able to portray the delicate balance of Tusken affection and Tusken aggression. One second you wonder whether the female Tusken will grab her gaffi stick and strike Boba down. The next, you see their acceptance and subsequent reliance on Boba as a leader. Episode 2 was truly magnificent Star Wars storytelling.
- Din Djarin’s Mandalorian story is being uncovered slowly, piece by piece, such that new fans aren’t lost and old fans aren’t questioning facts. Djarin was clearly brought up by Death Watch, a group of terrorists that were an ultimate enemy in Filoni’s Clone Wars series. Some fans may not know it, but the Death Watch propaganda (“This is the Way”, the removal of the helmet, etc.) formally showcases teachings and rituals of the former enemy. Nobody views “This is the Way” in a negative light. Traditional, sure. But not negative. Even though it was entirely negative in the Clone Wars era. The slow storytelling here has done a great job roping viewers into thinking Din’s Mandalorian way is the only way — the one, true, positive way — whereas he is very much an outcast and part of a terrible terrorist network. This will end up being one of his undoings and will be his ultimate redemption.
- Stoic Luke Skywalker’s deep fake in Episode 6 was very well done. Minus one or two very minor robotic audio sequences, the deep fake could have been perfectly believable. This of course opens the technology to the rest of the Star Wars original trilogy character-set — I would all but guarantee we will see young(er) Han Solo and Leia Organa once more. Ultimately, I am curious to see what role Alden Ehrenreich plays, and I’m curious to see who
- Rosario Dawson (Ahsoka Tano), the actor who does the physical acting for Luke Skywalker, and Dorian Kingi (Cad Bane) have all done a great job adapting their animated character mannerisms into live action. The way Dawson hops and skips down the path, the way she looks ahead and turns her eyes to look at her subject, the way she cuddles up to Grogu — these are all exactly the Ahsoka from the animated Clone Wars series. Kingi’s Cad Bane successfully showcased Bane’s western-shooting skillset, his short-temper, and his age in about a minute of screen-time. There has been a lot of talk about Bane’s skin colour in relation to the Clone Wars series — indeed, Bane is an old Duros, and Filoni and Kingi nailed his portrayal.
- Krssantan’s costume and makeup work is some of the best costume work done across all of Star Wars. That poor Trandoshan seen was simultaneously exploratory and terrifying — again, in a short period of time, storytellers showed Wookie hatred of Trandoshans, and Krssantan’s eyes right before the Trandoshan’s limb gets torn off was tremendous.
My Predictions Heading into The Book of Boba Fett Season Finale
Both Mandalorian seasons have a slow sense of movement, too — episodes like the New Republic jail ship and Frog Lady didn’t do much to push the Mando story along. But if you binge-watch those seasons back-to-back, the pacing feels just right, with just enough side quest and back story and just enough forward canon pushing.
The Book of Boba Fett will inevitably feel the same after all is said and done.
As a result, I don’t think we’re going to see some sort of wrap-up conclusion to this Boba Fett anthology on Wednesday. Temuera Morrison is way too good to be relegated to this seven-episode season. And the broader Star Wars story will need to continue what’s going on on Tatooine given its significant place in the Star Wars universe.
In that context, here are my predictions for Wednesday night’s season finale:
- Grogu will choose both the beskar chain mail and Yoda’s lightsaber. This will continue Filoni’s work to slowly build out tiny, intricate shots at retconning sequel trilogy storytelling. Though Luke states Ben Solo is his first student at his academy in the sequel trilogy, there will be a justifiable reason for how Grogu gets trained in the ways of the Force. By accepting the chain mail, Grogu will build out Luke’s modern view that Jedi are allowed attachment. And by accepting the lightsaber, Grogu will show he is interested in becoming a Jedi. This will unlock Filoni’s ability to tell the Clone Wars-era story about who saved Grogu and where he came from (if he indeed came from a Yaddle/Yoda relationship).
- The animated Clone Wars bounty hunter story is an intricate one, full of twists and turns. At one point, Cad Bane and Boba Fett were good friends, with Bane largely teaching Fett everything he knows about being a bounty hunter. Fett and Bossk have an odd — albeit mostly positive — relationship. Denghar and Aura Sing are all wrapped into there. I think Bossk will debut in the Book of Boba Fett finale If he sides with Cad Bane, this will create an odd tension between Fett and Bossk, while also providing a Trandoshan enemy for Krrsantan. On the other hand, Bane is the ultimate bounty hunter in the galaxy and may have a backup Dark Side Jedi at his side (see below), perhaps allowing Bossk to side with Fett and Krssantan. That will create some fascinating tension between the Trandoshan and the Wookie.
- Given the heavy weight of the saber, Gideon will have needed someone to both train him to win the saber and to wield that saber. I believe there is a dark Jedi looming in the background somewhere — there needs to be a dark Force user transitioning from the original trilogy to the sequel trilogy. There are a few options, such as Barriss Offee or perhaps Quinlan Vos, and I wonder if there will be hinting at this dark Force user in the season finale. I’m OK with an entirely new Dark Side Force user, but Filoni’s Star Wars knowledge will ensure the new character will have a deep connection to a former animated character.
- More bad than good will happen in the season finale. As in, I don’t expect any sort of conclusion to the Fett story on Tatooine, nor do I expect it to be easy for the “good guys” to prevail. I’m expecting more villains to be unveiled, more conflicts to unfold, and a range of cliffhangers as we head into Mandalorian Season 3 and beyond. Perhaps we’ll have an ending like The Mandalorian Season 1, with a successful prevailing over Gideon, only for the darksaber to be introduced. Either way, there’s no way we see any “bad guy” die on Wednesday.
- Michelle Ang will debut as Omega in the season finale. I don't believe Dave Filoni introduced Boba Fett's sibling in The Bad Batch only to have her stay in The Bad Batch. Whether Boba Fett knows he has a sibling is up for debate — I'm willing to bet he has no idea — but Cad Bane could very easily introduce Omega as a hostage of some sort to make Fett bow to his will. Or — and I think I prefer this idea — Omega has become sort of bounty hunter herself and has sided with Bane in the spice trade. Either way, I think it makes a ton of sense for New Zealander Morrison and Ang to fight side-by-side or against each other in this show.
This was fun. Again, I don’t have any particular coherence to my Star Wars thinking. I just find myself absolutely in love with the way things are going. Boba Fett is not the character I expected so far, but I have also learned Favreau and Filoni move at a different pace than other shows. This isn’t a one-off story. There is time to build something up and to tear it back down. I’m willing to be patient — two or three television seasons patient — to see where the Fett character ultimately ends up.
Wednesday can’t come soon enough. Kenobi can’t come soon enough. Andor can’t come soon enough. And I don’t know why Ahsoka is only entering into production right now — this show should have been started over a year ago!