Did you watch this week's "The Book of Boba Fett?" Oh, I'm sorry. I mean, "The Mandalorian," don't I? Boba Fett's name was spoken, but his face was never seen (as the Mandalorians would say, this is the way). This week was all about Mando missing Grogu (same, Mando, same), getting a new ship, and so much techno-speak that my brain swam a bit. Who cares? Mando is back! That's all I care about. Plus, if Mando is back, that means it's only a matter of time before we see little Grogu again! Bring me my chickie nuggies and choc-y milk to celebrate!
This episode is absolutely chock full of Easter eggs, my fellow Jedi! From the return of the Darksaber to Peli's treatment of little creatures and a certain man in an X-wing fighter, we're going to dive right into what's coming.
I will warn you right now about spoilers that lay ahead. Also, I don't believe that first picture counts. The episode is called "Return of the Mandalorian," so if you didn't get that part, it's not on me.
Paz Vizsla And The Darksaber
Mando is doing bounty hunter things again in this episode, set after Luke Skywalker comes to take Grogu away at the end of "The Mandalorian" season 2 (sniff). He's doing it, though, so he can find the remnants of the Mandalorians, coming across an alien speaking Huttese (the language of crime). She's an Ishi Tib (some of whom worked for Jabba in the past, and some of whom fought with the Rebellion), and he gives her the head of Kaba Baiz, the Klatooinian that he slays for her in exchange for information. Mando lets the other Klatooinian take the Republic credits from their dead boss, showing that he and Boba are on the same page right now. They want justice, not reward.
By the way, that orbiting ring society that Mando visits to deliver the head is very much like the Halos from "Halo," and was likely inspired by "Ringworld," the 1970 novel by Larry Niven. It also looks like Ringo Vinda space station from "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."
He gets the location from this lady and then goes to see the Armorer. Remember her? She is hardcore about the Mandalorian religion and makes a whole lot of demands. She lets him train with that Darksaber that he won from Moff Gideon at the end of season 2. We get a whole lot of "Mandalorian" reminders here: Paz Vizsla lets Mando know that only three Mandalorians survived that battle on Nevarro; Mando's ancestor, Terre Vizsla, forged the Darksaber and was a Mandalorian and a Jedi (which means he was very conflicted, with the Jedi not wanting attachments and the Mandalorians loving them); we're reminded that you have to win the Darksaber in battle or it poses a threat to Mandalore, and we learn about the Night of a Thousand Tears when the Galactic Empire took control of the moon of Concordia in a disaster that looked like something out of "The Terminator."
If you thought those droids looked familiar, it's because they're probe and KX droids like K-2SO from "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."
It's Shaped Like Grogu's Head!
The Armorer thinks Bo-Katan is not so great because she takes off her helmet and was given the Darksaber rather than winning it in battle. (That happened in "Star Wars: Rebels" when Sabine Wren gifted it to her, and the clans approved.) The Armorer also mentions the mythosaur, the skull of which is the Mandalorian symbol. Also, we see Boba Fett ride it in the "Star Wars Holiday Special" animated sequence. He did mention in the last episode that he has ridden something far larger than a rancor.
A few other things: Evidently, Mando sucks at wielding the Darksaber because he's fighting its power; he doesn't want to be the ruler (very Jon Snow of him); he's distracted by Grogu (can you blame him?); he admits to taking off his helmet and has to leave the group, but does win the Darksaber again by beating Paz in battle. Oh, and he has the beskar spear Ahsoka Tano gave him melted down into protection for Grogu. I think it was maybe chain mail, because I saw some rings, but who knows. Mando can't use the spear because beskar is supposed to be for armor and not weapons, though it appears that the Armorer is using beskar weapons to train against the Darksaber. Either way, look at that package! It's shaped like Grogu's little head and ears and I'm dying of cute and need him back right now!
Mando leaves for Tatooine (because everyone who is anyone goes there these days, I guess) and has to check his weapons with a droid. There are a whole lot of them and it's a cute scene. I think that droid was R-3X, the one from Star Tours again.
Aw Mando, Wave At The Kid, Okay?
Poor Mando doesn't have a ride, and he has to fly coach, so to speak. A cute little Rhodian kid waves at him, and there is a great callback to it later. Mando doesn't wave back, missing his little buddy, but later he flies by and nods to the kid. Watching him stare out the window of the transport makes me think of when I rode a bus once and I feel ya, Mando.
On Tatooine, the place to be seen, we meet up with Peli, who we saw with her pit droids a few episodes ago. She's got R5 (with his busted motivator hole from "A New Hope") and a BD droid, which may or may not be the same cutie who was with Cal Kestis in "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order."
A womp rat (referenced so many times in the "Star Wars" universe that it would be an entire article to write them all — first up was a reference by Luke Skywalker in "A New Hope") attacks Peli, and Mando shows up just in time to save her. She's fixing up a ship for him to replace the Razor Crest. He doesn't trust her, but of course, she's got a good one. It's an N1 Starfighter, like the ones from Naboo, and specifically, the model that Anakin Skywalker flew in the final battle in "The Phantom Menace." Peli does reference that these were used by the Queen of Naboo, and since this would have been pre-Empire, it might be when Padme Amidala was Queen.
Pre-Empire means the ship isn't registered, though, which is the best kind of ship for crime.
Peli And A Jawa, Sitting In A Tree
Peli fixes it up in many illegal ways (being careful not to disturb a nest of scurriers, something I believe Boba and Fennec were eating around that fire last episode in the flashback). She even calls in the Jawas for parts and oh my freaking god, she dated one. Not that I'm judging her. It's just that she says they're furry and I don't even know how that would work and I'm not okay folks. I'm. Not. Okay.
Mando takes his new ship out for a spin (on the same podracing track seen in "The Phantom Menace") and loves it, shouting "Dank Farrik," a curse we've heard before in this show. He also compliments the ship by calling it "wizard," which is slang from Tatooine. We heard someone call Anakin's pod craft wizard back in "Phantom Menace." Mando flies through Beggar's Canyon, which is one of the places from the podrace and also a place that Luke Skywalker mentions when he's doing the final run on the Death Star in "A New Hope." You may recall: "It'll be just like Beggar's Canyon back home!"
While Mando is on his joyride, he runs into some former Rebels in X-Wing Fighters who are sort of space cops now. One of them is Carson Teva who has dealt with Mando before and recognizes his voice. By the way, the other X-Wing pilot is played by Max Lloyd Jones, who was the body double for Luke Skywalker in "The Mandalorian" season 2 finale. The space cops want some more info on the ship, but Mando escapes because he's Mando!
Time To Hire Some Muscle, Covered In Beskar
When Mando returns to Peli, he has a visitor in the form of Fennec Shand. Remember last week when Fennec said that they could hire muscle for the right price (and that Boba Fett said he had plenty of credits)? Well, she's willing to pay Mando to be that muscle. He won't take her money, because all criminals on Tatooine these days that aren't the Pyke Syndicate (who, it is mentioned, have ruined Tatooine with their spice trade) and the bike gang (not the Vespa gang), are really nice. He's taking the gig on the house, but he has to "visit a little friend" first.
It's Grogu! He has to give armor to Grogu! Bring him blue cookies, okay Mando? I need him to have all his snicky snacks while he's training in case he gets hungry and … sorry. Next week is shaping up to be pretty great, and maybe Din Djarin showing up is going to give the kick in the pants that Boba's character needs right now.
I do like the show, don't get me wrong. It's not Temuera Morrison's fault. It's just that it's been kind of slow in the present day and the flashbacks were far more interesting. Fight me with your Darksaber!
• I think that random rooster dragon thing was a sand bat. The Tusken Raiders used their venom to fight Krayt dragons and they crow at sunrise.
• Peli took out the droid port in Mando's new ship because she knows he doesn't like them. He may have changed because he's nice to the little BD droid and he seems sad about it. He misses the company, I think.
• There was a gonk droid being used as a battery by Peli, but since she loves droids, I'm pretty sure he's fine.
• I cannot figure out what "as a monk's scomp jack" means when Mando is referring to the ride being smooth. A scomp is the little tool that droids use in locks. Is the jack the hole? Does that mean something dirty? Geez, Mando, language!
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