The Mandalorian season 2, episode 6 clocks in around 27 minutes, making it one of the shortest in the program’s 14-episode run. But even with that brief running time, director Robert Rodriguez ties up a thread of a storyline left dangling some 37 years ago with a badass fight sequence that fans have been craving since 1983.
[Ed. note: This story will spoil The Mandalorian chapter 14, “The Tragedy.”]
Chapter 14, “The Tragedy,” gets right to it, landing Baby Yoda aka Grogu and Din Djarin aka The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) on the planet Tython at an ancient Jedi temple — or Space Weathertop, if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan. It’s the most Southern Californian landscape that our armored hero and his little green friend have yet visited. But like the Tolkien-esque location that it so clearly apes, it will also be the site of one of the series’ great conflicts.
Just as Grogu begins to commune with the Force, calling out to the remaining Jedi to locate a new master, Slave 1 drops in from orbit and out walks actor Temuera Morrison. The mysterious figure first seen in season 1, episode 5 finally steps into the frame to announce himself. Boba Fett is back, and he wants his old suit of armor.
As backup, he’s also brought along the skilled sniper named Fennec Shand (Ming-na Wen). With Grogu fixed in her sights, the trio cut a deal — the Child’s safety in exchange for Boba’s beskar.
Everything changes when the Empire lands a platoon of stormtroopers, complete with a heavy weapons detachment, to secure the area. What follows is an extended battle sequence that occupies the majority of the episode.
When Boba Fett was first introduced to Star Wars fans it was in 1980, the character spent most of his time nodding and walking through the Cloud City with Han Solo frozen in carbonite. Then, in 1983, he had his fateful showdown with Luke Skywalker atop Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge. What followed was one of the biggest bonehead moves in cinematic history, with a blind Han Solo inadvertently setting off the bounty hunter’s jetpack and sending the heavily armored trooper sailing into the mouth of the Great Sarlaac.
Two major motion pictures worth of build-up, and Boba Fett exited the stage as little more than comic relief. The dopey moment became so infamous, Jon Favreau paid homage to it in the season 2 premiere.
Well, this time around Boba gets to play. Morrison fights like a man possessed, swinging both ends of his gaffi stick around and laying out dozens of Imperial stormtroopers in a cloud of white armor chunks. It’s a powerful scene of redemption for the bounty hunter, who in the same episode invokes the prequel trilogy by uttering the name “Jango” and still sounds like a total heavy. He proves to Mando without a doubt that he is worthy to wear the armor.
It also puts aside any reservations that I might have had about Boba finding his way out of the belly of the sarlaac. If Din Djarin can gut a Krayt Dragon from the inside out, then there’s no way that something as slovenly and immobile as a sarlaac is going to make a meal out of this Boba.
In the final sequence, the true tragedy finally emerges. With his stormtroopers eliminated, Moff Gideon — who has been hiding in low orbit, watching the battle unfold — sends in the Dark Troopers. The secret troopers revealed at the end of episode 4 are revealed to be Dark Troopers, heavily-armed combat droids. They land on Space Weathertop, encircle the child like Nazgûl, and carry him off to the Empire. As a parting shot, a single turbolaser lands and takes out the Razor Crest. Not even a crafty Mon Calamari is putting it back together this time.
That leaves Din Djarin no choice but to pursue Gideon and take back The Child. But, this time around he’ll be joined by a pair of powerful new allies — Fennec Shand and Boba Fett.
Boba clearly isn’t done taking his victory lap through the Star Wars universe, at least not in the timeline of The Mandalorian. What’s more is that there are serious rumors Disney may be making a Boba Fett spin-off starring Morrison. Others think that instead it could focus on Bo-Katan Kryze and/or Cara Dune. Or... it could just be them filming season 3 of The Mandalorian. Time will tell, as the team at Lucasfilm has somehow managed to keep plenty of things — like the return of Boba Fett himself — safely under wraps.