For better or worse, the sixth episode of The Book of Boba Fett was pure Star Wars catnip: 48 minutes jam-packed with things some fans have imagined seeing for their entire lives. Boba Fett even made a brief appearance on his own show! But eventually, the episode ended with a huge decision to be made. One that’s sure to shape the future of Star Wars for the foreseeable future. One that, we believe, can only go one way.
As expected from the end of the fifth episode, The Book of Boba Fett picked up with Din Djarin going to visit Grogu, who is training with Luke Skywalker. Ahsoka Tano is also there, which is a whole other deal we won’t get into here. She greets Mando, and tells him that even though Mando wants to see Grogu, he should not. She believes seeing the reunion would be a blow against Grogu’s training and make their separation that much more difficult. Mando begrudgingly agrees and asks that Grogu be given the Beskar chainmail shirt he had made for him.
When Ahsoka tells Luke all this he agrees and admits his training isn’t going quite as planned (and yes, this is all still happening on a show called The Book of Boba Fett). He doesn’t want Grogu to be distracted by attachments and, at the end of the episode, presents Grogu with a choice: Mandalorian armor or a lightsaber. Yoda’s lightsaber, in fact. Luke is telling Grogu he can train as a Jedi, or be with his father figure, but not both. Which, admittedly, seems a little weird coming from the guy who chose his friends over Jedi training in a similar situation with a similar-looking character but, again, that’s another whole other deal.
Since Grogu is so strong with the Force, one might think choosing the path of the Jedi (and that sweet Yoda saber) is the way to go. However, as Yoda might say, “It won’t be.” In fact, it basically has to be the other way. Grogu surely has to choose the Mandalorian, and we’ll tell you why.
From the second “the Child” was introduced, he threw a complex wrench into Star Wars mythology. That a being as strong with the Force as he is existed at all upset all manner of what the Jedi, the Force, etc. meant in a post-Return of the Jedi world. And once Luke Skywalker met him, that got heightened further. Luke was now training his own version of Yoda? How had he not mentioned this? Why hadn’t this Jedi Master helped Rey? Those answers seemed rather obvious at the time. Because he’s with Luke, Grogu would have probably been slaughtered by fellow student Ben Solo, which would be a very sad ending for such a beloved character.
But this episode, this choice, changes all that. It gives Grogu (and thereby writers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni) a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. If Grogu chooses to go back with Mando, he’s moved from one story to the other. No matter what’s next for The Mandalorian (though we imagine season three will be the title character struggling with what it means to be Mandalorian, and maybe using that Darksaber to restore his home planet), it’s likely to be detached from the events of the films. The Mandalorian story is becoming a larger and larger canvas where Grogu can live a good, meaningful life away from the First Order, Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker, and the like. It also leaves the character open to future storytelling in a way choosing the lightsaber does not. In the past, Luke’s decisions led him either to the light or the dark side. Grogu’s decision leads him either to stories we’ve seen or stories we haven’t, and that’s not a decision at all.
Plus, if Grogu leaves Luke, that doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t ever be a Jedi, or at least some kind of more powerful Force user. We know others like him are out there. Maybe he could even meet Rey after the defeat of Palpatine. But to get there Grogu must, and will, choose his own path. One that leads him back to The Mandalorian. This is the way. The only way.
The Book of Boba Fett concludes next week on Disney+.
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