The Essential Clone Wars: “The Mandalore Plot”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

Star Wars The Clone Wars The Mandalore Plot, Duchess SatineSERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S2:E12 – “The Mandalore Plot”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
James Arnold Taylor, Anna Graves, Jon Favreau, Corey Burton, Greg Proops
WRITER:
Melinda Hsu
DIRECTOR:
Kyle Dunlevy
PREMIERE DATE:
January 29, 2010
SYNOPSIS:
Obi-Wan reunites with an old friend to solve a mystery on Mandalore.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Episodes like “The Mandalore Plot” expose a problem with the show: Obi-Wan’s costume. For whatever reason, characters like Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka appear in the same singular outfit episode after episode. That’s not a drastic problem, as they’re Jedi and virtually always wear similar outfits. But for Obi-Wan it’s a problem, as they opted to put him in battle armor for his singular outfit. That works fine for battle sequences. But this episode starts with a diplomatic mission to Mandalore. As such, the armor is inappropriate. Obi-Wan really should have been in Jedi robes, akin to what he wears in all three prequel films.

Making the Mandalorians their own society of super commandos presents a problem: It devalues Boba Fett and Jango Fett, as we now virtually have a planet full of characters that all have similar costumes and gadgets. Considering what pivotal roles Boba and Jango have in the saga at large, I would have deemed that unacceptable, regardless of whether that’s how the Mandalorians were originally conceived.

Star Wars The Clone Wars, The Mandalore Plot, Pre Vizsla

What’s more, it’s a problem that Star Wars wasn’t able to even try and solve until more than a decade later, when we got to The Mandalorian. When we get to “The Tragedy” in season two, we’re able to see how Boba Fett’s fighting style is much more brutal than Din Djarin’s, and presumably the rest of the Mandalorians. I’d still prefer Boba and Jango had the whole helmet and jetpack M.O. to themselves. But that helped.

On the subject of The Mandalorian, the man who would become its showrunner, Jon Favreau, plays Pre Vizsla. I’m not enamored with that casting choice, though. Maybe it’s the stark contrast of his nasally American accent against the ones James Arnold Taylor and Anna Graves give to Obi-Wan and Satine. (I say that as a guy with a nasally American accent. It’s not an insult, I promise.)

The Clone Wars is a kids show, right? At least in theory? I say that because it’s not often you see a suicide on a kids show. We hear the sound of his body hitting the ground and everything. I ain’t mad at it. I’m just saying you don’t see it often. If ever…

Before strapping Obi-Wan into that Adam West Batman style death trap, the Death Watch soldiers thought enough to take Obi-Wan’s lightsaber. However they apparently didn’t think to check him for communication devices. Bad form, gentlemen.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Rob Watches Boba Fett – Staying in Your Lane

The Book of Boba Fett, characters posterSERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E6. “Chapter 7: In the Name of Honor”
STARRING:
Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, Pedro Pascal, Amy Sedaris, David Pasquesi
WRITERS:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez
PREMIERE DATE:
February 9, 2022
SYNOPSIS:
Boba Fett and his forces collide with the Pyke Syndicate.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

After Luke’s ultimatum in the previous episode, Grogu abandons his Jedi training, and elects to return to Din Djarin’s side. Ironic, isn’t it? Luke made a similar decision with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.

And thus, Luke’s first student winds up ditching him. Not a great start to a Jedi Academy that will ultimately meet a tragic end…

Boba Fett agrees to stop the spice (a drug in the Star Wars universe) from flowing through Tatooine to get the villagers of Freetown to fight for him. This, despite the fact that spice trade makes up a huge portion of his business. This, plus the fact that he and his crew are essentially defending Mos Espa from the bad guys, make Boba Fett seem much more like a Robin Hood figure than a crime lord. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Is that really the Boba Fett that people want to see?

I appreciate that Mando doesn’t look graceful or polished at all in his use of the Darksaber. It makes sense. He’s not a swordsman. So he should look like an amateur.

Boba Fett riding a rancor seems like the kind of thing a fanboy saw in a wet dream. Granted, it was pretty awesome. But still.

THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT

It’s a little surprising that they killed off Cad Bane. Granted, this is Star Wars. People in this universe can survive being cut in half and dropped down a pit. So there’s no hard and fast rule that says he can’t come back at some point. But this felt like it had a measure of finality to it. A fitting end for the character.

The fact that the episode and the season end not with a shot of Boba Fett, but Mando and Grogu, pretty much says it all. They wound up being what people cared about, not Fett.

Temuera Morrison has said that, in a second season, he’d like to see Boba Fett go after Mace Windu for killing his father. Eh…no thanks. It might be cool to see Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu again. But not in that context. I’m content to let him stay dead.

All in all, it seems like The Book of Boba Fett, the first season at least, will be remembered as a series that couldn’t support itself from a storytelling perspective. Thus, the need to borrow elements from The Mandalorian. It was awesome to see all that stuff. But it belonged in season three of Mando’s show, not Boba Fett’s show.

That’s not to say Mando had no business being there at all. He could have, say, come in at the end of episode six as a hook for the finale. That way we still get those scenes of Fett and Mando fighting off the Pykes together. But devoting two full episodes to him? To call that pulling focus is a gross understatement.

I guess sometimes you just need to stay in your lane…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Rob Watches Boba Fett – A Star-Studded Affair

Book of Boba Fett, Cad Bane posterSERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E6. “Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Rosario Dawson, Timothy Olyphant
WRITERS:
Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni
DIRECTOR: Dave Filoni
PREMIERE DATE:
February 2, 2022
SYNOPSIS:
The Mandalorian seeks out Grogu and Luke Skywalker.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

We open the episode with a surprise appearance from Cobb Vanth. Having Cobb Vanth in the show makes a little more sense than having Mando here. And it’s good to see Timothy Olyphant back. I like the character, and he comes off pretty bad ass here. But I won’t lie, I did roll my eyes a little bit when he showed up. First Mando, now this.

And in terms of holdovers from The Mandalorian, we weren’t done by a long shot.

Not only do we not know how Mando knows where Grogu is, we don’t even know anything about this planet. We saw it in flashbacks in The Last Jedi. But I think this is the only other time we’ve seen it. Certainly that’s the case in the movies and television. Maybe in the comic books somewhere…

Well, there he is. There’s Luke Skywalker. Inevitably, this CGI Mark Hamill sparked a big debate amongst viewers as to how right or wrong it was to do, whether actors are about to be replaced by lifeless CGI algorithms, how good the effect actually looked, etc.

I can’t say I have answers to any of those questions, accept to say it looked about as real as any other visual effect Star Wars has ever done. Especially since this time they had the character doing more. Running, using a lightsaber without the hood, and just generally having more screen time. As for how appropriate it is, one thing that eases my conscience a little bit is that Mark Hamill himself is involved here. It’s not like what they did with Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One, where they’re resurrecting a human being who’s long dead. It’s a little less creepy that way.

The Book of Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker

Incidentally, it’s only a matter of time until we get CGI Han Solo. I mean, is that even debatable at this point?

In an episode filled with surprises, seeing Rosario Dawson return as Ahsoka Tano was, for me at least, the biggest one. As Ahsoka was obviously Anakin Skywalker’s student, having her meet his son opens up a lot of intriguing storytelling doors. I’m hopeful we’ll expand on Luke and Ahsoka’s relationship, whatever it may be, once we get to her show.

It’s worth noting that Boba Fett does, in fact, appear in this episode of The Book of Boba Fett. Fennec Shand does most of the talking in the scene, so he’s almost a background player. But at least he’s there. That’s more than we could say about the last episode.

I must admit: I haven’t seen as much of The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Bad Batch as others have. But I still knew the blue stranger emerging from the desert at the end of the episode was Cad Bane. He looks damn good, and has a nice foreboding vibe about him.

I have to say, I’m a little disappointed in Luke. He’s still going with this “attachment is forbidden” rule of the Jedi code, when that’s part of what led to Anakin’s fall, and the subsequent destruction of the Jedi Order. Luke has a chance at a fresh start. To create his own vision of the Jedi Order. Instead, he’s just going back to what they did before.

The Book of Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker, Grogu

What’s more, Luke has attachments, doesn’t he? He has his sister. He has friends. Hell, the love between Luke and his father is the key to the whole Darth Vader redemption story. This could be an interesting opportunity to expand on what a Jedi is and can be. They could illustrate how attachments and connections can actually make us stronger beings, and thus stronger Jedi. I hope some of that is addressed as time goes on.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Rob Watches Boba Fett – Hijacking the Show

The Book of Boba Fett, Mandalorian posterSERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E5. “Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Amy Sedaris
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Bryce Dallas Howard
PREMIERE DATE:
January 26, 2022
SYNOPSIS: 
The Mandalorian gets a new ship, and learns more about the power of the Darksaber.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Let’s call out the elephant in the room. The big critique of this episode, as well as the following episode, is that they’re episodes of The Mandalorian shoehorned into The Book of Boba Fett. Whether anyone likes it or not, that’s a fair and just criticism. This is supposed to be a Boba Fett show, and he doesn’t even appear in this episode.

That’s not to say Mando has no place in this story. He could have come to Tatooine to help Fett in his fight against the Pykes. But this? Basically hijacking two episodes of Fett’s show to shift back to his story with Grogu? That’s too much. It’s good stuff, but it doesn’t belong here. It should have been saved for season three of The Mandalorian.

So what happened? How did The Book of Boba Fett get hijacked? I’ve got two theories…

The first is that the showrunners realized they didn’t have enough story with Boba Fett to fill an entire season. So they fall back on the Mandalorian stuff, which they knew fans would like. That doesn’t excuse it, but it’s a reasonable explanation.

The second is that the higher-ups at Disney and/or Lucasfilm said, “Mando and Grogu are popular. So put them in the show.” I’m not sure how likely that is, as Jon Favreau seems to have a good amount of control over the “Mandoverse.” But never underestimate the possibility of non-creative people trying to exert control over creative people. There’d be a sad irony there, as George Lucas fought vehemently against that sort of thing while making the original trilogy.

But to reiterate, even though these two episodes don’t belong here, they are pretty damn good. So let’s dive in…

The Book of Boba Fett, Mandalorian

Awesome entrance for Mando, not surprisingly. A sure fire way for a Star Wars project to impress me is to show us new and unique places in the Star Wars universe. “Return of the Mandalorian” manages to do that not once, but twice. We get this slaughterhouse in the opening scene, which is pretty cool. They could have gotten a little more creative with the fight and maybe had Mando and the goons smacking into bloody slabs of meat. But maybe that’s a little too much…

But what I really loved was the city of Glavis, which is situated on a gigantic ring structure in space. They could have just had Mando on another desert planet, or a jungle planet, or an ice planet, or whatever. But instead they got creative. Excellent.

Amy Sedaris is back as Peli Motto. Given her background, I’m curious if she has any input on what she says. That stuff about dating a jawa, for instance. Did she come up with that, or was it in the script?

Mando’s new ship is a modified Naboo starfigher, like the ones we saw in The Phantom Menace. It looks cool, but I miss the Razor Crest. This fighter doesn’t double as a home base the way the Crest did.

Mando has Mandalorian armor made for Grogu, and wants to deliver it to him personally. He apparently knows where Luke took him. But how? Luke didn’t exactly give a forwarding address. And you’d think he’d want to keep its location a secret. So what gives?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Rob Watches Boba Fett – He Kept the Ship?!?

The Book of Boba Fett, Fennec Shand posterSERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E4. “Chapter 4: The Gathering Storm”
STARRING:
Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, Jennifer Beals, Carey Jones
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Kevin Tancharoen
PREMIERE DATE:
January 19, 2022
SYNOPSIS: 
Boba Fett gathers his forces far war against the Pyke Syndicate.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Boba Fett, now wandering alone, finds a nearly dead Fennec Shand in the desert. He takes her for cybernetic augmentation, saving her life. He then recruits her to help him take his ship back from Jabba the Hutt’s palace.

Fett saving Shand means, chronologically, these flashbacks are now in the era of The Mandalorian. In other words, five years after Return of the Jedi. Thus, I must pose the question…why is the ship still at the palace five years later? What possible use could Bib Fortuna have had for it? Why not dismantle it for parts? Or auction it off as the last remanant of the great Boba Fett?

The real answer, of course, is that from a storytelling standpoint, Jabba’s palace is the last place we the viewers saw the ship. So it’s easiest to simply have them go back there and get it. But someday, even if it’s just in a novel or something, I hope we get some kind of answer as to why Fortuna kept it.

Incidentally, Boba Fett’s ship is called Slave I. For whatever reason, Disney doesn’t want it referred to by the name anymore. I imagine they don’t want the protagonist for one of their big TV shows riding around in a ship with slave in the name. But I’m old school. It is, and always will be, Slave I.

Some of these sequences are really, really dark. Not tonally. I mean it’s difficult to watch them during the daytime because they look almost pitch black in a sunlit room. The sequence in the previous episode where Black Krrsantan attacks Fett in the bacta tank was like that too. Does that make me sound like an old man? Yes. But is it still true? Yes.

The Book of Boba Fett, Fennec Shand

Why does Shand decide to stay with Fett after her debt to him is paid? What’s her interest in him? Is it professional admiration? Is it romantic? What’s the deal?

The visual of Slave I hovering face down over the sarlaac pit is pretty absurd. I get that it served the purpose of killing the sarlaac. But still, it was awkward.

This episode gives us some insight into why Fett wants to take over Jabba’s operation. He wants to run an organization that’s better than the ones he’s worked for. That’s…not the best answer they could have given. But it’s fair enough, I suppose.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Rob Watches Boba Fett – Krrsantan Steals the Show

SERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E3. “Chapter 3: The Streets of Mos Espa”
STARRING:
Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, David Pasquesi, Danny Trejo, Sophie Thatcher
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez
PREMIERE DATE:
January 12, 2022
SYNOPSIS:
Another attempt is made on Boba Fett’s life.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The cyborg gang that Fett ultimately recruits are riding multicolored speeder bikes. That prompted a few Power Rangers jokes on Twitter. As a Power Rangers die hard, you’d think I’d have been more amused. I wasn’t.

As Fett is riding through the city in the flashback, we see the a shot of stormtrooper helmets on spikes, which is obviously an idea recycled from The Mandalorian. As if to add an exclamation point, we then see Peli Motto, the Amy Sedaris character, walking in the distance with some droids trailing her.

Fett returns to the Tusken camp to find they’ve been slaughtered by the nikto gang. So I’ll ask again: How long was he with the Tuskens? Months? Years? He couldn’t have been with them for almost five years, could he?

I loved Black Krrsantan breaking into the palace and grabbing Fett in his bacta tank. It’s one of the highlights of the whole season, if you ask me.

Fett winds up letting Krrsantan go after his conversation with the hutt twins. He lets this big hairy sasquatch just run out into the desert without any water or anything. I guess the idea is that the palace is in Mos Espa, so he’s close to civilization. But it still made for a bit of an awkward visual.

The twins give Fett a new rancor to put in the palace’s pit. Fett expresses a desire to eventually ride the young animal. Well, they’ve planted that visual in our heads. Now it’s going to be disappointing if we don’t get it at some point. If not during the season finale, then during a subsequent season.

I enjoyed the speeder chase through Mos Espa between the cyborg gang and the mayor’s majordomo. Any time there’s a high speed vehicle chase in Star Wars, I imagine George Lucas’ inner child smiles, given his well documented love for cars and speed.

One of the trailers for The Book of Boba Fett made it seem like Sophie Thatcher’s character, the cyborg Drash, would have a bigger role in things. Hopefully as time goes on, we’ll learn more about her.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Rob Watches Boba Fett – I Thought It Was Just a Stick

The Book of Boba Fett, Boba Fett posterSERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E2. “Chapter 2: The Tribes of Tatooine”
STARRING:
Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, David Pasquesi, Jennifer Beals
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Steph Green
PREMIERE DATE:
January 5, 2022
SYNOPSIS:
Boba Fett faces challengers to his new throne.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

It makes a lot of sense to me that Fett got attacked by the Order of the Night Wind in the very first episode. After all, he walks around Mos Espa with no fanfare and very little protection. He’s practically begging to be attacked. Then again, maybe that’s the point. Based on what we see in this episode, maybe he’s willing to take on all challengers to his throne, and those that would do him harm…

“Your sister is right. If you want it, you’ll have to kill me for it.” That’s a great line. Bad ass.

*eyes pop* Ming-Na Wen is 58 years old?!? I wouldn’t have guessed that in a million years.

In the flashback portion of the episode, we see the Tuskens get attacked by a train belonging to the Pyke Syndicate. Fett and the Tuskens then hatch a plan to take the train down. The existence of trains in the Star Wars universe has always been little curious to me. We obviously saw one in Solo too. What use does a universe that has space travel have for trains?

This strikes me as one of those things you can explain away if you put enough thought into it. Firstly, they’re not conventional trains with wheels and tracks. They’re, for lack of a better term, “hover trains” that travel off the ground. And maybe the planets that use trains are a little less industrially developed than the ones that don’t…?

I’unno. Just spitballin’.

The Book of Boba Fett, Fixer and Camie

When the nikto gang is in the cantina, the humans they’re about to victimize are Fixer and Camie (shown above), two old friends of Luke Skywalker. Originally those characters were to be in the first act of the original Star Wars, alongside Biggs Darklighter. But their footage obviously wound up on the cutting room floor. The deteriorated footage can be found on Disney+.

Via the ritual they put Boba Fett through, we see the creation of a Tusken’s gaffi stick is part of a rite of passage. Presumably a coming of age one.

And to think, in A New Hope they were just sticks to hit people with.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Rob Watches Boba Fett – Emerging From the Pit…

The Book of Boba Fett, posterSERIES: The Book of Boba Fett
EPISODE:
S1:E1. “Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land”
STARRING:
Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, David Pasquesi
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Robert Rodriguez
PREMIERE DATE:
December 29, 2021
SYNOPSIS:
Years after escaping certain death, Boba Fett takes over Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Disney kind of screwed Boba Fett over. I mean, think about it. They took the basic concept of the character, costume and all, and repackaged it into The Mandalorian. And obviously, that repackaging paid off. The Mandalorian is the best Star Wars content to come along in years. But it didn’t leave much for them to work with as far as a Boba Fett TV show is concerned. He couldn’t be a lone gunslinger traveling the galaxy and having adventures. Mando was/is already doing that.

So what does Boba Fett do if he’s not a bounty hunter anymore? That question could have been the thesis for an entire season. But coming into The Book of Boba Fett, we already knew what the character’s new goal was: To take over Jabba the Hutt’s criminal empire.

But why? Why does he want to be the head of a crime family? That’s my big question coming out of the first episode, and that’s what I hope The Book of Boba Fett tells us. At this point, Boba has either been a bounty hunter or been around bounty hunting for most of his life. To an extent, it’s all he knows. So why the change? And why now?

As they’re both overseen by Jon Favreau, and their main characters are so similar, it’s difficult not to compare The Book of Boba Fett to The Mandalorian. Especially at first.

I loved the first episode of The Mandalorian, particularly the opening scene in the cantina. It captured our intrigue, set the tone for the show beautifully, and is generally just a fun scene. This episode doesn’t give us a scene quite like that, but it does show fans something they’ve always wanted to see: Boba Fett escaping from the sarlaac pit.

Even George Lucas didn’t believe Boba Fett died in the pit. He said so on the Return of the Jedi DVD commentary track. So this escape scene was a long time coming. I feel like that image of Fett’s hand bursting out of the sand has been in the fandom’s collective consciousness for decades.

So Fett’s armor (mostly) protected him from the sarlaac’s stomach acid, and he was able to breathe thanks to some leftover oxygen from a doomed Imperial stormtrooper’s helmet. The question, of course, is what a stormtrooper was doing at Jabba’s palace to begin with. It’s not a pressing question, though. We saw stormtroopers walking around on Tatooine. One could have easily gotten on Jabba’s bad side.

Jawas proceed to steal the armor off Fett’s unconscious body. To make matters worse, that white body suit he was wearing isn’t exactly dignified.

So how old is Boba Fett supposed to be at this point? Let’s say he was about 8 when we saw him in Attack of the Clones. And that movie takes places 22 years before A New Hope. So, factoring in the four years between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, that would make him…about 34 years old when he crawls out of the sarlaac pit, and 39 during the events of The Book of Boba Fett.

I’ll say this much: I don’t necessarily envy Temuera Morrison. He’s over 60 years old, and has to play someone 20 years younger. He manages to pull it off, though.

After being captured and enslaved by Tusken Raiders, Fett is able to loosen his bonds, and offers to free a fellow prisoner. Said prisoner then screams for his captors, foiling Fett’s escape attempt.

Something about Fett offering to free that prisoner rubs me the wrong way. The man is supposed to be a mercenary. What does he care about what happens to anyone else? Particularly in that scenario.

On a geographical note, I never knew Jabba’s palace was in Mos Espa, a city we originally saw in The Phantom Menace. We saw him pop up in that movie during the podrace. But I had no idea he lived there. From exterior shots, the palace always appeared to be in a fairly remote location. Maybe it’s just outside city limits…?

The referral to Boba Fett as the new daimyo is interesting. The word daimyo refers to a lord or leader in feudal Japan. A nod to George Lucas’ appreciation for Akira Kurosawa films, perhaps?

The blue pianist in the cantina is indeed Max Rebo, who we saw in Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi. A random choice. But not an unwelcome one.

After the fight with the assassins, Fett tells his gamorrean guards to get him to his bacta tank. Bacta, of course, being the universal stand-in for medicine in the Star Wars universe.

As he’s moving a bit slow in the fight against the assassins, we see Fett is still feeling the effects of the sarlaac pit even five years later. Presumably he’d be fully healed if he’d started bacta treatments sooner. I’m wondering how long he’s supposed to have been doing bacta treatments. Since he installed himself as daimyo, perhaps? That might make sense, as Jabba would have had the resources to come up with a personal bacta tank like that. Except his would have been much bigger. His would have been, like…a bacta vat.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: Return of a Jedi

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE:
S2:E8. “Chapter 16: The Rescue”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Giancarlo Esposito, Katee Sackhoff, Gina Carano, Ming-Na Wen
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed
PREMIERE DATE:
December 18, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Mando and his allies storm Moff Gideon’s ship to save Grogu.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Yes, I understand we skipped an episode. But for obvious reasons, this episode had to be talked about ASAP. We’ll come back to “The Believer” in a few days. Promise.

I hate Rogue One. I absolutely hate it, and can’t understand why so many people love it. But there’s one thing that movie did right: Captions that told us which planets we traveled to. Too many of these Disney-era Star Wars planets look the same.

Koska Reeves’ crack about Boba Fett being a sidekick rings true. That’s unexpected, considering this season is basically his big comeback. He’s got clean armor and everything!

Koska hitting Fett with a DDT is one of the most pro-wrestling things the episode could have done. I kind of love it.

See, if I’m a regular stormtrooper, I’m looking at that dark trooper armor and thinking, “Can I get at least half the protection that black armor provides?” Maybe then these damn troopers wouldn’t be so expendable…

Seriously. Cara Dune’s gun getting jammed was the worst thing that happened to our heroes as they faced down a virtual army of stormtroopers. It’s frustrating.

Those dark troopers are definitely nightmare fuel. Kudos on the design.

“…properties that have the potential to bring order back to the galaxy.” It’s reasonable to assume that means properties that can resurrect Palpatine, properties that can eventually be used to create Snoke, or some combination of both.

I like that the Darksaber was burning Mando’s staff the longer the two weapons had direct contact. It indicates the lightsaber is more powerful, which is as it should be.

Luke. Skywalker. Holy. Crap. This show just pulled out all the stops. The anticipation, the tension, leading up to the reveal of Luke’s face, was amazing. What a moment…

What’s more, they got Mark Hamill involved! I’m very anxious to see if it was just his voice, or if he was somehow involved on set as well.

And we get an appearance by R2-D2 as a bonus!

I just saw a headline that indicated this episode betrayed its characters by “indulging in the Skywalker saga.” The sub-head indicated new Star Wars had succumbed to old Star Wars. That’s a frustrating sentiment to read. But it’s a valid point. Despite a wonderfully emotional goodbye between Mando and Grogu, Luke pulled focus. It was inevitable. Anything from the original trilogy is going to have that effect. I mentioned Rogue One above, and Darth Vader had the same effect in that movie.

It’s a little bit like dangling a shiny object in front of a little kid. With this finale, Jon Favreau basically dangled a shiny object in front of the little kid in all of us. I really can’t dispute that.

But I would argue that, despite Luke pulling focus, the heart of the episode was indeed about Mando and Grogu. Those are two new characters that we’ve come to know and love over the course of two seasons. I also can’t dispute that.

And honestly, where else could this story have gone? Side effects of bringing in Luke notwithstanding, it’s logical that Grogu, being as strong in the Force as he is, would encounter him at some point…

Mrs. Primary Ignition was quite curious about what this episode means for Grogu’s fate, as he’s obviously not in the sequel trilogy. At the moment, I have two theories.

  1. Grogu’s attachment to Mando eventually lures him toward the dark side, and he has to abandon his training and return to his surrogate father.
  2. He stays with Luke, but is killed by Ben Solo during the events leading up to The Force Awakens.

Understandably, she was horrified at option 2. But I suspect we’ll discover the answer sooner or later.

Another headline I saw recently? How the “Marvel-fication” of Star Wars has officially begun. In other words, new shows, spin-offs, and all sorts of inter-connected content. You won’t find a clearer piece of evidence than The Mandalorian taking a page out of Marvel’s book with a post-credits scene. A pretty awesome post-credits scene, but a post-credits scene nonetheless.

We see that Bib Fortuna has taken over as the head of Jabba’s palace. Does he actually control anything? The throne seems to suggest he does. So is that what The Book of Boba Fett is about? Fett taking control of Jabba’s crumbling criminal empire?

I think the best season finales often leave us with questions. So what questions did this episode leave us with?

  1. What’s next for Mando? He’s got the Darksaber now, and is seemingly in conflict with Bo-Katan Kryze. So does he get involved with re-building Mandalore? Or does he go back to bounty hunting?
  2. Despite getting captured, Moff Gideon accomplished his goal. He got Grogu’s blood. So what now comes of that? Do the experiments start? Have they already started?
  3. The Boba Fett questions are rather obvious.
  4. Are we going to hear more from Luke and Grogu? Or does that become territory for another series? The recently announced Ahsoka spin-off comes to mind.

Definitely no shortage of questions. We’ll have a lot to think about over the next year!

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Rob Watches The Mandalorian: An Icon Returns

SERIES: The Mandalorian
EPISODE:
S2:E6. “Chapter 14: The Tragedy”
STARRING:
Pedro Pascal, Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, Giancarlo Esposito
WRITER:
Jon Favreau
DIRECTOR:
Robert Rodriguez
PREMIERE DATE:
December 4, 2019
SYNOPSIS:
Mando takes Grogu to the planet Tython, where he’s intercepted by Boba Fett and Fennec Shand.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I wonder who came up with the name Grogu, and how long they’ve had it. You think they had that in mind from the get-go?

Slave I gets an awesome entrance in this episode. Not overstated. Just a simple fly-by. The ship is so iconic to Star Wars fans that a simple appearance, even from a distance, does all the work.

So what is that energy field that comes up around Grogu? Are we to believe it’s Force energy? That seems like the most likely explanation. Especially since Grogu passes out afterward.

“I’m a simple man making his way through the galaxy. Like my father before me.” Nice little callback to two different lines there. The first from Jango in Attack of the Clones. The second from Luke at the end of Return of the Jedi.

This stormtrooper ineptitude is becoming a problem for me. The fact that Mando, Boba Fett and Fennec Shand were able to fend off more than a dozen of them is pathetic.

Also, when a giant boulder is rolling toward you…MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, IDIOTS!

The sequences with Boba Fett and the gaffi stick were a sight to behold. Aside from the few swings we saw in the original Star Wars, I believe this is the first time we’ve seen one in action. Certainly to this degree.

The fight between the newly re-armored Fett and the stormtroopers is obviously some great fan-service. It did bring to mind memories of the Darth Vader slaughter from the end of Rogue One. The difference? In Rogue One, that sequence was there to bolster up the end of the film because it had so little in the way of character and story. In contrast, this Boba Fett stuff has been set up since the beginning of the season. And to say the least, The Mandalorian isn’t lacking in depth.

Moff Gideon wants to be Darth Vader. Bad. Real bad. To the point that he carries around a lightsaber. It’s kinda cute, actually.

They blew up the Razor Crest! I didn’t see that coming…

I’ve never liked Temuera Morrison as the voice for the helmeted Boba Fett, especially the way they swapped out Jason Wingreen’s voice for his in The Empire Strikes Back. I have no issue with Morrison playing the role at large. But when he’s got the helmet on? Give him a voice like Wingreen’s. If Darth Vader can have a voice modulator, so can Boba Fett.

Some questions that still haven’t been answered: How did Fett survive the Sarlaac Pit? I think the general consensus is that he climbed out. But did somebody rescue him? When was he rescued?

If they do end up doing a Boba Fett series, this is some of the ground the first season should cover.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.