Review: ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ S01 Ep.5 ‘Return Of The Mandalorian’

by Olly MacNamee

While any sighting of the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) is always most welcome, this is a TV series entitled The Book of Boba Fett, and so you would expect the appearance of the titular character at least? But, he doesn’t even get a look in. And while this instalment is the best diversion to date, it speaks volumes about the ever diminishing returns to this series. A series that has dragged more and more with each episode relying on flashbacks that are anything but thrilling. And one that seems to have very little story to tell. The Book of Boba Fett? More like a pamphlet at best.

And so we get, essentially, an episode of The Mandalorian that catches us up with Star Wars’ most interesting and exciting character of the moment as he journeys to Tatooine in order to buy a new ship so he go visit Grogu. But not after he’s caught up with The Armorer (Emily Swallow) and Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher), with the latter challenging him to a duel over Mando’s possession of the dark sabre. And I must say, the space station upon which these scenes take place are a nice change from the desolate sands of Tatooine. Even though it looks to be inspired by the artificial environment of the elite and wealthy in Neil Blomkamp’s Elysium. 

This fifth episode is very much a game of two halves as we travel away from the more tense and dynamic scenes set on the nameless space station to the warmer climes of Tatooine and the more light-hearted, comedic scenes in which Mando is reunited with mechanic Peli Motto (Amy Seders) and together the build home new space ship. This time round a souped-up Naboo star fighter, but thankfully stripped of it’s garish yellow paint job. With callbacks to The Phantom Menace (Mando test-drives his new ride through Beggar’s Canyon, where Anakin once won his fateful pod-race that would see him get off world and lead him onto the path to darkness), it’s definitely a feel-good episode that will leave you wanting more. And more we shall have, as Mando is hired by Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) at the very end.  

After this most surprising, enjoyable and entertaining episode, directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, it’s hard to see how the last two remaining episodes of The Book of Boba Fett can match this. Or, will the inclusion of Mando be enough to help save it? We’ll have our answer over the next two weeks, I suppose. But, my lingering thoughts after this episode is not what will come next in this series, but when will we get The Mandalorian series three? 

The Book of Boba Fett is streaming now on Disney + with new episodes every Wednesday.

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