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This is the episode where the Mandalorian fully crosses over with The Book of Boba Fett. And the entire episode delivered gripping, visually stunning Star Wars content that will delight the hell out of fans.
To me, the biggest step up in this episode, was that the drama was clear and present. There was no odd backstory tangent. There was no just hanging out. From the opening sequence, the episode brought danger and drama and it never looked back.
Ironically, the best episode yet of Boba Fett is an episode completely without Boba Fett. This was the sequel to season 2 of The Mandalorian. We pick right up with Mando, who is now in possession of the darksaber, and watch as he does his bounty hunter business, now with a legendary blade as his weapon. We follow him as he bursts into an industrial meat packing plant and confront the boss he's been hired to track down. Immediately conflict brews. And Mando is surrounded. The ensuing battle steps up the action as blasters fire and the darksaber slices through all manner of meat, hanging from the ceiling or in the form of a gangster.
Mando emerges victorious, but not without getting a nasty burn on his thigh. He makes his way out of the factory, bounty in hand, and then heads off.
Next he connects with the Armorer, who gives us a lesson in Mandalorian history and the plight and suffering they sustained at the hands of the evil empire. We get some more backstory and context around the darksaber as a hallowed artifact of Mandalore. The Armorer forges something for Grogu at Mando's request. We get a little more context into the origin of the darksaber, and how it was forged by someone who was both Mandalorian and Jedi. The scene closes with a fellow Mandalorian challenging Mando to a duel for the saber and control of Mandalore. The fight feels dangerous and raw as neither of the duelists know how to wield the mighty darksaber. Just before Mando is about to end his foe, the Armorer calls a stop to the duel. Then, despite the win, Mando is exiled and stripped of his Mandalorian title after he confesses to having removing his helmet before. An act strictly prohibited in Mandalorian culture. Mando is sent on his way.
Mando ends up on a commercial flight to Tatooine, since he has no ship of his own anymore. Here, Mando is re-united with Peli Motto, the mechanic who said she could replace his lost Razor Crest spaceship. On Tatooine, as they build a new ship together, we get references to the Prequel Trilogy, as the ship itself is a starfighter seen in Episode 1. The ship is put together, and Mando takes it for a successful test flight. The episode ends with Fennec Shand showing up and asking for Mando's help in Boba Fett's war. Mando agrees to do it for free and we cut to credits.
Chapter 5 is the best piece of Star Wars we've seen on TV. The stakes were high. The plot and character motivations were progressed. We even got new insights on the ways of the Jedi and Mandalorians. This is myth building at its finest. And with Mando crossing over into another character's show, it feels like the possibilities of a true connected universe of stories is within grasp. There were no Skywalkers in sight, and the story was gripping. You felt the danger and recklessness when Mando was wielding the darksaber. It seems like he is on a path to become a brand new type of character. We were also teased with breadcrumbs of a future reunion between Mando and his former charge, Grogu, who has been the most consequential character added to Star Wars canon in the modern era. Fans will eagerly await the next chapter, knowing that drama and danger are brewing. This chapter was the closest to the magic of the original Star Wars films that we've ever seen on TV. It bodes well for the future connected projects and shows that the galaxy far, far away still has mesmerizing yarns to spin.