The Book of Boba Fett Recap: Episode Six, “The (Jedi) Foundation”

Grogu trains with Luke; Boba takes it easy.

It’s the penultimate episode of The Book of Boba Fett, and its supposed star is still off doing fuck-all as part of his carefree Summer of Fett. Yes, for the second consecutive episode, Boba is a nonpresence, just sitting around his pad munching on a block of cheese or whatever. The sixth episode, titled “From the Desert Comes a Stranger,” follows suit of its predecessor as not just being a Mandalorian but of being a dull bit of terrible fan-service, accidentally spoofing, and character callbacks.

Not wasting any time getting to that, the cold open sees Timothy Olyphant back in the saddle as the Marshal, proving there is truly no handsome cowboy role he will not repeatedly reprise. He comes across some of the fish-faced fucks doing a little spice-and-credit run, and he’s haughtily like, “Who are you to trespass on my broad, ill-defined expanse of unmarked open desert?”

It leads to a shootout (this will be a recurring theme), Handsome Cowboy handily triumphing, sending the one surviving fish-face off to tell the Syndicate to never again cross his vague boundaries. He confiscates their spice box and, despite the drug being incredibly valuable, he kicks it into the wind. This dude is so straight edge.

From there, it’s straight into a scene you’d expect to see midway through The Mandalorian’s third season—but it turns out they couldn’t even hold off for the effing premiere. Before thumbing through any more of Boba’s stupid book, Mando is heading off to see how his Baby Yoda is doing.

He gets over there to this panda’s dream of a bamboo planet, and some robots are piling up stones that will “someday be a great [Jedi] school,” but by the end of the episode is just sort of a yurt. He wants to see Grogu, but first he must wait. Because at the moment, Grorgu is off in the uncanny valley.

As you may recall, an unconvincing, unpleasant CGI Luke Skywalker picked Grogu up for his training in The Mandalorian’s season two finale. Now we see that this Star Wars™ Battlefront™ II model is indeed following through.

He looks a hair better than he did than last time we saw Mark Hamill’s rubber-faced young simulacrum, but as Carrie Fisher’s Rogue One appearance and the computer-generated Return of the Jedi: Special Edition ending have already proven, these characters should have left their at “yub-nub.” It’s still a mistake, but at least a slightly improved one.

At the same time, Luke’s voice is actually worse somehow. It already seemed oddly stilted, but now it definitely sounds like ILM just captured all the vocals they could of a young Hamill speaking and had an AI spit out the lines.

Anyway, Skywalker and Grogu are at this pond where they’re practicing the Jedi arts of meditating and levitating. But Grogu is distracted by some cyclops frogs, and tries to get one to float into his waiting mouth. (Remember? He loves slurping down amphibians!)

Luke is all, “Grogu, come on, man. Don’t eat the frog. That’s gross. You’ll spoil your appetite for drinking from the big ol’ teats of a disgusting beast.” And then, akin to Yoda casually lifting his X-wing from the swamp, he shows off, lifting numerous frogs that he could dump into his mouth at any time. Pretty cool!

But no, it’s not time to devour a frog population. It’s time to walk and talk.

So they take a stroll, and for as Force sensitive as he’s meant to be, Luke gets sort of insensitive. He’s like, “You know who you remind me of, man? This other gross little green goblin who I also used to carry around in a backpack like a dog. You could totally play him in a sort of Everybody Hates Chris-style pilot.”

“He was small like you,” he says, “But his heart was huge.” Is this guy talking about the same Yoda? His heart wasn’t huge at all. He was just this weird little guy who gave foreboding warnings in a moronic sentence structure. It’s not like he was at the Dagobah soup kitchen every Monday.

“He once said to me, ‘size matters not.’” Luke adds. “That’s how he talked: he would speak in riddles.”

It’s canon, Star Wars fans: Luke Skywalker does not understand what a riddle is. 

Finally, Luke uses some Jedi mind bullshit to let Grogu re-experience his biggest trauma. Just something to pass a few minutes, you know?

Grogu drifts off, recalling when he was a babier Baby Yoda and witnessed the clone troopers blasting all the Jedi back in the Clone Wars. He watches his robed mentors fall before him. Then he just sort of wakes up.

“Welcome back,” Luke dryly says, punctuating it with an odd, expressionless pause. Why does he keep doing these!? It looks so much like a video game cutscene.

Boba Fett has been dozing this entire time, but R2-D2’s subtle movement startles him up. He draws his gun and—phew, it’s just Ahsoka Tano coolly leaning against a tree. This series—this episode in particular—loves doing this sort of shit where it’s “something that’s done in movies but is here executed so glaringly poorly that it calls attention to itself.” Rosario Dawson has been standing there motionless, arms crossed, looking smug for however long, just for this extended shot of her coolly leaning against a tree. Though it’s not like there’s anything else to do on this planet of bamboo and stones anyway, so sure. Why not.

Mando is like, let me see Grogu and give him this little bindle that looks vaguely like his head. Ahsoka, in her plodding, deliberate way (coming soon to its own series!), explains what we all already knew: Mando should not have used the sixth episode of The Book of Boba Fett to do this. This is wasting all of our time. But okay, she’ll give Grogu his lil’ sack.

Jumping back to Luke and Grogu, it’s time to eat up some more time with Skywalker showing Grogu how cool it is to be a Jedi. You can do the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon bamboo-walking stuff! You can do the Karate Kid standing-on-one-leg-on-a-pole thing! And check out this LIGHTSABER, which is basically the only reason anyone has ever thought Jedis were all that cool.

The training also sees Grogu fight the little floating soccer ball laser thing Luke practices his with in A New Hope. Writer-director Dave Filoni and co-write Jon Favreau can’t even resist bringing that back. And now, for some reason, training with it doesn’t even involve one covering their eyes to trust their instincts. Grogu can just stare directly at it.

Now that Uncle Mando has taken care of his Christmas gift, he heads back to Boba’s place, where Fennec is forced to rehash the same plot point she’s been repeating at the end of every episode since the third: “We’re going to war… but we need muscle!”

Given the opening sequence, you can see where this is going.

Mando heads off to Handsome Cowboy’s small town—now expressly renamed Freetown, as if anyone gives a shit. He asks the Marshal if he and his people will come together to fight again, this time against the Syndicate. The Marshal is like, “Nhnnnn, we’re not really feeling that vibe, but I’ll see what I can do,” and Mando takes off.

The Mandalorian—which clearly this episode of Boba is—frequently leaned into classic Western movie pastiche. But this is the point where it crosses fully over into parody.

From the distance, a man in a black duster and cowboy hat approaches. And, seriously, it is from the distance. It’s not even clear how he got there because there is absolutely nothing but desert behind him. How many hours has this guy been approaching? And still he’s approaching! The Marshal has to stand there waiting for him to finish approaching. It’s some proper Blazing Saddles shit.

But when he does finally arrive, what a payoff. It’s a huge fan favorite. Yes, it’s the title star of the 1992 Sega Genesis action-platformer Chakan: The Forever Man!

This but with guns instead of swords.

Chakan is like, “Hey, couldn’t help but overhear as I was walking up from nowhere that you were thinking about helping out Boba Fett. How about you don’t do that, and instead let us do our spice business. We’ll leave you be.”

But as was made explicit half an hour before, the Marshal don’t care much for spice tradin’, and that ain’t gonna fly. He and Chakan reach for their pistols, and because this is a cartoon, the townspeople hang their heads out their windows to see the big duel in their dusty town thoroughfare.

Just a few minutes ago, we learned that the Marshal now has this dumpy James Marsden of a deputy. It’s immediately set up that the guy is a real turd, and that setup very quickly pays off here when the idiot tries to horn in on the duel. It distracts our Handsome Cowboy, and Chakan uses the opportunity to shoot the Marshal and unload on the deputy. It’s sort of the antithesis of “I Shot the Sheriff.” This guy absolutely shot the deputy.

Meanwhile, back in Mos Eisley, the Syndicate fish fucks have decided to engage in a bit of light terrorism. A couple of those guys head into Sanctuary cantina, casually leave a bomb, and stroll out. The place blows up a few seconds later. Sadly, this may be the last time we see sexy Twi’lek Jennifer Beals and her likewise-sexy Twi’lek staff.

Finally, back in Bamboo World, we head into the now-finished Jedi yurt. The episode has already taken its Western-influenced instincts into parody, and here it goes just as far with its constant video game mission-style tasks. Luke explains that it’s time for Grogu to pick between receiving armor (the infant chainmail Mando delivered) or a weapon (Yoda’s old lightsaber), quite literally placing the options before him. Should Grogu choose the armor, he will follow the Mandalorian storyline; should he choose the weapon, he will follow the Jedi storyline.

Which will he choose? Maybe we’ll find out in the next episode! Why even bother going back to Boba Fett at this point?

Please help these sad nobodies and: