Why ‘Return of the Mandalorian’ fits perfectly in The Book of Boba Fett

(L-R): Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) in Lucasfilm's THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) in Lucasfilm's THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

Warning: Major spoilers ahead for episode 5 of The Book of Boba Fett “Return of the Mandalorian”

While fans were thrilled to see Din Djarin return to Star Wars, some felt like it was too much of a departure from The Book of Boba Fett and that it felt more like an episode of The Mandalorian.

This sentiment is understandable as Boba Fett doesn’t make a single appearance, the entire episode focuses on Din, sets up a lot of key plot points for season 3 of The Mandalorian, and the story only seems to tie into The Book of Boba Fett when Fennec Shand shows up at the end of the episode to hire Din as muscle for the war against the Pykes.

Nevertheless, the episode ties in perfectly with The Book of Boba Fett‘s themes and character development.

The importance of the tribe in The Book of Boba Fett

In the previous episode “The Gathering Storm,” Boba tells Fennec Shand in a flashback that “You can only go so far without a tribe.”

The importance of the tribe has been a key piece of themes and character development in The Book of Boba Fett. Boba begins to truly change during his time with the Tuskens as he learns what it means to feel a sense of belonging, purpose, and to be part of a community.

When the Tuskens are slaughtered and Boba loses his tribe, he eventually begins building a new one. It begins with saving Fennec Shand and becoming close allies with her. It continues by earning the loyalty and respect of the Gamorrean guards and the Mods gang. Even Black Krrsantan is arguably part of Boba’s tribe now.

Boba has a purpose and a sense of belonging through his tribe. His tribe grounds him and helps him be a fair and effective leader and they continue to help Boba change for the better.

How the importance of the tribe connects to “Return of the Mandalorian”

When the audience sees Din Djarin again in “Return of the Mandalorian,” they see a character who has lost his tribe and lost his way. Grogu was Din’s tribe for most of The Mandalorian. They were a clan of two and practically everything Din did was about protecting Grogu or working to reunite him with his own kind, all of which made Din a better person.

Without Grogu, Din feels like he’s lost his family and his purpose. Now he’s settled back into a life of bounty hunting and brutally killing just for the sake of a bounty. He tries to return to his old tribe–the Armorer and what remains of her coven–but he is cast out when it is revealed that he violated the Creed.

He broke the Creed to find and save Grogu and so Grogu could see his face before they parted ways. Din succeeded in his mission and learned to prioritize his relationship with Grogu over the Creed, but it ultimately came at the cost of losing both his tribes. To add insult to injury, Din already lost his ship and his home–the Razor Crest.

Just like Boba said, without a tribe, a person can’t go very far. Without a tribe, Din has largely regressed into the person he was before he met Grogu, a ruthless bounty hunter desperate to be seen as a true Mandalorian in the eyes of the Armorer.

After Boba lost the Tuskens, he began rebuilding a new tribe to move forward. Without Grogu and without the Armorer’s coven, Din will need to do the same if he is to move forward.

The end of the episode teased that Din will reunite with Grogu soon and give him the gift the Armorer made, but that will only be a brief respite, and it doesn’t change the fact that Grogu is off training with Luke Skywalker.

In this way and in many others, Din serves as a foil for Boba. The regression in Din’s character development accentuates how far Boba has come. Boba embraces the challenges of leadership and uses his power for good while Din shirks from his leadership potential, instead wasting his gifts and the Darksaber on things like butchering low-life Klatooinians for a bounty.

Fortunately for Din, Fennec’s invitation may be the key to Din finding a new tribe and a new home. Fixing and flying the N-1 Starfighter rekindled some of Din’s joy and passion and gave him a new ship as well. Din is slowly beginning to learn who he can be without Grogu and without the Armorer.

This episode’s placement in The Book of Boba Fett is also smart because it answers almost all the questions fans had about Din after season 2 of The Mandalorian. If Din showed up as Boba’s muscle without this episode airing first, fans would’ve been distracted by these questions, and it would’ve taken away from the main story.

Now that “Return of the Mandalorian” has answered all of those questions, Din can play an important role in The Book of Boba Fett without becoming a distraction to the main narrative, and Din’s story and character can be explored more deeply in season 3 of The Mandalorian.

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New episodes of The Book of Boba Fett are available to stream every Wednesday on Disney+.