The Book of Boba Fett Episode 6 feels like a movie. There isn’t any other way to describe how it felt to watch “From the Desert Comes a Stranger.”
The return of the Mandalorian in episode 5 continues onward into this chapter, with the addition of many characters. That’s right, after watching this episode, I couldn’t contain my excitement from what I’d just witnessed, and just like watching a classic on the big screen, this felt epic.
Although I never watched The Empire Strikes Back (TESB) in theaters, the resemblances between that and “From the Desert Comes a Stranger” are quite striking as it felt quite familiar to the original movie. Fans who know TESB will clearly know what it looks like to see Yoda on Luke Skywalker’s shoulders. In The Book of Boba Fett, we see Luke return again, much like he did in the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, and it genuinely provides this nostalgic feeling of the second movie in the original Star Wars trilogy.
The presence of such a beloved character (and human in Mark Hamill), alongside a newly adorable character (who my son adores!), gives fans this well-known feeling of seeing two characters shoved together in some way. Much like Luke has to coexist with Yoda to learn from him, Grogu is having to do the same thing. Just as we saw in The Empire Strikes Back, we watch as Luke seems uncertain in his role. How was he supposed to learn to become a Jedi from Yoda when he didn’t know how to use the Force? Similarly, how was Luke supposed to teach Grogu when Luke didn’t necessarily know how to reach him to help him understand the ways of the Force?
The time together between these two characters is presented delicately. Although Luke pushes Grogu to learn how to use his abilities, a la blaster to the feet, the scenes’ pace does not feel rushed at all. This slower pace truly seems to resemble the iconic films of old where living in that moment carries meaning, especially when we see Grogu on Luke’s shoulders. Grogu needs to understand the importance of learning the Force to better protect himself as he gets older, much like Luke had to do the very same thing to better prepare himself when he faced Darth Vader.
Does this mean we’ll see Grogu face off against someone or attempt to save Din Djarin in a precarious situation in the next episode of The Book of Boba Fett or in a later series?
Not only are fans given such a treat by seeing the return of Luke and Grogu, but several other characters also returned in this episode. Ahsoka, played by Rosario Dawson, makes her debut in “The Fett” series, but her role leans more to advisor than anything else. Din Djarin comes bearing a gift for his foundling, and wants to protect him above all else. Ahsoka understands the bond between both characters and emphasizes the damage that could be inflicted if Grogu were to see the Mandalorian again. He might lose his way and all of the progress in learning how to protect himself.
“From the Desert Comes a Stranger” doesn’t solely rely on the cherished characters we know and love, but also on the wily or downright wickedness associated in a galaxy far, far away. The silver-tongued Cobb Vanth, played by Timothy Olyphant, returns to open the episode in dramatic fashion as he plays the role of Marshall and good old-fashioned gunslinger. As the Pyke Syndicate continues to deal in spice, Vanth does not tolerate any such transactions and guns are definitely a-blazing. Vanth’s charisma resembles the charm of Han and Leia, along with their cunning with a blaster.
Having such charismatic characters help to balance out those who are balanced by nature; Luke, Ahsoka, and Din. Much like Leia and Han kept the original series lighthearted, characters like Vanth help to counterbalance the seriousness or villainy in the Star Wars universe. In this case, the “big baddie” who represents the episode title, “From the Desert Comes a Stranger,” is none other than Cad Bane. Now with two gunslingers in the mix, the tension quickly mounts.
In a scene that resembles the final fight in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, the intensity associated around such a short period of time is palpable. Much like when Luke Skywalker faces Darth Vader in the final scenes of The Empire Strikes Back, Vanth stares down the desert road into the red eyes of Bane. As his deputy refuses to listen to Vanth’s orders of staying inside, and he continues to inch towards Bane, there is a dramatic presence to this wild west showdown. Spoiler alert: it does not go well for the home team. And, no, I do not believe that Vanth is dead.
“From the Desert Comes a Stranger” doesn’t fully explain what will happen to Vanth, Grogu, the Mandalorian, or the Boba Fett crew, but neither did The Empire Strikes Back in explaining what would happen to Luke, Leia, or Han. Fans witnessed a stunning admission that Vader was Luke’s father, after severing his hand with a lightsaber. Then, the “good guys” had to fly away to save themselves from ultimate defeat; minus one Han Solo in carbonite. The Book of Boba Fett episode 6 gives us an equal amount of uncertainty as it leads into its season finale.
Ahsoka leaves Luke after stating, “So much like your father,” which leads us to wonder if they’ve talked about Anakin Skywalker before. Grogu was given a choice to take Yoda’s lightsaber and continue his training, or take the Mandalorian’s gift of protective armor and rejoin his friend. Vanth was left unmoving on the ground after being blasted by Cad Bane. As far as the deputy goes; yeah, I’m pretty sure he’s dead. Not only was this a high stake’s duel that further proves the Pyke Syndicate aren’t to be messed with, it was only the start of bad things to come.
If we know anything about The Empire Strikes Back, it’s the betrayal that almost sealed the fates of our heroes. After Lando Calrissian betrays his friends with a trap to the powerful Galactic Empire, the deal he made was essentially null and void afterward. Just like TESB, we see the Pyke Syndicate continue to “mean business” as they leave a parting gift to Garsa Fwip in her club. This explosive scene continues to highlight the Syndicate’s own power, leading to what appears to be a very volatile finale for The Book of Boba Fett.
There’s also a massive emotional connection in “From the Desert Comes a Stranger.” The amazing characters span the gamut from the original series to The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Bad Batch. The similar elements in The Empire Strikes Back, along with the story being told throughout The Book of Boba Fett, have given us a 42-minute episode that I’d love to see on the big screen.
Did you feel like you were watching a movie during this episode? Were there any similarities between “From the Desert Comes a Stranger” and TESB? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
The Book of Boba Fett is currently streaming on Disney+.