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The following story contains spoilers for Episode 4 of The Book of Boba Fett, "The Gathering Storm."
We're all in on Star Wars (and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and anything similarly-created) for the individual stories first and foremost, but it would be a lie to say that the ways different chapters and projects intersect within those shared universes didn't always give a little adrenaline rush. The first two seasons of The Mandalorian, the first Star Wars live-action series to hit Disney+, were great because it was a relatively classic and basic story: a reluctant guardian tasked with bringing a vulnerable-but-important being to an endpoint.
But where the show really got fans excited was the way it tied in with the larger, decades-and-decades-in-the-making Star Wars universe. Obviously, that culminated at the end of Season 2 with an epic Luke Skywalker cameo, but also remember that the show revived fan favorite bounty hunter B0ba Fett for the first time since Return of the Jedi in Season 2 as well. And now, fairly unexpectedly, The Book of Boba Fett seems to be returning the favor, as Episode 4, "The Gathering Storm," seems to end with a strong tease that Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin—"Mando"—could be returning. And if not him, someone else that we've seen in The Mandalorian before.
It's an interesting prospect to think about, because while we do want to see each story in the Star Wars, or Marvel Cinematic Universe, or DCEU worlds stand on their own without the help of connected, fan-favorite characters, it could be argued that this Boba Fett connection is an exception; The Book of Boba Fett is essentially a Mandalorian spin-off, and both shows are written by Jon Favreau. It's essentially the same creator playing with all the toys in his sandbox, and for that reason, it doesn't feel cheap or unearned. We'll see how it all plays out, but for now it feels like a strong turn for a series that's probably been a bit slower than some may have anticipated—and a bit of energy from fan favorite characters won't be a bad thing.
Will Mando (Pedro Pascal) be in The Book of Boba Fett?
If you were hoping for a Din Djarin appearance in The Book of Boba Fett, Episode 4 was probably a roller coaster of emotions. The flashback portion of the episode—which took up most of our running time—was happening mostly simultaneously with the events of seasons 1 and 2 of The Mandalorian. Early on in the episode, we saw the moment where Boba Fett found Fennec Shand's body that had been left for dead, and saw his decision to bring her to the space surgeon/mechanic/tattoo artist (played by Thundercat) for saving. This was all, of course, happening while Mando was gallivanting around with our 50-year-old friend Baby Yoda.
While this flashback showed us the formation and roots of the Boba/Fennec partnership (he sees himself in her; he too was left for dead in the desert, only he was in the digesting stomach/teeth of a sand beast, while she was just left to rot in the sand), it also took us past all the events of Mandalorian Season 2, when Boba and Fennec met Mando, Grogu, and friends. The episode skips past all this, probably making viewers think in real time to give up on seeing any Mandalorian friends. (In retrospect, it makes sense that we didn't see any of this—we already saw it in Season 2 of The Mandalorian!)
But the end of the episode changes this. After a meeting with fellow crime leaders (including the Black Krrsantan, now on Boba's side) about the coming conflict with the Pyke Syndicate, Boba expresses concern. Fennec has a solution—how many credits does Boba Fett have to his name though? Boba isn't worried about credits, but he needs muscle. But that's when Fennec drops the hammer: those credits can buy all the muscle he'll need. Suddenly—your ears didn't mistake you—Ludwig Göransson's ever-familiar Mandalorian theme music begins, and the camera pans out and the episode concludes.
It's not a 100% guarantee, but it's about as close as we're gonna get; The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian are on a road trip to crossover city, baby!
What is Mando up to anyway?
Ah, yes, let's think back to that Mandalorian Season 2 finale. What we all, of course, remember, is that Luke Skywalker showed up and took Baby Yoda away to hone his powers with some special Jedi training. Heartbreaking, yes. We all cried, let's just move past it.
What may not quite be as fresh in your mind is that the Season 2 Mandalorian finale also solved the conflict of the Darksaber. By defeating Moff Gideon and winning the Darksaber for himself, Mando became the reluctant leader of all of Mandalore.
Since it's now clear that Boba and Fennec will be reuniting with Mando in the coming weeks, we'll see what he's been up to since Luke took his little buddy away. Is he embracing his new role as leader of all of those Mandalorians? Or is he doing the Aragorn thing, living a quiet life of low-stakes jobs, bounty hunting, and not fulfilling potential (or probable prophecies, to be honest)? That much remains to be seen—but heavens-to-George Lucas, we're excited to see it.
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