Just when we thought things couldn’t top last week’s episode of The Book of Boba Fett, which was full of exciting moments, “From the Desert Comes a Stranger” came bearing even more gifts. This week’s penultimate episode was packed with familiar faces, exciting nods, and promises of the battle that’s soon to come.
A familiar figure approaches the Pyke Syndicate as they pack up their goods on a speeder — Cobb Vanth, the Marshal of Mos Pelgo. The Marshal notes that although the Pykes may have an arrangement with the authorities in Mos Eisley and Mos Espa, they certainly don’t in his territory. He makes them an offer to leave quietly and do their business elsewhere, but they reach for their blasters instead. The sole survivor leaves a chest of spice, which Cobb kicks over and allows to blow away in the wind.
As promised, Din is on his way to visit Grogu. R2-D2 is there waiting for him when he lands, and Din awkwardly addresses the droid as he says, “Hello friend, I’m looking for Skywalker.” R2 leads him through the woods, and we see that droids are hard at work building huts. Din is then reminded of why exactly he doesn’t like droids when R2 shuts off and stops responding to him.
Elsewhere on the planet, Luke and Grogu are meditating, and the latter becomes distracted by a frog. He uses the Force to bring his snack over to him, but Luke notices and scolds him. Grogu looks sad, so Luke uses the Force to lift up all of the frogs in the field instead. They walk through the woods, and Luke tells Grogu that he reminds him of someone … Yoda. He tells him how Yoda used to speak in riddles and asks if anyone where Grogu is from talked like that. This seems to pique Grogu’s interest, and Luke offers to help him remember “home.” We see a scene of Jedi fighting off clone troopers … Order 66. Grogu was raised at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
Din has fallen asleep on the bench, and he wakes up to find Ahsoka watching over him. He informs her that he’s there to see Grogu, and she tells him that the droids are currently building Luke’s Jedi Academy, and Grogu will be its first student. Din insists that he wants to see Grogu, and the two take a walk. Ahsoka reminds him about her warning to him, in which she said that his attachment to Grogu would be difficult to let go of. They eventually stop at a clearing, where they can see Luke and Grogu off in the distance. Ahsoka asks the Mandalorian if he’s doing this for Grogu or himself, and she eventually convinces him that seeing him will only make things more difficult for the Padawan. He finally relents, leaving the gift behind.
As Din takes off in his ship, Grogu and Luke watch from a distance. The Child reaches a hand out toward the sky. Seeing that he’s distracted, Luke pushes Grogu to continue on with his training (and we get a wonderful parallel of Luke and Yoda as he carries Grogu on his back). With the help of a training remote, Grogu eventually gets the hang of balancing and jumping with the Force. Ahsoka comes to watch, and after remarking that the Mandalorian visited, Luke wonders if Grogu’s heart is really in this. Ahsoka replies, “So much like your father.” (Yep, I’m crying.) When Luke asks what he should do about the Child, Ahsoka tells him to trust his instincts before she takes her leave.
Din arrives back on Tatooine, promptly heading for the Palace, where Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, Krrsantan, and the Mods are discussing strategies and plans. Fennec states that they need foot soldiers, and Din tells them that he has a solution. He makes his way over to Mos Pelgo, where he reunites with Cobb Vanth. He explains the situation with the Pyke Syndicate and tells him that he needs him to lead a garrison with his people, but it appears that the residents of Freetown (no longer Mos Pelgo) aren’t interested. However, after Din leaves, the Marshal decides to gather all of the citizens that are of fighting age for a meeting.
Vanth sees a figure approaching out in the distance, and when they get closer, they tell him, “Whatever Fett is paying you, we’ll match. And all you’ve got to do is stay put and let things play out.” It’s the ruthless bounty hunter Cad Bane. Leaning heavily into The Mandalorian‘s signature western vibe, the two have a standoff, and Vanth refuses to back down as he tells him that Tatooine is closed for business to the spice runners. Vanth’s deputy, not listening to his previous orders, reaches for his blaster, and Bane shoots both of them. The bounty hunter leaves the town with a chilling message: “Tatooine belongs to the Syndicate. As long as the spice keeps running, everyone will be left alone.”
The violence begins
Two of the Pykes arrive at the Sanctuary, and Garsa Fwip is perplexed when they decline to have their helmets “cleaned.” They get up, leaving their camtono behind, and their mission soon becomes clear. The building explodes.
Luke tells Grogu that the Mandalorian brought a gift for him, and he opens the package to find a shirt made of beskar chainmail. He then reaches into the box beside him to pull out something else — Yoda’s lightsaber. Grogu has to make a choice, he can only pick one. If he chooses the armor, he may return to Din, but he will be forsaking the way of the Jedi. And if he chooses the lightsaber, he will be the first student of Luke’s Jedi Academy. Mastering the ways of the Force can take many years, though. Given the way that Grogu ages, he may never see Din Djarin again. Grogu looks back and forth between the two, torn.
“Which do you choose?”