Disney+ and Lucasfilm's The Book of Boba Fett Episode 6 seems to be yet another episode of The Mandalorian again. Or rather, it's about 25 minutes of an episode of The Mandalorian, 10 minutes of an episode of Justified in Space!, and about 5 minutes of The Book of Boba Fett where Boba Fett finally makes a cameo appearance for the first time in 2 weeks. It was all a lot of fun, but we were surprised that the final cliffhanger scene of the episode lifts directly from the Japanese classic Lone Wolf and Cub! Consider the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign now officially on…
The final scene of the episode features Unreal Engine Luke Skywalker offering everyone's favourite baby Yoda Grogu a choice. Grogu has been at the heart of The Mandalorian since that show began. It was practically Lone Wolf and Cub in Space! Lone Wolf and Cub is a classic Samurai series from Japan that began as a seminal manga series featuring a wandering Samurai and his infant son on a path to revenge against the warlord that murdered their entire family. The manga saga ran for over 2,000 pages, ending in the longest sword fight ever featuring in a comic book, a duel to the death that ran for over 200 pages. The Mandalorian was a take-off of the series featuring a wandering space bounty hunter with a baby in his care.
In The Book of Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker presents Grogu with a choice: to go back to his adopted father, Mandalorian Din Djarin (Pedro Pascale) & give up his Jedi training forever or continue to train to become a Jedi and give up on ever seeing Din Djarin again. The choice is visually presented as the beskar armor gift from Din Djarin or Yoda's old lightsaber. In the opening of Lone Wolf and Cub, the Shogun's executioner & samurai Ogami Itto has been framed and disgraced by the Shogun's spymaster Yagyu in his bid to consolidate power. Itto has decided to go on the run and plot his revenge against Yagyu but has to decide what to do with his infant son Daigoro, the only survivor of Yagyu's assassins who were sent to wipe out Ogami's entire clan. Ogami presents baby Daigoro with a choice: if Daigoro chooses the toy ball, he would kill Daigoro so he would join his mother in heaven. If Daigoro chooses the sword, Itto would bring Daigoro with him on his path to Hell, a long road full of suffering as Itto plots his revenge against Yagyu.
The scene was in the opening chapter of the Lone Wolf and Cub manga and the opening of the first movie adaptation. The final scene of the sixth episode of The Book of Boba Fett was shot and framed almost identically to the scene In the Lone Wolf and Cub movie. Star Wars was always influenced by samurai movies anyway. The Jedi were fashioned after the samurai and even their name was taken from the term "Jidai-geki", which stands for "period drama" in Japanese. Director Dave Filoni has always worn his influences on his sleeve, and the episode is also full of references to Spaghetti Westerns, and the shot of bounty hunter Cad Bane walking out of the desert is lifted right out of David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia. The Star Wars stories have always lifted liberally from various movies and genres to create their own universe, and part of the fun is catching them.
The Book of Boba Fett is streaming on Disney+.