Chapter 6: From the Desert Comes a Stranger

Chapter 6, From the Desert Comes a Stranger

Training, Attachment, Choices, First Blood. These are the essential themes that sum up Chapter 6. The chapter starts and ends with first blood. Cobb Vanth offered the Pykes a chance to leave unscathed. They didn’t think it thru. The chapter ends with the entry of a sinister villain. Yet the bulk of the chapter focuses once again on the Mandalorian story. Now for my points.

Marshal Cobb Vanth. He misses his armor. His encounter with Cad Bane certainly underscores that fact. However, the lack of the armor has no bearing on his duty to protect the citizens of Freetown. He dispatched three Pykes and sent a warning. Though protective of his people, he knows that his little town cannot remain isolated forever. The Mandalorian appealed to Vanth’s extreme dislike for bullies. Bane didn’t kill Vanth. We will see him again. Maybe it will be Vanth awaking from Boba Fett’s bacta tank to open next week’s finale. 

 

Training. We are treated to observe Master Luke Skywalker training his first student at his newly formed Jedi Academy. Though the location remains unknown, Dinn Djarin and Ahsoka know how to find the planet. Luke uses many of the same training devices on Grogu that Master Kenobi and Master Yoda used on himself. For instance, remember the stones exercise Luke endured on Dagobah. Then, the X-Wing sank to the bottom of the swamp and Yoda raised it to safety. Similarly, we see Grogu lift one frog to attempt to feed himself, while Luke lifted most, if not all the frogs in their chosen training area. “Size matters not” and trying versus doing are lessons Luke learned from Yoda and is imparting on Grogu. Lastly, we see Luke training Grogu to defend himself against the remote. Grogu learns to use the force to flip his body around to avoid the training remotes blasters. Finally, Grogu destroys the device. I wonder what R2 was thinking when he saw the N1 Naboo Star Fighter? Echoes of Anakin Skywalker perhaps?

Ahoska’s Observations. Regarding Grogu’s training, Luke makes two observations. First, he notes that it appears Grogu is remembering what he had once known. Ahsoka’s response was equally interesting: “sometimes the student leads the master.” Ahoska is remarking on her on experience with her master, Anakin Skywalker. Given his frenetic intense nature, Anakin was not the most patient of instructors. However, Ahsoka matched his intensity with her spunk earning her the nick name “Snips”. Overtime, Ahsoka’s needs, talents and nature guided Anakin to the best methods to teach her, allowing her the opportunity to be the best version of herself. It’s worth noting that Ahsoka has matured greatly over time. She is much more serene and thoughtful. Yet, she is still a fearsome fighter. Luke’s second observation is a simple question: “sometimes I wonder if his heart is in it”. Once again, Ahsoka’s response hearkens back to Luke’s father, this time directly. “You are so much like your father”. Ahsoka is commenting on Anakin’s own heart. Anakin put all of himself into everything he did because he believed in the mission at hand. He was 100% committed to winning the war and saving the galaxy. He had heart and expected everyone else around him to embody the same intrinsic value. It’s clear that Anakin Skywalker left a clear and indelible mark on all those he cared about the most. It is good that Ahsoka can still focus on the good in Skywalker. Her remarks were touching moments.

Ahsoka. Her appearance raises more questions than provides answers. First, how is she getting around the galaxy? I want to see her ship! Second, how long was she on planet with Luke? How did Luke and Ahoska find each other? How much of his father’s history has she really revealed to Luke? Where is off she to next? Well, I think I can answer this one. I suspect she off to find Grand Admiral Thrawn and at some point, Sabine will be joining her. One thing does remain clear. Ahsoka is not a Jedi. She is something different, and perhaps something more. I may have missed her, but did anyone see Morai? I only ask because she was in the Mandalorian, but I did not observe her in Chapter 6 of the Book of Fett. Lastly, Ahoska has empathy for the Mandalorian as well as Grogu. She respects how much Dinn Djarin cares for Grogu. Yet, she acknowledges the philosophical tenant she was imbued with as a youngling, Jedi must forsake all attachment. But should they?

Attachment and Choices. Dinn Djarin’s attachment compelled him to have the armor made for Grogu. It further compelled him to bring the armor to Grogu. Djarin’s attachment to Grogu runs counter to the current Jedi line of thought regarding attachment. I personally believe the severing of attachment is problematic for the Jedi. As Djarin takes off, Grogu very clearly felt him thru the force and reached out to him longingly. Later on, Luke presents Grogu with what I view as an impossible choice. Some say this is in keeping with the lore of Star Wars. It is established that Jedi must swear off all attachment. Yet, should they? Should Grogu be given the choice to choose between Yoda’s lightsaber and the armor that is rightfully his? I find it interesting that Grogu is being forced to decide to throw away a cultural norm of his adopted people in order to be a Jedi. I believe this to be wrong and yet another chink in the armor of the sanctimonious Jedi way. The Jedi are blind to the benefits of attachment, building in an inherent fear and creating a natural weakness for others to exploit. Using the armor as a depiction of attachment will create conflict within Grogu, and it may even cause resentment. There is no need for it. If legend is accurate, Tarre Vizla wore his traditional armor as a Jedi. Why can’t Grogu do the same? The armor should not be used as a depiction of attachment. Nor should attachment be an issue for the Jedi.

The other issue I have with this particular scene is that it seems that Luke is picking and choosing which traditions the Jedi should and should not follow. Jedi are not gifted lightsabers. Jedi build their lightsabers as a rite of passage into knighthood. First, they were taken to the planet Ilum to pick a kyber crystal for their saber. Then, they construct their lightsaber, using their newly acquired kyber crystal. Now, perhaps gifting the light saber to Grogu is done out of expediency as Ilum was under the Imperial thumb and presumably still is occupied by Imperial remnants at this point in the Star Wars timeline. Still, kyber can be found. Luke did construct his own lightsaber. The scene is meant to depict a choice between attachment and the Jedi way. Yet, even Luke neglects to discern for himself if forsaking all attachment is worth continuing. He will train Lea to become a Jedi, yet she married Han and had a child. Why the double standard? Luke himself has many unresolved conflicts, likely leading the eventual downfall of his own academy. At any rate I think we all believe Grogu will likely choose the armor. The story has laid out all the breadcrumbs. Regardless, choosing to be a Mandalorian should not preclude Grogu from training to be a Jedi. Luke should re-think his position on the matter. He should ponder Ahsoka’s words, and let the student lead the master. 

Cad Bane. He describes Boba Fett as a cold-blooded killer. He may well be right, but throughout Star Wars lore Fett has presented himself more the anti-hero than anything else. Sure, he has acted as a hired gun, but he lives by his own code. If anyone is a cold-blooded killer, its Cad Bane. Did anyone notice that he did not have his leg boosters?
First Blood. I will end where I started. Did Vanth draw first blood? I would say no. He was defending himself and his town. Cad Bane drew first blood when he attempted to bully Vanth into backing down. He killed Vanth’s deputy and severely wounded Vanth himself. Then, the Pykes bombed Garsa Fwip’s establishment. It is unclear if Fwip was able to get to the ground quick enough to avoid the initial blast from the container held by the unwitting droid. If she did, she may have survived but will likely have severe wounds. Perhaps she will take at turn in Boba Fett’s bacta tank. At any rate, it appears that Boba Fett is failing miserably to keep his establishments safe from harm. Several questions come to mind as well. Is Cad Bane the leader of the syndicate, or merely a hired gun? Is Bane the individual who took out the Tusken Raider camp? Bane clearly has much animosity towards Boba Fett. Why? Lastly, both Cad Bane and Fennec Shand were involved with securing Omega for their perspective employers as depicted in the Bad Batch. Is Omega about to become a part of the Book of Fett as well? Is it possible that Omega is hiding right in front of our eyes, and we observed her unwittingly on planet Sorgan? Time will tell.

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