'The Book Of Boba Fett' Reminds Us That The Jedi Suck
A whole lot of stuff happened on this week’s episode of The Book of … well, we don’t remember who exactly anymore; Timothy Olyphant returned along with the rest of the cast of Space Deadwood, Cad Bane, the bounty hunter from Clone Wars, made his first live-action debut, and that swank nightclub run by Jennifer Beals got blown-up – but the show seemingly spared the life of Max Rebo, because Max Rebo is immortal, dammit. Oh, and Boba Fett popped by for like 20 seconds.
But most notably, Chapter 6 featured the return of PS3 cutscene Luke Skywalker, who looks slightly better than he did in the season finale of The Mandalorian – but still not like, you know, an actual human being. We get to see Luke actually building his new Jedi Academy and even training his first pupil: Baby Yoda – though you have to imagine that the Mandalorian might have been a touch more hesitant about handing Grogu off to this random stranger knowing that his credentials consisted of running an unbuilt school for precisely zero students, all of which seems like a pretty big red flag.
Post-Return of the Jedi Luke is employing the age-old Jedi technique of … treating kids like garbage and severing them from their loving families. Not only does Ahsoka block Mando from merely saying a quick hello to Grogu, at the end of the episode Luke forces Grogu to choose either the Mandlorian’s gift of some adorably teeny tiny chainmail or Yoda’s lightsaber which Luke has for some reason.
The scene is seemingly a direct homage to the beginning of the Lone Wolf & Cub saga (which The Mandalorian so clearly pulled from) in which a Samurai assassin gives his young son a choice between a sword or a ball; to follow his father’s path or not. Oh also, if the kid picks the ball, his father will kill him so he can meet up with his mom in the afterlife:
Hopefully, Luke straight-up murdering Grogu isn’t on the table, but there is a dark undercurrent to all of this. Not unlike how Luke’s battle scene in The Mandalorian was read as triumphant by some, but arguably was more about slyly foreshadowing coming tragedies, this episode is giving serving up heaps of fan service but with a very grim subtext …
We’re seeing now that Luke actively chooses to follow the dogma that led to the downfall of the Jedi – after all, that whole “no emotional attachments” business is what led to the creation of Darth Vader. If Anakin had been allowed to punch the clock at Jedi HQ by day and spend his nights canoodling with Padme in front of the HoloTV, we could have spared several literal genocides.
And as we’ve mentioned before, the overarching moral of the prequel trilogy is that the Jedi suck – specifically because they shouldn’t have been snatching up children in the first place. Things are only put somewhat right at the end of Revenge of the Sith when Obi-Wan returns a child to Tatooine, metaphorically seeking to right the wrongs of The Phantom Menace. The “new hope” only exists because Obi-Wan did the opposite of what his bosses all did.
It’s upsetting as viewers to see Luke making the same mistakes as the Jedi of yesteryear, especially since we know that this will ultimately lead to, you guessed it, more genocide. And it’s especially frustrating because Luke should have been able to figure out that the Jedi were full of crap – after all, he learned the ways of the Force and saved the galaxy despite having been raised in a loving home and caring deeply for his friends and family. And, ultimately, Anakin only found redemption specifically through finding love for his son and the desire to not want him to be zapped to death by a misshapen, superpowered senior citizen.
Luke’s life experience should have informed his approach to teaching, yet it doesn’t. Despite the nostalgic rush of seeing young Luke, and even R2-D2, again, in the context of the Mandalorian’s arc, and our wider understanding of the Star Wars series, Luke may end up becoming the antagonist of this particular story, working against the needs of Mando and Grogu … which we’re sure Star Wars fans will all be super-cool with.
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Top Image: Lucasfilm