In The Book of Boba Fett’s scene where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has Grogu choose between becoming a Jedi and returning to the Mandalorian, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), the show makes a direct return to George Lucas’ original vision for Star Wars. Jon Favreau’s The Book of Boba Fett received mixed reviews, as the series’ six episodes jumped between Boba Fett’s (Temuera Morrison) flashbacks of his past and the current events of his life in Mos Espa, then introduced Din Djarin and Grogu receiving training from Luke Skywalker. However, several scenes from The Book of Boba Fett fit Lucas’ vision, perhaps the most obvious one being the Luke and Grogu one.
In The Book of Boba Fett chapter 5, Mando comes to visit Grogu but is urged by Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) to leave his gift for Grogu behind and depart so as to not distract Grogu from his training (as Jedi must forgo all attachment). Luke sees how much Grogu still cares for Din Djarin, so he offers him a choice: abandon Mando and become a great Jedi, or abandon his training and return to Mando. Grogu chooses the Mandalorian armor and returns to Mando in chapter 6. This Luke and Grogu scene is a direct homage to the 1972 samurai film series, The Wolf and the Cub. In a scene crucial to the series, Ogami Ittō (Tomisaburo Wakayama) presents Daigoro (Tomikawa Akihiro) with two options: choose the sword and become an assassin like him, or the ball and return to his mother.
George Lucas originally conceived Star Wars as a space western, heavily influenced by western and samurai films (as well as Flash Gordon). Boba Fett was based on Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name from Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy (which was itself inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo). In The Mandalorian, Disney made it clear that they intended to re-explore George Lucas’ original vision of the franchise as driven by the ideals of samurai and western films that inspired Lucas in the first place. In this The Book of Boba Fett scene between Grogu and Luke Skywalker, the new Star Wars spinoff series presents a crystalline moment that highlights that intention and the plan to continue to do so going forward. Favreau’s reference to The Wolf and the Cub is an direct one, even mirroring the masters’ sentences: “Daigoro, you may choose your own way.”/”Grogu, you may choose only one.” This shows just how clearly The Book of Boba Fett and its new wing of the franchise is returning to Star Wars’ original space western concept that Lucas had always intended.
Perhaps the most visually evident return to the space western concept in The Book of Boba Fett is the series of Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) scenes in the last episode. Tatooine is just as desolate a wasteland as Leone’s desert, and if Boba Fett strayed away from his original lone bounty hunter image, Cobb Vanth perfectly fits the Man With No Name type: he is a lone desert gunslinger who was once wandering through the Dune Sea when he got his hands on Boba Fett’s old bounty hunter armor and used it to his advantage, securing his position as the Mos Pelgo mayor. Bringing Cobb Vanth back from his The Mandalorian stories highlights the long-term plan to stick with this aesthetic and style. Meanwhile, Boba Fett and Cobb Vanth’s worthy adversary, Cad Bane (Corey Burton), pays a strong homage to Lee Van Cleef’s Angel Eyes.
Western and samurai films in the 1960s and 1970s were closely intertwined, and both genres were massive inspirations for George Lucas when he laid out the grounds for the Star Wars universe. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are very much aware of this and have made it their job to return to Lucas’ original vision in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Although The Book of Boba Fett series wasn’t as successful as The Mandalorian, the two shows share a creator as well as several characters. It’s therefore likely that the clear homages to western and samurai movies to continue in The Mandalorian season 3 as well as The Book of Boba Fett season 2 (if one is confirmed).