The Book of Boba Fett has proven to be full of surprises. While the titular character has returned to his original trilogy level of prominence by barely showing up in the last two episodes, there have been many familiar returning faces to keep the story interesting. Star Wars fans got an idea of why the series had been regarded as The Mandalorian Season 2.5 during production when "Chapter 5" spent its full runtime catching everyone up with Din Djarin.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett.
The conclusion of "Chapter 5" made it clear that the next stop for the story would be a trip to Grogu, and the latest episode did not disappoint. "Chapter 6" spent an astonishing amount of time with the little Force wielder as he trained under Luke Skywalker, whose digital recreation was impeccable in many instances. It was made clear that Grogu was struggling due to missing Din, but a choice presented by Luke will determine the future for the Padawan and the overarching story.
While Grogu was leaping around to dodge the blasts from a training remote, Luke had a brief discussion about him with Ahsoka Tano - a meeting that's hard enough to believe in itself. Ahsoka commented that Luke had taught Grogu well, but the master dismissed the praise, noting "It's more like he's remembering than I'm actually teaching him anything."
As Ahsoka herself informed Din in The Mandalorian, Grogu was once a youngling in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, and he received instruction from various mentors over the years. Everything went wrong for the little guy when Order 66 hit, and he was rescued from the assault before being left alone in a dark place until Mando saved him and assumed the role of father figure.
For the first time, "Chapter 6" gave a slight hint at what Grogu experienced, as Luke cleared the blockage of his memory that provided a look at Order 66 from the young one's perspective. A brief flashback revealed Cin Drallig and two fellow Jedi Knights unsuccessfully attempting to fend off the assault from 501st clones, but the vision ends before Grogu's savior is revealed.
But there's an Easter egg in the sequence that hints at whom the person might be. Along the wall is a crest, one familiar to fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars... it belongs to none other than Barriss Offee.
It's possible the crest was planted as a nod to the character, but with Dave Filoni penning the episode, there's little doubt the move was deliberate. Filoni has long maintained that he has a plan in mind for Barriss, and the MandoVerse might be seeing that come to fruition.
Why Barriss Was Present During Order 66
Due to the initial cancelation of The Clone Wars, Barriss Offee's story was left unfinished. When fans last saw her, Barriss was being escorted away to a Republic brig by Jedi Temple Guards for being the true culprit behind the bombing of a hangar. Anakin Skywalker's last-minute capture was enough to exonerate Ahsoka of all charges she was framed for, but her trial was just moments away from reaching a verdict.
In all likelihood, Ahsoka would've been found guilty and executed for her "crimes". Originally, Barriss was to explode in her cell at the end of the arc due to the nano-droids she used in her attack, but Filoni conjured up a different plan. Offee's trial was never shown, but it is doubtful that a ruling by the court would be any more favorable for her than the one for Ahsoka unless her speech against the Jedi swayed anyone.
For a short period of time, fans believed the Seventh Sister Inquisitor in Rebels was Barriss, given the physical resemblance. However, Filoni dispelled this notion, and the antagonist was subsequently eliminated by Maul in an unceremonious fashion anyway - leaving Barriss' fate a continued mystery.
As for how Barriss got to the Temple during Operation: Knightfall, there are a few possibilities.
It's hard to imagine the Republic would allow the Jedi to keep Barriss in their own custody, given Tarkin's insistence that the death of clones took the matter out of the Order's hands. But Barriss may have had a backup plan in mind in the event that she was captured, setting herself up for the opportunity to escape. She was shown to have access to the Republic's military facility in ways that most Jedi didn't, so having an ally on the inside would provide her with the chance to flee the grounds relatively unnoticed when Order 66 went down.
The alternative is that Barriss was being held in the Jedi Temple, perhaps awaiting her expulsion from the Order, when all hell broke loose. A closer look at Grogu's flashback sequence indicates that the conflict occurring before him is happening in a tight corridor, very similar to the one Barriss' room was attached to. With her crest being present, it's a reasonable guess that her quarters are right below the symbol.
Why Grogu and the Jedi were in that spot is a different story. If Barriss was being held in her room, it's possible that two of the Knights were there standing guard by her door when Order 66 was initiated. Cin Drallig was a master swordsman, and perhaps he took it upon himself to save Grogu before going to aid his fellow Jedi and falling to the clones.
Something to remember about Barriss is that, while she tapped into the dark side during The Clone Wars, she wasn't inherently evil or committed to falling; she was disillusioned by the trajectory the Jedi Order was taking. As a baby, Grogu was an innocent life, a beacon of light and purity in ways the rest of the Order wasn't. This may well have been what drove Barriss to grab the youngling and flee the scene amidst the chaos surrounding them, giving the good being a chance to live on and, one day, improve the Jedi way.
Barriss Offee's Role Going Forward
If Barriss is indeed the one who took Grogu from the Jedi Temple, there's a major story to tell for the character.
There were murmurings that Ahsoka would appear in The Bad Batch at some point, though no such thing occurred during Season 1. If the trajectory of the animated series leads Clone Force 99 to come into contact with Tano, there's an opportunity for the former Jedi to encounter Offee as well. Grogu wouldn't be involved, as Ahsoka doesn't know who he is until The Mandalorian, but a Barriss in hiding is certainly someone she may come across.
Even if that doesn't happen, expect Barriss Offee to appear in the MandoVerse - particularly in Ahsoka. There's no better show to introduce her to the narrative than the one that directly follows the friend she betrayed, and years in exile may have allowed Barriss to get her mind in the right place. It's possible she and Ahsoka have already made amends at a different point in the timeline, like Bad Batch, but if not, Ahsoka would be a golden opportunity to further demonstrate the titular character's growth through her willingness to forgive.
With Hayden Christensen returning to play Anakin Skywalker in the series, there's an interesting set up for the three characters to air out dirty laundry over the incident that really began to cement the rise of Darth Vader. A remorseful Barriss could not only make things right with her old friends but also become a part of Luke's new Jedi Order, taking part in the pivotal final conflict the MandoVerse is building towards.
It's not a huge group, but Ahsoka, Luke, Barriss, Grogu, a recovered Ezra Bridger, and possibly even someone like Cal Kestis would be a significant force to be reckoned with as Din Djarin fights to reclaim Mandalore and stave off the Imperial Remnant... and any other threats that may be lurking in the galaxy. This once seemed like a pipe dream, and things will have to go wrong eventually given the disaster that becomes of Luke's Academy, but this contingent of Jedi has the chance to make their mark on the narrative.
Given how interconnected the stories in the MandoVerse have proven to be, Din appearing in Ahsoka should be expected, and Grogu will likely be at his side once more. If Barriss is indeed involved, she'll have the opportunity to see the child she once saved from a certain terrible fate, perhaps giving him the encouragement he needs to continue pursuing the Jedi path.
Fans probably haven't seen the last of the flashbacks to Order 66. In time, Barriss' involvement in Grogu's escape will be revealed, and a more extensive sequence can be expected. It may not come until Ahsoka, or even a different project altogether, but there are clues laid out and an answer on the way.
Ahsoka will stream in 2023 on Disney+.