When The Book of Boba Fett came as a surprise announcement in a post-credit scene for The Mandalorian Season 2, Star Wars fans experienced excitement overload. Having just witnessed the return of Luke Skywalker in all his glory to rescue Grogu, the potential for a series about crime lord Boba Fett led to dropped jaws. Naturally, speculation immediately followed, as diehards pondered over which iconic characters could make an appearance in the show.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett.
The last person people expected to be seeing in Lord Fett's spin-off series was Luke again. Yet, "Chapter 6 - A Stranger From the Desert" brought the Jedi Master back into the foray, and fans got to spend extensive time with him. Luke, performed by a new body double with Mark Hamill's aid, imparted wisdom on Grogu and reopened the can of frogs that reminded the kid how to tap into his Force abilities.
But before a single frame of Luke and Grogu's training session was shown, Din Djarin arrived on the unnamed world in search of his little green friend. Mando was instantly greeted by R2-D2, who marched him through a bamboo forest that the hunter hoped would lead to Skywalker and Grogu. Instead, he witnessed a sizable contingent of ant-like droids that were assembling a structure, with no sentient life to be found.
What was being built was obvious from the outset to fans, but the scene left Din's head spinning. As Ahsoka Tano would later explain in a shocking appearance of her own, the droids were piecing a Jedi Temple together with the stones being gathered - literally laying down the foundation for the future of the Order. By the time the final sequence of "Chapter 6" came along, construction had been completed, leaving Luke with the foundation for his Academy.
For those paying close attention, it seemed as though the Temple was the first piece in what would eventually become a larger school, as seen briefly in The Last Jedi. However, many noticed some discrepancies with the Academy - namely, the different soundings for the structures that were featured in The Book of Boba Fett and Episode VIII. This has led to inquiries regarding why the Temple seems to have changed, or if the locations are even the same.
There are several possibilities for the alteration, reaching far beyond just the aesthetics for the show. Lucasfilm's Story Group works closely with Star Wars guru Dave Filoni to ensure that things remain consistent in the continuity, and the appearance of Luke's Temple was something the director undoubtedly kept in mind while writing the script for "Chapter 6". Below are a few theories attempting to piece together what could be a significant change for the galaxy.
The Temples Are On Different Worlds
A feasible explanation for why Luke's Jedi Temples don't look the same could simply be because they're on different planets.
To this point, neither the world seen in The Last Jedi nor the one in The Book of Boba Fett have been named, leaving the door open for the Lucasfilm Story Group to pull a bait and switch if it's convenient to do so. By the time Ben Solo and his fellow Padawans have joined Luke's Academy, the structure's appearance in The Rise of Kylo Ren comic miniseries is identical to that of the one seen in Episode VIII.
The biggest distinction between the two settings, as already noted, is the widespread mountain range seen in Boba Fett. This is evident in shots from both the surface in front of the temple, and from higher up when Luke shows Grogu the vastness of the world around them. With no such mountains to be seen in The Last Jedi or The Rise of Kylo Ren, the odds of the temples being different increase significantly.
Luke's Academy as seen in the sequel trilogy era was described as being in a secret location. However, Din Djarin seemed to have no difficulty finding the world, and there are no indicators pointing to Skywalker giving him the coordinates after leaving the bridge of Moff Gideon's cruiser with Grogu. It's conceivable that a Force user like Ahsoka could use her feelings to find the planet, but "Chapter 6" seems to imply that she and Luke already have a history - maybe she was even the one who suggested the planet to him.
If Luke's Temple seen in The Book of Boba Fett is different from the one destroyed in The Last Jedi, then it seems the restored Jedi Order was more far-reaching than initially believed. The Academy seen in the sequels could serve as the primary home for Luke and his pupils, and ones like the smaller structure seen in Boba Fett would offer the shelter needed for a student going on their own retreat.
While Luke could have returned to the world seen in "Chapter 6" after everything hit the fan with his nephew, the location's whereabouts being more available to the galaxy at large would serve as a deterrent. That would explain why he journeyed to Ahch-To instead, where the hidden nature of the planet would allow him to live out his days in misery while those he cared about suffered.
Surroundings Were Altered To Create More Space
In fairness to The Book of Boba Fett, fans are only given a look at the very beginning of Luke's Academy; when Mando arrives, the structure is only half built. The ending of the episode demonstrates that the ant-droids are quick workers, as the hut is completed by the time Luke offers Grogu the choice of accepting beskar chain mail or Yoda's old lightsaber.
If the mechanical construction workers can operate so quickly, it's fair to assume that ground broke on the structure shortly before the events seen in "Chapter 6". The arrival of Luke's first student in Grogu necessitated a building of some kind, and with just the two Jedi being present, little more was needed than what Ahsoka confidently believed would become a great school.
But Ben Solo is technically Luke's first apprentice, unless things change and Grogu chooses to continue pursuing the ways of the Jedi. With Ben and several other young Jedi-to-be on his hands, Luke would need an Academy far bigger than the one seen in Boba Fett. There wasn't too much open room to play with based on the shots of the structures' surroundings, so tree huggers will be dismayed to learn that Luke likely ordered the deforestation of a significant chunk of land around the original building.
Flashback panels in The Rise of Kylo Ren show Luke's Temple in its finished form, roughly five years after the events of The Book of Boba Fett. By clearing out the territory around his initial school, Luke gave himself the opportunity to get his ant-droids to work on putting together a much larger facility that would accommodate the current and future Jedi joining Luke's Order.
At the center of Luke's larger Academy is a stone hut, much like the one seen in Boba Fett. The only difference is that there's an addition to the dome, something that easily could have been added to the initial structure. With large sections of the forest cleared away, the hills seen in other projects would become more prominent, and the space needed to build a Jedi Academy, with the first building located at the heart, is available for expansion.
Retcons Done To Bolster The Force's Presence
There's every chance that Luke's Academy, like many things in the canon, could be the same one seen in all projects, but The Book of Boba Fett's appearance has simply retconned the look of the structure. As things stand, the destruction of the temple is already confusing enough - the films in the sequel trilogy state Ben Solo took it down, but The Rise of Kylo Ren seems to suggest that Zombie Palpatine was the one who summoned a bolt of lightning to nuke the structure.
If the comic's explanation of events is gospel, things regarding Luke's Temple have already changed once; would some touch-ups to the surrounding landscape really hurt? The initial school is evocative of the center of the larger Academy, and there's more than enough space for the institution to grow. Things would largely stay the same, save for atmospheric features like the mountains and bamboo forest - which, arguably, could always have been there, but just wasn't shown in The Last Jedi.
The whole point of the forest in "Chapter 6" was to show a Jedi's training in a peaceful setting. Just before the first glimpses of Luke and Grogu are shown, the serene motif first heard in The Mandalorian begins to play over establishing shots of the forest. Nature is teeming with life, the perfect place for someone like Grogu to connect with the Force - which cultivates life itself.
When Luke tosses Grogu onto his back and goes for an Empire Strikes Back-inspired run, the presence of life is given further emphasis. It's not until Luke climbs a bamboo tree that overlooks much of the world beyond that Grogu learns how all-encompassing the Force is, that it surrounds him everywhere in the vastness of the planet and galaxy. It's a lesson Luke took away from Yoda, albeit in a far less welcoming setting.
Story trumps everything, and if Dave Filoni felt it was necessary to add more to the world that houses Luke Skywalker's Academy, then a small change was warranted. The Force has been a concept fans have known of for decades, but there's still so much to learn about the mystical energy field. A broader area for Master Luke to pass on what he's learned to his students and the Star Wars faithful promises to provide richer story opportunities for years to come.
The season of The Book of Boba Fett will debut Wednesday on Disney+.