Reception to The Book of Boba Fett has been relatively lukewarm. Many fans aren't happy with how little is happening, while others don't much care for colorful speeder bikes. This reaction is drastically different than what the previous Star Wars Disney+ series, The Mandalorian, received. This is a little strange, considering how Mando is an entirely original character, while Boba has been a favorite fan figure in the franchise's canon since his debut in the original trilogy.
The famous bounty hunter made his triumphant return in Season 2 of Mando's adventures and used that momentum to spin off into his own show. Now, five episodes into the story, his former acquaintance and ally have touched down on Tatooine.
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett.
Pedro Pascal's Mandalorian didn't just make an appearance in the recent episode, however. Many might even consider it the faux premiere of Din Djarin's third season.
A lot happened during Mando's arrival on the show, from forging new armor for Grogu to new Darksaber lore and even a brand-new starship. Among these elements of this week's episode, that new starship was responsible for one of the most significant callbacks to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in quite some time.
Mando Takes a Flight Down Memory Lane
During The Book of Boba Fett's fifth episode, Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin touched down on Tatooine to get himself a new ship in Mos Espa. Upon getting his new N-1 starfighter, the Mandalorian took the starfighter out on a joy ride. Little did fans know that they were about to take a trip down memory lane.
As Mando started to fly away from Mos Espa, the rocky landscape he flew through likely started to look familiar.
That would be because it was the same area where the Podracing Boonta Eve Classic event took place in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Fans get to see Din Djarin showcase the same maneuverability skills that Anakin Skywalker displayed all those years ago.
The artists behind The Book of Boba Fett clearly took time to make the area as much of a faithful recreation as possible.
The details retained are impressive. In the shot below, Mando speeds around a corner as he passes some buildings on the rock face of Beggar's Canyon.
That same bend can be seen in The Phantom Menace, clearly a few decades back. The buildings are also present with the same incline––though no longer blocked off and with no Podracers speeding by to break through it.
Now That's Podracing
Nostalgia is a tricky tool. If creatives tap into it too much, everything can fall in on itself, and the showcased product can feel hollow. However, if balanced perfectly, it can not only elevate the material but also garner better responses from audiences.
In the case of The Phantom Menace callbacks for the Mandalorian's return, it's thankfully the latter. Riding in the starfighter with Din was an epic moment, and many fans are already calling the episode the best of all Star Wars Disney+ content so far.
The bounty hunter's original show was known for its connective tissue with past stories. The Mandalorian was one of the first live-action projects to connect with The Clone Wars animated show, bringing in the likes of Ahsoka and Bo-Katan.
Based on how the episode ended, it's no doubt safe to assume that this wasn't the last audiences have seen of Din Djarin in Bhe Book of Boba Fett. With everything added to this week's adventure, one can't help but wonder what Mando may add to the proceedings next time.
The Book of Boba Fett streams new episodes every Wednesday, exclusively on Disney+.