Grogu is back. The Book of Boba Fett finale has put Baby Yoda on a new path than the one presented to him in The Mandalorian Season 2. Grogu will likely never become a real Jedi. After being given an impossible choice by Luke Skywalker in Boba Fett Episode 6, Grogu chooses to leave Yoda’s lightsaber behind and join his surrogate father Mando (aka Din Djarin) once again.
This may make it seem like Grogu has forsaken the way of the Jedi, and yet the most important moment in Boba Fett Episode 7 proves Grogu is more of a real Jedi than Luke. Here’s why. Spoilers for The Book of Boba Fett are ahead.
Luke Skywalker’s battle with a rancor
In Return of the Jedi, after being thrown into Jabba the Hutt’s dungeon, Luke had a do-or-die moment where he could either take down a giant rancor or meet his own demise. But were those Luke’s only options?
Consider this: Luke manages to figure out how to not murder his father, Darth Vader, in the same movie. You could argue this decision was motivated by love, and Luke never loved an animal like the rancor. But intellectually, this thinking is flawed. While in Jabba’s dungeon, Luke knows the rancor is just an abused animal. He’s able to express his guilty feelings later in the movie and prevent the carnivorous Ewoks from eating him and all of his friends.
So, did Luke Skywalker need to murder the rancor? In theory, it seems possible that Luke’s slaying of the rancor is just laziness since Yoda had taught him to respect nature. Sure, Luke may have been still reasonably volatile at this point in his life, but his whole vibe projects a sense of calm that is inconsistent with the rancor’s murder. In other words, Luke Skywalker resorts to brute force to save himself in a moment where he possibly doesn’t need to do that at all.
How Baby Yoda showed up Luke Skywalker
In The Book of Boba Fett finale, the titular bounty hunter’s secret weapon — the rancor — ends up becoming a problem. Although Boba Fett boasted he’d ridden other giant beasts in his past, he loses complete control of the rancor.
This situation arguably has much higher stakes than Luke’s situation with a different rancor. It was only Luke or the giant creature, but now it’s the rancor or the entire city of Mos Espa. Boba Fett suggests the rancor is akin to Godzilla, an out-of-control monster that can’t be stopped.
Yet, what does Baby Yoda do? Instead of force-choking the rancor, Grogu uses the Force to calm the beast. Where did Grogu learn to do this? The short answer is: He didn’t. It’s simply presented as part of his nature. While many fans have delighted in pointing out Grogu’s brief moments of Dark-side tendencies (i.e., Force-choking people), the moment with the rancor demonstrates something huge. Grogu is more in touch with the Force than Luke was in an almost identical situation.
Luke talks big about the rules of the Jedi in The Book of Boba Fett, but because of The Last Jedi, we know that dogma leads him to a terrible place. What Grogu demonstrated was the ability to do the most Jedi-like thing while also not technically being a Jedi.
Like most of the events of the prequels, not to mention Ahsoka’s rejection of the formal label of “Jedi,” it seems Star Wars is determined now more than ever to make us question who really has the right balance with the Force. In the sequel films, we’re told the Force can’t be balanced without the Jedi. But what Grogu proved is that getting in touch with the natural world sometimes means you have to reject the path of the Jedi.
Who knows? Maybe Baby Yoda is the chosen one, after all.
The Book of Boba Fett is streaming now on Disney+.