Fett's Way

Boba Fett Episode 5: The Night of a Thousand Tears, explained

The Book of Boba Fett just showed us a major Star Wars event.

The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5 brought Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) back into the fold, and it also explores the history of the Star Wars universe in a way previous installments haven’t. The episode revisits some key points of Mandalorian lore, and even gives Star Wars fans their first real look at a moment they’ve been hearing about for years.

The “Night of a Thousand Tears” is a historic Star Wars event that nearly marked the destruction of Mandalorian culture. Prior to this week it had only been passingly referenced, but The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5 shines a spotlight on the infamous moment.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SCI-FI MOVIE? Tell us now for a chance to get paid to write an article for Inverse.

However, the episode still leaves a lot unsaid, which may cause some confusion among casual fans. So here’s what you should know about the Night of a Thousand Tears and the Great Purge of Mandalore.

“Had our sect not been cloistered on the moon of Concordia, we would have not survived the Great Purge.”Lucasfilm

A Mandalorian Curse — In The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5, Din Djarin reunites with the two surviving members of his Mandalorian sect. They give him some insight into how Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) claiming the Darksaber for herself without winning it in battle helped lead to the Great Purge of Mandalore.

As The Armorer (Emily Swallow) tells it, “Those born of Mandalore strayed away from the path. Eventually, the Imperial interlopers destroyed all that we knew and loved in the Night of a Thousand Tears. Only those that walked the way escaped the curse prophesized in the creed.”

The Armorer’s description is accompanied by startling footage of the Night of a Thousand Tears, giving fans glimpses of the tragic conflict for the first time since it was originally mentioned in the Season 1 finale of The Mandalorian. It’s arguably the single most important event that took place during the Great Purge of Mandalore.

“Eventually, the Imperial interlopers destroyed all that we knew and loved in the Night of a Thousand Tears.”Lucasfilm

The Night of a Thousand Tears — For context, the Great Purge of Mandalore began after Bo-Katan was gifted the Darksaber by Sabine Wren in Star Wars Rebels. Her decision to take ownership of the weapon helped band multiple Mandalorian clans into a cohesive resistance that sought to end the Empire’s military occupation of Mandalore.

Instead, the Empire responded by attempting to wipe out the Mandalorian people. The regime’s campaign against the planet became known as the Great Purge, and it culminated with the Night of a Thousand Tears. The event saw the Empire destroy Mandalore’s domed cities and bombard fields of Mandalorian recruits.

These moments are briefly depicted in The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5, as are instances of Imperial droids being sent to eliminate any survivors. Only a few Mandalorians, including members of the tribe Din was eventually recruited into, survived the conflict.

“Only those that walked the way escaped the curse prophesized in the Creed.”Lucasfilm

The Inverse Analysis — While it’s interesting to see The Book of Boba Fett actually depict part of the Night of a Thousand Tears, it’d be understandable if viewers were confused about the point of the sequence. Initially, the flashbacks don’t seem to have much reason to exist outside of filling in some historical gaps.

However, many Star Wars fans believe that The Mandalorian Season 3 will focus on the rebuilding of Mandalore and the appointment of a new leader for the Mandalorian people. If that turns out to be the case — and The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5 certainly suggests that it will — then the Night of a Thousand Tears and Bo-Katan’s failure to protect her people from the Empire will no doubt play a role in the story of The Mandalorian Season 3.

Taking that into account, The Book of Boba Fett Episode 5’s flashbacks suddenly seem like they may end up being even more important than Star Wars fans think.

The Book of Boba Fett is streaming now on Disney+.