It's no stretch to say that The Book of Boba Fett "Chapter 6: From the Desert Came a Stranger" is the most explosive live-action Star Wars episode we've ever seen. Fans were treated with cameo after cameo, from Din Djarin to R2-D2, Luke Skywalker to Ahsoka Tano, and not to mention little Grogu, of course. But there are many fans who aren't quite sure who the terrifying, sharp-toothed gunslinger is. So let's bring you up to speed...
Warning: There are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for The Book of Boba Fett episode six. If you've not seen it, come back here for our full explanation of the episode and the ending!
Most of the sixth episode spends time with Luke Skywalker and Grogu, as we watch the Jedi Knight train the Padawan on a forest planet, where a new Jedi Academy is being built. Din Djarin arrives on the planet with a gift for Grogu - which he had the Armorer build in the previous episode - but Ahsoka Tano dissuades the Mandalorian from distracting Grogu.
Ahsoka gives the gift to Luke, who then offers it to Grogu, but presents to him a choice: either he chooses the beskar chain-mail armor, or Jedi Master Yoda's lightsaber, but we cut to the credits before we see Grogu's decision. Despite being a huge focus, this wasn't the only story in The Book of Boba Fett "Chapter 6: From the Desert Came a Stranger".
When the title appears, it's reasonable to assume that most of this episode would take place on Tatooine, but this simply isn't the case. The scenes we do get on Tatooine, however, are thrilling nonetheless. We first open in Mos Pelgo, now known as "Freetown", where we're reunited with Marshal Cobb Vanth, who first appeared in The Mandalorian Season 2.
Cobb Vanth approaches a group of Pykes who are trying to smuggle spice through the town. After firing a few fatal warning shots, Vanth warns the surviving Pyke to tell his people that they aren't welcome in Freetown. It's a tense opener, and though The Mandalorian is evidently inspired by old Western serials, The Book of Boba Fett is no exception.
The rest of the episode mostly takes place on the forest planet with Din Djarin, R2-D2, Ahsoka Tano, Luke Skywalker, and Grogu, but as promised in the previous episode, the Mandalorian eventually heads to Tatooine, so that he can help Boba against the Pykes. Realizing that Boba is short on foot soldiers, Din Djarin decides to visit Cobb Vanth for help.
Though reluctant to get his otherwise peaceful town involved in a war against the Pyke Syndicate, Cobb Vanth tells Din Djarin he'll see what he can do. After Din Djarin leaves in his starfighter, the Marshal suddenly notices the wind change. Upon looking out to the desert, he sees a stranger walking in from the flats, the tail of his coat moving in the wind.
What happens next is pretty tense stuff. The stranger is revealed to be a blue-skinned humanoid with a set of sharp teeth. He has an eerie way of speaking too, and at first, doesn't raise his head, so everything but his mouth is hidden behind the tip of his hat. He tells Cobb Vanth the Pykes will pay him double what Boba will.
When Cobb Vanth asks the stranger what his name is, he raises his hat and reveals a hideous blue face with large red eyes. On the sidelines, Cobb Vanth's deputy appears to be trying to make a move on the stranger. The stranger then tells Cobb Vanth that Boba Fett is a cold-blooded killer who once worked for the Empire.
But the Marshall stands his ground, telling him that Freetown won't yield and that the Pykes should leave Tatooine as it's seen enough violence. As many townspeople watch through the windows, the deputy continues to look for an opportunity, which distracts Cobb Vanth. The deputy pulls out his pistol, and so does the Marshal, but the stranger is too quick.
He shoots Cobb Vanth, seemingly in the shoulder, and opens fire on his deputy, killing him. He then addresses the townspeople, telling them that so long as the spice keeps running, their town will be left alone. A group of people run to Cobb Vanth and tend to his wound, while the stranger returns to his ship out on the desert flats.
Fans of animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Bad Batch were punching the air when they recognized the stranger from the desert (having already been busy punching it from all the other surprising cameos), but those unfamiliar with either show were probably a bit confused, though enthralled nonetheless.
The stranger from the desert is a character called Cad Bane, a merciless, ruthless, and feared bounty hunter from the two aforementioned animated shows. His species is known as 'Duros', but there have been no other characters like him in Star Wars shows or movies, which explains the look on Cobb Vanth's face when Cad Bane reveals his.
Following Jango Fett's death in Star Wars: Episode II - The Attack of the Clones, Bane became the galaxy's 'apex' bounty hunter, and during his time has rubbed shoulders with Boba Fett, though at a much younger point in the clone's life. In The Clone Wars, the two are seen in a Republic prison, and have both even worked with the likes of bounty came hunter Aurra Singh.
Unlike other bounty hunters, Bane, however, specialized in fighting Jedi, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. As such, he eventually worked for Darth Sidious, with one mission involving hunting down Force-sensitive children across the galaxy. Needless to say, Cad Bane is a truly formidable character in the Star Wars universe.
And whoever ends up in a duel with him, whether it's Boba Fett or Din Djarin, had better be pretty quick on the draw...