The Mandalorian outpost on Concord Dawn has gone silent. The Rebels are concerned that this means the Mandalorian Protectors are no longer going to honor their deal allowing safe passage through the system. Sabine, Ezra, and Chopper are sent to investigate the system, and they are bringing along their prisoner, I mean grumpy guest, Fenn Rau. For Mando fans, this is the episode for you.
You can never plan on things going according to plan, especially when there are Mandalorians involved. Rau attempts to make an escape but quickly realizes that there is much more going on on Concord Dawn than they expected. The Protectors have been wiped out, by the Empire’s own branch of Mandalorians. While they are never referred to by name, these are the titular Imperial Supercommandos, led by the Viceroy of Mandalore, Gar Saxon.
This is another episode that is very heavy on action and light on plot. That’s not to be seen as a negative, it’s just that this is not an episode that is delving deep into the mysteries of the Force or exploring the complex political relationships within the Empire. There is some mention of how Mandalore fits into the Empire, but not much time is spent on that. The story here is basically Ezra, Sabine, and Rau on the run from the Imperial Mandos. We get some tense action and a great jetpack chase scene.
I really like the design of the Imperial Mandos. At first glance, you can immediately tell it’s a Mandalorian, but it also carries the original Joe Johnston concept design idea for Boba Fett. There are smaller details that jumped out at me as well. These Mandos do not have the classic T-visor that we are used to seeing, instead, their helmets look more like Clone Trooper helmets. It’s a design aesthetic that tells you so much about the characters. They are Mandalorians, but they also have pieces that look like they came from the same armor supplier as the Republic and the Empire. This is what great character and costume design looks like.
Sabine takes center stage here. We start to get more information about her, including details about her family. Saxon mentions Sabine’s mother. Sabine may have given up much more than we realized when she left the Imperial academy and joined the Rebellion. I do hope we get more about her family soon. Even with all we know about her, she is still one of the characters we know the least about. Rau and Sabine make a good pair and we see the different aspects of the Mandalorians in them. Following the Mandalorian line from The Clone Wars to Rebels now tells us so much about the Mandalorian society that continues from their civil war during the Clone Wars.
This is an episode that is big on action but slows down just enough to give us some very fun moments. Ezra whistling in boredom might be one of my favorite moments from him, and I loved how Chopper chose to wake up Ezra. My only complaint against this episode is not really one I can level on the episode itself, but rather the series as a whole. We haven’t seen Sabine really struggle with loss, defeat, or doubt yet. Everyone else in the crew has had to deal with some trauma from their past or deal with difficult choices they’ve made. I don’t feel like Sabine has yet had to face something like that. This episode would’ve been a very good chance to confront her with her choice to leave her family and her world behind or to dig deeper into why she did what she did. It just feels like a missed opportunity to flesh out her character a bit more.