“Legacy of Mandalore”

Sabine Wren has returned home.  After training with Kanan to use the Darksaber, she has returned to her home planet of Krownest in an effort to unite the clans of Mandalore against the Empire.  Unfortunately, she is not welcomed back with open arms, instead, her mother calls her a traitor and attempts to sell the rebels to the Empire for protection.

In the previous episode, we finally got a peek into Sabine’s backstory.  Here that story is fleshed out, as we meet her mother and brother, and learn as Sabine does, what is the fate of her father.  It seems Sabine’s actions, both before and after she left the Academy have had massive impacts on the rest of her family.  Her once proud and powerful family has fallen on hard times and is at the mercy of the Empire and Gar Saxon, the Imperial Governor of Mandalore.

Much like the previous episode, this one is a single story.  There is no other subplot running at the same time.  We keep the action focused tightly on Sabine and her family.  After so long of the show not giving us any information on Sabine, I really appreciate them taking the time to focus in on her, especially considering how her story ties into the larger arcs that have carried forward from The Clone Wars.  As she is Clan Wren, House Vizla, her story is very much a part of the Mandalorian story and Darth Maul’s story.  It’s all a part of the larger tapestry.

Sabine’s episodes have talked a lot about warriors, heritage, and symbols of power.  But at their hearts, they are stories about family.  Sabine was cast out of her birth family by the Empire and adopted by Kanan and Hera.  Now, she is at a crossroads and must decide on which family needs her more.  She watches as the people she loves most fight others that she loves.  The episode has fantastic action, but it’s also deeply emotional.  Our emotional investment is so deep with these characters that we really feel the pain as Sabine makes the hard decisions.

This episode is simplistic in it’s presentation.  There is no exotic new planet or alien species introduced.  Instead, we have a quiet, subdued beauty.  The story taking place almost exclusively at the Wren house in the snowy mountains.  The Mandalorians themselves are clad in pale gray and muted neutral tones to match the exterior, Sabine stands out amongst them with her wild colors and revolutionary ideas.  Kevin Kiner delivers one of his best scores to date for this episode.  The show continues to hit new heights in presentation and story.

I don’t know what Sabine’s final decision means for the show.  It certainly changes the status quo and has an air of finality, but I have a hard time believing this is the end for her.  It feels like the creators don’t necessarily know if this is the end or not, so they have written themselves an out if it is the end.  The ending of this does not carry the emotional weight that Ahsoka’s leaving the Jedi did in Clone Wars, so I don’t think that we are done with Sabine and the Mandalorians just yet.

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