Star Wars is a cinematic icon, but it is much more than its movies. Blaine and Josh dive right into the middle of Star Wars Rebels, the fantastic animated show on Disney XD, and will be reviewing Season 2 as it progresses. As a show aimed at kids, but also clearly for the kid in every adult Star Wars fan, they’ll also have a discussion section to talk about the themes covered in each show.
Picking up right where last week’s episode left off, “The Protector of Concord Dawn” opens as the Ghost, carrying the Lothal rebels, emerges from hyperspace. Kanan and Ezra enter the ship’s control room and begin to debrief Commander Sato on the successful recovery of supplies on their previous mission. As the Empire becomes more aware of the rebel cell’s activities, it’s becoming more and more difficult for Kanan, Hera, Zeb, Ezra, and Sabine to fly around unnoticed. They need a new hyperspace route that will get them back to Lothal, and they need it soon. However, the best route will take them straight through Concord Dawn, a Mandalorian-controlled system of dubious political affiliation.
Sabine, convinced that her war-loving people cannot be negotiated with, argues that they should attack Concord Dawn while they still have the element of surprise. However, Commander Sato, Kanan, and Hera opt for a more diplomatic solution. Outvoted, Sabine accompanies Hera and a host of Phoenix cell members to begin talks with the Mandalorian group, the Protectors of Concord Dawn. The rebels are greeted by Fenn Rau, the leader of The Protectors, and a small fleet of Mandalorian ships. Negotiations—as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan would say—were short, and Hera and Sabine find themselves in a furious dogfight. Outgunned and outnumbered, the rebels are forced to retreat; but Hera is critically wounded.
While Hera receives medical attention back at the rebel fleet, Sabine, Kanan, and Commander Sato discuss their next move. They decide to conduct a preemptive strike on the Mandalorian’s base on the third moon of Concord Dawn. In order to maintain stealth and secrecy, Kanan must go on this mission alone. Shortly after disembarking, however, Kanan discovers that the always-feisty Sabine has stowed away with him on The Phantom, not wanting to miss the opportunity to cause something to go boom. She is both shocked and appalled when she learns that Kanan plans to sneak into The Protectors Camp and offer Fenn Rau yet another opportunity to join the rebellion.
Once they arrive on the Mandalorian base, Sabine and Kanan sneak into the camp; the latter goes to talk with Fenn Rau, and the former plants explosives in case the diplomatic solution fails again. Kanan confronts the Mandalorian leader, the two ostensibly finding solidarity in the fact they fought together in the Battle of Mygeeto in the Clone Wars.
Outside, Sabine is seen and surrounded by several of the Protectors. She confidently identifies herself as a Mandalorian of House Vizsla, Clan Wren, and she challenges Fenn Rau to a one-on-one duel. Rebels hearkens back to Star Wars’ roots as a Western as the two square off high-noon style. Sabine, with the quick draw, disarms Rau, who attempts to flee in one of his ships, but Kanan pursues and overtakes him. A captive of the rebel cell, Fenn Rau—pragmatist that he is—is compelled to forge a superficial, yet effective alliance, granting the Lothal rebels safe passage through their territory. Meanwhile, a recovering Hera converses with Sabine and Kanan, offering comfort and assurance as the episode comes to an end.
Zeb, Hera, and Ezra take a backseat this episode while Kanan and Sabine get some well-earned time in the spotlight. We get to see Kanan grow as a leader as he shows some patience with the Protectors of Concord Dawn, but it is everyone’s favorite Mandalorian rebel who is the real star of the show. We get some very interesting insight into Sabine’s backstory, the defining moment, of course, being when she identifies her clan and house to the Protectors of Concord Dawn. Fans of the Clone Wars will, no doubt, recognize her house name of Vizsla. During the Clone Wars, Pre Vizsla was instrumental in Mandalore’s eventual takeover by the Empire. He led the notorious Death Watch until he was killed by none other than Darth Maul, who—spoiler alert—is rumored to make an appearance in this season of Rebels.
After Sabine’s self-identification, the Protectors of Concord Dawn fear that she is a member of the Death Watch. “My mother was,” she corrects. Interestingly, the show’s executive producer Dave Filoni says that he imagines that Sabine’s mother was present when Darth Maul killed Pre Vizsla. It is going to be very interesting to see some of these gaps filled in Sabine’s history. It is precisely this careful, loving attention to characterization that makes the Star Wars universe beloved by so many fans. Each character has their own rich tapestry of triumph, trial, and tragedy; and thanks to this episode we have all the more reason to find Sabine fascinating and compelling.
Star Wars Rebels is a family show. Parents love watching as much as their kids. Infusing the spiritual with the fantastic and adventurous, Rebels continues the spirit of what makes Star Wars great. In order to foster the young minds and hearts of your Reel World Theologians, each week there are questions you can use during or after the show to talk about with your kids. Enjoy the show and then enjoy conversation, but always remember that story is powerful and Star Wars Rebels is not mindless.
- One of the more surprising moments in this week’s episode occurs when Kanan says he wants to negotiate peace with Fenn Rau, his foe. Can you think of some places in the Bible where God commands others to pursue peace with their enemies? How has God made peace with us? See Colossians 1:20.
- It’s especially difficult for Sabine to go along with Kanan’s plan because she is a Mandalorian like Fenn Rau. Like Sabine, have you ever had to confront someone you know and love for the sake of doing what’s right?
- Read Philippians 3:12–13 and Hebrews 10:32–39. How do these verses help us think about Sabine now that we are learning more about her past? How does it help us think about dealing with our own past?
- This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Fenn Rau. We got a brief glimpse of him in the Kanan comic.
- The showdown between Sabine and Fenn Rau evokes the final gunfight in Sergio Leone’s famous film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
- While this is the first appearance of Concord Dawn, the planet was mentioned in season 4, episode 17 of The Clone Wars.