Star Wars is a cinematic icon, but it is much more than its movies. Blaine and Josh dive deep into the universe of Star Wars Rebels, the fantastic animated show on Disney XD, with reviews of the third season of this exciting series. 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 episode.
Midway through last season of Star Wars: Rebels, Sabine and the rest of the crew found themselves on Concordia—Mandalore’s moon—in a massive confrontation with Fenn Rau and his Protectors. The end result of the conflict was a substantial and strategic victory for the rebels. Fenn Rau agreed to grant the Phoenix squadron safe passage through their airspace, enabling the growing rebellion to evade the Empire’s grasp for a little while longer. Fast-forward to Imperial Super Commandos in Season 3, where the Ghost crew is once again dealing with a problem on Concordia.
The rebels have lost contact with the base on Concordia, and Ezra, Sabine, and Fenn Rau set of to see what’s happening. They arrive only to discover that an entire village has been pillaged, ransacked, and burned. Before long, they are ambushed by a mighty group of Madalorians who call themselves the Imperial Super Commandos. Their leader is Gar Saxon, a Clone Wars survivor who has cast his lot in with the Empire. While Saxon and his Imperial warriors put up a good fight (in keeping with their Mandalorian heritage), Fenn Rau ultimately chooses to remain loyal to the Rebellion and rescues Sabine and Ezra from Saxon’s clutches.
It’s hard to believe we’re already seven episodes into this season of Rebels; but here we are, and it’s no surprise that we’re starting to see a handful of character-centered episodes. Sabine, of course, takes center stage in Imperial Super Commandos, and as I’ve already mentioned, this episode is a kind of continuation of the thread stitched by Protectors of Concord Dawn last season. Mandalore, with its rich, fascinating, and tumultuous history, was ripe for further exploration, and the Rebels creative team has pushed the narrative in new and interesting directions with Super Commandos.
While we are slowly and surely learning more about Sabine’s past, the real intrigue in this episode—for Star Wars history obsessives like your’s truly, at least—stems from the hints and insights we get into the post-Clone Wars history of Mandalore. Super Commando leader Gar Saxon makes his first on-screen appearance, yet he’s no newcomer to the galaxy far, far away. Saxon played a significant role in the Son of Dathomir comic, freeing Maul from The Spire (a prison on Stygeon Prime) and serving as a part of the Shadow Collective. In due time, of course, the Shadow Collective would fall and the Empire would come to rule Mandalore. Likewise, Fenn Rau has a storied history, having fought with Kanan way back in the Clone Wars. In other words, this episode shows a number of ostensibly and somewhat disparate threads coming together.
At the same time, however, what Imperial Super Commandos shows as much as anything is just how politically fragmented Mandalore is. We already knew about Bo-Katan’s Nite Owl resistance movement during the Wars—an early sign of the planet’s tumultuous future—but Rau’s equivocating, Sabine’s loyalty to the Rebel cause, and Saxon’s wholesale surrender to the Empire exemplify the extreme polarization of the Mandalorian society. This means that Rau’s (presumably) ultimate decision to officially side with the rebels is highly significant, signaling a potential way forward for Manalorians who are eager to break free from the Empire’s reign. It will be incredibly interesting to see how this narrative develops through the rest of the series. Rumor has it that Bo-Katan will be making an appearance this season, so we should no more in the near future.
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.
- Why is Fenn Rau tempted to betray Sabine and the rest of the crew?
- Can you think of any times in our history where there’s been an extreme fragmentation like in Mandalore?
- What possible solutions to disunity does the episode suggest?
- Fenn Rau makes a brief appearance in the Kanan comic series.
The design of the Super Commandos is based off of early concept art for Boba Fett.