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Star Wars Rebels

The Protector of Concord Dawn (Star Wars Rebels - S02E13) - Animated Series

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: The Protector of Concord Dawn

Season: Two

Episode: 13

Original Air Date: January 27, 2016

Runtime: 22 minutes

Was anyone else distracted by the use of the names Fenn and Wren? It immediately made me think of Kylo Ren and Finn. Maybe that was intentional. SPOILERS. 

Looking to secure new hyperspace lanes, Sabine and Hera traveled to the Mandalorian colony of Concord Dawn. According to Captain Rex, the elite warriors of Concord Dawn, a Mandalorian splinter group known as the Protectors, were brought in to train Clone Troopers during the Clone Wars. Mandalore and its culture became a major focus during the later seasons of The Clone Wars, and I was glad to see that story revisited here. Fenn Rau and the Protectors, who were working with the Empire, attacked Hera and Sabine upon their arrival in the Concord Dawn system. The Protectors, flying in their Gauntlet fighters, destroyed Phoenix Squadron and severely injured Hera. Only Sabine and Phoenix Two escaped unscathed. The battle over Concord Dawn was a great way to start the episode and Hera's injury immediately raised the stakes. Usually, the Ghost crew is practically invincible so I appreciated that the writers decided to show that our heroes can get hurt. Unwilling to risk more lives, Kanan and Sabine (as a stowaway) traveled to Concord Dawn to track down Fenn Rau's base. While Sabine wanted to avenge Hera, Kanan still believed they could recruit the Mandalorians. We've seen a lot of combinations of the Ghost crew, but I don't recall Kanan and Sabine ever going on a mission by themselves (even if it was unintentional). It was good to see Rebels explore the relationship between Kanan and Sabine, and I actually thought they worked really well together. More often than not, Rebels tends to retread the same lessons and relationships so it was a breath of fresh air to see two characters who normally don't interact go off on a mission together.

   

As Sabine planted bombs on the Mandalorian ships, Kanan met with Fenn Rau. Kanan had actually met Fenn Rau before, even if Rau didn't remember. Apparently, Rau served with the Republic during the Clone Wars and saved Kanan's life during the Battle of Mygeeto. This episode contained several connections to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and I found Kanan and Rau's meeting over tea to be very visually reminiscent of a similar meeting between Darth Maul and Pre Vizsla during The Clone Wars. After the losses he and his people suffered during the Clone Wars, Rau was reluctant to join the rebels. Fenn Rau is a really intriguing addition to the series. Not only because of his background, but because of the potential he has to make an impact on the series. Rau seems to be a cunning character that could be friend or foe and he brings a backing of Mandalorians soldiers along with him. Recurring characters tend to be underused on Rebels, hopefully that doesn't happen with Rau and the Mandalorian Protectors.

   

After Sabine was captured, she challenged Fenn Rau in single combat. Sabine was the faster shot, but instead of killing Rau she blew up his ships. As Rau attempted to escape in the remaining fighter, Kanan captured him mid-flight. The aerial capture of Rau was an admittedly fun action sequence, but his capture and defeat felt incredibly rushed. Rau reluctantly agreed to grant the rebels passage through the Concord Dawn system. It took a season and a half, but Sabine finally received some nice character development in this episode. First off, we learned that she is a member of clan Vizsla and that her mother was a member of the Death Watch. In my opinion, connecting Sabine to Pre Vizsla and the Death Watch was a wise move. It instantly gave us some insight into her past, something that has us eluded us for over a season and a half. Over course that revelation left me wondering, could Bo-Katan be Sabine's mother? She's the only named female Mandalorian we've me so far and that could introduce so many potential storylines. Conflicting Kanan's Jedi philosophy with Sabine's Mandalorian mindset provided a good emotional throughline for this episode. It was nice to see Sabine grow as a character for a change, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. How many times did she have to say, "We need to avenge Hera" in this episode? Her stubbornness in this episode also got a little tiresome. With that being said, this was definitely a step in the right direction for Sabine. Her character has been wasted for over a season and a half. Hopefully the writers have recognized that and this episode signifies a shift in her character, because it was long overdue. After last week's episode, which solely relied on an unnecessary Princess Leia cameo, The Protector of Concord Dawn injected some new life back into the series. Although not a perfect episode, it finally developed Sabine, expanded her relationship with Kanan, introduced Fenn Rau and the Mandalorian Protectors, and even provided some intriguing ties to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. That's a win in my book.

What Worked

  • Fenn Rau and the Mandalorian Protectors
  • Unusual paring of Kanan and Sabine
  • For the first time in a season and a half, nice character development for Sabine
  • Connections to Star Wars: The Clone Wars 

What Didn’t Work

  • Rushed ending and the easy defeat of Fenn Rau
  • Still room for improvement with Sabine
External Links:
Added: January 30, 2016
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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