Originally Published on Set The Tape
Following the vicious assault from the Empire using a weapon of Sabine’s (Tiya Sircar) own design, the Mandalorian resistance must find a way to destroy the devastating weapon before it can be used on more of their people.
In the first few seasons of Star Wars Rebels we didn’t really get a sense of who Sabine was, but during season three we learnt that she ended up doing some very questionable things for the Empire, and now we get to see the consequences of those actions. Despite undoing some of the gravity of the final moments of the first part of this story by revealing that Sabine’s mother and brother survived the attack, the episode still manages to maintain some heavy emotional impact.
We learn that the weapon that Sabine designed was made to target the materials that make up Mandalorian armour, superheating those materials and essentially cooking those inside until they’re reduced to ash. It’s moments like this that really separate Star Wars Rebels from other children’s shows and embraces some of the darker elements of the Star Wars universe. Thankfully the show is able to balance these darker moments with some lighter scenes to deliver a series that can appeal to a wider audience.
Sabine’s past with the Empire worked very well with the return of Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff) and her reluctance to lead Mandalore against the Empire. Both of the characters went through a lot of growth during the events of the episode, with Sabine having to face responsibility for her past actions and ensuring that something good would come it, whilst Bo-Katan came to accept that she could lead Mandalore without having to be her sister.
The scenes where Sabine and Bo-Katan are being tortured by Tiber Saxon (Tobias Menzies) reflects the scenes from Return of the Jedi, where Luke is being tortured by Emperor Palpatine’s force lightning in order to get him to switch sides. Whether intentional, or just something that is purely by chance, it gives the scenes some extra weight.
The episode manages to pack a lot of action and emotion into its short runtime, with the assault on the Imperial facility being one of the best action sequences that the show has produced in a long time. The moment when Ezra (Taylor Gray) opens the hangar doors to find a full blown battle going on between Mandalorian warriors and the Imperial forces, complete with walkers, is a pretty spectacular moment. With such a major focus on Sabine this episode, and a lack of characters like Hera (Vanessa Marshall) and Zeb (Steven Blum), hopefully these characters will be given a chance to shine as the series progresses.
Despite only focusing on a small part of the the fight against the Empire, and putting one member of Phoenix Squadron in the main role, the episode manages to build a strong platform for the tone of the rest of the season.
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