Star Wars: Rebels (2017) – Warhead, Trials of the Darksaber, and Legacy of Mandalore

Warhead is a bit of a lighter episode that adds briefly to the Kallus (David Oyelowo) and Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) continuity but mainly allows Zeb (Steve Blum) and the droids Chopper and AP-5 (Stephen Stanton) a chance to have some action beats when they are left behind at the rebel base while the rest of the Ghost crew go on some training exercises.

Written by Gary Whitta, this episode debuted on 14 January, 2017. Imperials are launching infiltrator droids (looking very much like the early designs for Threepio) in a search to discover the hidden rebel base, before they started using probe droids apparently, and one lands on the rebel planet.

Fulcrum aka Kallus sends a transmission that warns them the droid will send the location of the base if it isn’t intercepted, and somehow reprogrammed to forget its encounter with the rebels.

What follows is a chase episode that sees the trio after the infiltrator, and trying to find a way to send it back to the imperials without revealing their location, or destroying their base in the process.

It’s lighter than some of the other episodes this season, and there’s some nice banter between the characters, but we also know that Zeb has come further than just being the brute muscle of the team, though it seems that both Chopper and AP-5 insist on seeing him that way.

The trio are successful, but Thrawn is still able to gain some knowledge from the lack of information…

Sabine (Tiya Sircar) confronts her past, and get some training in as she works with the Mandalorian darksaber that was discovered in Maul’s (Sam Witwer) home.

Trials of the Darksaber was written by Dave Filoni and first aired on 21 January, 2017. Fenn Rau (Kevin McKidd) and Kanan (Freddie Prinze jr.) agree that should Sabine take up the darksaber, she can unite the Mandalorians, and bring an army to join the rebellion against the Empire.

She’s against it. She’s proficient in weapons, but what the darksaber symbolises, and what she went through when the Empire came to Mandalore, and what it did to her family, and their faith in her. She’s not sure she wants the responsibility.

Kanan, Ezra (Taylor Gray) and Sabine head into the wilderness, where we catch a glimpse of Bendu (Tom Baker), to begin her training. But Sabine isn’t Ezra, and Kanan has to find a different way to teach and reach her, and begin to boost her skills, as well as her faith in herself.

This is a solid, character building episode that shows how all the characters have been shaped and grown over the series, and as watch, Sabine makes her decision to move forward not only with her training, but also with with a decision to move forward in a more adult role not only with the crew of the Ghost, but with the rebellion itself.

Where does she go from here? Will she be able to lead Mandalorians? It’s going to be an interesting watch. It truly is amazing how much these characters have changed over three seasons.

Sabine, Ezra and Kanan head home in an attempt to get Sabine’s family to join them, and perhaps she will find some peace with them at last.

Legacy of Mandalore was penned by Christopher L. Yost and debuted on 18 February, 2017. It carries on the story of the previous episode, and gives Sabine some great character moments, as well as a solid arc.

Arriving at home, she learns that her mother, Ursa Wren (Sharmila Devar) has allied her family with the Imperials and the Mandalorian army they use, led by Gar Saxon (Ray Stevenson) in order to keep her captured husband safe on Mandalore.

As Sabine comes into conflict with her mother, and brother, Tristan (Ritesh Rajan), she faces betrayal and more when Ursa agrees to hand over Kanan and Ezra to Saxon as long as it means Sabine will be safe.

But the Empire cannot be trusted and as a battle breaks out, Sabine confronts Saxon, and must decide if she will wield the darksaber for her people.

It ends up being a pretty powerful episode, considering how the story ends, and what that may mean for Sabine’s character. And what will the fate of the darksaber be, as we know that it shows up on another Star Wars show after the fall of the Empire.

The battle, in a galaxy far, far away, continues next week as I watch more Star Wars: Rebels. Until then may the Force be with you…

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