It’s Mandalorians versus Mandalorians in the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels! Much to my liking, “Imperial Supercommandos” picks up where “The Protector of Concord Dawn” left off, bringing back one of my favorite original characters, Fenn Rau. For the past couple of months, Rau was kept as a prisoner by the Rebel Alliance and used to control his Protectors, granting the rebels access through their space. After the contact with the Protectors is lost, Rau, Sabine, and Ezra head back to Concord Dawn only to discover that his men were attacked by Imperial Mandalorians—and they’re next on the hit list. From there, Sabine uses strategy and wit to survive, Ezra is exposed to Mandalorian culture, and Rau has to decide where his loyalties lie aside from Mandalore.
When I watch an episode of Star Wars Rebels, I always think about whether it was important to take one or two characters on a mission rather than the whole group, especially since I’ve seen people comment on the fact that they want to see more team-focused episodes. While I do like those kinds of episodes, we have to keep in mind that Hera has other responsibilities as Phoenix Leader and that Kanan’s mentorship should only be present when needed. So the only other person I could have seen on this mission to Concord Dawn was Zeb. However, that wouldn’t have worked out, since Zeb is a big guy to take down and it would have been more difficult for Rau to escape. These are all creative decisions that I’m perfectly fine with seeing play out (or not play out) on the screen, especially since it gave more focus to Sabine and Rau’s Mandalorian heritage. While others may not agree, I think it was important to have Ezra along for the ride because he’s the outsider in all of this—as are we! There’s so much history of conflict between Mandalorians that it was important for Ezra (who, once again, represents the younger audience) to see all of this play out from his perspective because let’s face it, Mandalorians are crazy!
It was also important to see Sabine and Ezra handle themselves on their own. At the moment, they are the future of the Rebellion. Kanan and Hera (and even Zeb) won’t always be there to have their backs. It is their responsibility to look after each other, and you see that play out equally throughout the episode. I especially loved seeing a side of Sabine that has respect and cares for Ezra. While Rau considered Ezra to be a pawn, Sabine thought the opposite and showed that she has confidence in him and his abilities. It was also great to see Ezra handle himself maturely around Sabine. Some people like to think his awkward crush is completely gone, but as someone who’s had a few major crushes in her life, they don’t all completely go away. We just find better ways of handling them.
Seeing Sabine’s relationship with Rau grow from a lack of trust to a well of respect was my absolute favorite thing about this episode. Rau is the closest thing Sabine has to her Mandalorian culture, and he recognizes that she still adheres to their ways even though she’s been away from Mandalore for so long. Not only that, but he has the knowledge and expertise that the rebels need. He’s also key in getting other Mandalorians to join their cause, and like Ezra said, it’s best to have them on their side than be against them. Gar Saxon, on the other hand, is very much against them, having thrown in his lot with the Empire. It was great to see a character from the Son of Dathomir comic book series make an appearance in animated form. He was also the one to mention Sabine’s mother, and Sabine made it seem like her mom didn’t have much choice in joining the Empire because of him, while he stated the opposite. I really hope this isn’t the last we hear of Sabine’s mom, especially since we’re hearing two different sides of a story, and it’d be great to get the official version from the mother herself.
Finally, I really love how this episode had Fenn Rau fully embrace the rebel cause. He actually reminded me a lot of Cham Syndulla in that his focus was solely on Mandalore (just like Cham’s was solely on Ryloth). Now that he’s taken a step back from that to take a look at the bigger picture, he can contribute in the way Sabine and the others wanted from the very beginning. My one complaint, and I know this is something the rest of the fan community would appreciate to see more often, is that the rebels manage to escape every time. There was one moment, when Gar Saxon grabbed Sabine, that I legitimately thought that Sabine was going to be left behind and be taken as a prisoner of the Empire. The episode, however, wrapped up very nicely in the end with no real threats or consequences having taken place. I am a fan of the self-contained adventures in each episode, but I would also like to see a “to be continued” from time to time.
All that said, this episode gave me exactly what I wanted in terms of humor, action, and another close look at Mandalorians. Although it turned out to be another episode about recruitment, I really enjoyed seeing Sabine and Ezra working together as well as Sabine gaining a Mandalorian ally in Fenn Rau. Additionally, now that the rebels have lost the passageway near Concord Dawn, they have no choice but to look for alternative options. How will this affect them moving forward? Will Fenn Rau have something else up his sleeve to help out the rebels? I hope we see how the events in this episode ripple across and affect their actions.
Make sure to tune into the next all-new episode on Saturday, November 19, 2016, at 8:30PM EST on Disney XD.