‘Star Wars Rebels’ Season Three Review: “Legacy of Mandalore”

Star Wars Rebels returned with another powerful episode this past weekend, leaving a lot of fans feeling mixed emotions and uncertain about the future for one the show’s core characters. Following the events in “Trials of the Darksaber,” Sabine and the gang (sans Hera and Zeb) went to her homeworld, Krownest, in an attempt to persuade her mother to help the Rebels with what could potentially be a big blow to the Empire—at least, from their perspective. Loyalties clashed and Sabine put her newly refined skills to the test, giving us an intense Mandalorian duel that we haven’t seen since Maul vs. Pre Vizsla in “Lawless” from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Right from the start, one of the things that I loved about this episode was the inclusion of Mando’a. That is something I’ve been wanting to hear ever since Sabine was first introduced—scratch that, ever since the Mandalorians were included in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The Republic Commando books made me fall in love with the language and culture, so I’m glad this new age of Star Wars storytelling is embracing those aspects of the story through Sabine and her family.

It’s About Time: To some, this may not seem important, but to me and many others, it is. (Photo: Lucasfilm)

One of the relationships I and so many others have been wanting Star Wars to explore is the one between a mother and her daughter. I’m extremely excited that the writers branched out from the “daddy issues” that Star Wars and many other stories tend to get stuck on. It was truly refreshing to have a mother and daughter talk, struggle with understanding each other, and end up at different ends of the spectrum, both wanting what’s best for the family and Mandalore but tackling it with different mentalities and motivations. It was fascinating to see the mother come around and finally reach her at a midpoint, and in the process, stick up for her (by shooting Gar Saxon) as she should have all along.

As for Sabine’s decision to stay behind, while many felt mixed emotions about it, I firmly believe it was something that had to happen. When Sabine accepted the responsibilities of the the darksaber, that meant that her work to unite Mandalorian clans was going to take time and effort, taking her away from the Rebellion’s cause. So while I saw that coming, what I didn’t anticipate was Sabine admitting that she’s not the one to lead Mandalore. This entire time, I thought the writing crew were building her up to take on that role, but it turns out, she wants to find the right person for the part. That was the real twist to me, and now, I’m extremely curious to find out who this person will be. My wish is that this off-screen story takes place in the form of a comic book or novel because Sabine is a fan favorite character and her story should definitely transcend into a different medium while the main show continues to explore the Rebellion from the perspective of the Ghost crew.

Sabine’s duel with Gar Saxon will go down as one of my favorites. Not just because of the action, but also because Sabine used what she was taught by Kanan and Ezra. She rose to the occasion and continued to rise above it by choosing not to kill Saxon right then and there. That was a lesson instilled in her by Kanan in “The Protector of Corcord Dawn,” so to see all of that come together in such an intense and rewarding manner, it definitely fits the definition of perfection.

This Lightsaber is Your Life: I love that Ezra gave Sabine his lightsaber in order for her to fight off Gar Saxon. That is an incredible display of trust and it shows how confident he is in her abilities. (Photo: Lucasfilm)

I also have to highlight Ezra in this episode. He is such a good person at heart. People are quick to dislike that character, but ultimately, Ezra has many qualities that we should all aspire to bring about in ourselves. He’s optimistic (think back to his response to Sabine regarding how her family might be happy to see her), kind (attempted to say hello to Sabine’s mother before he was shut down), and he cares about his friends (vouched for Sabine, willingly handed over his lightsaber to her, and supported her decision to stay). Not a lot of people are open to see it, but Ezra has a heart of gold. Yeah, he suffers from that teenage mentality and behavior from time to time, but while those moments are fleeting, the real and truly admirable qualities that he possesses are constant.

From the backdrops to the soundtrack, “Legacy of Mandalore” was beautifully done. While the two episodes would have benefited more without the 5-week break, the story ultimately finished strong and with a twist I didn’t expect—though, it’s not the twist most fans are focusing on. As for Sabine’s return, I really hope it happens during the season finale, when the Ghost crew and the rest of Rebels will undoubtedly need more assistance in fighting Thrawn and his forces. I hope she and the other Mandalorians arrive just when things seem like they’re at their worst, like Gandalf riding in with Éomer in The Two Towers. After all, Sabine is an integral member of the team, so I don’t see her being away for too long.

Make sure to visit the episode guide and tune into the next all-new episode on Saturday, February 25, 2017, at 8:30PM EST on Disney XD.

Also, stop by later this week for a new podcast episode from Rebels Chat.


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4 comments on “‘Star Wars Rebels’ Season Three Review: “Legacy of Mandalore”

  1. I enjoyed revisiting this episode through your review. This was one of my favorite Rebels episodes so far. I wasn’t expecting it, I was not invested in the stories of the Mandalorians before now. Can’t wait to see where it goes next, I love your idea from the Two Towers. I feel like the Wren clan and Mandalore in general are in for some hard times when the Emperor finds out what’s going on.

    • Thanks so much for the lovely comment! Apologies for the lateness in responding. Love, love, love Mandalorians, haha! I can’t wait to see more stories about them in season 4. Given that the season finale aired today, what’d you think of it and what’s to come?

  2. Another great review Johna! Good points about Ezra – yours is the only review of this episode I’ve seen that’s paid him any attention – I guess we’ve all overlooked him because of the big Sabine stuff.

    I don’t know that I can add anything here – I think you’ve covered everything pretty comprehensively. I was mildly disappointed that the planet wasn’t Carlac, and that Ursa wasn’t Rook Kast, but that’s no biggie, and it probably works better this way. As far as Sabine coming back for the finale, bringing Mandalorians to help the Rebels, I wonder if it’ll actually be the other way around – the Rebels abandoning Atollon and taking refuge in Mandalorian space, sheltered by the Wren Clan? That would open up Season 4 to explore Sabine’s quest onscreen and give Thrawn a bigger objective than just squishing one Rebel base. I dunno, I’m sure I’ll be happy either way :)

    • That would have been a cool thing to have played out in the season finale! (Apologies for my late response!) How’d you think of the finale? Did it live up to your expectations? Looking forward to writing my review about it soon! Thank you always for reading them and leaving a comment!

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