"Star Wars: Rebels" Episode 7 – Imperial Super Commandos (7.5 out of 10) – Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Directed by Stewart Lee; Written by Christopher Yost; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, David Oyelowo; Guest Starring Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson. Rated TV-Y7, Airs on Disney XD 11/5/16. It is currently available on the Disney XD app.
This review will contain mild spoilers.
These last two seasons of Rebels have given us many episodes where new rebels are joining the cause practically every week. Last season we saw everyone from AP-5 to Quarrie join the Rebellion. This season we've had Wedge, Hobbie, and others. This episode, we see where some of the Mandalorians might side in the conflict in an episode that has a lot of deep dives into the history of "Star Wars" if you know where to look.
This episode sees the Mandalorians of Concord Dawn who had been convinced to allow the Rebellion to use their space lanes by the capture of Fenn Rau losing contact with the galaxy. Naturally, suspicions are high, so Hera authorizes a mission with Sabine and Ezra escorting Rau, still as their prisoner, to the planet. Naturally, things are not as they seem. Rau's followers have been killed and no matter who pulled the trigger, Rau holds our rebels responsible.
A competing group of Mandos, those loyal to the Empire, are there on the planet. They're led by Gar Saxon, a character we were introduced to in the comic "Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir." Apparently, he survived the siege of Mandalore and when on to lead his people into the loving embrace of the Empire, which doesn't sit well with Mandos like Sabine and Rau. Taken with the tidbits we got from the "Ahsoka" novel, it makes me twice as curious about what exactly went down during that situation and why the Mandalorians allowed an Imperial academy on their pacifist world. Things must have gotten very bad there.
This episode, like the one before it, is one that places a heavy emphasis on the motivations of groups of people and why they might be resistant to join the Rebellion. But the harder the Empire pushes, the more of these people find themselves embraced by the Rebellion.
Although this might not be my favorite episode of the season, and it might not be the most impactful to everything else, the dialogue and writing of the situations was sharp. This episode was written by Christopher Yost, who wrote some of my favorite comic books with some of my favorite characters. His work with Tim Drake/Robin is second to none, and I was excited to see how he brought some of that wonderful complication to the world of "Star Wars." In short, he did it very well. The moral dilemmas and the turning of characters in this episode are some of its best moments and that all stems from the writing. Rau has to decide where to place his anger and the way the situations are set up allows him to hear different bits of information that help make his choice something more of an inevitabiliy.
Sabine is offered some tantalizing bits of back story, including the notion that her mother might be a character that we know from the past of Mandalore. There's really only one viable option, and that's Bo Katan, who was the sister of Satine. Granted, it could be anyone, including a new character, it just feels like that's what we're being telegraphed to believe.
It was also great to see the white-clad Imperial Super Commandos, reminiscent of the original white Boba Fett costume. They looked like they walked right off of Joe Johnston's drawing board and that can only be a great thing for "Star Wars" fans. The jetpack chase is also something right out of an old adventure serial and I loved every minute of it. I kept asking myself, though, "How is Chopper able to fly so far so fast without a reserve for fuel," and then I realized the jetpacks all the Mandos are wearing are even smaller than Chopper, so I just chalked it up to "Star Wars" science. There's no use in considering it further as it was a classic feeling "Star Wars" scene that evoked the chase on the asteroid in "The Empire Strikes Back."
I was also impressed by the echoes of "A New Hope" we were given, with the scoundrel character saving the day at the last moment with the moral change of heart. It's a theme that I think will become more and more common as the Empire squeezes the less desirable elements of the galaxy harder.
I think the episode gave us some tantalizing tidbits, some fun action, and another Rebel joining the fight, it didn't do it for me as much as any other episode this season. That's not to say this episode is bad, not at all. It's just that we've been given so much to be excited about with every episode leading up to this one, that we didn't get much more of the overarching Thrawn or Maul plots was slightly disappointing. Aside from that, this episode was great. I'm giving it a 7.5 out of 10.
Season 3 Scorecard:
- Steps Into Shadow (8 of 10)
- Holocrons of Fate (9 of 10)
- The Antilles Extraction (8 of 10)
- Hera's Heroes (8 of 10)
- The Last Battle (9 of 10)
- Imperial Super Commandos (7.5 of 10)
Season Average: 8.4 out of 10