"Star Wars: Rebels" Episode 16 – Legacy of Mandalore (8 out of 10) – Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Written by Christopher Yost; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, David Oyelowo. Rated TV-Y7, Aired on Disney XD 2/18/17. It is currently available on the Disney XD app.
This review will contain mild spoilers.
Star Wars Rebels is back from its break and picks up where the last, incredible episode left off. Sabine takes the Dark Saber and heads home, hoping to rally the Mandalorians to the cause of the Rebellion.
There's a lot to love in this episode for fans of Mandalorians. It gives us the sound of Mando'a spoken, it gives us a look at the rift in Mando society after the Imperial reign, and it offers us a window into the inner-workings of the clans. There are so many different ways of being a Mando that it opens the universe up to having those interpretations of Mando culture in the old EU be valid, we just haven't seen that sort of thing yet.
The episode itself is a clever game of cat and mouse, diplomacy, and broken trust. Sabine's mother, the countess Ursa Wren, has had to make many sacrifices to retain some honor for her clan after the tragedy that occurred involving Sabine. The details are still nebulous, but we know that Sabine designed a weapon and the Empire used it against her fellow Mandalorians.
This episode plays out as both family drama and political intrigue and fills in so many things about Sabine we didn't know.
The episode itself looks lavish. The new locations and sets couldn't have been easy to build. It's amazing to watch characters on a show like this walk through the snow and see the impressions of their footprints pass through. I know it's a small thing, but it's incredibly complicated and unless it helps the story and the world, I could see the production team easily dropping it. But it added a wonderful dynamism to the episode. Especially the fight on the ice. Cracking ice with character's feet on top of them could have been no easy task for Joel Aron and his team, but they managed it beautifully and created one of the most exciting fight sequences we've seen in Rebels.
Legacy of Mandalore really pulls all of the Mando mythology we've been learning about since The Clone Wars and brings it here to a fever pitch. From Gar Saxon and his Imperial contingent to Fenn Rau and his Journeyman Protectors and the fate of Mandalore, it all plays a part here. It makes me wonder how much this episode would work for someone who isn't supremely familiar with all of the material. Mainly because it rewards such a deep knowledge of everything coming behind it.
I also worry that the ending of this episode will divide fans. I don't think this is the end of Sabine on Rebels, but until we see her again, it can certainly seem that way. Sabine has been an increasingly important voice on the show and I don't think she's going to be just disappearing. There will be more Mando stories to come, I'm positive of it. But there will be cries that we've eliminated a great character for the show. And that might be the case in the long run, but I doubt it, and I think the makers of Rebels have earned the benefit of that doubt. I wouldn't even be surprised if this is the episode that sets the stage for Mandalore to help Phoenix Squadron eventually defeat Thrawn.
Overall, this episode was a lovely dovetail to the last episode and serves as a springboard for the last bits of the season. We're heading into the end after this, and it won't be pretty. Things won't stay the same and they're going to change even further. I can't wait to see what's next. This episode earns a respectable 8 out of 10 from me. It wasn't as well balanced as some of the other episodes and didn't reach the emotional heights of the previous, keeping it from that coveted perfect score.
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)
- Iron Squadron (7.5 of 10)
- The Wynkahthu Job (7.5 of 10)
- An Inside Man (8.5 of 10)
- Visions and Voices (9.5 of 10)
- Ghosts of Geonosis (8 of 10)
- Warhead (8 of 10)
- Trials of the Darksaber (10 of 10)
- Legacy of Mandalore (8 of 10)
Season Average: 8.3 out of 10
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