[Review] Star Wars Rebels: “Heroes Of Mandalore Part 1 & 2”

Today is the day, Star Wars Rebels returns on Disney X.D. You can watch the season premiere on the Disney X.D. app or catch it during its multiple airtime – 12:30 a.m., 3 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m., and 9 p.m.

WARNING SPOILERS

“Heroes Of Mandalore Part 1 & 2” continued the story arc started in season 3 with the Mandalorian civil war. This time we were taken back to Mandalore! The last time we saw the planet was during the fifth season of The Clone Wars. This season premiere also marked the first appearance of Bo-Katan on Rebels with Katee Sackhoff reprising her role. Obviously having this character and this planet brought a lot of feels from The Clone Wars and it gave us more details about the untold story arc “The Siege of Mandalore.” We learned that Bo-Katan was named regent of Mandalore by the Jedi before the end of the war. However, after the clone wars ended, Bo-Katan was betrayed by the clan Saxon who was loyal to the Empire. So when we saw her in these two episodes, she was different, she was just the leader of Clan Kryze and not of Mandalore. The death of her sister Satine during the clone wars affected her and it’s without surprise we got several mentions of her, which made me teary, Satine’s death is still painful, she was one of my favorite characters in TCW. What I really loved about Bo-Katan in the season premiere was she honored her sister throughout the episode.

With just two episodes, Bo got some nice character development. At the beginning, she thought that she wasn’t worthy to rule Mandalore because she wasn’t her sister but in the end, she becomes the leader of the free Mandalorians “for her sister, for Mandalore” as she claims in her speech. I think it just proves how talented the writing team of Star Wars Rebels are. They were able to really explore the character with just forty four minutes and yet it didn’t feel rushed, it felt like a natural progression. I think it’s also worth mentioning – Bo-Katan is still as badass as she used to be and she makes a great team with Sabine!

Now about Sabine and Clan Wren, the family is finally together again! The first part was focused on rescuing Sabine’s father and the mission turned out to be a success! But at my surprise, Sabine’s father wasn’t exactly the typical Mandalorian, he was an artist and not a warrior and thus it explained how Sabine got that taste for art, it came from both her parents. Tristan and Ursa were in these two episodes, they got a lot of fighting scenes in the first half of the season premiere and in the second half it was just Tristan who fought as Ursa was wounded. They mostly remained secondary characters in this story arc, all the focused as put on Sabine and Bo-Katan as it was about how Bo-Katan became the leader of the free Mandalorians.

About Sabine, if you remember her emotional scenes in “Trials Of The Darksaber” last season, it got even more emotional in “Heroes of Mandalore.” We actually saw the weapon she created being used against her people and that was heartbreaking for her, especially as she first thought her brother and mother dead, turned out they were able to survive the attack. Nevertheless, it left a mark on her, it was her fault because she created that weapon and so she made it her responsibility to destroy it. It awakened something dark in her, when she destroyed her weapon, she almost killed Governor Saxon but thanks to Bo-Katan she stopped before killing him with the weapon. However, considering the cruiser blew up, it is possible he died but not in her hands. This moment showed Bo-Katan had what it takes to be a leader. She could have let Sabine use the weapon but she didn’t because it was wrong – it was the Empire way, not the Mandalorian way. You can really see how Sabine’s character development from season 1 to season 4. She grew up so much. When the show started she was just kid but she became an adult, she stopped hiding from her family, she took responsibility for what she had done and she tried to fix it. She really became a Mandalorian and embraced who she was. It was such a beautiful story arc and so now I’m looking forward to see what’s next for her character!

Sabine’s weapon was a bit strange in my opinion, at least at first. It was made to target Mandarian armors and was destroying them without hurting the Stormtroopers. I thought how can a weapon destroy the armors of some people but not others and then I suppose that these armors are made of entirely different things thus that’s how it worked. I found it not really convincing but it didn’t bother me much as the two episodes were a strong start to the season. However, my main complain about the episode was once again we got to see a planet from The Clone Wars but because of Rebels budget, we didn’t see much of it. The action in this episode took place outside the capital and in an Imperial Star Destroyer. It was understandable like I said it was a budget issue but it didn’t make it less frustrating to see a planet but just stay on the plains and not really go elsewhere.

“Heroes Of Mandalore Part 1 & 2” were some of the most action-packed episodes in Star Wars Rebels! It says a lot about them! It set up things for future storylines on Mandalore. With Bo-Katan having united the different Clans, she has now an army to face the Empire and maybe throw them out of the planet. I think the use of comics would be a smart choice to tell what happens next for the Mandalorians or even use the DC Comics model – doing animated movies. This arc didn’t conclude things, it only opened up the possibilities for future story lines. What it concluded though was Sabine’s mission to find someone worthy to lead Mandalore and it also concluded her past by destroying the weapon she had created.

7.5/10 A strong start to the season with two action-packed episodes!

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