By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels.
Tonight’s episode saw the introduction of the Mandalorians. Though they are rarely seen, the Mandalorians have a long history in Star Wars lore dating back to the time of the Old Republic (1,000 years before the Clone Wars) when they battled the Jedi and sacked the Temple on Coruscant. They are known for the distinctive armor that you’ve seen on Boba Fett and Sabine. Though there are pacifist factions of Mandalorians, they are known as a warrior-class of people, and we got to see that tonight. Their alliance with the Empire is one of necessity. Even for a warrior culture, the Empire is just too big and ferocious to take on. The Mandalorians aren’t ones to bow down to anyone, but they had no choice in this case. The Rebels, or specifically Sabine, made the right choice by forcing them into a reluctant alliance. Now the Rebellion gets to use the new hyperspace route while the Madalorians get to still operate under the shadow of the Empire.
It’s hard to believe when we first met Kanan he was a smuggler hiding his past as a Jedi. Like the Mandalorians, Kanan is a warrior, but now that he’s fully embraced his life as a Jedi again, he chose to take the diplomatic approach tonight. It worked for the most part, even if it did require Sabine forcing a fight (that’s why Jedi carry lightsabers). Still, Kanan insistance that noone die probably earned him the trust of the Mandalorian leader, even if it is the most grudge-filled allinace ever entered into. The Jedi way prevailed and that’s what makes a good Star Wars story.
In keeping with the theme of the this episode, Sabine, the series’ most well known Mandalorian, took center stage. You probably noticed Sabine saying she was a member of Clan Vizsla, but you might not know what that means. Pre Vizsla was the Mandalorian leader of Death Watch, a faction group that fought against Mandalore’s pacifist government. Vizsla ruled Mandalore for a short time until he was killed by Darth Maul (Maul actually survived being cut in half at the end of The Phantom Menace, but that’s a long story). We don’t know Sabine’s full connection to Vizsla, but it was strong enough for her to challenge a whole squad of Mandalorians on the clan’s behalf.
That was a smart move on Sabine’s part. Diplomacy is great, but Commander Sato had a point when he said the Mandalorians only respect strength. It’s not too far-fetched to think Kanan and Sabine would never have gotten off Concord Dawn alive if they didn’t prove themselves in battle. Sabine’s actions forced the hands of both Kanan and the Mandalorians. The two proved themselves and managed to help the Rebellion in the process.
Thanks for reading!