Star Wars Rebels: “Legacy of Mandalore” Season 3 Episode 14 Review

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Following “Trials of the Darksaber,” not to mention the month between due to Disney XD’s poor scheduling, is an impossible task. Sabine coming into her own was long overdue, but effortless in terms of writing and execution. It’s easily in the running for the best episode of Star Wars Rebels. The continuation of Sabine’s story in “Legacy of Mandalore” was naturally going to be a bit of a comedown, as this episode just naturally couldn’t be as character-focused as its predecessor. Still, once this episode gets the obvious stuff out of the way, it’s a deeply rewarding entry, and also one that shows Rebels is willing to start putting its characters in place for some big moves, even if that means the dynamic of the show has to change.

Getting right to the punch, Sabine, Kanan, Ezra, Fenn Rau, and Chopper are en route to Sabine’s family at the tope of the episode, in hopes that she’ll be able to unite her clan against the Empire. They’re instantly attacked by some Mandalorians and crash land, only for Sabine’s brother Tristan to have been leading the squadron. She’s taken to her mother, who offers support in the belief that Sabine running away is the very thing that saved her. After so much time spent wondering about Sabine’s background, the family dynamic isn’t exactly the most unexpected thing, but it does feel natural.

That changes when we learn Sabine’s mother is in contact with Gar Saxon, the Mandalorian leader working for the Empire who wiped out all of Fenn Rau’s men earlier in the season. His arrival is when “Legacy of Mandalore” regains the momentum Rebels worked hard to earn in “Trials of the Darksaber.” For harboring known members of the Rebellion, Gar intends to murder every last member of Clan Wren. Taking the Darksaber from Sabine’s mother, it’s up to Sabine to win it back. The action scene that unfolds is dynamic and exciting, as have all the animated action scenes involving Mandalorians with jet packs. Borrowing Ezra’s lightsaber, Sabine is able to stop Gar from killing her mother, but not without locking herself in a duel that could determine the fate of her people.

There’s never a point where their close-locked battle isn’t riveting. Rebels did a wonderful job in these past two episodes building Sabine up without overpowering her. The beginning of the fight is scrappy for her, but she holds her own and eventually triumphs over Gar, refusing to kill him thanks to all her adopted family has taught her.

But the most interesting piece of the episode is when Sabine decides to stay behind and help fight for her family and people. It shows great maturation in this show to allow the main characters to split up. It also would feel too much like the normal status quo if Sabine merely returned to the Ghost. Here she can do real work for the Rebellion and herself. With just five episodes left of season three, it’s likely we won’t be seeing Sabine until season four, which is just fine if season four includes all the Mandalorian politics and wars in full. High wishes, I know. But if this episode and its predecessor were any indicator, Rebels is allowing more focus on this storyline, and that’s something this show desperately needs. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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