Star Wars Rebels: “The Protector of Concord Dawn” Season 2 Episode 12

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The second Sabine episode of the season was far superior to “Blood Sisters.” Returning the crew of the Ghost’s most distinctive warrior to her people was exactly the way to go. It highlighted her relationship with certain characters and just how strong she can be in the face of difficult tasks.

We learn early on in “The Protector of Concord Dawn” that Mandalore is controlled by the Empire, but only after Hera is gravely injured in a dogfight. We’ve known that Sabine looks to Hera as a mother since pretty much the beginning of the series. But where Ezra looks to both Hera and Kanan as parents, it’s clear that Sabine doesn’t feel as much a familial connection to Kanan. When Kanan threatens to finish the mission Hera started all on his own, Sabine won’t have it. She thinks of them more as equals in terms of skill, but recognizes Hera’s reliance on him. But with Hera out of commission and the matter personally having to do with Sabine’s history, she’s sure not just going to sit by.

Through this, we finally get to see Sabine react to something emotionally. Rebels has shown us her sarcasm, wit, and penchant for graffiti, but putting her up against fellow Mandalorians unlocks an honorable and evolving side to her personality. When surrounded by warriors, she announces her full name (House Vizsla Clone Wars fans!) and claims her mother was part of Death Watch, but that she isn’t. I loved how once she challenged the leader to single combat, she was in complete control of the situation and handled everything in a way that showed the character’s honor and strength.

Kanan had some great moments this week too. I like how he was willing to try and turn this former Clone Wars commander to the side of the rebels, showing his more trusting side since partnering with Rex. Then his struggle while the commander tried to escape on his ship was expertly done.

The episode wrapped a little bit too quickly, however. With these character background episodes that deliberately hide information we’re destined to learn later, it becomes frustrating when they start giving us something and then the episode ends. Frankly, Rebels is doing very little to advance its actual story, so now would be the perfect time to pull back the curtain completely on someone as mysterious as Sabine. But that’s my only complaint in an episode full of fun character moments and a fresh dynamic, not to mention some Clone Wars continuation. Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

  • I’m slightly confused as to why the warriors turned on Sabine once they learned she was connected to Death Watch. The symbol of the Mandalorian terrorist group appeared to be throughout the camp. Am I missing something?
  • In this week’s Rebels Recon (a short Rebels aftershow on that occasionally has some great insights), Dave Filoni essentially says that Sabine’s mother was in the room when Darth Maul murdered Pre Vizsla (part of an arc that saw Clone Wars at its absolute finest). Vizsla’s right hand woman in this arc and an episode prior was Bo-Katan, who we last saw alive telling Obi Wan to bring the Republic to Mandalore (likely how the Empire gained control). She was also Duchess Satine’s sister. Who wants to bet Bo-Katan is Sabine’s mother?
  • Frankly, the lack of Ezra this week was rather nice.

By Matt Dougherty

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