After making us suffer through four grueling weeks of hiatus, Rebels has returned! Legacy of Mandalore, continuing right where Trials of the Darksaber left off last month, is jam-packed with Mandalorian action, hinting at plots past and future.
Early on, we meet Sabine’s family, the mother and brother she mentioned in Darksaber. It’s difficult to say much without spoiling the episode, but it’s clear that this story arc has been planned for some time, with seeds of it existing as early as the first half of Season One. Certain conversations from the past bear more weight now that we’ve seen Clan Wren more fully in a very believable story of a family torn apart by the difficult choices of war. I’m a little bummed that one of my pet theories about Sabine’s mother’s identity was shot down (and no, I didn’t think she was Bo-Katan Kryze), but I also like the way they did it. I’m venturing close to spoiler territory here, so no more about the plot!
Writer Christopher Yost, returning to Rebels after Imperial Super Commandos earlier this season, continues to masterfully flesh out Mandalorian culture by incorporating hints of The Clone Wars episodes, cut content, and themes while alluding to the show’s future, in which the Mandalorians promise to play an increasingly prominent role.
Director Mel Zwyer, in his fourth Rebels episode, did an overall masterful job. I was distracted early on as a starship crash sequence echoed The Force Awakens’ landing of the Millennium Falcon in a few too many ways. The rest of the episode, though? Gorgeous. One shot of Clan Wren’s ancestral home from afar, where the only moving elements are people, tiny in comparison to the huge cubist stronghold, is eerie, unsettling, breathtaking, and possibly the most beautiful shot of the series thus far. The climactic duel of this episode is easily the most thrilling of Rebels thus far in terms of direction, eclipsing even Ahsoka versus Darth Vader, in my opinion. Sound and silence are toyed with to great effect, and the dynamics of the setting underscore the story’s tension.
All in all, this episode pushed boundaries and resolved certain plot lines while others began to germinate. Next week promises to do the same, presumably for our new Fulcrum agent, when it goes Through Imperial Eyes.