Star Wars Rebels Review by John Keegan

Star Wars Rebels 4.01/4.02: Heroes of Mandalore

Star Wars Rebels 4.01/4.02: Heroes of Mandalore

Written By:
Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching, and Christopher Yost
Directed By:
Steward Lee and Saul Ruiz

The final season of Star Wars Rebels begins with a two-part tale that logically must have made a lot of people scratch their heads in confusion.  It’s not a direct follow-up to the events of the third season finale, and actually sets a number of ongoing plot and character arcs aside in favor of focusing almost entirely on a major progression of Sabine’s arc regarding the Mandalorians and their status.  It’s somewhat off-putting, especially since one would have expected an episode that set the tone for everyone’s final plot and character movements.

 


 

Considering how far the series has evolved from the first season mandate for kid-friendly silliness, it’s slightly annoying to see some of the slapstick nonsense still incorporated.  On the other hand, it makes the impact of the deployment of the superweapon (“The Dutchess”) all the more stark and horrifying.  It’s about time that the series really gave Sabine some attention, and having her face the consequences of her former collaborating with the Empire is a great way to do so.

 

It neatly ties into Sabine’s entire history and relevance among the Mandalorians, because the nature of the weapon itself is specifically designed to counter and reverse the benefits of their armor.  It makes the creation of the weapon a result of pettiness as much as genius, and it’s already been long established that many of the Rebels have a complicated and personal history with the Empire that informs their choice to revolt.

 


 

The nuances of the Mandalorian leadership crisis are also tossed aside in favor of Tiber Saxon, who is practically the definition of a moustache-twirling villain.  He wants control and doesn’t hesitate to kill whoever stands in his way, which makes it all rather simplistic in terms of how to deal with the situation.  For better or worse, Sabine’s eventual plan to turn The Dutchess against the stormtroopers and then destroys the ship.  The mass destruction and the body count thus becomes a bit sanitized, as Sabine’s hand-wringing over the use of the weapon she designed doesn’t last long when it means stopping an insane arch-villain.

 

With Sabine handing over the darksaber and leadership to Bo-Katan, a big part of her character arc is resolved.  So in that sense, the premiere managed to begin a process of closure on the major questions still left on the board as the final season commences.  But there is still a lot of real estate to cover, and one has to wonder if this premiere could have covered more angles in the process of resolving Sabine’s arc.  And of course, it also makes one wonder if Sabine’s survival is now a matter of doubt.


Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • At least one of the major plot threads appears to have a firm resolution
The Bad:
  • A lot of the open questions from the third season finale are left completely unaddressed

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Star Wars Rebels by - 10/19/2017 9:58 AM111 views

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