Star Wars Rebels recap: Season 3, Episode 16, “Legacy of Mandalore,” Aired Feb. 18, 2017
After a short four-week break, Rebels is back! As the producer Dave Filoni promised months ago, we’re delving more and more into Sabine’s backstory, as well as what’s going on with the Mandalorians. Let’s check out some of the episode’s highlights!
Sabine was right to dread going home, as her family and her Clan still consider her a traitor. However, even without their complicated history, Mandalorians don’t seem like the hugging type, not like Wookiees. Countess Ursa Wren, the Wren matriarch and the leader of Clan Wren was every bit as badass fans were hoping she’d be. Despite initially wanting to imprison Sabine, it soon becomes apparent that Ursa still cares for her daughter, and she strikes a deal with Saxon – the Jedi and the darksaber in exchange for Sabine’s safety. When Saxon inevitably betrays her, Clan Wren and Kanan and company stand together and dispatch Saxon and his men. At the end of it all, Ursa had her daughter’s back – literally – as she saved her daughter from being shot in the back.
Sabine’s Duel with Gar Saxon
Sabine’s duel with the Emperor’s Hand, Gar Saxon, was an absolute treat. Mandalorians are renowned warriors, and to see not one, but two of them wielding lightsabers in a duel with one another was not something I thought I’d get to see. I guess all that darksaber training with Ezra and Kanan paid off because Sabine held her own and beat Saxon, despite not having the high ground at the start of the battle. We all know what happens when you don’t have the high ground.
The duel itself wasn’t as epic or dynamic as the one between Darth Maul and Pre Vizsla (another saber battle featuring the darksaber and a Mandalorian), but it’s understandable since those two had far more saber training. It’s worth noting that during the duel, the Force theme music started playing, particularly when the scene was focusing on Sabine. There’s been a lot of speculation about Sabine being Force sensitive, and this could be the show trying to subtly hint at that? This could also add even more credibly to the Rey is a Kenobi theory – if you’d like to hear more on that, check out our podcast on the topic.
One last thing about the duel – I still kind of tear up whenever a woman ignites a lightsaber and makes that powerful, defiant stance. I don’t know why, since we saw Ahsoka doing it for the first five seasons of The Clone Wars, but there’s something so empowering about that image. Maybe it’s the times or maybe it’s because we got six movies in which we saw very little lady lightsaber action. As a longtime Star Wars fan, I’m so grateful that the shows and the new Star Wars trilogy have been making that the norm and having women appear as the central characters in the franchise’s big narratives (yes, Legends has a lot of amazing female Jedi and Sith, but they’re not as well-known and don’t get any screentime).
In the episode’s final moments, Sabine decides to leave the Ghost crew to help Mandalore find a new leader. It’s sad to see her go, but it’s a big moment for the character. Like Ahsoka in The Clone Wars, she had to make a difficult choice, and while she’s an important part of the Rebellion, she feels indebted to her people, especially since the Empire used her weapons against her own people. Even though she won’t be travelling with the Ghost crew, she will undoubtedly return since it doesn’t seem like her story is over just yet. She needs to find a new ruler for Mandalore, and that is bound to be a difficult mission, as her mother’s sage warning reminds us: “Anyone can hold the darksaber. The trick is keeping it… along with your head.”
- Chopper surrendering the Ghost to the Mandalorians
- Kanan not saying he’s proud of Sabine even though he very clearly is
- Ezra saying, “What, they shot first!” in a sly reference to the Han-shot-first controversy
- Why can’t Sabine be Mandalore’s leader???