Rebels, Season 3, Episode 16: Family Feud

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Rebels, Season 3, Episode 16: Legacy of Mandalore

Rebels time! Oh, people, I am so not ready for this season to end for oh so many reasons, but forge ahead we must. Last time we saw the Rebellion Era Space Family, Sabine had learned to kick some ass using the Blade of Complete Nonsense known as the Darksaber, but was feeling a lot of conflicted ways about venturing back to her family since they, uh, had sided with the Empire and possibly wanted her dead. In today’s adventure, Sabine makes the extremely wise move of taking not one, but two Jedi along with her to go hang out with her insane Mandalorian family, and then makes an Important Decision, which may or may not lead to her embracing her ultimate destiny.

Now, I feel like I should note here, before we get started, that Sabine picked up the Darksaber what feels like an eternity ago back on Dathomir, when Maul left it behind in his haste to get the hell out of there and go to Tatooine to kill Obi-Wan. At the time, Ezra had noted to everyone that he’d been shown via A MAGIC POTION-INDUCED VISION (I am just reminding you that this happened) that Obi-Wan Kenobi was still alive and on a planet with twin suns. Kanan, for his part, had then seemed fairly invested in the reasonable notion that, if a Jedi Master/Hero General who was on the Council was still alive somehow, well, it might be a good idea to oh, I don’t know…go find him before Maul did?

Since then, however, literally zero additional time or effort has been invested into actually finding Obi-Wan before Maul does as far as I can tell. And like, I get that Tatooine and Dathomir are pretty far away from each other (and YES I did consult the new-canon galactic atlas to determine this, and yes I am fine with being the kind of person who has this sort of thing on hand,) but let’s be real: how long could it possibly take Maul to get there? There is practically no way Maul would not have already made it to Tatooine by now, while the Rebels crew was busy being distracted, appropriately enough, by Mandalore’s ridiculous bullshit Darksaber Drama.

Maybe this will be explained later. Maybe Maul made a lot of rest stops on the way. Maybe his ship ran out of fuel. Maybe he’s just super nervous about FINALLY confronting Obi-Wan again and he’s just hovering above Tatooine psyching himself up. But regardless, I just love that everyone seemed to think “Obi-Wan Kenobi is maybe alive still” was a pretty big deal like 3 weeks ago and now they maybe forgot about the entire thing completely.

I DIGRESS: we have more Mando Madness to sift through before we can move on to the Probably More Kenobi Sadness portion of this season, which is just as well because I am so not ready to recap ANOTHER Kenobi v Maul scene again yet. Onward!

You Can’t Go Home Again (Because It’s Full Of Insane Warriors)

Sabine is piloting the Phantom II over to her family’s homestead on Krownest, a planet in the Mandalore system that kind of looks like a set from an animated Christmas special. Regrettably, we will not be encountering Frosty the Snowman on this journey today.

She’s nervous, because she didn’t part ways with her family in the happiest of circumstances, what with the Imperial arsenal she helped build being used to enslave them and whatnot.

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Fenn Rau, who really is more or less just a Mandalorian version of Episode 4 Obi-Wan Kenobi in that he just keeps prodding a young kid into accepting their destiny whether they like it or not, is like PISH POSH: if you can sway your mother to stand behind you…
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Sabine’s like “Yeah yeah, SIGH. Oh, and I better warn them that we’re coming so they don’t try to kill us” and Ezra is like “oh ha ha ha…oh shit, you’re serious, aren’t you?” Yes, Bridger: yes she is.

As they approach, sure enough, they start getting fired on, and they end up partially crash-landing into the snowy terrain here:
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They set out, but leave Rau back at the ship, and he entertainingly slams the door in Kanan’s face. LOL. He’s kinda crabby and I like it.

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They’re greeted now by a welcoming party of crazy people on jetpacks. I will never not find the image of these drama-llamas flying around in the air funny.

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Recurring Theme: Ezra Bridger, No-Chill-Haver

Sabine instantly warns Ezra: stay calm and don’t freak out and for God’s sake don’t try to fight anyone, to which Ezra is like pfffft no sweat!
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…naturally, this means that not 5 entire seconds later, he’s whipped out his lightsaber and he’s fighting these guys:

Recurring Theme: Mandalorians Like Totally Hate The Jedi They Swear

The Mandos are like EWWW OMG JEDI!! Our Sworn Enemies! Get ’em! That is, until one of them takes notice of who exactly is with them, and he pulls off his helmet: Sabine, is that you?
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Ah, yes: it’s time for some good old fashioned Star Wars Family Pathos! This is Sabine’s brother, Tristan. And now that he knows she’s here — and eww gross, she even brought JEDI with her and we all know the Mandos totally hate those guys and whatever except for that time that one of them maybe knocked up the Duchess of Mandalore (I’m mostly kidding, but again: we have all seen what that kid looks like, AHEM) — he supposes he can take her to see their mother. He can’t promise she’ll be greeted with anything but open hostility, though.

Recurring Theme: You Sold Out, Man

Sabine, Ezra and Kanan follow Tristan to the Wren Homestead, and as they walk, Sabine sadly asks Tristan how he can possibly justify allying with Team Sheev:

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Tristan is like WHATEVER AT LEAST I’M NOT A TRAITOR and ohhh my gosh, does ANYONE in this universe have a family dynamic that is not comprised almost entirely of yelling about which family member is the BIGGEST traitor or disappointment among them? (I’m looking at you, Skywalkers.)

Home Insane Home
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OK, so we arrive at Wren HQ and I have to say, this planet and the environment and this HOUSE are awesome. Well done, Team Star Wars. I approve.

So the gang arrives outside the house and that’s when Sabine’s mom makes her Grand Entrance:

She’s like WELL THEN. Look what the lothcat dragged in: my disappointing offspring. The two have words, and then just as Sabine’s mom is about to have her arrested, Sabine is like OH YEAH WELL MAYBE THIS SHIT WILL CHANGE YOUR TUNE:
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Recurring Theme: Everyone Loves the Darksaber But Also Kind of Hates It

Ursa is like OH DAMN: she’s impressed but also looks kind of freaked out by this revelation.
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She relents: OK, fine, the Blade of Insanity makes a good point — you guys can come in. But your little Jedi friends have to hand over their weapons first. Ezra is like PFFT YEAH RIGHT, LADY, until Sabine forces their hand:
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The Second Church of Mandalore Throne Room

Oh, the inside of this house. Yes, it’s true: Sabine’s mother has a throne room, and it is crazy and made of glass and looks weirdly like some kind of new-age church and includes a HUGE insane portrait of herself and so…like, is this because she is clan nobility, or does every Mandalorian Lady get her own Church/Throne Room complete with artwork of themselves? I’m totally jealous. What EVEN IS Mandalore, really, and why is it like this?
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And hey! Just like the First Church of Mandalore Throne Room of Great Snark Wars Fame, the people in here are going to spend all of their time blathering on about which one of them is right about the True Path of Mandalore and whether or not to fight or trust an evil guy and blahblahblah.

Eventually it comes out that Tristan is working for Gar Saxon, that guy with the terrible haircut from the episode where we first met Fenn Rau, now. He’s doing so in an attempt to prove Clan Wren’s dedication to Mandalore, as Saxon is currently the acting ruler and governor of Mandalore. Sabine is like NOOOO that guy is the WORST! He’s a killer! You guys weren’t there for that episode, but he’s the one who killed the Protectors! And he didn’t do it because they were traitors like he claims: rebels-s3-e16-0053

Finally, Ursa tells Sabine to walk with her. They need to take this outside.

Recurring Theme: My Embarrassing Apprentice

After they leave, Ezra and Kanan are left to make small talk with Tristan, and let me tell you: Ezra is such a huge dork here, babbling on and on about how Sabine never mentioned that she had a brother and like, that’s cool or whatever I dunno. Delightfully, Kanan can only take so much secondhand embarrassment before pretty much just telling him to shut the hell up. Again: I love that every single Jedi who has a student is mortified beyond belief by them at least half the time. Remember Obi-Wan’s face when Anakin “flirted” with Padme by telling her she was beautiful “for a Senator”? LOL. Ah, memories.

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Thanks for keeping the flame alive, Kanan.

The Empire: For When You’ve Run Out Of Options

Once outside, Sabine flatly tells her mother that she can’t believe she would ally the clan with the Empire: after everything they made Sabine do! How could she? Ursa relates that it wasn’t exactly like they had a ton of great options available at the time:

She goes on to tell Sabine that her father is still alive, on Mandalore:
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Darksaber Discourse

Eventually they get to discussing the Darksaber, and why Sabine has it. Sabine tells Ursa that she got it from Maul, and her mother seems shocked:
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Sabine says no, and really, I wish she’d expanded on this a little bit more, because it’s not just that she didn’t win it from Maul’s crazy ass in combat: she literally picked it up off the floor of his Obitine Revenge Hovel after Maul, again, drank a magic potion and had a vision of Tatooine, which caused him to pretty much teleport himself off of Dathomir in a hurry.

I’m…OK. Hang on, I need to rant about this a little. I get that Maul was like YAAAAAASSS YEE HA OFF I GO and in a bigass hurry to get to the desert (marking possibly the first time in galactic history that anyone has ever really wanted to go to Tatooine,) but I’m still sort of surprised that he did not have possession of the Darksaber when he left. In fact, I’m shocked the guy evidently kept it stored in his Kenobi-Themed U-Stor-It rather than keeping it on hand at all times. And really: do we honestly buy that this guy WOULDN’T have wanted to take it with him for his Big Final Showdown with the man he blames for every bad thing that has ever happened to him? Like he wouldn’t relish being like “REMEMBER THIS THING???!! BWAHAHAHAHA”? Also the idea of Obi-Wan having to not only fight Maul on Tatooine while older and grey, but fight him when he’s armed with the Darksaber, is an amazing mental image and is giving me the giggles because HOW FUNNY WOULD THAT BE. It would have made watching A New Hope even funnier knowing Old Ben just faced down the fricking Darksaber and ROBO-MAUL, AGAIN, like 5 minutes before the movie started. Ah well.

Don’t get me wrong: I love that Sabine got the Blade O’ Craziness, and that it’s back (sort of) where it belongs (maybe), I just find it sort of surprising that Maul wouldn’t have kept it with him.

Mandalore, Super Into Rules For a Planet Full Of Madness

What the hell was I talking about? Ah, OK, so Sabine tells her mom that she didn’t win the blade in combat, and Ursa is, in response, fairly unimpressed:
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The rule, evidently, is that you have to swoosh around on your jetpack and slice off someone’s head or whatever to truly lay claim to the Crazysaber. Sabine is like PFFT:
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I love that Mandalore has all these weird rules about when and how you’re allowed to wail on someone or Rule Over All with an insane ancient black lightsaber and they all are super into following said rules. You’d think they’d be all in favor of people just going berserker on everyone with no regard for etiquette.

Aaaaanyways this conversation goes on for a while, and ultimately ends with Sabine’s mom giving her the time-tested Star Wars Parenting Line about how her own hotheaded kid reminds her of herself.

Sabine presses: the rebellion is planning something! And they need all the help they can get. Ursa scoffs: I sure hope they have more in their arsenal…
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Sabine rounds out this conversation by handing her mother the Darksaber as Tristan appears in the doorway: Ursa is being summoned by Sundari, so she has to go take the holo-Skype call. After Ursa leaves, Tristan asks Sabine if she’s up for some sparring practice, and she accepts:
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…as the scene ends, we see Fenn Rau creeping around outside. He’s up to something!

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Recurring Theme: Let’s Make a Bad Deal

On the holo-Skype, Ursa spills the deets to Gar Saxon and his weird hair. She cuts him a deal: you can have the Jedi, but I get to keep Sabine safe. Oh, I’m sure he’ll abide by these rules! Making deals with power-hungry murderers is always a safe bet, especially in Star Wars.

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The scene ends, panning out to the giant Mando portrait of Ursa that I LOVE:

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Satine’s was cooler. But this is still pretty great.

Kanan Jarrus, Proud Dad

Back in the Throne Room, Kanan and Ezra are giving Ursa shit about allying with the Empire and not trusting Sabine. Ursa challenges Kanan: you think you know my own kis better than I do, mister? HMMM? And Kanan is like NOW YOU LISTEN HERE:

Awww, Kanan loves Sabine. He’s such a good space dad.

Ezra joins the pile-on and demands to know how they can possibly join up with the Empire: Sabine had told them that her family were true Mandalorians, not a bunch of Sheev Suck-ups! Ursa has no time for Ezra, much like about 80% of everyone in this show:
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Recurring Theme: My Kid Is a Badass

Ezra backs up Sabine’s version of events as far as Saxon murdering the Protectors, and he’s like “…and she even held her own against Saxon!” Ursa is disturbed: SABINE fought Gar Saxon?!

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Ezra’s like YUP and at this, Ursa is like “Hmm, OK. Well, then I’m sorry I have to do this to you…” rebels-s3-e16-0113

DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!

Recurring Theme: No Don’t Mind Me I Just Had To Stay Behind After You Betrayed Us All And Left Us With a Dumpster Fire of Family Sadness

Sabine, meanwhile, is throwing down in a sparring match with her brother. He knocks her down, and she holds out a hand for help getting back up, only to be spurned:

Tristan’s all whiny about how she LEFT THEM and HE DID WHAT HE HAD TO DO and blahblahblah ohhh my gosh I am getting tired of recapping this. Tristan goes on: it’s because of you that we had to make all these tough choices! It’s because of you that I have to be the only person in this family who CARES! And if it means we have to trade in a couple of dorky Jedi to restore our family’s honor then SO BE IT!

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Sabine frets:
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Recurring Theme: Bad Guy Backout

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Yes, back in the Second Church of Mandalore Throne Room, things are not looking so good for our Jedi pals: they’re surrounded and about to be handed over to Gar Saxon! Sabine rushes in: no mom you can’t do this! These guys are kind of my friends I guess!

Saxon emerges, all but doing slow sarcastic clapping as he informs her that oh YES — her mom actually can do this:

Ursa is like OK SAXON: you’ve got the Darksaber. You’ve got a couple of Jedi to, I dunno, kill? Or whatever? Now gimme my daughter and go.

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Saxon, however, isn’t feeling so charitable. He accuses Ursa of colluding with traitors in order to protect Sabine, and announces that she must be made an example of.

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Tristan, sensing that this isn’t going to end well, interjects here and Saxon gives him an out: since he’s served him well, if he’s willing to spurn his family and remain loyal to him, he’ll let him live. Otherwise, no dice.

Recurring Theme: Last-Minute Flip-Flop

Tristan points a blaster at Sabine, causing both her and her mother to look mildly horrified.

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But, of course, this is Star Wars and if there’s one thing we all know about Star Wars, it’s that it doesn’t matter how much of a Traitor you are, or how many killing sprees you have under your belt, or if you were complicit in the manufacture of weapons or superweapons, someone in your family is still going to go to bat for you when an evil dude is trying to kill you. So instead of firing at Sabine, Tristan turns and pulls the blaster on Saxon:
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Recurring Theme: Mando Throwdown
BONUS Recurring Theme: Ingratitude of the Jedi

Saxon shrugs: ‘k. Fine. Then I guess this clan’s history!
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He busts out the Darksaber (LOL IT WILL NEVER NOT FILL ME WITH GLEE) and a throwdown begins!

Fenn Rau shows up with the lightsabers that Kanan and Ezra had confiscated before, and which I am just now realizing I forgot to mention that he stole back earlier in this episode (sorry) and naturally they show that Patented Jedi Gratitude that the Order was undoubtedly known across the galaxy for:
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ANYWAYS: a big melee occurs, and people are jumping all over the damn place and shooting at things and eventually Sabine, weaponless, gets an assist when Ezra chucks her his lightsaber, handily ensuring that she will, in fact, get to Duel for the Darksaber.

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She and Saxon crash through the Church Glass, and land outside to continue their duel.

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I Can’t Imagine Anything So Rigidly Rule-Abiding!

OK, so, once again Mandalore the Rule-Sticklers show themselves as the gang watches this duel from the balcony, and Ursa is asked why they don’t go down there and help Sabine as a warlord attempts to murder her with an ancient weapon. She explains:
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LOL. Right. Kanan is like “you care more about some stupid Duel Rulebook than the life of your daughter? Wow. Just wow.” and OK, I know that Kanan is not exactly like an Old Timey Dogmatic Jedi anymore, but also PLEASE, JARRUS: like you don’t at least have SOME understanding of this mindset. The Jedi probably had a rulebook on HOW TO READ A RULEBOOK.

Don’t Do It

Sabine is holding her own pretty damn well though, as it turns out, and she and Saxon trade some shit-talking and running at each other on an ice skating pond:

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After a bit longer, Sabine has him where she needs him, grabs the Darksaber, and she even gets her own little Anakin Skywalker Callback to boot:
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Now, I am sure I do not have to tell you that Sabine has her shit together about 65 billion percent more than Anakin did in Revenge of the Sith, and so she’s able to back off from her consuming Rage Attack as Saxon insists that he will never yield to her: she’ll have to kill him. She is not having it:

Awwww. Hey, good job, Sabine. You are strong and wise and I am very proud of you.

Recurring Theme: I Will Let An Evil Jackass Get Away With a LOT, But Killing My Child Isn’t One of Them

She begins to step away, and Saxon pulls out a blaster. We’re made to think for a split second that he may have shot her in the back:

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…but in actuality it’s Saxon who’s been shot, thanks to Ursa:

Well that was handy! Moms are so great; you can always count on them to murder a warlord for you when you need them to.

Mandalore’s Hiring

Fenn Rau reappears to point out the obvious: Saxon was a murderer and a traitor, but when the rest of Mandalore finds out he’s dead it’s going to be a BAD scene.

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I love how Mandalore cannot be counted on to take ANY kind of news without completely dissolving into chaos. I like their little jetpacks and God knows I love Satine but THESE PEOPLE HAVE SO MANY PROBLEMS.

Even better: Ursa spins this as a POSITIVE. Hey! Maybe civil war and chaos is JUST WHAT THIS PLACE NEEDS TO SHAKE THINGS UP and find ourselves a new Mandalore! Um, guys? Could you MAYBE get through, oh, I dunno, a couple years WITHOUT A CIVIL WAR?

Recurring Theme: I Guess We’ll Just Leave This Mandalorian Girl We Like Here In The Midst of Chaos While We Go Back To Jedi-ing Somewhere

Chopper arrives now with the Phantom II, and suddenly something becomes clear to our Jedi Duo: Sabine is not coming with them.

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She is determined to stay behind and help her people and OH MY GOD NOT THIS AGAIN. Well, anyways, good for you, Sabine. You are awesome. She squeezes in a little moment of bonding with her space dad before they depart, though, admonishing Kanan not to say he’s proud of her. AWWWWWWWWWW.

DOUBLE AWWWWWWWWW. Damn you, Star Wars. I hate that I care this much about your cartoons.

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Her goodbye-for-nows said, the boys take flight, leaving Sabine and Fenn Rau behind with the rest of the Wrens, ready to fight another day for the sake of this insane system of planets that I am still not entirely sure should be salvaged given how often they keep collapsing into war and misery and chaos, but OK.

I Don’t Want Any Part of This

They leave, and Fenn Rau AGAIN starts in on his “hey have you considered a career as the next Mandalore?” routine:

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Sabine is still not interested in sending in her resume, though, but she’s willing to help assist in the talent search:
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You do that, Mando Girl! Make your people proud, or angry — I’m not entirely sure what we want for them right now but whatever! You did well today and your hair looks fantastic, which is all I ask for in my Star Wars heroes.

She looks out at the sky hopefully at her departing friends, and we hit the credits:
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…and that’s a wrap for this entry! Next time, on Rebels, Agent Kallus is going to step into a spiderweb without realizing it, and Grand Admiral Thrawn shows off how buff he is. Good times! See you then.