Sabine leads a mission to free her father from the Empire, but finds that a past mistake has been resurrected with deadly consequences.
What I thoughtHaving known for months that the first episodes were Mandalore centric, I really wasn't looking forward to this double part opener, but I was pleasantly surprised. Perhaps my buildup of being sure I'd dislike it helped me to appreciate it more? I've never been a fan of Mandalorian culture. Aside from the Fetts, whom were merely wearing Mandalorian armour, everything else about Mandalore has been more of a Mandabore for me. Sure, they look super cool in their armour and have amazing gadgets, it's just everything else seems to be, well, dull. There's clans all over the place falling out with each other, and it seems to be one civil war after the other and a constant competition as to who is the best clan. Therefore, it was somewhat unexpected that I enjoyed this opening hour long episode, most likely because the action really helped keep the boring Mandalore politics out of matters ... most of the time.
It's great that the episode starts with action, and pretty much continues with battling the Empire for the duration of the double-parter. Ezra, Kanan, Chopper, Sabine and her Mandalorian chums are attacking an outpost to rescue Sabine's dad, who'd I'd forgotten existed. After taking down just a handful of imperials and cutting down walkers in the usual Jedi style, they find that there's no prisoners in the compound in record time. That's impressive searching abilities. The intel that her dad was there was supposed to be irrefutable but wasn't. Therefore, when new intel drops that her father is instead being transported to the capitol to be publically killed, naturally they seriously doubt it's authenticity. No wait, they don't. Sorry. They simply just believe it and instead launch a plan to intercept the convoy. Saxon, the brother of the other Saxon who perished last season, and the one in charge of the Imperial Mandalorians, says it was his plan to lure Sabine in to the deserted compound, but then doesn't seem to expect the attack on the convoy? I dunno. I gave up at this stage in trying to work out the logic. Anyhow, naturally the Rebels and Mandalorians rescue Bail Organa from the transport. Oops, nope, I mean Sabine's father. Well, it's an easy mistake. They look like they were separated at birth. This episode then ends with Sabine's father giving her tips in painting ... or was heading that way, until Saxon unleashes the Empire's new weapon on Sabine's mum, brother and co, with what is basically a walking electric wielding walker. UNLIMITED POWER! It's a super end, not least that we're rid of a few Mandalorians, but also the scene of the destruction is breathtakingly heartbreaking to see.
In part 2 it's all about destroying the weapon she helped create. Bo-Katan isn't happy with Sabine over her creation, and who could blame her, but for the sake of a long drawn out argument, she's easily convinced to forgive all that and help take the weapon down. Sneaking in using jetpacks, which Ezra seems to have mastered by this point after a rather embarrassingly comical performance in part 1, they enter the hanger bay of Saxon's star destroyer. Luckily the weapon is just inside. That's very convenient. When Sabine and Bo-Katan go off to locate the actual heart of the weapon, we find that it's just a trap by Saxon, as he uses the weapon on them. Not wanting to fry them, he needs Sabine to increase the yield of the weapon to it's maximum potential, using his threat to kill Bo-Katan as the bargaining chip. Here's where it goes into cartoon overdrive, when Sabine agrees to his demands (naturally tricking him) presses a few buttons, warns him not to use it, which of course leads to him pressing the button that sets the weapon on all Imperial armour instead. I'm not sure what's ridiculous more. That she could make that change so quickly, or that Saxon was stupid enough to think she'd done it in a few button presses. Anyhow, a quick darksabre through the weapon and it's time to bail out of the imperial ship quickly, as the weapon's core seems to be so powerful that it ultimately takes down the whole Star Destroyer. When it comes to Star Wars Cartoons, it's not enough to cripple a ship, you have to absolutely blow it up!
Right at the end, and for no particular reason that I can see, all the Madalorian clans decide to follow Bo-Katan, whom Sabine gives the darksabre for the iconic raised sabre pose.
It wasn't anywhere near as bad an episode as i feared. Despite it being all on Mandalore, the politics was not as potent as the action. There's a lot of 'WTF' moments, but this is a cartoon at the end of the day and therefore I try to overlook as much of that as I can and just try to enjoy matters. However, despite all the action, it did feel a little like a "did we really need an hour to get to this point?" kind of episode. The good news is that perhaps we can all move on from the Mandalore/Sabine thing now and get back to the Rebellion.
Verdict 6/10 - Decent opener full of action, and thankfully not as stuffy with Mandalorian stuff as I feared.
What I liked:
- Lots of action!
- Ezra's comedy moments helped cheer matters up.
- Empire's weapon was pretty impressive.
What I didn’t like:
- Contradictions. One minute the heroes are taking out two TIE fighters and the next they are pinned down by two stormtroopers.
- I know the weapon was on reduced power, but Sabine and Bo-Katan did recover amazingly quickly.
- Saxon not being able to increase usefulness of weapon but is convinced by Sabine's 5 second tapping of buttons that she's significantly increased the weapon's yield.
- That core in weapon took down a whole Star Destroyer?
- Mandalorians are easily swayed to hop sides aren't they?
- Don't want to be mean, but it would have meant more if Sabine's mum and brother had been wiped out by the weapon.
- I don't know why, but I was a little surprised by Sabine's Dad's references to Jedi.
|The view after the weapon was deployed was stark and emotional.|
|Ezra provides the comedy in episode 1 as his flying is a disaster.|
|Saxon; with brains like he had, he was never going to last long.|
|Nothing is ever as delightful as a Star Destroyer in a destructive descent.|
|We have another new Mandalore leader. Ok, she was previously a leader, but she's back now.|