"Star Wars: Rebels" 2.11– The Protector of Concord Dawn (8 out of 10) – Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Directed by Brad Rau; Written by Henry Gilroy, Kevin Hopps; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, David Oyelowo, Dee Bradley Baker; Special guests: Kevin McKidd; Rated TV-Y7, Aired on Disney XD 1/20/16.
This review will contain spoilers.
This latest episode of "Star Wars Rebels" gives us a pretty classic story in the age of the Rebellion: they need access to hyperspace lanes and they need to negotiate in some way with unsavory characters to get it. This time, the Protectors of Concord Dawn are the ones holding the route hostage. For those who know their Legends, the Journeymen Protectors of Concord Dawn were an early origin story for Boba Fett, back when his name was known as Jaster Mereel.
That's not what they are now (indeed, they weren't even that for very long in the Legends continuity.) Now, they're a sect of Mandalorian warriors who set off to Concord Dawn to escape the traitors of Death Watch. But they've made a deal with the Empire to monitor the route and not let any Rebel ships have safe passage.
This is a problem when Hera arrives to negotiate a trade route with them and their leader, Fenn Rau, blasts her out of the sky.
That's when Kanan takes over (with Sabine in tow) to negotiate in a more Jedi-like way. The episode is tense and incredibly well-written. The conversation between Kanan and Rau was as good as the scene between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jango Fett in "Attack of the Clones" in the tone and verbal sparring. Neither seemed to want to give in their position, but they were enemies sitting down at a table together. I've always said that my favorite villains are those you could sit down and have a meal with. That's exactly what we get here. It felt very much like Indiana Jones and Rene Belloq from "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but even more congenial, somehow.
That's not the only hint of "Attack of the Clones" we get through the episode either. Kanan spends quite a bit of time on top of a speeder in a speeder chase, and ends up cutting into the flight deck of that ship just like Anakin does to Zam Wessel.
It's a very telling episode as well in the different tactics the characters take to resolve the situation. Kanan is becoming more and more Jedi like with every episode and Hera is becoming more leaderly. They're warming into their roles in a very natural way. But I get the feeling that this is just the calm before the storm. There are only so many episodes left and it seems as though they're going to be cramming a lot of jaw-dropping material into as few of them as possible after this episode.
I was excited to learn more about the Mandalorians and about Sabine's heritage, but, to be honest, we didn't learn that much more than we did in the trailer. What does it mean that Sabine is Clan Viszla? I'm not sure, but I hoped this episode would answer that question. But it didn't.
Aside from the unanswered questions, this was a solid episode with above average writing. The lighting and explosion effects were top-notch and it's inching the stakes higher and higher as we march to the inevitable bombshells of the end of season two. There are no bombshells to be found in this episode, though. I'm giving this one a solid 8 out of 10.
Season 2 Scorecard:
- The Siege of Lothal (10 out of 10)
- The Lost Commanders (7.5 out of 10)
- Relics of the Old Republic (8 out of 10)
- Always Two There Are (8 out of 10)
- Brothers of the Broken Horn (8 out of 10)
- Wings of the Master (8.5 out of 10)
- Blood Sisters (7 out of 10)
- Stealth Strike (8.5 out of 10)
- Future of the Force (8.5 out of 10)
- Legacy (8.5 out of 10)
- A Princess on Lothal (8 out of 10)
- The Protector of Concord Dawn (8 out of 10)
Season Average 8.20 out of 10