Spoiler Warning: If you haven't seen the most recent episode of Star Wars Rebels or don't want to know what happened, turn away now. Or, y'know, go watch and come back so we can talk about it.
The saying goes, "You can't go home again," but that's not quite true. You can go home, but "home" may not be anything like it was when you left.
For two and a half seasons, we've watched Sabine transform from an angry, runaway Mandalorian teen into a woman and warrior who would make all of Mandalore proud. Except for one thing: The reason she ran away in the first place. It took a long time to learn why she ran, and once we did, it's easy to understand why her story remained a secret for so long.
Sabine Wren, a prodigy in every way, was forced to use her skills to hurt her own people by the Empire and ran away to save both Mandalore and herself.
Of course, that's not the "official" story. As far as the Mandalorian people know, Sabine Wren turned traitor and harmed her own people, which allowed the Empire to come in and take control. In "Legacy of Mandalore," Sabine faces her past and, by being who she is now, secures a brighter future for her people.
She also chooses to stay with her family and find a new leader for Mandalore, which means we had to deal with a goodbye none of us were really prepared for.
Now, I don't doubt we'll see her again. We know there's a battle coming, and we know Mandalore will answer the call, but saying goodbye is never easy. Especially when you have to give up a member of your chosen family, which Sabine has been for both the Ghost crew and Rebels fans alike. That said, seeing her find her way back home and take on the responsibility of finding Mandalore's new leader was inspiring.
Personally, I think the episode had a couple of issues, most notably being a little murky on where Ursa Wren really stood when it came to her daughter. She's glad Sabine ran because it kept her safe but she also blames Sabine for putting Clan Wren in danger. Her unwillingness to trust Sabine's word or even listen to what she has to say felt at odds with a matriarch who's looking to do the best for her people. After all, Sabine had a Jedi and a half (sorry Ezra) with her. I'd think that would have some effect on Ursa's thinking.
On the flip side, maybe Ursa's pride and stubbornness are blinding her to any other possibility. I dunno, what do you think?
However, the positives definitely outweighed the negatives. It's hard not to enjoy an episode that includes Mandalorians, jetpacks, a shootout and a lightsaber fight in which neither participant is a Jedi. I know the Darksaber isn't technically a lightsaber, but work with me here. The idea that lightsabers aren't wielded only by Jedi was introduced in The Force Awakens when Finn fought Kylo Ren, but watching two Mandos in a life-and-death fight using sabers takes the idea to a new level.
Does that mean we'll see more lightsabers in non-Jedi hands?
There was also something really great in Sabine's chosen family meeting her real family. Sabine's relationship with Ezra took on a new meaning when we met her brother Tristan and it's easy to see now why she fell into that role as big sister so easily. Watching Kanan and Ursa was also telling, although I found myself wishing Hera had been there instead. Just think of what sort of confrontation that would have been. Especially when Ursa sides with Saxon instead of her own daughter.
Then there's the confrontation with Gar Saxon. Both Sabine and Fenn Rau have a bone to pick with Saxon. Not only did he wipe out the Protectors, but he's taken over as Governor of Mandalore with the full backing of the Empire. Saxon's willing to kill anyone who gets in his way –– including Ursa and Tristan Wren, not to mention everyone else in the room.
I didn't realize it until this episode, but we've been building up to this showdown for a very long time. While Fenn Rau and Ursa have their reasons to want to kill Saxon, both cede the fight to Sabine. No matter their grievances, Sabine's been hit the hardest by Saxon's double dealing and she's the one who has to reclaim her honor in true Mandalorian style.
What. A. Fight.
In a culture where honor is the key tenet of pretty much ... everything, the fight between Sabine Wren and Gar Saxon shows what true honor is. Saxon demands loyalty, but he left being honorable behind a long time ago. Sabine, considered a pariah, fights for her family and for the future of Mandalore itself. Saxon thinks only of himself while Sabine thinks about everyone but herself. After being the cause of so much death, Sabine refuses to kill Saxon ... which may be the Mandalorian way, but not her way.
Not that she doesn't believe in Mandalorian honor. She turns her back on Saxon because an honorable warrior would admit defeat. But Saxon ... well, you know what happened –– and I thought it was incredibly fitting that the woman who gave Saxon the Darksaber he used against her daughter would be the one to shoot him to save Sabine's life in the end.
Sabine has come full circle and she's found herself along the way.
I can't think of a better person to find the new leader of Mandalore.
That does it for me. Shall we do it again next week?
Star Wars Rebels airs Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. on Disney XD.