Rebels Review: The Protector of Concord Dawn

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What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: This episode was off to a good start. The plot about the rebels looking for new hyperspace routes due to increased Imperial security made sense in the grand scheme of things and the way the first mission went south very fast, leaving one of the main characters severely injured, put a lot of weight on the episode. However, at that point it wasn’t so much about the hyperspace routes anymore and became more of a revenge story. This was clearly supposed to be a character-centric story, but this shift in focus just made the plot seem like an excuse to put these characters into this kind of a situation. One interesting thing to note is that the rebels pretended to take prisoners in the previous episode, to the Empire’s surprise, and now they’re actually doing it. I wonder if this will have any repercussions on them.
BEAVeR: No matter how small the references are, it’s always great to see the effect of an episode ripple into another, since it makes everything seem important in the scheme of things. In the start of this episode, we were treated by the appearance of the cruisers from the last episode and on the ever increasing need of finding new routes and places to hide, so good stuff. The emphasis on negotiating was refreshing, although it was evident things would end up badly eventually. However, the speed at which things went south and the severity of the consequences still succeeded in bringing us in a state of slight shock, something that hasn’t occurred a lot in previous episodes, and therefore made this episode feel important instantly. However, it turned out to be less so than I had anticipated, with the whole hyperspace thing becoming secondary to the plot, the danger rapidly decreasing (Sabine effortlessly besting Rau in that duel, for example) and a conclusion I still don’t know what to make off. All of that made the episode loose its credibility, undermining everything else that could be liked about this episode.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: We learned a bit more about Sabine’s backstory in this episode. It was interesting to hear that her clan is allied with House Vizsla. It seems to brand her as a traitor which might partly explain her desire to be a rebel and do good. Fenn Rau was an interesting new character because despite working for the Empire, he didn’t seem like a bad guy. I liked his diplomatic meeting with Kanan, although I think that the way they staged that scene like a Western felt out of place with the tone of the rest of the episode. Kanan himself was fairly impressive in this episode, trying to stick to the Jedi code despite everything that was happening. The way that his pacifistic Jedi ways clashed with Sabine’s violent Mandalorian ways and ultimately rubbed off on her was interesting to see and made for a good moral at the end. Hera was great as always and I especially liked how she put herself in danger to allow her squadron to escape.
BEAVeR: Watching this episode, I thought it was nice to have some deeper character traits coming out. Sure, it sounds great on paper: we have a girl whose friends gets seriously injured and she wants revenge for it. And then we have this guy who is all for diplomacy. But they end up cooperating and both change their minds on something. Not too shabby, until you realize this episode isn’t about “a girl” and “this guy”, but Sabine and Kanan, characters we’ve come to know and that have our expectations to fulfill. It started off nicely with Sabine, going for action in the typical “Star Wars young hero style”, but listening to the opinion of the ones she respects and going practically mad when Hera gets injured so badly, and you know you’re in for a wild ride, except… you aren’t. She overcomes her rage and thirst for blood immediately without any kind of turning moment (the same problems as in Blood Sisters), and then no time is spent evaluating her state of mind. Kanan does worse though, seemingly completely unaffected by the near loss of Hera, to whom he is closer than Sabine is. He remains calm, like a Jedi should, but not like Kanan would. I love his moment with Rau though, so that redeems this weird change a bit. All in all I thought it was an interesting play of characters and differing views, but those characters just weren’t the characters we know…
Fenn Rau was pretty awesome though. He was a truly grey character, not just because the plot needed him to be, and wonderfully keeps the mystique around the Mandalorian ways. Still, a little more insight into his decisions might have learned us more.

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What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: We didn’t get to see a whole lot of Concord Dawn outside of the Protectors Camp and most of the time we saw it at night, so there is not much to comment on, but from what we saw, it seemed like a pretty generic moon. However, we did get to see the Gauntlet fighters from The Clone Wars again, and much like anything from TCW, they looked much sleeker here.
BEAVeR: There were some truly beautiful shots in this episode, the sight of Concord Dawn for instance, or the battle in the upper atmosphere of one of its moons with some pretty colors. Another haunting image was Hera’s A-wing drifting from hyperspace, in smoke and flames: that mere image helped to sell the initial sense of importance of the episode. As for vehicles, I liked the look of the Gauntlet fighters, that had this “O, it’s supposed to look like that” look about them.

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Oky’s Rating: 3.5/5 – This episode was not bad. The plot was decent, although it took a backseat to the character development, and the action was good, but nothing extraordinary. Considering that this was a character-centric episode, I wish we would have learned a bit more about Sabine or Kanan or Rau or even what happened to Mandalore after the events of The Clone Wars. I am glad that we did get some information, though, and hope that the next episode will have some more meat to it.
BEAVeR’s rating: 3/5Rebels is really good at coming up with interesting premises and good ideas for character development, but here we have one of those cases where it doesn’t really go anywhere. The plot pretty much gets abandoned and gets a rushed and confusing resolution, and the character development doesn’t really fit the characters. The continuity that has been built up with all of the little touches gets lost here, making this another episode that you probably won’t remember a lot about, sadly.

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One thought on “Rebels Review: The Protector of Concord Dawn

  1. I see more Legends material has found its way into Rebels. Fenn Rau is a clear callback to Fenn Shysa from the Marvel comics. Not sure about the juxtaposition of Concord Dawn and new Mandalorians, though.

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