This article contains spoilers for Star Wars Rebels Season 3, Episode 7
Well, you and I still don’t have the jetpacks promised to us by classic sci-fi visions of the future. But the “Imperial Super Commandos” introduced in this week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels have theirs, and they are, of course, awesome! I think Sabine is speaking for a lot of viewers when she says, “I’ve always wanted one of these!”
After the episode, in addition to asking, “Where’s my jetpack?,” I was asking these three questions:
1) What’s next for the Mandalorians?
A minor character’s suit of armor—and Joe Johnston did, undeniably, design a very cool suit of armor for Boba Fett—sparked the fire of Mandalorian fandom in 1979. It’s been burning brightly ever since. Long before this warrior culture made its onscreen debut during a 2010 story arc in The Clone Wars, it gained legions of devotees through novels and comic books, as well as action figures and other merchandise.
Rebels now gives Mandalorian fans more reason to rejoice by presenting “Mandos” as the white-armored, rocket pack-powered “Super Troopers” they were originally intended to be.
Yet the question remains: Now that they’re here, what will the series do with them?
We don’t see Gar Saxon’s “super commandos” in the Original Trilogy, for instance. Are they simply “out of frame” for those three films, or did something happen that gives their absence an “in universe” explanation?
Rebels’ chronology now stands only a few years out from the events of A New Hope. Whatever plans the show has for the Mandalorians, it doesn’t have a lot of story time left in which to make them happen.
2) Is Fenn Rau a rebel for good?
Will Fenn Rau’s new ties to the Rebellion stay strong, or will his older and deeper bonds to his own people prove stronger? As he tells Sabine, “My only true loyalty is to Mandalore.” At this point in Star Wars history, the Rebel Alliance is still a fragile proposition. While Ezra tells Rau that the rebels would rather be with him than against him, there’s no guarantee Rau will forever feel likewise.
It’s not too hard to imagine a storyline in which Rau, seizing what he sees as an opportunity to restore Mandalore to its former greatness, turns his back on the Alliance, placing what he sees as his and his planet’s own best interests over and against the common good. Might he eventually make good on his threat, early in this episode, to divulge the Rebellion’s secrets to the Empire? The rebels’ current alliance with Rau feels risky.
3) Will Sabine be reunited with her mother?
Gar Saxon tells Sabine that her mother “now stands with [him] and the Empire.” Sabine dismisses Saxon’s words as a lie. But might she have been putting on a brave face for Ezra’s benefit?
This episode marks the second mention of Sabine’s mother in Rebels. (Last season, in “The Protector of Concord Dawn,” we learned that her mother was a member of Death Watch, the Mandalorian faction that opposed Duchess Satine’s vision of a peaceful Mandalore in The Clone Wars, fighting instead for the culture’s older ways). I wonder if the show’s creative team is planting seeds for a future story in which Sabine either encounters or goes searching for her mother.
In addition to being interesting in its own right, such a storyline might serve to strengthen Sabine’s relationship with Ezra. Young Bridger, after all, also knows something about absent parents! And an arc about Sabine and her mother would be a rare instance of a story spotlighting a mother-daughter relationship in a saga that, so far, has been far more interested in fathers and sons.
What did you think of “Imperial Super Commandos”? Leave a comment below to join the conversation!