TV reviews

Star Wars: Rebels 4×01 – ‘Heroes of Mandalore Part 1’ – Review

Star Wars Rebels is ending. Season Four marks the final season of what has been one of the best Star Wars stories, and it means that we’re going to be seeing a lot of the four seasons long stories coming to an end, beginning in the very first episode, ‘Heroes of Mandalore’.

Following the return of Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar) at the end of season three to help rescue Phoenix Squadron and the crew of the Ghost from the forces of the Empire, it was only fair that the Rebellion return the favour and help Sabine and her allies fight back against the oppression of Mandalore. With Sabine’s father in Imperial custody, Sabine mounts a daring rescue mission, accompanied by Ezra (Taylor Gray), Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Chopper, and Fenn Rau (Kevin McKidd).

Attacking an Imperial facility in the wastes of Mandalore they are joined by some surprising new allies, led by Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), who fans will remember as the sister to the late Duchess Satine of Mandalore in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It’s great to see Bo-Katan return, not only because her story was left incomplete with the unplanned cancellation of The Clone Wars, but because it adds to the sense of a wider Star Wars universe. Whilst the episode has a great deal of comedy and adventure, with Ezra and Chopper being responsible for a lot of the light hearted elements of the episode, the final moments take such a shocking and dark turn that it’ll surprise many viewers.

We know from past conversations that Sabine worked for the Empire designing weapons, but when one of these weapons is used upon her own family, apparently killing her mother and brother, it’s a shocking moment that I genuinely didn’t see coming. Star Wars has never been afraid to go to some very dark places, but seeing Sabine kneeling in the remains of fellow Mandalorians killed with a device of her own making is genuinely dark, and the scene is crafted in such a way that you can feel the pain pouring out of the character.

With this being the final season, and the only two characters confirmed to survive the events of season four being Hera (Vanessa Marshall) and Chopper, could this be the start of a very dark road for our young Mandalorian hero? With half of this particular story yet to be told we’ll have to wait to see just how thing will play out, and where Sabine ends up at the end of this two-part opener.

Star Wars Rebels: Season Four airs on Disney XD in the UK on Saturdays. Let us know what you think of the season.

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