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Rebel Transmissions: Imperial Supercommandos

Okeydokey, the Rebel Transmissions are back again! And that’s all I got for a clever opener. You guys know I’m not good at these sometimes. But if you’re looking for a certain [fangirly] point of view, that’s what I aim to deliver! Now for some thoughts on Imperial Supercommandos.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Steps Into Shadow, The Protector Of Concord Dawn, and Imperial Supercommandos

So first of all, I’ve noticed different places spell the title in different ways. I’m sticking with “Supercommandos” as one word because that’s just the way I’ve always spelled it. I might be spelling it wrong but if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time you know I do that a fair amount.
Anyway, you remember Fenn Rau? The Protector of Concord Dawn who tends to fire on people he shouldn’t and is generally not the nicest guy? I’ve been wondering for a while how he’s been doing as the mini-Alliance’s prisoner. Apparently, he’s been playing a Mando game that appears to be a blend of Battleship and Chess with Sabine. What strikes me instantly about all of this isn’t just that I’d really like to learn to play this game, but that Sabine is just casually hanging out with this guy. I know it’s been around a year or something since it happened, but I haven’t forgotten how angry she was with him when he nearly killed Hera. Though she ultimately chose against vengeance, I wasn’t sure she’d ever really be chummy with him or anything. But just goes to show ya how awesome this girl is. And it’s not like Rau’s been such a nice guy either lately. He seems convinced Sabine’s turned her back on her people and makes a point to mention it a lot and not in the nicest way. I wouldn’t call her a “traitor”, just… someone who moved away from her home… for reasons. But you know Mandos they take everything so seriously! Regardless, Sabine is simply hoping that maybe they can get Fenn Rau on their side. And as Zeb calls both Mandos to a briefing, perhaps they actually could. So the mini-Alliance’s lost communication with Concord Dawn and they’re thinkin’ the supercommandos are up to something. Hera sends Sabine, Fenn, Ezra, and Chopper on it. “And try not to wreck the Phantom II… we just got it.” *Cough* She’s looking at you Ez… XP Also it gives me some serious feels to know they named it the Phantom II… its legacy lives on! I’m guessing Sabine’s been busy or she surely would’ve painted it or something in it by now.
And so onward came the awkwardness as Ezra sat in the backseat with Fenn Rau and all of his stoic snobbyness. I pretty much was on the floor laughing the whole time because it was so beautifully awkward. Fenn just keeps on glaring and Ez has no idea how to respond. Thankfully, his interest in the torn-apart world of Concord Dawn is a welcome distraction for everyone in the all-too-quiet shuttle. Fenn explains that its shattered state is due to a lot a lot a lot of not-so-civil civil war amongst the Mandalorians. And then he throws Ezra a solid punch and gives Sabine a stunning. Eyup that’s Mandos for ya. When they work their supercommando magic it happens so fast you barely have time to process it before someone gets K.O.’d. I mean, seriously, how in the universe did he get those cuffs off?? Did he borrow a pen? Snatch the key? Chew them off? I wouldn’t put it past him on that last one. Either way this might be a problem. Apparently Chop was OK though ’cause it was thanks to him he got Ezra up (by grabbing his nose lol) and his and Sabine’s cuffs off. The three find themselves now on the surface of Concord Dawn. Sabine and Ezra were completely expecting a standoff with their prisoner, but he’s no longer interested in a fight. His entire base has been decimated, very nearly burned to the ground, not a soul in sight. And Fenn knows that this attack was delivered by other Mandos. He immediately throws the blame on Sabine, believing he could’ve prevented all of this had he not been imprisoned. She argues against that, as she’s truly sorry for what happened, and knows there must be more to all this. Poor Ez is utterly confused, which I can relate to, ’cause for all of my years of watching animated SW I still don’t get all of Mando culture either. And oh look there’s a probe droid! It’s always somethin’ isn’t it? Using some Forcewielding and blasterwielding, Ezra and Sabine make quick work of the probe, but they’re not interested in sticking around and waiting for the Imps to show up. Fenn is much more interested in staying, and maybe giving the Empire some dirt on the Rebs’ hiding spot. It’s nothing personal– no wait, it’s totally personal because Rau still completely considers Wren a traitor and the reason his men are dead. It’s about then the Imps show up, but not in Star Destroyers or TIEs, but in jetpacks. “…flying stormtroopers?!” Nope just a few of your friendly neighborhood IMPERIAL SUPERCOMMANDOS. Bro when you take a bunch of fierce, fight-ready blaster-slingin’ Mandalorians and put them in Imperial armor you just know you’re toast. So when Ezra makes the mistake of firing at their leader… ooooooh dang he’s dead. The Imp-Mandos quickly give chase. Sabine’s first instinct is to help, but Rau does things the Mandalore way and gladly accepts Ez’s sacrifice and makes a run for it. Yeah, again, I’m so glad Sabine was “raised right”. But Rau does decide to stick around and find out what those Imp-Mandos are up to…
So now Ezra and Chopper are at the mercy of Imp-Mando bossman Gar Saxon. Saxon is certain they’ve got their hands on a couple of Rebels, but Ezra has literally the best cover stories ever. I mean, wow, he’s really good at playing the role of an average everyday pirate-scavenger! Whether he just came up with this on the fly or if he practiced his acting back on the Ghost, it’s impressive any way you spin it. Yep bro still has all that street-savvy swag! But Gar don’t care he don’t buy none of it. Hmph your loss, Saxon, if you can’t appreciate his fantastic improv skills! He does appreciate some things though, like apparently some good ol’ fashioned droid blasting. Uh-oh.
While Ezra further talks his way out of trouble, Sabine’s still thinking up how they’re to go about rescuing her comrade. Rau knows well of Saxon’s doings. Dude wanted to rule Mandalore but didn’t have an honorable bone in his body so the Empire gave him a fancy title and armorsuit instead. Anddd once again Rau turns the conversation back on to Sabine’s so-called treachery. I’d be all “dude let it go already” but he just lost all his friends and fellow soldiers so I kinda have to cut him some slack. Rau wants some vengeance, Sabine just wants outta here, the only way they’re getting that is if they can muster up a little teamworkery magic. It really is super fascinating seeing Sabine interacting with a hardcore by-the-book Mando like Fenn Rau. Looking at how she shares some of the same core values of honor and loyalty, but also furthers those and other values in a way that Rau does not. Wait does that make sense? I think it does. I’m sorry I mighta lost my train of thought somewhere in there.
After a few bolts of laserfire come too close to Chopper, Ezra finally spills his guts. “OK my name’s Lando Calrissian…” XD XD When in doubt, Lando it out! But again… Saxon don’t buy none of this, and soundly kicks Ezra in the head. OMG WHO DOES THAT?? Upon threatening Chopper again, Ezra gives Saxon a half-truth involving The Protector. Now this he buys. Saxon sure would’ve liked to have killed Rau when he killed the rest of them, so he kinda sorta really needs Ezra to give him what he wants to know. BTW guys Gar Saxon is utterly terrifying. Between so callously discussing killing people and the way he uses brute force on our heroes, it’s just… yikes. Sometimes the scariest adversaries don’t wield red lightsabers… O.O Knowing that it was only because he was imprisoned by the Rebels that he wasn’t dead, Fenn finally calls a truce with young Wren. Hooray! All the teamworks!! And the teamwork begins as Sabine casually borrows a jetpack from one of Saxon’s men… yep ’bout time she got herself one of those! I like that it’s a smaller, more compact pack compared to the ones the Fetts and other Mandos use. Just perfect for her, really. All it needs is a splash of color 🙂 Anyway…
It’s a good thing they’d decided to teamwork things ’cause Ezra wasn’t doing so hot. After thrashing him around didn’t work, Saxon decided to take aim at Chopper for a change. Ezra was so clever, using the Force to divert the blasts like that! Unfotunately, Gar caught on pretty quickly as to why he was shooting like a stormtrooper. Which may’ve made the Rebs’ situation a lot worse. But all the same, Ez gets major points for protecting Chop like that. I know I’m stating the obvious, but I seriously love that the Ghost crew’s bond extends to even the grouchy metal family members 🙂 And just then, in rolled a smokescreen detonator… Sabine, Ezra, and Chopper are out, peace! They were so so close to getting out of this Mando jam… and then off went the Phantom II. Thank you, Fenn. Thank you. C’mon man, can’t you trust anyone these days?! And now the three stand alone against four armed Imperial Supercommandos. Gar Saxon recognizes Sabine pretty instantly, being they were both Viszla clan buddies (OK “buddies” is somewhat of a stretch. Try “acquaintances”). That is a good point if he hadn’t seen her in a while… and if she keeps repainting her armor… how did he actually recognize her? Oh wait well there was the whole thing with him being an Imperial and naturally knowing her name and Rebelling career from there. Sorry I’m dumb and forget things sometimes. Never mind. Saxon then mentions Sabine’s mother has been looking for her. He claims that her leaving the Imperial Academy basically dishonored the Wren family name. Sabine don’t buy an inch of that. OK so obviously this is kinda HUGE considering we’ve heard very little of her family before this. What really intrigues me about all of this is that Saxon claims Mrs. Wren is with the Empire now, since sometime after Sabine dropped out. I’d originally assumed that her folks never questioned the Empire and just put her in the academy ’cause that’s just what all Mando parents did. But this sounds like that wasn’t the case…? Intriguing. Aside from that, it’s just fascinating to know her mother’s alive at all. I mean that comment back on the pilot… “What happened to your real family?” “The Empire.” Easy enough answer, but there’s clearly more to it. Plus, how much of what Gar Saxon’s saying is true? I imagine that, unfortunately, there must be some truth in it, because Saxon doesn’t seem to be a big fan of dishonesty. Once again, SWR gives us a couple keys to their pasts, but never all at once. Gosh I hope I’m making sense here I’m so all-over-the-place today. So yeah, Sabine don’t got time for Saxon’s crud. The bossman makes a deal: either she swears allegiance and gives up Fenn or she dies. Well when you put it that way NO DEAL! Chopper transmits some nasty loud feedback through her helmet to knock the Imp-Mandos down, and Sabine grabs Ez and they jet on outta there! Ahh such a beautifully executed plan! And what commences is one of the greatestest chase scenes in all StarWarsdom! I’m a sucker for SW chase scenes, whether it’s the speeder pursuit through Coruscant in Episode II, the speederbike chase in Episode VI, or any of the others throughout the saga, I just love the thrills and excitement and the genius witty witticisms that often come with them! Here we are watching Sabine pursued by Imperial Supercommandos and all the while Ezra’s awkwardly hanging onto her trying to lightsaber blasterfire away as they dart through the rocky terrain of Concord Dawn. It’s all too beautiful for words. Which is probably why I’m writing this so poorly today. Love every moment! Together the three of them hold their own pretty well. Right up until they’re knocked down, anyway. It’s about then when the Phantom II makes an entrance. Fenn could’ve lightsped along his merry way, but he came back for them. Aww yay there’s that teamwork I was lookin’ for! Sabine was about to board when Saxon grabbed her. OK again the way he uses straight-up brute force is genuinely scary. Good thing this fierce little Wren knows how to handle the SupercommanDork. Hehehe I’m so stupidly proud of that zinger I just came up with 😛 She delivers a solid blow to his jetpack, which made me wonder, considering other such incidents, if it might detonate and do him in. Which further concerned me when he fired on Sabine’s. But clearly these jetpacks are built a little better than Boba Fett’s. Or else his was damaged more. IDK. Thank goodness Sabine’s got friends far more dependable than Mando gadgets as Ezra pulls her to safety. I get the feeling Gar Saxon’s not happy though… and that he might be a problem later. But right now let’s just rejoice in all the teamworkness! Fenn Rau’s got serious #respect for the bravery and loyalty young Wren showed to her non-Mandalorian comrades, and with that respect comes a real desire to join the mini-Alliance. Sabine’s “Welcome to the family” gave me such feels. Again, here’s a guy who was an outright jerk more times that we could count, but Sabine not only forgave him for past wrongdoings, but never gave up on him. Yes, Ezra, Mandalorians are crazy, but every now and again there’s one Mando who’s just crazy enough to do something truly crazy: the right thing.
So I hope I did better on this than I think I did. Sometimes it’s just so hard to write down every little thing I’m thinking, ’cause there’s just so much to think about when it comes to Star Wars! If I missed anything I’ll most definitely try and cover again another post. Thanks for reading 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: The Protector Of Concord Dawn

In continuing on my week-late Transmissions, today we’re talking about The Protector Of Concord Dawn! Oh I’m excited to be writing about this magnificent clash of the Mandos and the Rebs and what is most definitely one of Sabine’s most shining moments! So let’s get to talkin’!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from The Clone Wars Season 5, Rebels episodes Legacy and The Protector Of Concord Dawn

So since the Empire sent them back on the run, the mini-Alliance has been having it tough trying to do anything these days. They’re in need of a new hyperspace route, and Sabine has brought an option of her own to the table, a shortcut through a Mandalorian territory called Concord Dawn. Ohhh yess I love that we got to see some more Mandos in this episode! They’re an absolutely fascinating bunch, from their history to their politics to their fancy armor, and ever since that last time we saw their world in The Clone Wars, I’ve had about a zillion questions consuming my mind like so many rathtars. And instead of simply just going back to Mandalore, we get to explore a new branch of their society and a new chapter of their history, as well as new things we didn’t know about their politics and warfare. Anyway, so while Mandalore itself is under Imperial control (yus I was right!), the Imps don’t dare cross the Protectors, who actually helped train clones and fight the Clone Wars back in the day. That last fact is really cool, isn’t it? More on that later. Right now the Rebs are trying to figure out how to go about taking this shortcut. Sato figures it’ll involve the big guns, but Kanan suggests asking nicely. Never would I have figured Kanan to be a “negotiator”. Not that I don’t think he’s capable of talking stuff out, but he just tends to go the more lightsabering-blastering route in most cases. But this is the first time we’ve seen him with a real opportunity to do so, since most of the time they Rebels are lightsabering-blastering those who really wouldn’t listen to diplomacy. Kanan figures they’d be better served not to start any more wars, and Hera wholeheartedly agrees. Plus, having a crew like them on their side would be epic. Sato can’t deny that logic. So Hera heads out with Sabine at her side to go and meet up with the Protectors. Ezra’s all “Whoaaa we just have to ask them? I didn’t know you could do that!”. Well, unfortunately it didn’t quite quite go that way. The Protector known as Fenn Rau has had some dealings with the Empire and doesn’t particularly think highly of these Rebels, and all the guns end up getting pointed in the Phoenixes’ direction. With two Rebs downed Hera sends Sabine and the last Phoenix ahead of her. That very brave move ultimately puts her in the path of laserfire, and her ship comes out of hyperspace decimated… and with her injured and unconscious inside it. Aughh I don’t know about you but this had me so scared. Of course it’s partly due to the fact that we love Hera to pieces, but it’s also because of all the Ghost crew, she seems to always have everything under control. When Kanan and Ezra and Sabine and Zeb and Chopper are fending off red lightsabers and laserfire, Hera’s always at the helm of the Ghost and has their backs from the air. Though we’re all aware the space battles are dangerous and anything could happen, I think it’s easy to just automatically assume Hera’ll come out on top every time. So the one time she doesn’t… ohh I was terrified. This episode definitely is a wake-up call reminder as to how absolutely dangerous this job is, and the risks our heroes take every day. Kanan and Sabine’s expressions… they show such a deep concern and fear for her it breaks my heart and tears me all up emotionally. I don’t think I breathed normally again until it was confirmed that Hera was alive and would heal. I’m sorry I might cry right now rewatching this… seriously man. The rock-solid, heart-and-soul of this family… downed just like that… it feels so wrong, so unfair… can’t blame Sabine for wanting Rau to pay. Forget negotiating, Sabine’s done ready to “negotiate” all over that punk’s FACE! Wait that didn’t make sense, but you get the picture. Kanan’s going to go on a solo mission to their base, but Sabine has no interest in staying behind. Ezra and Zeb wanted to join up too but Kanan decided they wouldn’t be in this episode and picks Chopper as his sole crewmate. Chopper proudly whacks Ezra on the leg to celebrate his win XD I’m so glad I at least got to include one XD moment so far. These posts usually have that emoji in large numbers but this one’s pretty heavy so yeah…
So as you can figure, Sabine does not stay behind. It doesn’t take long for Kanan to find the Mando girl tagged along aboard the Phantom. It’s absolutely great getting to see Kanan and Sabine have an adventure of their own. We haven’t gotten to see a lot lot of how they work together one-on-one, and we get a pretty spectacular blend of dad-and-teen-daughter vibes and Jedi-Mando friction 🙂 Turns out Kanan was coming here to more so try and recruit the Protectors rather than fry their fleet. Sabine is completely against this plan, figuring that this is one situation where peace isn’t the best answer, and also not a fan of having these vicious supercommandos as coworkers. But bro don’t care he’s doin’ what he’s doin’. Ah yes Jedi and Mandalorians… I could talk awhile on this subject. Luke vs. Boba Fett, Obi-Wan vs. Jango Fett, Obi-Wan vs. Deathwatch, Obi-Wan’s Jedi ideals vs. Satine’s pacifist ideals, Ahsoka vs. Deathwatch, the entire history of Mandos vs. Jedi itself! Somehow, even when they’re fighting the same battles, they still don’t get along! It’s almost as if high levels of midichlorians and Mando blood are akin to oil and water. But whether it’s a full-on fight or just a pointed discussion, it’s still so darn fun to watch every time XD And oh wow I just got really really off-subject. But man after seeing this episode and watching the Rebels Recon it was impossible for me to stop talking about all this Mando-ness.
Anyway, so Kanan’s going to do some talking and if that doesn’t work, Sabine blows stuff up. Which seems to be likely to happen as they witness Fenn Rau getting some cash from an Imperial, and making a point to let them know if there’s any more Rebel trouble. So while Miss Wren starts sticking some explosives around, Kanan goes to have a little chat with Rau. And by “little chat” I mean literally an actual discussion. Makes sense he would keep things chill since once upon a time, Fenn saved him and his master during a Clone Wars battle. It’s really cool learning about this, because it seemed more than often that most battles were fought by Jedi, clones, and Republic militants, but we now know that they were only scratching the surface of people who fought. And if you think about it even more, it’s really really cool knowing Fenn and his Protectors joined the fight, considering Mandalore generally kept their noses out of the war business. Despite Fenn very nearly killed Hera, Kanan doesn’t do anything but treat the Protector as a friend. Who’s got two thumbs and supreme negotiating skillz? THIS GUY! Fenn is still pretty suspish but actually listens instead of bringing out the blaster. Getting a weapon-wielding Mando to listen… didn’t know anyone was capable of doing that! 😛
So Sabine was doing well blanketing the base with detonators, up until once false move led to her coming face-to-face — er helmet-to-helmet — with quite a few Manderrs. She handles them with straight-up confidence, making it clear she’s no stranger, no offworlder wearing stolen armor. She’s all Mando and this armor was hand-made with her folks. Yes prior to this episode’s release, I remember seeing a headline on Animation Magazine’s website… “SABINE HAS FAMILY REUNION ON STAR WARS REBELS” and I’m all O.O at that. So I got this ridiculous image in my head of a 1960s squeaky-clean domestic American sitcom family wearing Mandalorian armor XD Ultimately that wasn’t the case, but this isn’t the first time that site’s gotten their SW logic backwards. But it sure had me intrigued. We do learn a bit more about who she is and where she came from, however. She’s a straight-up Wren clan girl from house Vizsla! Only Deathwatch on her mom’s side of the family. So yeah wow that offers up some major intrigue-yness! Don’t have a clue who her parents are, but they must be fun people if they hung out with the DW (though they do lose some cool points for putting their daughter into the Imperial Academy, but nonetheless they’re Mandalorians which by default makes them super-cool). I have a few theories, but I’ll save them for another day. But right now Sabine has no time for “family reunions” of any sort, she’s still got a score to settle!
So Kanan’s discussion was going well… sorta. Fenn really isn’t interested in being on a side that he feels won’t win, even though Kanan makes some pretty solid points on the Empire’s loyalty, or lack of it. And then rushes in another Protector with news on an intruder. You can probably figure who that is. Fact is, Wrens and Protectors don’t get along too well and Fenn calls out a fight to the death. Sabine eagerly accepts the challenge. And we’re all “OH DANG WHAT ARE YOU DOING GIRL?”. Kanan interjects that they’d all be better served to all leave as friends, but it seems Miss Wren is dead serious about making Fenn Rau seriously dead. Master Jarrus is just about done with everybody right now. “WHAT IS WITH YOU MANDALORIANS?! CAN’T SOLVE ANYTHING EXCEPT THROUGH THE END OF A BLASTER!” Yep we’ve all thought that. He knows good and well this is not the right move, but Sabine only asks he trust her. And like that the standoff began and we were all on the edge of our seats. I was literally thinking “OhhhMG someone is going to die today…”. But then in one swift move, Sabine shoots first… and only hits Fenn’s hand, knocking the blaster out of his grip. “There are alternatives to killing” comes Sabine’s well-timed Obi-Wan-esque reply, right as she set off the detonators and made sure those Protectors wouldn’t be shooting anyone down for a bit. Much applause is in order for her. It happens to be though that Rau’s ship was the only one she didn’t blast into oblivion, so it’s time for Sabine and Kanan to make a dash after him. Also this line… “ARE YOU HAPPY? YOU GOT TO BLOW STUFF UP!” “I thought you’d be glad I didn’t kill anyone!” XD Anyway, so Kanan skipped the trouble of getting in the Phantom and just jumped right on top of Rau’s ship. It would’ve worked really well had the guy not been flying so fast. Well, at least he got in a good lightsabering of one of the engines while he was hanging around. He did eventually get his balance and went and lightsabered the controls as well as knocking our Protector friend into dreamland. Then Sabine and Chopper flew in and the guys got aboard and the day was saved! Well that last line I wrote was stupid cheesy. Sorry about that. So naturally the rest of the Protectors are ready to bring the fight to the Rebs, but Fenn… considering he’s sorta here as a prisoner, he’s going to let the Rebels take whatever shortcuts they need. He may not be the nicest guy right now, but I wouldn’t say he’ll never be… I think he might enjoy being a part of the mini-Alliance. Only time will tell. At least the Empire won’t be getting involved, and that’s I think the only thing these two sides can agree on right now. Good thing is Hera’s definitely feeling better. Upon Miss Wren making note she made sure not to take any lives when there didn’t need to be, Hera comments “you’re starting to sound more like a Jedi than a Mandalorian”. “I guess I was raised right” is Sabine’s perfect reply. And I pretty much died of feels right here. Mandos definitely have this thing about revenge; they fight over principles more often than real problems, and they don’t take failure among each other too lightly. By their standards, avenging Hera by killing Fenn was perfectly acceptable, but that doesn’t make it right. When facing down this man who’d hurt her and the people she cares for, she was amazing and did the right thing… a truly straight-up Jedi thing. And seeing how Kanan and Hera have made such a positive impact on her… that could not be more beautiful.
And I think words failed me there. But seriously what an episode! It’s been a blast (pun intended) unlocking another key to Sabine’s past as well as seeing her grow as a person as well as just seeing her blow things up 🙂 Can’t wait to bring you another Transmission next time around!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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