First of all, I apologize for the delay on this one. Life just gets busy man. I’m figuring my posts from here on out’ll be weekend things, at least for a while. But there’s no way I’ll stop writing ’bout my Rebels, especially with an episode like this. Let’s dig in and dissect the beautiful, rich episode known as Trials Of The Darksaber.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from TCW episodes The Mandalore Plot and Shades Of Reason, and Rebels episodes Imperial Supercommandos, Visions And Voices, and Trials Of The Darksaber
So! The Darksaber! It’s a big deal. A very very big deal. A bigger deal than I’d ever realized, even with years of SW experience under my belt. I happened to have rewatched The Mandalore Plot a few days ago, and it amazed me realizing how far that little black blade has gone since then. To hear Pre Vizsla talk of its history, boasting of how many Jedi have died by it, doesn’t evoke any sense of honor. That’s just Pre for you tho he’s sorta kinda a lot arrogant. Fenn Rau’s version of the story has a lot more going for it, telling of the Mando-Jedi who forged the unique weapon and the symbol of power it became to all of Mandalore. Oh my gravy the epicness. The animation they used for the backstory was just all kinds of wow. Though for many of my readers the notion of a Mando-Jedi wasn’t new, it was mind-blowing for me. I once joked that, considering the generally difficult relationship between the supercommandos and the Force-wielders, Mando blood and large numbers of midichlorians were “akin to oil and water” (Rebel Transmissions: The Protector Of Concord Dawn 2/6/16). The prospect of Mando-Jedi has always been cool but I had no clue how it’d work in a canon sense. Well… apparently it did. Get me a canon novel on Tar Vizsla stat! Fenn is majorly impressed Sabine was able to find it, after all, the one who wields ‘saber could unite all of Mandalore. But apparently Sabine hasn’t touched it since Dathomir…
Also wow every time I turn around, our resident artist has made my new favorite painting! Most kawaii family portrait ever! Love that she drew Ezra looking a tad uncomfortable caught in Zeb’s brohug; she’s still not gonna give him a respectful artistic rendering XD I admit I got a little distracted from the feels at hand looking at the art all over her quarters. Tbh I was really hoping to spot her Cad Bane and Embo doodles but either we don’t see those angles of the room or she took those down in favor of some new masterpieces. Sabine’s surrounded by color, but all feels blue and gray right now as she heads to a meeting. Also Chopper kind of “purring” elicited quite an “awww…” from me. I believe that was Chop’s way of showing some compassion. He doesn’t do it a lot so it’s totally totally precious. She goes into this meeting with her mind already made up; she’s not about to learn how to use the Darksaber. Far as she’s concerned it’s done too much harm and there’s no way she could unite her clan for the mini-Alliance’s cause. OK so this was one of many many things in this episode that surprised me and intrigued me. I wasn’t sure Sabine even knew what the blade was, let alone its significance. It makes sense in retrospect though considering the value Mandos place on their history. Beyond that, I had no idea she’d be so very against it (I mean, she did choose to take it home), but like say, I had no idea really of its significance either. Even Ezra doesn’t know if giving her a lightsaber is ideal without aid of the Force. Pff I love that he makes himself out like an expert when he’s totally not XP Kanan, Hera, and Fenn all know though that learning to wield it would make a galaxy of difference right now. So, reluctantly, the fierce little Wren takes the hilt…
Training begins once Kanan, Sabine, and Ezra set up camp far off from the base (“…you’ll do less damage out here.” “I’ll damage your face if you don’t shut up” XD ). And Kanan starts her off with sticks. Y’know if I recall Kanan started Ezra out on an actual lightsaber (Granted, Ez did nearly spear Master Jarrus in the face when he first turned it on… but then again, Sabine already knows how to ignite the Darksaber, so that wouldn’t be an issue). And I mean, dude! We’ve seen an actual training mode on lightsabers! I don’t think even tiny younglings in the Temple started off with sticks! Sabine’s confident in her skills with a stick, but Kanan downs her pretty fast, so Ezra takes over for her training buddy. Though Sabine doesn’t appreciate it much, I love watching Ezra teach her. He doesn’t know it all himself, but perhaps that honesty of not knowing everything makes him a more relatable teacher than Master Jarrus right now. Hera’s not sure what Kanan’s doing with this brand of training, but I kinda get the feeling Kanan’s not entirely sure either. He wants to do things differently with Sabine, but days later he’s still not feeling like she’s improved enough to handle the real thing. Sabine gets a little bit of a leg up when Fenn gives her a pair of genuine fully-loaded Mandalorian vambraces, but not for long around Master Jarrus. Understandably, she was kind of completely done with him after that and ventured off for some alone time. It gave me some serious massive feels watching Ezra try and encourage her, but there’s more to her frustration than merely Kanan’s teaching methods. How’s a traitor like herself supposed to go back to her family and lead her clan? *Cries forever* Also, interesting that the Bendu was there all along. Wonder what he’s thinkin…?
And so the feels continued to wreck me when we spent a moment with Kanan and Hera. Half the feels are due to the fact I still adore how honest and raw they are with each other. The other half has a lot to do with this glimmer of real pain from the past. “Remember how hard it was for her to trust us…” *cries again* Continuing in her tradition of bosslady mic-dropping wisdom, Hera gives it to him straight that the only way for Kanan to succeed in training Sabine is to just give her that Darksaber. He does that, and she’ll open up and face her demons on her own. Seriously OMG they wrote this so well I rewatched the scene again just now to make sure I was getting everything right. You go Captain Syndulla! 🙂
Safe to say Sabine was unprepared for what awaited her when she got back. Kanan finally handed her the Darksaber’s hilt, ready to start again with his student. Like Ezra and Fenn, I was quickly on the edge of my seat (and later on, unable to sit down). The swordfight is intense and really quite mesmerizing between Kanan and Sabine’s moves. Sabine handles her blade super-well for her first go at it, while Kanan absolutely wows me with his teaching skills and his connection to the Force. And every minute is a further reminder of the Darksaber’s incredible legacy. The weapon terrifying in the hands of Pre Vizsla and destructive in the hands of Maul now has the potential to heal in the hands of Sabine Wren. But all of this is merely practice, and Kanan can tell she’s still not putting her all into this. There’s more going on in this fight than just the swords. It’s Sabine fighting her hurt, her fear, her past, and the uncertainty of the future. Oh my gosh you guys when she started bearing her soul like that… my heart just shattered into pieces. You’re lying if you tell me you didn’t cry at the very least on the inside. I will say a lot of her story surprised me. (Forgive me I’m about to break up this feelyness for a second with some SW contemplating) I had utterly no idea that her family hurt her so bad. From all that Gar Saxon had mentioned in Imperial Supercommandos, I got a very different impression than what is actually the truth. I’d assumed, based on what he’d said about her mother, that because Mrs. Wren was with the Empire as of recent, that meant she hadn’t been supportive of it before, that as well as Sabine’s comment “…I doubt you gave her much choice”. But this new information seems to negate that, revealing her family had evidently always been pro-Empire, meaning perhaps that Mrs. Wren is actually higher-ranking Imperial, or even a Supercommando like Saxon. I literally watched that episode the other day in hopes of getting some facts straight and I’m still not totally certain of what her mother’s allegiances mean as versus the rest of her family and clan Vizsla. I suppose these are things we’ll find out soon enough. (next week maybe hopefully?) Either way, I’ve truly seen her story in a completely new light. And whatever happens, whatever she chooses, whatever her blood family and her clan think… her thicker-than-blood family will stand by her and with her. You know I had a totally different really deep thought that came to mind earlier, but I can’t remember it now. But I did come upon this really nifty thought: Fenn Rau came to fully join the Rebels’ cause because he respected Sabine’s loyalty to a family not her own. If the rest of clan Vizsla can see the fierce loyalty and heart she has for both her family and her people… I think they’ll find a reason to follow, with the blade, or without.
OK whew that was a lot of thoughts to organize there! Augh I just love this episode!! It’s so great just taking time away from the missions to just focus on these amazing amazing characters and their story at the heart of it all. We’ll talk some Freemakers next week and then the Transmissions’ll be back 😀 Now if you’ll excuse me there are some massive feels I’m going to need to work on recovering from…
Keep The Peace,