STAR WARS REBELS
“Trials of the Darksaber”
By Jason Gibner
While watching this phenomenal Filoni scripted episode of Star Wars Rebels, I kept saying to my myself that this one felt more like some of those really great episodes of Clone Wars. Often that show would take a break from the Anakin, Ashoka and Obi-Wan slicing up battle droids action to focus on a smaller, more character centered storyline. It was those kind of episodes that makes the show continue to win over and connect with both old and new fans what gives it the mighty legacy it still rocks today.
There’s no space battle in this episode, no droid hi-jinks, no fan friendly winks to past movies or clueless imperial moron of the week. Trials of the Darksaber is a just a simple and powerful little look at the awesome seriousness of lightsaber training and most importantly, a real dive into the meat and potatoes of Sabine’s character. It’s such a welcome change of pace and honestly the kind of episode Rebels should be creating much more often.
We get started on a real high five note as the episode begins with Kanan and Fenn Rau discuss the fascinating backstory of the Darksaber and just how it ended up basically being the Mandalorian version of Camelot. From there it’s decided that the blade and what it represents is just too darn important and the crew try to convince Sabine that she has to wield it in order to try and unite her people once again. Hesitant at first, she eventually decides she will try to let Kanan and Ezra give her a crash course in lightsaber combat.
Now for the small but dedicated fans of the nuances of lightsaber fighting and all the different numbered forms of that, this episode is like the first day Doritos tacos came out at Taco Bell. It’s what we’ve all for real been waiting our whole lives for. The training scenes are so well done as they not only strengthen Sabine’s character but are magically able to revive storylines that had been last seen struggling on life support. Thanks to the Magic of Filoni’s wizard writing skills we finally get some good business this season happening with the previously limp relationships between Ezra and Kanan and Hera and Kanan.
Watching this episode unfold while thinking about the growing mystery of just what will happen next when Sabine heads back to Mandalore, and confronts the Vizsla Clan. It all makes the wait for the next episode feel almost impossible. At the episode’s end, as Sabine still full of doubt, stands with the Darksaber as Ezra, Kanan and Rau pledge that they will support and stay with her no matter what happens on Mandalore. They make this cool promise as they remind her they are family. I’d say that goes for all us watching the Ghost Crew every week as well. We will stick with this family and thanks to episodes like this one, we are just as curious as they are for where it all go next.
Grade : A