Synopsis of 2×11: The Rebels are desperate for a way to bypass Imperial routes through the Outer Rim. They peg Concord Dawn as a potential byway but the Mandalorians living there aren’t necessarily going to cooperate. After Hera’s attempts to negotiate end in disaster, Kanan and Sabine return to Concord Dawn, but they aren’t necessarily returning with the same goals in mind.
Times are tough for the Resistance. The Empire has really stepped up their efforts to track them down and traveling the usual routes through the Outer Rim territories. They are desperate to find a new way to bypass Imperial routes — and the planet Concord Dawn might be the answer to their problems.
Unfortunately, it’s run by Mandalorians — and Mandalore happens to be under Imperial control.
That doesn’t, however, mean the Concord Dawn is sympathetic to the Imperial cause which Hera is quick to point out. With Sabine and Phoenix squadron in tow she goes to try and broker a deal with the people of Concord Dawn. But things go horribly wrong very shortly after when Fenn Rau — the titular protector of Concord Dawn — leads his own men in an attack on their ships. It goes poorly for Phoenix squadron and it’s only thanks to some quick maneuvering by Hera that anyone survives.
Hera herself barely makes it out, as her ship is disabled and she is badly injured. Luckily, her ship is able to be recovered and medical droids are able to patch her up. But she’s out of commission for the rest of the episode.
Sabine wants revenge for what happened but Kanan decides to try the diplomatic approach again. It turns out he knows Fenn Rau from his past. Once, during the Clone Wars, Rau saved him and his master. He tries to recruit the Mandalorian warrior to the cause but he’s already sided with the Empire at that point, working with them in exchange for payment. He plans to back the winning horse and right now that’s the Empire.
Before Kanan can get through to him, Sabine basically bungles things by planting bombs around Rau’s base of operations and then getting captured. She is furious about what happened to Hera and wants revenge. She ends up dropping some names Clone Wars fans will remember, and then invokes some ancient right to duel her way out of things.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t really work. She blows all of the fighters she managed to rig to explode but Rau manages to reach his own fighter with the intent of calling the Empire down on them. Kanan doesn’t let that happen, though. He jumps up on to the ship and manages to hang on long enough to disable it before capturing Rau.
They take him back to the waiting Ghost and then deliver him to the Resistance. He decides not to turn them over to the Empire because doing so would see Concord Dawn overrun by Imperial ships. Instead, they broker a tenative peace and the Mandalorian agrees to let the Rebel ships pass through their sector undisturbed.
However, it’s hardly a lasting standstill between the them. Rau has made it clear he’ll do what needs to be done to protect his people and Concord Dawn.
Over all, this was a decent episode.
Kevin McKidd as Fenn Rau was a fantastic cameo and I hope to see more of him soon. The character is interesting — a hardened warrior with his own sense of morality. He’s a very fleshed out secondary character that I could see becoming more important down the line. Hopefully he doesn’t end up being forgotten and this episode left as a one shot. (Considering how much the Mandalorians are beloved by Star Wars fans, I bet we can count on him showing up again.)
My biggest problem with this episode, though, was that it highlights just how under utilized the rest of the ensemble cast can be at times. I initially was really excited watching this episode. But what starts out as a Hera-centric adventure ends up being co-opted by Kanan pretty early on. At least Sabine gets in on the action and ultimately takes charge.
I understand why Kanan played such a big role in this episode, though. In an incredible bout of collaboration and planning, this episode tied in directly to the issue of Kanan: The Last Padawan that released the same day this episode aired. The issue supposedly features the moment when Rau rescues a young Kanan and his master. For that impressive coordination, I’ll forgive that Kanan ended up taking point rather than Hera.
Besides, I’ll begrudgingly admit that seeing Hera nearly killed was a nice reminder that our rebels live in a dangerous world — and no one’s survival is guaranteed in the long run.