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Recap / Star Wars Rebels S2E11 "The Protector of Concord Dawn"

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"This town ain't big enough fer the two of us!"
Needing a new hyperspace route to avoid the Empire, the Rebels seek out the Protectors, an independent Mandalorian faction that controls the Concord Dawn system.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Anti-Villain: Fenn Rau is just trying to make his way in the universe and has no real malice to the Rebellion.
  • Batman Gambit: Kanan very cleverly forces the Mandalorians to ally with them by capturing Fenn Rau. He rightly predicted that the Empire would swarm Concord Dawn if they found out about this and that is the last thing a Proud Warrior Race Guy would want.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Kanan prefers to think of taking Rau hostage as a “reluctant recruit.”
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: In their duel, Sabine shoots Rau's blaster out of his hand.
  • Call-Back: Kanan mentions that Fenn Rau saved him and Depa Billaba in the Third Battle of Mygeeto. This event was depicted in the tenth issue of Kanan, which came out on the same day the episode aired.
  • Captain Ersatz: Fenn Rau is, for all intents and purposes, Fenn Shysa from the old Marvel Comics Star Wars series. He's a Scottish-themed blond Clone Wars veteran leader and leader of a "friendly" clan of Mandalorians. The fact they share the same first name is only icing on the cake. Word of God confirms this is intentional and they just changed his last name.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Naturally, Kanan and Sabine snark at each other while under fire.
  • Continuity Nod: Sabine tells the Mandalorians she's Clan Wren, House Vizla. Their response? "Deathwatch? TRAITOR!"
  • Cool Ship: Like the B-Wing, the Protector ships have a gyro-stabilized cockpit while the wings can rotate freely, allowing the ship to change the orientation of its blaster fire at will.
  • A Darker Shade of Gray: The Mandalorians of Concord Dawn are this to the Rebels. They’re not really part of the Empire but still are ruthless Blood Knights and initially very hostile.
  • Double Entendre: Kanan's insinuation to "return the favor" is both a veiled death threat and a proposition of diplomacy.
  • Feuding Families: It's discovered House Vizsla and the Protectors are mortal enemies, and Sabine is outed as a traitor to her people.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Since diplomacy did not fare well, and that the rebels were in serious need for hyperspace passage and allies, the rebels had to force the Protectors to ally with them, which is normally against their principles.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side!: Fenn Rau doesn't see the benefit in fighting with the Rebellion, when the Empire is much stronger. Since he's their reluctant recruit, the Mandalorian protectors have no choice but to serve the rebellion.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Kanan warns Sabine not to kill Fenn Rau for this reason. Fortunately, she actually listens.
  • I Have Your Leader: Kanan takes Fenn Rau hostage to get the Protectors to cooperate.
  • Implied Death Threat: Kanan gives one to Fenn Rau. It doesn't go unnoticed.
    Kanan: You gave me a chance to live that day. Now I'd like to return the favor.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: During the showdown with Fenn Rau, Sabine blasts his pistol out of his hand rather than kill him.
  • Insistent Terminology: After capturing Rau and taking him back to the rebel fleet, Kanan insists that he isn't a prisoner but a "reluctant recruit".
  • It's Personal: Sabine fully intends to personally introduce Fenn Rau to his own innards for not only killing 2 Rebels but also severely injuring Hera.
  • I Owe You My Life: Not as serious as most examples, but Fenn Rau saved Kanan's life back in the Clone Wars, so Kanan's a bit more lenient than he would normally be.
  • Martial Pacifist/Technical Pacifist: Kanan preaches against unnecessary killing, especially since they are not at war with the Protectors, unlike the Empire. Eventually, Sabine comes around to this.
  • Neutral No Longer: While on the Empire’s payroll, the Protectors are effectively neutral aside from protecting their own territory. Kanan forces them to ally with the Rebellion.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Sabine breaks from her typical calm-and-collected demeanor and hotly suggests that the Rebels should just wipe out the Protectors entirely.
  • Outside Ride: Kanan ends up hanging on to the outside of Rau's starfighter while he's flying into the upper atmosphere. Turns out there are some downsides to taking off with a Jedi hanging onto your ship — he might just slash up the engines.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Mandalorian Protectors are working as mercenaries for the Empire. They have no great love of them, possibly even hate them, but don't see any reason to get in a fight with them either.
  • Quick Draw: Sabine draws and blasts Rau's gun before he's fully cleared his holster.
  • Redshirt: Two Rebel pilots bite the dust when Fenn Rau attacks.
  • Remember That You Trust Me: Sabine tells Kanan to trust her right before she duels Fenn Rau.
  • Revenge: After the first attempt at diplomacy ends with Hera hospitalized, Sabine swears revenge against Fenn Rau for being the one to shoot her down.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Sabine plans to kill Fenn Rau with her bare hands and take out as many Mandalorian Protectors as possible in the process... which, for her, would probably be all of them. Due to Kanan's insistence, however, she agrees to not kill anyone — which is a big deal for a Mandalorian.
  • Shattered World: A rather large portion of Concord Dawn is trailing behind the planet proper as an asteroid field, as a direct result of the numerous wars fought by its inhabitants.
  • Showdown at High Noon: The duel between Sabine and Fenn Rau is played up as this, although the high noon bit is replaced with "right here, right now".
  • Spin-Offspring: Sabine reveals her mother was a member of Death Watch.
  • Take a Third Option: When diplomacy fails and killing Rau would only create enemies, Kanan takes him prisoner which forces them to cooperate, lest the Empire take over Concord Dawn.
  • Villain Respect: While he's more of a Punch-Clock Villain than outright evil, Fenn Rau admires Kanan for surviving Order 66.
  • Wham Line: Sabine's true heritage is revealed in a single line, where it turns out she's descended from a group of terrorists from The Clone Wars.
    Sabine: I'm Clan Wren, House Vizsla.
    Protectors: She's Death Watch! Traitor!
    Sabine: My mother was, but I'm not.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Most of the conflict of the episode comes from Fenn Rau severely injuring Hera. The two pilots he killed go completely unmentioned.
  • You Have Failed Me: Fenn Rau is forced to fight for the Rebellion since the alternative is the Empire sending ships to wipe out the Protectors for his failure.