Star Wars Rebels mid-season premiere marks the homecoming and a new chapter for Sabine Wren (Tiya Sircar). "Legacy of Mandalore" begins with Sabine, Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Ezra (Taylor Gray), Finn Rau (Kevin McKidd) and Chopper on the Phantom II en route to Kronos, the base of Clan Wren. They are met by a squad of flying Mandalorians guns blazing. Their ship crashes in a snowy forest. Sabine tells Fenn Rau to stay out of sight and the Jedi to take it easy as they confront the attackers. They're fighting her family. The battle is brief when Sabine is recognized by her brother, Tristan (Ritesh Rajan). He is wearing the armor of an Imperial Super Commando. It's an uneasy embrace as Ezra is stunned to meet her sibling.

They are taken to meet Sabine's mother, Countess Ursa Wren (Sharmilla Devar). The reunion does not go well. She orders Sabine be imprisoned immediately. Sabine presents her with the Dark Saber. Ursa is stunned, until Sabine tells her she did not defeat Maul to recover it. Her mother says she has not truly won it. She is still a traitor to their family. Sabine implores her to join them against the Empire. Together they can unite the clans of Mandalore. Ursa will listen to them, but she demands the Jedi surrender their weapons.

Meanwhile in the forest, Fenn Rau dons his armor and stealthily approaches the Wren home. Tristan challenges Sabine to a sparring duel. He chastises her for leaving and allowing their father to become a prisoner. He knocks her down, but does not give her a hand back up. In the main room, Ezra and Kanan attempt to sway Ursa. Ezra tells her of Sabine's battle against Gar Saxon (Ray Stevenson), how she held her own against the Emperor's Hand. Ursa is called away by one of her troops.

Related: Star Wars Rebels Episode 4.10 Recap: A Devastating Twist Changes Everything

Fenn Rau uses his scanner to eavesdrop on Ursa. She receives a transmission from Gar Saxon. He is on his way with reinforcements. Ursa says he can keep the Jedi, but Sabine remains unharmed and with her family. Ursa returns to Kanan and Ezra. Her men draw their weapons. Tristan tells Sabine of Ursa's plans. She races into the main room to see her friends surrounded.

Fenn Rau breaks into the communication room and retrieves the lightsabers. He knocks out a guard, then makes his way to the main room. Gar Saxon and his men arrive. Sabine is crushed. How could her mother betray them to the pawn of the Empire? Ursa presents Saxon with the Dark Saber. Saxon laughs, he brands Clan Wren as traitors harboring the rebels. Ursa realizes she has been duped. Her men turn their weapons on Saxon.

Fenn Rau smashes through the glass above. He tosses the Jedi their swords. It's anarchy as all sides battle. Saxon is about to kill Ursa with the Dark Saber. Ezra throws Sabine his lightsaber. She leaps in front of her mother and catches the blow. Saxon and Sabine engage in a wicked duel. He fires up his jet pack, thrusting them both through the glass and into the snow outside.

The Jedi and Clan Wren wipe out Saxon's troops. They race outside to watch Sabine fight Saxon. Kanan is about to interfere, but Ursa stops him. This battle must be fought. It is the way of the Mandalorians. Saxon flies above Sabine. She hits him with a flamethrower then disables his jetpack. It's all swords as they fight on the breaking ice. All of Clan Wren watches as Sabine defeats Gar Saxon. She's about to kill him, but then to Kanan's relief, grants him mercy. She turns her back to him. Saxon pulls out a hidden pistol, but is killed by Ursa before he can shoot.

Fenn Rau extols the virtue of Sabine. She defeated the villain that killed the Protectors, gave Mandalore to the Empire, and imprisoned the patriarch of their clan. Kanan asks them if they are now ready to join the rebellion. He is surprised when Sabine says no. She is not returning with them. She will stay with her family and unite the clans. Mandalore must stand on its own before the fight against the Empire. Kanan and Ezra could not be prouder. As the Phantom II lifts off, Fenn Rau tells Sabine she will be an excellent leader. Holding the Dark Saber, she says she's not the one to lead Mandalore; but she will find that person.

Legacy of Mandalore started off weak, but ended strong. The betrayal and comeuppance of Ursa Wren was predictable. But the death of Gar Saxon and Sabine's decision to stay with her family was unexpected. Also intriguing was the referral to Saxon as the Emperor's Hand. This term was used in Timothy Zahn's books to describe force sensitive people who were pawns of the Emperor. This is an exciting development. Thrawn still looms large this season, as is the inevitable appearance of Obi Wan Kenobi. Star Wars Rebels starts 2017 in new directions on Disney XD.

Cinemark Movie Club
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TVweb.
Julian Roman