Strap on your jetpack. Ignite the darksaber. Star Wars Rebels returns for Season 4 with a high-flying, action-packed double episode. Heroes of Mandalore Part 1 and Part 2 has Sabine (Tiya Sircar) and Clan Wren on a mission to rescue her father. What they find is an Imperial weapon that strikes at the very heart of Mandalorian culture. A few droplets of real drama add to the breathtaking pace. Lucasfilm and Disney have certainly set the bar high with this premiere.

Ezra (Taylor Gray), Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Chopper, and Sabine hide in a dessert channel. The Imperial prison on Mandalore stands before them. Sabine steps up unto the sand and ignites the darksaber. They are there to free her father. The attack begins. Clan Wren and the Jedi zoom towards the prison with their jetpacks. It's a furious battle as Ezra struggles to use his jetpack. In the prison, a guard contacts Tiber Saxon (Tobias Menzies). He has taken over as the Imperial Governor from his brother, Gar Saxon, who was killed by Sabine. He tells the men reinforcements are coming.

Imperial shuttles drop AT-STs on them. Sabine is hit. She's surrounded by stormtroopers when a new wave of Mandalorians sweep in. Clan Kryze has joined the battle. They turn the tide as Ezra moves to protect Sabine. Kanan shows off his incredible power and decimates the walkers. The prison is theirs, but it was a trap. Alrich Wren (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) is not there.

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Sabine turns to the warriors in Clan Kryze. Their leader removes her helmet; it is Lady Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), the sister of the dead Satine. Sabine offers her the darksaber. Lady Bo-Katan refuses. She had her chance to rule and failed. Sabine's mother, Ursa Wren (Sharmila Devar), arrives with her brother, Tristan (Ritesh Rajan). It was all a ruse. Saxon plans to execute Alrich publicly in the Mandalorian capital. They must intercept the convoy before it reaches.

Kanan radios Hera (Vanessa Marshall) with an update. Hera comments that they may be able to free Alrich, but don't have the power to recapture Mandalore. She wants him back with her. Kanan wonders if that's a personal request. For the first time, the relationship between Kanan and Hera is out in the open. Chopper chirps with disgust.

Ursa and Tristan move to steer the convoy towards their ambush. Kanan and Sabine will head them off, while Ezra rescues her father. Sabine flies down and hits the convoy with blue paint, blinding them. Handcuffed inside the last vehicle, Alrich recognizes his daughter's tactics. Sabine commandeers a speeder. Kanan is laying a beat down. He cuts open a transport and wipes out all of the soldiers. Ezra finally makes it inside Alrich's transport, but the whole convoy is heading towards a cliff. He gives Alrich his jetpack then shoves him outside. Using the force, Ezra leaps between vehicles, and then a giant jump to the cliff side; where Sabine grabs him.

The reunion between father and daughter is a warm one. To everyone's surprise, Alrich begins to analyze her painting style. It turns out that he is an artist. Ursa reaches them on the radio. The Imperials have fallen back, except for one lone walker. Sabine's eyes widen as she hears a humming noise. She screams for her mother to run. In the distance, they see a huge cloud of smoke. Sabine takes off towards it.

The team joins her on a smoking plain. The Clan Wren soldiers have been incinerated to ashes. Sabine screams that this was her fault. She did this. Ezra does not understand what happened. Alrich informs him that Sabine created the weapon that caused the massacre.

Part two begins with Sabine crying over the ashes. Ezra still doesn't understand what could have done this. Suddenly they hear a voice shout towards them. Ursa and Tristan crawl out from under wreckage. Sabine and her father races towards them. They heard Sabine's warning and escaped the weapon. Their reunion is short lived as Saxon's /star-wars-rebels-season-4-episodes-titles-release-dates/TIE fighters attack. Sabine, overcome with rage, blindly flies towards them. Kanan grabs her. They must escape now. Fenn Rau (Kevin McKidd) comes to get them in the Gauntlet.

They fly away but are pursued by the TIE fighters. The Gauntlet's weapons have been destroyed. Lady Bo-Katan flies out of the ship. Ezra clumsily follows her, and smashes right into a TIE fighter. She destroys one using a grenade. Ezra uses the missile on his jetpack to get the job done.

Meanwhile, Saxon's destroyer is docked at his base. He has Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) via hologram. Saxon gleefully shows him the footage of the weapon. It is an arc energy generator placed on an AT-DP. The energy is attracted to the beskar alloy in Mandalorian armor. It incinerates anyone wearing the armor. Thrawn is not impressed. The weapon has limited range. Saxon says he will kidnap Sabine and force her to increase its power. Thrawn believes a weapon that targets Mandalorian armor will drive its citizens away from the Empire. Saxon responds that they will be compelled by fear.

On the Gauntlet, Lady Bo-Katan throws Sabine against a wall. How could she create such a weapon? Sabine did it as a student at the Imperial Academy. She destroyed it once she discovered they were testing. She begs Lady Bo-Katan for her forgiveness. Sabine swears to destroy the weapon. Ezra asks why they just can't change the formula for their armor. Sabine responds that her armor is five hundred years old. Their armor is their heritage.

The Gauntlet returns to the clan base. The other clans surround Sabine and threaten her for the weapon. Ezra ignites his lightsaber, Ursa Wren threatens anyone who harms her daughter. Lady Bo-Katan addresses the clans. They cannot be divided at this moment. They must work together to destroy the weapon. Listen to Sabine's plan. Sabine gathers everyone and goes through the details. The weapon has to be on Saxon's ship. She and Lady Bo-Katan will go for the weapon. The Jedi and Chopper will erase the ship's memory, while everyone else holds the line. Fenn Rau comments to Lady Bo-Katan that Sabine is impressive. She agrees, Sabine reminds them of what they were.

The mission to infiltrate Saxon's ship goes poorly from the start. The stormtroopers are alerted. It's all out war as they bring the AT-STs online. Sabine and Lady Bo-Katan head for the weapon. Ezra, Chopper, and Kanan go to the memory core. Saxon is ready for them. He turns on the weapon. It zaps Sabine and Lady Bo-Katan. They fall to the ground in pain. Saxon's captain asks if it's wise to give such a device to the Empire. They can use it to destroy them all. He also gets zapped by Saxon. The Emperor has shown him true power. Mandalore will be conquered.

Chopper finishes erasing the core. They haven't heard from Sabine. Kanan sends Ezra back to help her. He's suddenly surrounded by stormtroopers. Kanan single-handedly holds them off. Ezra returns to the docking bay to see Fenn Rau and the clans bogged down. They are losing the battle.

Saxon threatens to kill Lady Bo-Katan if Sabine doesn't help him. She staggers to her feet to comply, then presses a few buttons on the weapon. It hums to life, but instead of striking her armor, the energy affixes to the Imperials. All through the ship, the Imperials are taken down by the energy attack. Kanan and Chopper escape back to the hangar. Sabine stands over Saxon as he is electrocuted. Lady Bo-Katan reminds her that murder is not their way. Sabine slices the weapon with darksaber. They rejoin the team. Everyone rockets away as Saxon's ship explodes behind them.

Back at the clan base, they are welcomed as heroes. All the clans swear allegiance to Lady Bo-Katan. Sabine gives her the darksaber, the symbol of the ruler of Mandalore. All the clans bow before Lady Bo-Katan. Ezra smiles proudly at Sabine's place beside her.

It doesn't get more ass-kicking than that. The return of Lady Bo-Katan is another welcome arc from The Clone Wars. Mandalore is still under the Empire's thumb, but at last the clans are united. The Kanan and Hera romance is finally getting on. We also see with every season the Jedi become more powerful. Kanan's blindness means nothing. He worked the stormtroopers like a one-handed man in a clapping contest. Phoenix Squadron returns in full next week on Disney XD.

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Julian Roman at TVweb
Julian Roman