Star Wars Rebels 3×06 forced Sabine to confront her Mandalorian heritage, and brought Fenn Rau to a crucial crossroads.
For an episode that sounds like it was titled after a line of action figures, “Imperial Super Commandos” pulls off a more satisfying emotional arc than you might think. Sabine, Ezra, and their Mandalorian captive Fenn Rau investigate a mysterious communications silence on Concord Dawn, and find that the system’s Protectors have all been slaughtered.
It’s a serious blow for Fenn Rau (voiced with lovely gravitas by Kevin McKidd.) Distraught, the Mandalorian, who has already tried to escape from Sabine and Ezra, turns on the Rebels. Disgusted by Sabine’s loyalty to outsiders, he blames her for the deaths of his people, and plans to accept capture by Empire — using the location of the Rebel base as a bargaining chip.
But as it turns out, Rau has the situation backwards. The Empire doesn’t come to Concord Dawn; instead, it has employed a group of Mandalorians, led by Gar Saxon, who have killed the Protectors. That same group returns to the planet and captures Ezra and Chopper.
Ezra does his best to bluster past Saxon, and adopts the name Lando Calrisian, because Ezra. Saxon is a formidable opponent however, who tells Ezra that the Empire knows that the Rebellion has been using Concord Dawn for passage. That’s… really not a good thing.
Meanwhile, Rau and Sabine agree to work together. Sabine wants to rescue Ezra and Chopper, while Rau wants revenge. Sabine finally gets her hands on a jet pack and distracts Saxon, but Rau flies away in the Phantom as they race towards him.
Sabine, Ezra, and Chopper begin a mad race around the planet, using Sabine’s jetpack. They are shot down just before reaching a Mandalorian ship, and Saxon — who is from Sabine’s clan — confronts her. Saxon says that Sabine’s defection from the Empire has shamed her family, but she refuses to renounce her choices.
Luckily, as the situation grows increasingly dire, Rau returns to Concord Dawn. He has overheard Saxon admit that Rau is a major target, and knows he would have died with the Protectors had he not been with the Rebellion. After a slightly tense chase in which Sabine is very nearly captured by Saxon, she, Rau, Ezra, and Chopper escape from the grim planet.
Rau admits that he considered leaving Sabine and Ezra on Concord Dawn, but came to realize that her loyalties had not been perverted from Mandalorian principles.
“I realized you were willing to die for your people, even though they were not Mandalorian,” he tells her. “You haven’t forgotten our ways, that has earned my respect.”
So much respect, in fact, that the brilliant commander agrees to join the Rebellion.
“Welcome to the family,” Sabine says, as the Phantom streaks off into space.