It was directed by Brad Rau and written by Henry Gilroy and Kevin Hopps. Kevin McKidd and Keone Young guest star as Fenn Rau and Commander Jun Sato, respectively. The episode aired on January 27, 2016 on Disney XD.
In the episode, the rebellion seeks to use the Concord Dawn system as a means of securing safe passage to the Lothal sector, away from the forces of the Galactic Empire. Their attempts to diplomatically secure safe passage are met with hostility from the Protectors, an elite group of Mandalorian warriors, led by Fenn Rau, who guard Concord Dawn. After a disastrous first encounter that leaves Captain Hera Syndulla seriously injured, Kanan Jarrus once again seeks a diplomatic solution, while Sabine Wren challenges Rau to single combat as justice for the injuries he inflicted on Syndulla.
Looking to secure a new hyperspace route to Lothal, the rebels head to the Mandalorian-controlled Concord Dawn to negotiate safe passage for their fleet. The warrior Protectors of the system prove to be less than welcoming, however, and it’s up to Kanan and Sabine to turn this group into friends... or enemies.
Dogfight over Concord DawnEdit
The Galactic Empire continues to hunt the fledging rebellion, making the rebellion's travels throughout the Outer Rim Territories more difficult. The crew of the Ghost meets with Commander Jun Sato and Clone Captain Rex on the rebel flagship Liberator, and the assembled rebels discuss their options for opening a new hyperspace route to the Lothal sector. Sabine Wren suggests the Concord Dawn system, which houses a Mandalorian colony on the planet Concord Dawn that is not yet within Imperial territory. The system is known for its elite warriors called the Protectors, and, according to Rex, the Mandalorians of Concord Dawn once helped train clone troopers during the Clone Wars. Wren says that they are the types of warriors who follow their own rules, leaving open the possibility that they could ally with the rebellion against the Empire. Believing that diplomacy with Mandalorian warriors is impossible, Commander Sato suggests sending a military force to Concord Dawn. Captain Hera Syndulla, leader of Phoenix Squadron, and the Jedi Kanan Jarrus insist on trying their hand at diplomacy. If they can get permission to move the rebel fleet through the Concord Dawn system, then it could lead to recruiting the Protectors into the rebellion, thus strengthening the rebel forces. Sato has reservations about the diplomatic approach, but he allows Syndulla to take the mission. Wren volunteers to go with her.
Syndulla leads Phoenix Squadron to Concord Dawn. Upon their arrival, they encounter three Mandalorian Fang fighters. The Mandalorians come alongside the rebel RZ-1 A-wing interceptors, and the lead pilot, Fenn Rau—the Protector of Concord Dawn—demands to know why they are in his system. Syndulla explains that they are seeking safe passage and that they would stand with Concord Dawn against the Empire. Realizing that the A-wings are from the rebellion, Rau orders an attack on Phoenix Squadron, as he serves the interests of the Empire. In the ensuing dogfight, the Phoenix Squadron fighters evade their attackers, and two Phoenix pilots—Phoenix Three and Phoenix Four—are shot down. Syndulla orders a retreat and leads Rau on a chase in order to give Wren and the surviving Phoenix pilot a chance to escape before being shot down. As Rau and his fighters chase Syndulla, Phoenix Two escapes but Wren refuses to leave without Syndulla. Wren is ordered to leave, however, with Syndulla saying she will be right behind her despite taking heavy fire.
Wren makes it back to the rebel fleet, but Syndulla is nowhere in sight. Jarrus contacts Wren and asks what happened, and moments later Syndulla's heavily-damaged starfighter drops out of hyperspace. A gravely injured Syndulla is taken back to the fleet for medical attention. Although the captain is alive and recovering, Wren feels guilty for leaving Syndulla behind and vows to seek justice against the Protectors. She soon attends a debriefing with Commander Sato and the rest of the Ghost crew, sans Syndulla, and explains how they were attacked by Fenn Rau. Both Rex and Jarrus have heard of Rau before; Rex remembers him as an instructor for the Grand Army of the Republic, while Jarrus recalls how he and Rau both fought in the Third Battle of Mygeeto during the Clone Wars. Believing that negotiations are no longer an option, Wren recommends destroying the Protectors' fighters so they no longer pose a threat to the rebel fleet. She has tracked the fighters to the third moon of Concord Dawn, where she believes there is a base. Jarrus suggests that they infiltrate the base and destroy the Fang fighters before approaching with the fleet. Commander Sato approves the mission, but Jarrus plans to go alone because he does not want to risk anymore of his crew members. He chooses only Chopper to accompany him and takes their attack shuttle, the Phantom, to Concord Dawn.
Seeking an allianceEdit
Jarrus arrives at Concord Dawn and discovers that Wren stowed away aboard the Phantom, determined to seek justice for what the Protectors did to Syndulla. As they approach the third moon, Jarrus reveals that destroying the Fang fighters is his backup plan—he still intends to seek a diplomatic solution. They approach the surface of the moon, where Chopper drops them off near the Protectors Camp before flying the Phantom away from the base. While performing reconnaissance on the outskirts of the camp, Jarrus and Wren find that the base has eight fighters in total, including the ones that attacked Phoenix Squadron. The fighters are spread out, meaning it will take Wren some time to plant explosive charges on each of them. An Imperial shuttle soon lands to provide supplies for the Protectors, and the two rebels witness Rau accepting them from the Imperials and reporting his encounter with the rebels. With a clear link between the Protectors and the Empire, Wren doubts that Jarrus' plan will work. Nonetheless, they proceed with the plan to seek diplomacy and only use hostilities as a last resort.
The rebels quietly approach the base, and Jarrus follows Rau into a building while Wren begins planting her explosives. Rau notices the Jedi's presence and allows Jarrus to reveal himself, though Rau intends to gun him down anyway. Jarrus reveals his identity as a Jedi and explains that he too fought in the Third Battle of Mygeeto, where he and his master, Depa Billaba, were saved by Rau and Skull Squadron from a Separatist attack. Rau remembers the battle and recalls being young and reckless, but fails to see what the battle has to do with Jarrus infiltrating his base. Jarrus asks him to join the rebellion, but the Protector does not have any interest in siding against the Empire. In his mind, the rebellion stands no chance of victory so he has no reason to join a losing side. Jarrus argues the point, but Rau remains uninterested in fighting another losing war with the Jedi.
As the two talk, Wren plants her explosives on seven of the eight starfighters before she is caught. Held at gunpoint, she reveals she is a member of Clan Wren, part of House Vizsla, and that she seeks justice through single combat. Because of her clan's alliance with House Vizsla, the Protectors who caught her label her as a traitorous member of Death Watch. They report to Rau that Wren has invoked the Mandalorian code to seek combat, and the two Mandalorians confront one another. Jarrus tries to convince Wren to stand down and not make an enemy of the Protectors, but Wren refuses. As Rau draws his blaster pistol, Wren shoots it out of his hand and triggers her explosives, destroying the seven fighters. Rau's fighter remains intact, however, and the Protector takes the remaining fighter to attack the rebel fleet. Jarrus grabs onto the fighter and hangs on as it flies into the sky. The Jedi is able to critically damage it, grabs Rau from the cockpit, and leaps into the pursuing Phantom.
As the Phantom travels back to the rebel fleet, Rau's forces contact him and let them know that they are organizing their reserve fighters to pursue the rebels. Knowing that a fight with the rebels would bring the Empire into their territory, Rau orders his men to stand down and keep his capture a secret from the Empire. As a result, the rebels are allowed to pass through the Concord Dawn system. The rebels return to the fleet with Rau in tow, and the Protector makes it clear that theirs is nothing more than an alliance of necessity. Rebel soldiers take Rau into custody, while Jarrus and Wren visit Syndulla, who is pleased with the outcome of their mission.
"The Protector of Concord Dawn" explores the backstory of Sabine Wren, one of the main characters of the series, as well as her relationship to the Mandalorian people. The episode reveals that her family, Clan Wren, is allied with House Vizsla, prompting members of the Protectors to label her as a traitorous member of Death Watch. In the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Death Watch was a splinter group that opposed the pacifist policies of Duchess Satine Kryze, ruler of Mandalore, and her New Mandalorian government. Death Watch sought to restore Mandalore's warrior past and made multiple attempts to take over the planet from Duchess Satine, including a brief alliance with Count Dooku and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Death Watch was ultimately successful in taking over Mandalore after allying with Darth Maul and his Shadow Collective. Pre Vizsla, leader of the Death Watch, was killed by Darth Maul, who—after killing Duchess Satine—became ruler of Mandalore. Maul's ascent led to further in-fighting amongst the Mandalorian people, with Death Watch members loyal to Pre Vizsla turning against Maul's followers. Pablo Hidalgo, creative executive at Lucasfilm, revealed that the final episodes of The Clone Wars would have included a story about Mandalore and a Galactic Republic occupation of the planet, leading to Mandalore ultimately being a member of the Empire and setting the stage for the Mandalorian storyline in Star Wars Rebels.
In addition to the takeover of Mandalore, the episode also references the Mandalorian Civil War, a conflict that formed the backstory of Duchess Satine and the New Mandalorian government's rise to power. During the war, Duchess Satine was hunted by forces who wanted to destroy her pacifist government. The war left Mandalore a wasteland, and the New Mandalorian government set out to rebuild Mandalorian society. According to Sabine, the Protectors were one of the factions that fought in the conflict.
The Third Battle of Mygeeto was also referenced in the episode as a conflict that both Kanan Jarrus and Fenn Rau fought in. The events of the battle are depicted in Kanan 10: First Blood, Part IV: The Mesas of Mygeeto. During the battle, Jarrus—then-known as Padawan Caleb Dume—fights alongside his master, Depa Billaba, and their clone forces on Mygeeto. They are cut off and are nearly ambushed by a large force of Separatist battle droids, but they are saved by the arrival of Fenn Rau and Skull Squadron. The young Caleb Dume was left wishing he could thank Rau for helping him, which he is able to do upon meeting Rau in "The Protector of Concord Dawn."
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Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Star Wars Rebels: The Protector of Concord Dawn. Disney XD Official Schedule. Retrieved on January 13, 2016.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2
- ↑ Sands, Rich (January 11, 2016). Star Wars Rebels Scoop: Princess Leia Set to Appear on the Disney XD Animated Series. TV Insider. Retrieved on January 11, 2016.
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels: Legacy of Lasan. Disney XD Official Schedule. Retrieved on January 13, 2016.
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Mandalore Plot"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Duchess of Mandalore"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shades of Reason"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lawless"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voyage of Temptation"
- ↑ Kanan 10: First Blood, Part IV: The Mesas of Mygeeto
- The Protector of Concord Dawn on Disney XD's official schedule