The Empire’s reach continues to grow as The Rebel Alliance finds fewer and fewer allies coming to their rescue. And yep, that’s the gist of Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Episode 7: “Imperial Super Commandos.” But I feel like I’m missing something. Oh, yeah… did I mention there were flying Stormtroopers?
Or even better… flying Mandalorians loyal to the Empire!!! “Imperial Super Commandos” is the latest Rebels episode to rack up some solid memorable moments, all while moving the storyline closer and closer to the events we’ll see in Rogue One. This time, we’re heading back into the former life of spray-painting renegade Sabine, who, along with Ezra, Chopper and Rau (former leader of Mandalorian group The Protectors) head to Concord Dawn to see if The Rebel Alliance can still travel in the planet’s system safely. Spoiler alert… nope.
– Rise of the Mandalore Troopers
Despite including some of the biggest fan-favorites in Rebels, the breakout stars of “Imperial Super Commandos” were the Mandalorian Stormtroopers. Their look was straight out of the Ralph McQuarrie sketchbook from the original trilogy. With their leader — the Grand Viceroy Gar Saxon — donning a red stripe, it was a real throwback to the Clone Wars series. It’s hard to give an episode two thumbs up based on the look of the villains alone, but bad-ass looking Mandalore Troopers don’t play by normal rules.
There is also the issue of Concord Dawn itself. When we last saw the planet in season two, it was loyal to neither The Rebels or Empire; it wanted to remain in the outer rim and rekindle the law that made Mandalore a powerful world. However, in the short time since we last visited the world, the Mandalores became sympathetic to the Empire, and even Sabine’s mother (who is still unnamed, but a powerful Mandalorian voice) agreed to serve Palpatine.
In The Clone Wars, Mandalorians fell under the leadership of Darth Maul. Now, it seems the same has happened with The Emperor. For a powerful race or warriors, the Mandalores seem to get beat down and become submissive fairly quickly.
– Now That’s How You Do a Chase Scene!
Sure, there were blaster showdowns and hand to hand combat. However, the highlight of the episode was easily the epic, jet pack chase scene involving a trio of Mandalore Troopers going after Sabine (with her own new jet pack), Chopper and Ezra. Traveling through a canyon and ending on a cliff ledge — complete with a shuttle similar to what Orson Krennic will be flying in Rogue One — the scene was pretty intense.
Part of the experience was the music used in the background. The high-octane orchestra played out like every other chase scene we’ve seen in a Star Wars film. With no talking, just music, the scene felt more intense and delivered the notion that our heroes were in for some sort of trouble.
Sometimes, it’s not just bringing back familiar characters or visual styles. Sometimes, the addition of familiar music brings you back to the exploits of The Clone Wars and the original trilogy. You know, all those amazing, legendary occurrences that transpired a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
“Imperial Super Commandos” isn’t just another great name for a potential Rebels spin-off (but it absolutely should be), it’s also another terrific effort for season three. Dave Filoni and the rest of the Rebels’ brain trust have done a fantastic job when it comes to incorporating elements from previous Star Wars products, effectively paving the way for the Rogue One universe. And as we get to within one month of the movie and TV show overlapping, expect more fireworks to occur as the season progresses.