Star Wars Rebels: Heroes of Mandalore Review + Rebels Recon

Star Wars: Rebels returns for the FINAL season! I’m not surprised that we are getting closure this early in the series’ lifespan. There is only so much story that can be told before it starts to impede on ANH and Rogue One territory. Normally, Rebels starts off with a one hour special “movie,” but this season is different. It’s still a two-parter, but the actual episodes are spaced into two different ones. So let’s dive in and see what this episode is all about!






What worked for me:


  • The Return of Bo Katan


I have not been shy saying that I prefer The Clone Wars (TCW) series to Rebels. This is for MANY reasons, but one would be getting interesting characters like Bo Katan. When we last saw her, Bo Katan was left fighting a new uprising left in Maul’s absence on Mandalore and it seems that hasn’t stopped. We still have the war-proud super commando that we got in TCW.



It was nice getting closure in seeing her finally get the full support of the remaining Mandalorian houses and become the leader of Mandalore. It’s through these two episodes that we see why the Mandalorians don’t take up the battle with the Rebels, and instead focus on reclaiming their own lands. I wouldn’t mind more stories regarding this time with Bo Katan leading all the clans, btw…Hear that, Lucasfilm????



  • The History of Mandalorians


Maybe I totally missed this somewhere, but it was cool getting some tidbits of info regarding the Mandalorians and their armor. When confronted with the idea of using different armor to go into battle, it was explained that the armor they all have is passed down from the warriors to the next wave with the purpose of being always reused. Not to use it would be a slap to the face of those who have worn it before (my words, not theirs, lol).



  • The Powerful Imagery


There were a lot of scenes in these episodes, notably the first, that were quite interesting shots. For being a kids show, Rebels really does push the envelope when it comes to the power of suggestion. These powerful images deal with dark, heavy material. If I was a kid watching this episode, some of these scenes would have blown me away. Heck, I was blown away as an immature 35 year old! It’s nice that Disney/Lucasfilm want to show how real war is.




What didn’t work for me:


  • The Scope of the Battles:


I have said multiple times in past reviews that one of my biggest complaints about Rebels is that the budget really hurts the storytelling. It is obvious that Rebels doesn’t have the budget that TCW had, as the scope of the battles are more minimal. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the battles with the Mandalorians and Stormtroopers in these episodes, but at the same time there weren’t too many people on either side to make the scope seem big enough. There were some cool scenes, but I feel that it could have been a lot more epic. Not bad by any means, but I wish I could have seen a bigger battle.




Quick Hitters:


  • Ezra’s helmet is actually pretty cool (I’ve ignored his jetpack in this review because…it’s not even worth bringing up…er…wait…)


  • The happiest Mandalorians ever


  • Which one did it better? ( Like I even have to ask. Child, please…it’s OBVIOUSLY The Clone Wars!)


“Heroes of Mandalore” was not a bad couple of episodes. It was good that we got closure with Sabine and the Mandalore storyline, but it’s left me wondering where Mandalore goes from here. Do they stay put and focus on their own war? Do some of the Mandalorians join the Rebellion?
Leave a comment and let me know what you all think!



Also check out’s Rebels Recon #4.1 and #4.2: Inside Heroes of Mandalore, Parts 1 and 2





Follow me on Twitter @Hermann22
Follow my Star Wars podcast on Twitter @blastercanonpod



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40 thoughts on “Star Wars Rebels: Heroes of Mandalore Review + Rebels Recon

  • October 17, 2017 at 11:24 am

    When Sabine surrendered, I was thinking “Great, another “I will do something stupid and terrible for you, just don’t hurt them” moment”. But I was pleasantly suprised. Well done, Rebels. Well done.

  • October 17, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    WOW. What a great start to this farewell season! Action galore – they’ve done such great work w/ the Rebels voice cast – the cameos like Katee Sackhoff & Kevin McKidd are icing on the cake too; really gonna miss this show when it goes…

  • October 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    I felt it’s off to a rough start but nothing that permanently hurts anything. They clearly wanted to hurry through this part of the story. Wasn’t a big fan of the action sequences this time either. Felt a little silly with out any real thought/consequences behind it. I think it was the whole Jet Pack thing and everyone seemingly being able to do anything and go anywhere. I’m sure they had their reasons. Budget and time concerns most like.

  • October 17, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    My son and I watched this last night and really enjoyed it. I think overall we have a great season ahead of us, and I liked how we were thrust right into the action. I enjoyed the Bo-Katan vs. TIE fighter aerial combat, and I always enjoy a trip to Mandalore. There were a couple of things that bother me as an adult viewer, but I understand their reasons and I like that my son can really get into this show.

    As a mature viewer though it has become painfully obvious that they go out of their way to make stormtroopers go into that dark night as gently as possible. Granted, they still depict on-screen death, but it’s what you don’t see that stands out to me constantly, especially with such combat-heavy episodes such as this one.

    You never see the heroes employ the most direct attack by using their sabers to slice and dice. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m glad they don’t depict this on screen. But when it’s clear that a lightsaber attack makes the most sense in a given situation and they work around it for a more kid-friendly attack – it takes me out of it a little bit.

    This is a “have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too” situation, I know. I’m not complaining, just stating an observation as to one reason why many adults might find Clone Wars preferable to Rebels. You don’t have to hold back when your enemy is a droid army, but when it’s flesh and blood, you have to tone it down for the kiddies.

    There were some over-the-top moments with Ezra as well (jumping from troop transport to troop transport while falling off a cliff only to grab the edge of said cliff) that reinforce to me the eventual necessity of giving Ezra the Rogue One treatment. But for the most part, I found this episode exciting and the drama and voice acting was all on point. Looking forward to next week!

    Also: Did anyone else notice the screen swipe in this episode? Maybe it’s just me and they’ve been using these all along, but this was the first time I’ve really noticed this classic Star Wars style scene transition. To me, it spoke clearly that we are getting very close to ANH as the season marches forward and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a shift in style as we near the end of the show as the creators embrace more of these classic Star Wars elements.

    • October 17, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Well said! My 5 & 8 y/o daughters enjoy the show, and I enjoy experiencing it w/ them. It makes me laugh how the ‘It’s NOT dark enough” / armchair-expert-writer crowd has already shat on these episodes & the show in the thread below, of course – wonder what it’s like to walk through life w/ one’s head that far up one’s keister…It’s. A. Kids’ Show.

      • October 17, 2017 at 4:02 pm

        Unfortunately it’s CANON, so Star Wars fans are “required” to watch this nonsense in order to know what’s in canon. So before you get yourself all worked up over people with a different opinion from you, maybe you should take a minute to reflect.

          • October 17, 2017 at 5:03 pm

            Wow, you’re a real troll. I make some points of discussion, and you go around posting stupid memes in lieu of any real debate. You’re a kook.

          • October 17, 2017 at 5:18 pm

            That’s because there is no debate, you cretin. And your so-called ‘debate’ –
            psychologists call it ‘projection’ – you’re a master at it, mate. My guess is you don’t have kids, and it’s unlikely you’ve ever sat w/ a 5 y/o & an 8 y/o, heard them rattle off every character name + their granular observations on each character’s story arc – it’s fascinating and fun. You’re at this all wrong, sunshine. Oh…and: It’s a KIDS’ show. Get a clue!

          • October 17, 2017 at 10:48 pm

            Oh now I’m a cretin! How lovely. Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

          • October 17, 2017 at 7:18 pm

            there is absolutely nothing wrong with making something just for little kids. forces of destiny or the ewok films come to mind. but using such a pivotal point as the formation of the rebellion as the basis for children’s show is the issue.

          • October 17, 2017 at 9:18 pm

            I understand and empathize w/ that view. Fortunately, in this connected age, you can instantaneously communicate that sentiment to Mr. Hidalgo, Mr. Chee, or any of the lovely Lucas Story Group folks…or heck – write something more ‘adult’ on your own. To use a cliche: Be the ball you want to see, Danny (w/ all apologies to the late Mr. Gandhi for backing his words into ‘Caddyshack’). I just feel sorry for people like Reichscanonfuehrer Speednet (poor kid needs more fiber in his diet) who, having contributed nothing of substance of their own, condemn a work like ‘Rebels’ as invalid, ‘lame’, etc. Sad!

          • October 17, 2017 at 9:41 pm

            i strongly reject the idea that the only people who can critique something is fellow creators. these products are made to be consumed so it follows that those who actually consume the product are allowed to have opinions on it. further, its not like we getting this for free, we are shelling out our hard earned money so they can make these projects so i’d say that that more than anything else entitles us to our critiques positive or negative.

          • October 18, 2017 at 12:22 am

            It’s an old saying: Opinions are like a**holes…everybody’s got one. But the sad truth is, my opinion on what constitutes great science fiction pales in comparison to say, William Gibson or Harlan Ellison. Much like your opinions / input on where Star Wars animated platforms *should* be going = FAR lower down the totem pole than Dave Filoni’s. That much should be abundantly self-explanatory. Creators’ and makers’ points of view will always carry a greater importance than some random bystander. Why? Because they do the work. Their brains + typing fingers create the stories. You & me just sit on a couch, soaking it in passively; and no, I don’t personally feel that paying an ISP for Disney XD entitles me to a voice as loud as the 11 x people sitting on the Lucasfilm Story Group. Simple math, really…

          • October 18, 2017 at 1:22 am

            i definitely don’t want to be looking over the shoulders of anyone at lucasfilm, only to be free to give an opinion, positive or negative once something comes out.

        • November 1, 2017 at 1:30 am

          “Unfortunately it’s CANON, so Star Wars fans are “required” to watch this nonsense in order to know what’s in canon.”

          That’s not true. Nobody is “required” to watch anything. I’ve watched the movies and read a small selection of the novels. There are several novels I’ve passed on. I don’t read the comics. I’ve not seen most of the animated shorts.

          I’m still here. Still breathing. Still a Star Wars fan.

          • November 1, 2017 at 1:59 am

            Apparently you’re following me around trying to defend Rebels. You desperately need to get a life. You are neither smart nor clever.

          • November 1, 2017 at 2:43 am

            “You are neither smart nor clever.”

            I’m both. And two mouse clicks hardly qualifies as “following” anyone around. Speaking of Rebels, have you seen the newest episode? It’s required, after all.

    • October 17, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      When George Lucas made the antagonist armies _droids_ in Episode I, and also partly so in the two following episodes, this was plainly because droids could be cut down on camera with no gore and no ethical complications (they aren’t really “alive”, right?) Not sure this would hold true in a world where droids are conscious beings capable of feeling pain (or Jabba wouldn’t torture them), but apparently we can pretend to ourselves that destroying droids en masse is nothing to worry about.

  • October 17, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Unlike the Clone Wars, Rebels has gotten worse with each new season. Terrible episodes 1 & 2 of season 4. The pacing and dialog is horrendous, the Mandalorian plot is totally forgettable and uninteresting, the new characters (like Sabine’s father) are flat, and it contains the same frustratingly stupid moments as usual, such as Ezra going haywire with the jetpack. And my God, I almost forgot the dramatic sad ending of episode 1 (with sad silent ending!) that turned out to be a fake-out! One of the rare genuine moments yanked out from under the story.

    I wish they’d wrap up the entire season in one marathon session so we can move on from this mess.

  • October 17, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I was a little surprised that Rebels seems to be taking it’s time to ramp up. I figured with it’s final season it would be a little more fast paced. I hated the Mandalore stuff in TCW and I really dislike it in Rebels so I am happy at least to move on from this.

    It’s ‘canon’ sure, but I don’t think anything here is going to impede me from know whats happening in the movies. Ezra isn’t Snoke, Ahsoka will never show up in the moves outside a brief mention or something etc etc etc. These are nice little side stories that really don’t have anything to do with the Star Wars I see on screen before or in the future so I can’t really get that worked up about it.

  • October 17, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    It was fine.

  • October 17, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Almost thought this show was going to take a dark turn with the fate of
    half the Wren family. Sort of wish it had, it might have motivated
    Sabine to hold onto the Darksaber, and after destroying her weapon, with
    the clans behind her, lead Mandalor. But hey, can’t have it all can we.
    And will Specter 1&2 please get a room.

  • October 17, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    As much as I love Hera and Kanan, the best thing about Rebels is finishing up TCW. Bo Katan was definitely the stand out here.

  • October 17, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    overall i though it was fine but i did have a few issues:
    -really agree with the author about the battles. clone wars not only gave you scale, but intensity, rebels just doesn’t have that on a consistent basis.
    -based on the fact that they couldn’t even kill off sabine’s mum or brother, i’m even less convinced a main character will die before the end. i don’t need anyone to die, but that fake out really convinced me they can’t or won’t do it.
    -finally, they went full batman begins at the end where sabine doesn’t kill the bad guy or stormtroopers on some moral high ground yet she leaves them all to die when the ship explodes. as was the case with batman, letting someone die is the same as killing them yourself.

  • October 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Well… after seeing the 1st 2 Episodes of this 4th and final season, I must say that i am TOTALLY underwhelmed. I really, really want to love this series. I like Season 1. I love the episoides with the inquisitors, Tarkin, Maul, and Vader. Great stuff. The other seasons have had OK moments. But, something feels off. I adore the Clone Wars series. I feel that George Lucas’s absence on this series is hurting in a number of ways – when I compare why I loved the Clone Wars and not Rebels. These 1st 2 Episodes for me felt basically like this…

    * Yay! Mandalorians.
    * Look — MORE Mandalorians.
    * Lots of jet packing around with people shooting and missing each other.
    * Oh, look. There’s Kanan & Ezra.
    * More Mandaloreans standing around and talking.
    * Oh, wait! There’s a cool weapon. Wow! Sabine created the weapon that was used to kill her mother and brother. Now, THAT is clever! Here we go. It’s about to get better…
    * Oh, wait… the mother and brother survived. (Cue game show failure music: “Wah—-wah—wah—waaaaaahhhhhhhh….”)
    * More mandalorians fighting stormtroopers.
    * Good guys all escape. …AGAIN.
    * Roll credits.

    So, 2 of the final 16 (is it 16…?) — no, I should say the season PREMIER Episodes of this series was wasted on this story – for WHAT reason? This is the LAST season. Every episode should have impact. There should be more Vader. There should be Palpatine showing up. Members of the ghost crew need to start getting killed off. Let them die honorably. But, start moving on. Lead us into the events of Rogue One. I feel like Filoni spins his wheels too much on this series with stuff that most people don’t really want or need to see.

    • October 17, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      It doesn’t really matter because these characters didn’t have any sort of major impact on the OT. It doesn’t matter if they die or survive because they just aren’t around, they aren’t having an impact on the films and/or the films aren’t enriching their characters. I watched all of The Clone Wars episodes with Saw Guerrera in them and had zero impact on Rogue One. Nothing in the past was referenced, nothing about his sister. You might say, hey this guy was in the movie, but he is there in name alone. You should basically treat the cartoons and the movies as separate universes.

      • October 21, 2017 at 9:57 am

        That’s a problem I had for this episode. I guess I would be more into this Mandalore storyline if the Mandalorians had a more important role in the OT films. However, except for Boba Fett, I don’t recall a Mandalorian in the OT. That’s why I wish they had focused on the Mon Calamari instead because the latter had a much bigger role in the rebellion.

  • October 18, 2017 at 5:12 am

    Aside from the “mom died” fake out, everything to do with Sabine’s weapon irked me. How did some cadet make this device that none of the empires top weapons developers would have made by now? The way that it was reprogrammed to reverse the targeting with random button presses.

    • October 21, 2017 at 9:34 am

      The reprogramming thing did feel too quick and easy. Also, the R&D process that would permit the Rebels to succeed in that episode felt ridiculous. Did no one in the Empire save a backup file on a different computer? And the Empire could re-engineer the weapon after Sabine destroyed the initial prototype, but they didn’t know how it worked or how to boost it’s power?

  • October 18, 2017 at 11:16 am

    I just want to know one thing: why do they made Kanan blind? After one or two episodes he’s back fighting even better than before. Ok the Force, but that is really forced and I really don’t get why they “blinded him” in the end

  • October 19, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    I have to agree that the opening two-parter feels less epic than those for Seasons 2 and 3 and that the battles lack the scale of those from ‘The Clone Wars’. There’s also the lack of actual notable character death and the wonky moral dilemma Sabine has to face at the end.

    That being said, it’s great to have the culmination of Sabine and the Mandalorian’s arc and Bo-Katan back and finally in charge. We even get another reference to the events of the Siege of Mandalore, which at this point is just another tease for something we all want to actually see.

    All in all, it was a good episode and has definitely got me pumped for the rest of the season!

    • October 20, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Sabine just doesn’t want to be any leader, and that was the perfect oportunity to pass the torch.

      And why they just didnt get jar jar back?, that was a good impression btw.

      • October 20, 2017 at 3:51 pm

        I get and agree with your point about Sabine and leadership, but in practice sparing Imperials from death by Dutchess to kill them moments later in a huge fireball doesn’t seem such a step up, honour-wise.

        • October 21, 2017 at 9:27 am

          Yeah, I didn’t understand that part either.

  • October 20, 2017 at 7:58 am

    “For being a kids show…” Star Wars in general is for kids, we all know that, right?

    I think people in Lucas Film take this really serious, it doesn’t matter if it is for cinema, video games or tv, Star wars is Star wars in any medium and I really apreciate that. It is obvious, if this show is streamed in Disney XD is targeted for kids but writers and directors know it will be seen by more adult people than kids, so this is something I’m sure they have in consideration. Maybe this show is not masive like TCW, but it is it’s style, and they are still making a tremendous job, I’m really exited for what is comming next.

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