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"The Protector of Concord Dawn" is the twenty-eighth episode of the Disney XD animated series, Star Wars Rebels. It premiered on January 27, 2016, and is the eleventh episode of the second season.

Plot

With the Empire making the Rebellion's travels around the Outer Rim more difficult with each encounter, the Rebels agree they need to consider new hyperspace routes in and out of the local sector. Sabine suggests the Concord Dawn system, which houses a Mandalorian colony that is not yet within Imperial territory. The system is known for its elite warriors called the "Protectors", and according to Captain Rex the Mandalorians of Concord Dawn once helped train Clone Troopers back in the war. Sabine says 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 Mandalorians will be impossible, Commander Sato suggests sending a military force, but Hera and Kanan insist on giving diplomacy a try. 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 Hera to take the mission.

The Protector of the Concord Dawn 09

Phoenix Squadron encounter the Protectors of Concord Dawn.

Led by Hera and accompanied by Sabine, Phoenix Squadron arrives at Concord Dawn. They encounter three Mandalorian Gauntlet fighters. They come alongside, and the leading pilot, Commander Fenn Rau, the Protector of Concord Dawn, demands to know why they are in his system. Hera explains that they are seeking safe passage, but after she mentions that they are with the Rebellion Commander Rau orders an attack on Phoenix Squadron, as he serves the interests of the Empire. In the ensuing dogfight, Phoenix Squadron fighters evade their attackers, and two Phoenix pilots are shot down. Hera orders a retreat and leads Rau on a chase in order to give Sabine and the surviving Phoenix pilot a chance to escape before being shot down. As Rau and his fighters chase Hera, Phoenix Two escapes but Sabine refuses to leave without Hera. Sabine is ordered to leave, however, with Hera saying she will be right behind her despite taking heavy fire. Sabine makes it back to the fleet and so does Hera moments later, but emerges with her ship heavily-damaged.

Gravely injured, Hera is taken back to the fleet for medical attention. Although she is alive and recovering, Sabine feels guilty for leaving her behind and vows to seek justice against the Protectors. During the debriefing, Sabine's report on Commander Rau brings back memories for both Rex and Kanan. According to the two he was a fighter pilot instructor for the grand army of the Republic, and also served at the battle of Mygeeto which Kanan was a part of. Since negotiations are no longer an option, Sabine 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. Kanan suggests that they infiltrate the base and destroy the Gauntlet fighters before approaching with the fleet. Commander Sato approves the mission, but Kanan 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 the Phantom to Concord Dawn.

The Protector of Concord Dawn 02

Kanan confronts Commander Rau.

Upon arriving, Kanan discovers that Sabine had stowed away, determined to seek justice for what the Protectors did to Hera. Sabine also learns that Kanan still intends to seek a diplomatic solution with the Mandalorians. They approach the surface of Concord Dawn’s third moon, and 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, Kanan and Sabine find that the base has eight ships in total, including the ones that attacked Phoenix Squadron. Each one of them are spread out, so it will take Sabine a while to plant explosives on 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, Sabine doubts that Kanan's plan will work. Nonetheless, they proceed with the plan to seek diplomacy and only use hostilities as a last resort. Soon after the shuttle leaves, the Rebels approach the base, and Kanan follows Commander Rau to a food shack while Sabine begins planting her explosives. Commander Rau notices his presence, and before deciding whenever or not to gun him down he allows Kanan to reveal himself. After revealing his identity as a Jedi, Kanan brings up Rau's involvement in the third battle of Mygeeto, and how he and his squadron flew into the Separatists' fire to give him and his master cover when they were pinned down by droids. Rau remembers, and recalls being young and reckless, but fails to see what the battle has to do with Kanan infiltrating his base. Kanan offers him to join the Rebellion, but Rau shows no 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. Kanan argues the point, but Rau remains uninterested in fighting another losing war with the Jedi.

Meanwhile, Sabine manages to plants her explosives on seven of the eight fighters, but gets caught. Held at gunpoint, she reveals she is a member of Clan Wren, part of House Vizsla, and seeks justice through single combat against Commander Rau. They report to Commander Rau that Sabine invoked the Mandalorian code to seek combat, and the two Mandalorians confront one another. Kanan implores Sabine to stand down and not make an enemy of the Protectors, but Sabine refuses. Holding steady in a standoff, it was only a matter of time before one of the two Mandalorians made the first move. Rau is the first to draw his weapon, but his blaster gets shot out of his hand by Sabine, who then triggers her explosives, destroying all seven fighters. Unfortunately, Rau's fighter remains intact and Rau takes it to attack the rebel fleet. Kanan hitches a ride and hangs on as it flies into the sky. Kanan is able to critically damage the fighter, grab Rau from the cockpit, and leap into the pursuing Phantom.

The Protector of the Concord Dawn 29

Commander Rau being held prisoner by the Rebellion.

As they journey back to the fleet, Rau's forces make contact with word 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. Upon returning to the fleet and handing over Commander Rau, Kanan and Sabine visit Hera, who has just regained consciousness and is pleased with the outcome of their mission.

Cast

Gallery

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to The Protector of Concord Dawn.

Trivia

  • The style and confrontation between Kanan and Rau is deliberately staged as a western.
  • Supervising director Dave Filoni named the character Fenn Rau after episodic director Brad Rau.
  • The markings on top of Rau's helmet are from early Joe Johntson artwork exploring Boba Fett for The Empire Strikes Back.
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