Mise-en-Wren: Concord Dawn
Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Mise-en-scène (French: [miz. ɑ̃. sɛn]; "placing on stage") is the stage design and arrangement of actors in scenes for a theatre or film production, both in visual arts through storyboarding, visual theme, and cinematography, and in narrative storytelling through direction.
This week, we’ll be taking a very brief look at Concord Dawn, the setting of “The Protector of Concord Dawn” and “Imperial Supercommandos.” When we first arrive to Concord Dawn in Star Wars Rebels, it’s being controlled by Mandalorian Protectors, led by Fenn Rau, who Sabine and Kanan try to negotiate with, and is later taken under the control of Mandalorians who pledged themselves to the Empire, led by Gar Saxon. We’ll be taking a look at the camps that both Mandalorian groups set up on the partially destroyed planet.
Concord Dawn in “The Protector of Concord Dawn”
When we first see the Mandalorian camp set up here, it’s different from any other encampment we’d seen so far in Rebels. We’d seen Rebellion-affiliated encampments, small Imperial bases, and other camps such as Tarkintown, but the Mandalorians have their own specific aesthetic. They have unique Mandalorian ships, and the architecture of the little buildings that they’d set up is more advanced than a lot of what we see the Rebels have access to on the ground, but not as permanent as the way that the Empire tends to establish itself.
Inside, the small buildings are primarily gray colored, with warm lighting. It’s an interesting set-up, considering the position that Protectors have in this episode. They aren’t purely enemies to the Rebellion- Kanan is trying to negotiate an agreement with Fenn Rau, after all. That’s why the warm lighting makes sense.
However, they aren’t allies either- they nearly kill Hera in a space battle, and Sabine and Kanan end up in battle with them. The gray tones, and straight-edge accents, something evocative of a lot of Imperial architecture, articulate that to us before Sabine’s attack.
Sabine does bomb the base, to Kanan’s chagrin, and we don’t see anymore of this particular version of a Mandalorian encampment on Concord Dawn- but we do return to Concord Dawn in the following season.
Concord Dawn in “Imperial Supercommandos”
When we get back to the base in season 3, it’s now under Imperial rule. We can see that buildings look largely the same, but now an Imperial shuttle rests on the landing platform. Gar Saxon, who works for the Empire, is now in control of the base, meaning that there’s more Imperial influence on the appearance.
The interior of the buildings also now lacks the warm lighting they had when Kanan first attempted his negotiations with Fenn Rau. Instead, they’re much darker and cool-toned. Which makes sense- because these Imperial Supercommandos are even more hostile to the rebels than the Protectors were.
The lighting in the buildings of the Concord Dawn encampment proves itself to be an indicator of the relationship the characters that inhabit the planet have with the rebels who have run-ins with them, even if those relationships really never are all that great.
Next week, we’re taking a trip all the way back to “Spark of Rebellion” to have a look at how the planet of Kessel is portrayed in Star Wars Rebels.