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.
We visit Krownest and get to see where Sabine Wren grew up in season 3 of Star Wars Rebels. Krownest is a beautiful, forested world covered in snow, and we can see the fancy home of Clan Wren. From this setting, we get a peek into what Sabine Wren’s childhood may have been like, and how well-off Clan Wren is, even in the claws of the Empire.
The Clan Wren Stronghold is a beautiful glass building peering over a frozen lake, and surrounded by trees in the snow, with a backdrop of mountains behind it. More than anything, its design reminds me of many modern mansions that you can find pictures of. It’s clear Clan Wren, though they have suffered at the hands of the Empire, are a very wealthy family, and are able to afford this beautiful and remote home.
The inside is just as beautiful, filled with the linear designs we’ve come to associate with Mandalorian architecture and art. We can see a stylized painting of Countess Ursa Wren hanging above her throne, indicating the respect that Clan Wren bestows on its matriarch- along with a long table with ten seats, the two on the ends much taller than the eight on the sides. While we don’t really get to see who sits at which seats, I’d imagine that the taller seats on the ends of the table belong to people who are given more importance within the clan. Hierarchy is something we know is pretty important to many Mandalorians, so it makes sense that this kind of thing would be valued within the furniture within the Clan Wren Stronghold.
Another thing to note is the near-symmetry within many of the designs of the stronghold. It’s something that can also be seen in the Clan Wren armor- their designs are all a fairly uniform grey and yellow with smooth, symmetrical designs, so they all very clearly fit in with one another. This is where Sabine visually stands out the most from her family- her armor has all sorts of colors, and the designs painted on her armor have no real symmetry- each piece acts as its own artwork.
What we can also see in the stronghold are the cool tones- most of the coloring is blue-greys with hints of a warmer, but very pale yellow.
Much of the episode, both inside and outside of the compound, is very dark, too, something we’ve come to associate with the “bad guys” or the Empire in the show. And it makes sense, considering the initial hostility that Sabine, Ezra and Kanan are met with when they arrive. However- the lighting changes by the end of the episode, when Sabine and her family are coming together once again.
By the end of the episode, when Gar Saxon is defeated the Wren family is truly reunited (minus poor Alrich at this point) there are more warm tones thanks to the sun’s return. We see Sabine watch Kanan and Ezra take the Phantom II while she stands with her family under the sun, indicating a new era beginning for her character.
And that’s a wrap on the Mise-en-Wren series! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series, as I know I’ve enjoyed getting to go back through Star Wars Rebels and admiring all of the locations we got to visit through the four seasons of that show. While I don’t have another “series” of writings planned, I will be continuing regular postings on the blog, along with sporadic book reviews, and I hope that you’ll subscribe on the blog page of the site and read them each week!