We had a bit of a break, but the new year brought us a new episode of Star Wars Rebels. Kanan and Ezra found a hidden Jedi temple and a familiar Jedi returned with a familiar voice. We are heading into the back half of this first season and judging from this episode we are going to be exploring a whole new world of Star Wars.
Teresa: The Jedi and the Sith have always been one of the most intriguing parts of Star Wars to me. Not necessarily because of the characters, but because of the lore. This is probably why books like The Jedi Path and The Book of Sith have always been some of my favorite Star Wars books. This episode encompassed more of the lore of the Jedi Order than some of the previous episodes. We also got away from the bickering between Zeb, Chopper, and Ezra which was a welcome change. The first time I watched the episode the Yoda appearance fell flat for me, but the second time around I appreciated it more and it made a lot of sense. I am glad to know that Yoda has enough presence in the Force to be able to keep tabs on the remaining Jedi and come to them when the time is right. My reaction to Ezra receiving his crystal was Fangirl Flail followed by a big YES! I think that was the most impactful part of the episode for me and I am so glad that we got a chance to see it. I loved the correlation of this episode to Luke’s experience in the cave and the music was timed perfectly. One of the things I have noticed about this show is the music and the use of similar themes in all the right places. One thing I am hoping to see is Kanan growing more confident in his role of being Ezra’s master. To do this I wonder if he will need to embrace his previous self. As I have begun to explore these thoughts in my own head it makes me wonder if he will need to abandon his new identity of Kanan and return to being Caleb.
Aaron: Every Jedi has to go through their trial. Every Jedi has to find a lightsaber crystal and build a lightsaber. For Ezra, these events were all wrapped up in a nice little bow in one episode. Trials, crystals, and lightsabers have all been touched on in both canon and Legends material. Most recently The Clone Wars showed us a group of younglings obtaining their crystals and building their lightsabers in the Season 5 episodes “The Gathering” and “A Test of Strength.” There were actually a number of similarities in this episode to those. The fact that the younglings needed the help of their master to reveal the entrance, and the room where they had to choose which path to take, really stuck out to me. A big difference was the type of trial they faced. In the Clone Wars episode, the younglings mostly faced their own doubts and the dangers the caverns of Illum provided. Ezra’s trial was much more similar to what Luke faced on Dagobah. Visions and facing an apparition representing what he feared. Finally standing up to that fear is what allowed him to complete his trial. Him being gifted a crystal rather than having to find it seemed to be a little bit of a cheat, but I guess the story had to move along.
Teresa: This episode did not include anyone else but Ezra and Kanan from the crew of the Ghost and that was ok. I think every now and then for character development we need to see the Padawan and Master on their own. I know Aaron will go into all of the growth we see from Ezra so I want to focus on what we see from Kanan. Kanan in the beginning is still a very frustrated (whether it be at himself or Ezra), confused and fearful Jedi “master”. He lacks confidence in himself to do right by Ezra yet it conflicts with the things he says to Ezra. I think Kanan is very much at war within himself and going through a private struggle that is truly inhibiting his abilities to teach Ezra. If things were to continue down this path I do not believe Ezra will ever truly become a Jedi.
The great thing about this episode is that we get to see Kanan facing those fears and confronting his inner struggle head on. With some help and guidance from Master Yoda, we see Kanan start to understand more of what he needs to do. It is clear from his reaction to Master Yoda that he still craves a master himself and really needed contact with another Jedi to help him believe he can do the task at hand. This has raised much concern for me because Kanan became “Kanan” when he chose to abandon the Jedi order and go into hiding. Similar to how Obi Wan became “Ben Kenobi”. It makes me wonder since Kanan/Caleb still has much to learn himself does he need to abandon Kanan and return to being Caleb in order to truly teach Ezra? Time will tell.
Aaron: We didn’t really get much from characters other than Kanan and Ezra this episode. But the episode was huge for both of them, especially for the growth of Ezra. The trial he had to face was a trial of self-doubt and fear. The visions he saw were a perfect representation of what he feared. Seeing Kanan killed by the Inquisitor represented his fear of being alone again. When he was listening in on what the crew was saying about him, each of them said probably what he was the most insecure about. That Zeb didn’t value him at all, that Hera only saw him as valuable to her cause, that Sabine viewed him as a kid and pitied him. I believe the Inquisitor was a representation of all he feared. Not that he is afraid of the Inquisitor, but that was the personification of the fear and doubt he needed to stand up to.
Ezra’s comments while he was talking to Yoda really showed how much he has learned from his time on the Ghost. Initially Ezra was saying all the wrong things when asked about his motivations. With a little bit of direction from Yoda, Ezra came to realize his motivation was to help and protect others and to be selfless. These are lessons he has learned from the others on the Ghost. He has come a long way from being the street rat that only cared about taking care of himself.
Teresa: I had two specific favorite moments in the entire episode and I think Aaron and I agree on one of them.
First, Ezra’s eeni meeni miini moh phrase. I can remember it exactly but I can say that he says Lothcat which further validates when I started calling them Lothcats before it was official. I laughed each time I heard this and wish I could remember it so that I can use it in my daily life.
Second, when Ezra gets his Kyber Crystal. This was just a very cool moment and it made me proud of him that he showed true Jedi spirit to get his crystal. Getting a crystal is pivotal for a padawan and the fact that he accomplished this made me incredibly happy.
Aaron: There were a couple moments in the episode that made me laugh out loud. Specifically Ezra’s reaction to things in the temple. His scream when seeing the dead bodies of old Jedi Masters and his eeni meeni miini moh moment when trying to decide which path to take.
The Yoda “appearance” is an obvious big moment, and of course the return of Frank Oz as the voice. I will say that hearing that version of Yoda was a bit jarring for me at first. Tom Kane has become the voice of Yoda for me, especially the animated Yoda. But after a minute to let it sink in, hearing Oz do the voice again was pretty amazing.
- ““I’m not sure of my decision to train Ezra. Not because of him or his abilities… because of me, because of who I am.” -Kanan
- “Be not concerned with how. Know I am here, because YOU are here.”- Yoda
- “You lost focus.” – Kanan
“Well dead guys are distracting.” – Ezra
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