It’s the penultimate Star Wars: Rebels post for this blog! No, really… after this, there’s only the grand finale remaining. That means some questions get answered, some answers get new questions, old friends return, as do older enemies, and power of the Force teeters in the balance.
As always, spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.
Thanks to the Loth-wolves, our heroes make their way back to the Jedi temple on the north side of the planet. Their mission: protect the temple’s secrets from the Empire. Or so they think. It’s not so much the Empire they need to worry about, but rather the Emperor himself. He has sent Minister Hydan (voice of Malcolm McDowell!) to crack the secrets of the artwork that holds the key to the temple’s power. The art in question depicts the archetypes we’ve seen before: the Father, the Daughter, and the Son… the Mortis deities, the avatars of the Force.
Sabine is able to put the clues together to get Ezra inside, where he finds what the Emperor has described as the paths between the living and the dead. Once inside, voices familiar to any longtime Star Wars fan are heard, spanning the entirety of the saga across film and animation.
As the video above shows, it’s here that Ezra finds the little owl thing that was following around Ahsoka Tano, the one with the similar color markings to the Daughter of Mortis. He recognizes it, and the owl — which is possibly the avatar of the Daughter herself or perhaps just a messenger — leads Ezra to a gate where he sees Ahsoka right where we last saw her. On the other side of the portal, Ahsoka is facing off against her former master at the Sith temple from the finale of season two. In a last desperate move, Ahsoka plunges her lightsabers into the temple floor, which shatters, dropping Vader through it. Ezra reaches in and rescues Ahsoka.
Ahsoka and Ezra discuss the ramifications of the gateway through all of space and time, and Ezra realizes he can save Kanan. He is able to see his master at the moment of his sacrifice. Ahsoka informs him that if he saves Kanan, they all die. Kanan gave his life to save everyone. He recognized his moment. Ezra cannot save his master, and Ahsoka cannot save hers. This is the lesson that must be learned, to let go.
But another portal is opened, and the pair find themselves face-to-face with the Emperor. After some narrow escapes, they separate. Ezra returns to his friends, while Ahsoka returns to… what, exactly? The Sith temple? Is she somehow trapped there, or perhaps somewhere else? Either way, we’re certain she’s not dead, but we still don’t know her fate. Whatever it is, she resigned to that fate. While she promised to find Ezra, she knows she cannot go back.
The Jedi temple is preserved, locked within the safety of the world, access denied to the Dark Side. Ezra confirms for Hera that Kanan is indeed gone, but thanks to his final bit of guidance, he now knows what he has to do. This is where we pick up for the extended finale next week.
I had a running conjecture since the Mortis trilogy episodes of The Clone Wars that Ahsoka was the new Daughter of Mortis, the living avatar of the Light Side of the Force. At the very least, we know she’s still powered and guided by the Daughter even though she presumably died back in those episodes. Then again, so did Ahsoka, hence my conjecture. The artwork that Dave Filoni released in the wake of those episodes now makes a lot more sense based on the visuals of this episode. We’ve confirmed she’s alive, too, but… is she still in play for a later series? I have to believe she is at this point. All I know is I was overjoyed to see her and to have Ashley Eckstein return for her vocal performance. Likewise, it’s wonderful to have Sam Witwer back as the Emperor and briefly as the Son.
I don’t have definitive answers yet, so much like with my “Rey is Anakin” theory, I’m not dropping this idea completely that Ahsoka is the Daughter. If the giant Loth-wolf Dume can be the spirit guide form of Kanan, then why not, right? I know a lot of people don’t like these esoteric episodes. Personally, I love this sort of thing. It’s dumb when it’s shoehorned in on some shows, but Star Wars is tailor-made for the esoteric journeys. Filoni is a big tease, but he delivers in the end, one way or another.
Next week will be bittersweet. On one hand, I hate to see Rebels end. On the other, it’ll be an exciting ride that should bump up to or very near Rogue One and A New Hope. This is probably going to be the hurrah for this era for a while, outside of a film here and there (such as the upcoming Solo). It was very good while it lasted. I’ll blog more about my final thoughts on Rebels once it’s truly over. For now, the countdown has begun.