TV REVIEW: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ – ‘Jedi Night’ & ‘DUME’

"Rebels" returns with a fantastic mid-season premiere, one that sets the course for a very interesting path in its coming final episodes.

| February 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

Spoiler Warning: The following review contains major spoilers for “Jedi Night” & “DUME” as well as previous episodes of “Star Wars Rebels.”

Finally back from the break for winter and the release of “The Last Jedi,” “Rebels” now begins its debut of its final episodes. While we got a fantastic addition to the mainline saga films in its absence, it is nice to finally start getting closure on these beloved characters. Both “Jedi Night” and “DUME” feature some pretty defining moments for the Ghost Crew, and set certain things in motion that I very am anxious to see come to fruition.

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm

“Jedi Night”

Throughout the first half of this season, we were teased with the Loth-wolves and their connection to Kanan, and finally we see some of that come to a head. The mid-season finale left off with Hera captured by Governor Pryce, and Kanan seemingly finally realizing his ultimate purpose. This episode is spent on the crew rescuing Hera, with the spotlight put fully on Kanan as well as his relationships with Hera and Ezra. Right from the beginning we are hit with Kanan mediating and hearing lines from various characters, which we learn later is a vision of the future. Kanan then leaves the planning of the rescue up to Ezra for fear of his emotions getting in the way, and carries out a very sort of Samurai ritual through cutting his hair and beard. The episode has well-placed humor and moments that genuinely bring a smile to your face between Kanan and Hera, but all of this is ultimately luring you into a false sense of security before the episode’s phenomenal climax.

As Kanan and Hera are escaping onto the Imperial shuttle helmed by Sabine and Ezra, Governor Pryce fires upon the fuel depot that the group is situated on. This shot triggers a huge explosion, of which Kanan performs an incredible act through The Force by holding the flames and shock-wave back, allowing Hera and the others time to escape. This is no little sacrifice though, as we learn in the next episode that this effectively cripples the production of Grand Admiral Thrawn’s TIE Defender program. When the blast occurs and all sound is replaced by a haunting soundtrack, Kanan locks eyes with Hera one last time and in that last moment, his vision is restored; a moment that comes as one of the most powerful I have ever seen in any piece of “Star Wars” media.

Kanan’s ultimate sacrifice carries a lot of weight with it, the first being that he has gone from the boy who’s master gave up her own life so that he could escape the purge of the Jedi during order 66, to later on accomplish his very own similar feat that helps the rebellion at large. In “A New Dawn,” a novel which shows how Kanan and Hera first meet, Hera discovers that Kanan is a Jedi when he holds back a small explosion with the Force, and while I am not sure it is intentional, it certainly mirrors his final act. Kanan has been displayed as a character who could never really settle on his life’s purpose ever since the Jedi Order was destroyed, struggling to take on Ezra as an apprentice and having to deal with being blinded by Maul, he finally reaches this peak much like Obi-Wan in “A New Hope” and more recently Luke in “The Last Jedi.” In my eyes, his vision being restored in the end is symbolic of him finally seeing what his purpose was and then carrying it out.

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm

“DUME”

Set immediately after the prior episode, the Ghost Crew find themselves reeling from the loss of Kanan, all dealing with it in their own way. Sabine and Zeb seek revenge on the Empire through a tangle with Thrawn’s assassin Ruhk, Ezra begins a spiritual sort of journey in the plains of Lothal, and Hera mourns with Chopper next to Kanan’s cut hair and mask. When the crew first return, its difficult to watch Zeb first greet them and quickly realize what is wrong. Something that helped a little was seeing the usually mischievous Chopper roll over to his owner Hera, extending his sort of claw-arm to hold her hand to console her, which is probably the most wholesome moment I have ever watched on television. Ezra’s scenes are of particular interest, as he encounters the Loth-wolves once more, this time in a not so friendly manner. Later in sort of dreamlike state we meet an even bigger Loth-wolf, one that refers to itself as Dume, the real last name of Ezra’s former master. The wolf also bears the same marking that Kanan’s shoulder plate did, which leads to obvious connections between the two, though I’m not quite sure the wolf is necessarily Kanan. Eventually the wolf tells Ezra that more secrets lie in the hidden Jedi temple that we last saw in season two, and leaves behind a mysterious stone tablet that features three different hand gestures. The end of the episode finds the crew convening after overcoming the loss of Kanan, and using the new-found knowledge of the temple and that the Empire’s factories on Lothal have been shut-down to formulate a plan.

One of the more overshadowed parts of these episodes have been Thrawn, who is quite upset that Pryce’s act to kill Kanan also crippled his TIE Defender project completely. Thrawn and Tarkin discuss how the Emperor is choosing between Thrawn’s project and Director Krennic’s project Stardust, which we know of course is the Death Star. It will be interesting to see if we get to see Thrawn interact with the Emperor in the next few episodes, as it has been confirmed that he will appear and actor Ian McDiarmid will be reprising the role he has held since the Emperor’s debut in “Return of the Jedi” back in 1983.

This sort of mid-season premiere has delivered on such a long wait, and it makes me extremely inpatient for next week’s episodes to hurry and air. Seeing Kanan’s full arc come to a close was both beautiful and depressing to watch, much of this is thanks to Freddie Prinze Jr.’s excellent performance. It’s not often I find myself getting teary-eyed over watching something, but Kanan’s final act and moment with Hera, bookended by going into silent credits, certainly brought out the waterworks. I give props to director Dave Filoni and company for delivering such a satisfying conclusion to a great character, and I’m hopeful to see this carry over into the rest of the season. We have two more weeks of “Star Wars Rebels,” with two more episodes coming up next week. You can catch “Rebels’s” penultimate episodes when they air next Monday on Disney XD at 9 p.m.

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Category:Arts and Entertainment, Television

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