Finally, another episode of The Elven Padawan podcast!
In this episode, Shay interviews Star Wars fanfiction writer, Aceofstars16! Ace is also a HUGE Star Wars Rebels fan, so you probably already know where this is heading.
Besides the interview (and obsessing over Rebels), the girls also discuss their Star Wars OTPs, social media, The Last Jedi, Mortis connections with the rest of the saga, and what the canon lifespan of a Twi’lek is.
More information concerning the last run of episodes of Star Wars Rebels season 4 has been revealed!!
*On 1/16/2018, Lucasfilm publicist, Tracy Cannobbio, let everyone know via Twitter that the U.S. airdates for the second half of Star Wars Rebels would be officially announced soon, as much of what has been going around is false info. Therefore, the details in this article may or may not be true.
Hi everyone, I’m back! That’s right, I survived my exams, and I’m rejoicing in the freedom that is holiday break!! While I’m off, I plan to get some work done around here with both this site and the podcast, including updating the news to reflect all the recent happenings in the Star Wars franchise, plus some other cool stuff you’ll be hearing about soon. But first off, I’m going to make my first blog post that I’ve done in a while.
If you’ve been following along with The Elven Padawan lately, you’ll know that I’ve been publishing reviews for each new episode of the final season of Star Wars Rebels that airs. This post is actually an extension of my review of the mid-season finale, where I deal with a really big aspect of the story that seems to have fans all over the place right now. Therefore, I’m warning you now that there will be big spoilers for “Rebel Assault” in here, so don’t read unless you’ve already seen the episode, or just don’t really care. 😉
So on to what I really want to talk about. I have a few things to say regarding Kanan’s reaction to Hera’s crash, and his plan to rescue her. First, I already know that everyone’s going to start thinking out some rant about attachments and love and how these things will inevitably end in tragedy and that Kanan is going to fall into and trap where Hera’s the bait and that will be the end for him.
But here’s the thing: all that doesn’t have to be the case.
I’ll admit it openly and with no problems: attachment can be a problem for a Jedi. Think about it. Almost every bad decision, or choice that can be labeled as “bad” by some fans, that a Jedi or Light Side Force-wielder has made stems from an attachment somewhere. Ahsoka Tano stayed behind and supposedly died on Malachor because of the attachment she had to her former master, Anakin Skywalker. Obi-Wan Kenobi disobeyed the orders of the Jedi Council to go to Mandalore and try to rescue Duchess Satine Kryze, eventually resulting in her death at the hands of his mortal enemy, Maul. Even the Chosen One himself, Anakin Skywalker, committed horrible deeds including mass slaughter of students and younglings, all in the name of saving someone he loved from death.
But here’s the problem: each of those people still had a choice. Ahsoka still chose to stay behind with Vader, knowing that it meant certain doom for her. She made a conscious decision about it, knowing full-well that Kanan and Ezra would take the ship and leave. (And honestly, I think that’s another little aspect to why she did it, to help them escape.) Obi-Wan deliberately chose to help Satine, and though it ended in tragedy, it was the risk he took.
And seriously, people. Do you really believe that there wasn’t a point where, deep down inside in a place he buried beneath all the emotions he was feeling, everything Anakin did became less and less about saving Padme and instead more and more about exacting revenge on the people he felt had wronged him, and gaining power to make people serve him as a little boy called Ani once had to serve them? When Padme follows him to Mustafar, notice that he isn’t heartbroken when she begins to back away from everything he’s become in the past few days, but instead flies into a rage. Notice that, alongside his claims that he can now save her from a fate she never believed was her’s, he was also bragging about how he now ruled the entire galaxy.
No, the people who make each of these choices are never forced to do so out of their good will for fellow beings. They all chose to do the things they do, and when those things are evil, it’s not love that’s actually responsible.
Now how does this all end up leading me back to Kanan, and his choices in this episode? I’m going to really dissect this whole thing and look at Kanan’s choice to go back for Hera, and his eventual decision to turn back around.
#1: Kanan almost did make a really bad decision, and it was out of attachment. I will not deny that. Surprised, are you, that such a strong Kanera shipper and proponent for the opinion that love is OK for Jedi, will so easily admit this? Don’t be. Remember, Jedi teach balance. Kanan and Hera’s relationship is great, and gives both of them strength and power in a time when things look so dark, but that’s only when it’s dealt with carefully. Just like in the real world, if you begin to let things that aren’t bad rule your life and cause you to make bad decisions, then it’s time to start carefully thinking about things. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Kanan should now cut off any potential relationship he and Hera could have because he almost made a bad move. The relationship is still fine, it’s just how they choose to use it and how they allow it to affect them. And that brings me to…
#2: The wolf was Kanan’s warning. Now I know we don’t have all the answers to what the wolf is really up to, and I’m sure there’s a lot more to what he communicated to Kanan than just this. But the wolf sitting in the middle of the highway, blocking Kanan from thoughtlessly rushing into the middle of an Imperial-overrun area, was his warning. I don’t hold Kanan’s actions against him, they’re totally natural. Everyone begins to make bad moves in their lives, I’ve done it myself countless times. But I’ve always had my parents to let me know when something is going in a dangerous direction, and to caution me about how this might end. That was what the wolf did for Kanan. It was letting him know that his emotionally fueled decision would probably end in disaster, and it gave him a few minutes to calm down and realize this for himself. Kanan knew what he was doing was a bad idea, and it speaks volumes about his character that, although initially frustrated by the interruption of his plan, it didn’t take him long to change that attitude around. The look on his face when he removes his mask and asks, “What must I do?” reminds us that he’s really worried about Hera, but he’s also willing to wait and accept the wolf’s correction. Like I said, I’m sure we’ll be finding out a lot more about the wolves when the season starts back up, and there’s probably much deeper things that it told Kanan concerning his and Ezra’s place on Lothal. But for now, to me, the wolf was a warning sign, forcing Kanan to stop, breathe, and realize just what he was about to do.
Now #3: Are you ready? This is a really big one, and I’m probably gonna be ranting for a while to be able to really show you the depth of it all. Here we go…
I’ve already said, I don’t blame Kanan for his reaction. It’s totally natural. And beyond that, when you really think about it, unlike the choices made by Anakin, what’s happening with Kanan is based on a much purer intent.
Remember where this man has come from. He lost everything. His childhood, his way of life, his family, his faith, even his own name and identity. He became lost somewhere between pain, anger, and denial. The pain of trying to understand why everything happened the way it did, his anger at the Force for letting such a horrible fate befall those who lived every moment of their lives in faith to it and at the troopers who called themselves his friends only to betray him as a young teenaged boy, and his denial of the fact that he truly cared about any of it anymore. We find out in A New Dawn that Kanan worked jobs with excitement and danger to numb everything he was feeling, and to make enough money to try to drink away everything that had happened. And in the middle of all that, here comes Hera. She’s on her own mission with the infant Rebellion, and her focus is all on that. But she does have a mission. Of course, Kanan first notices her because of her physical characteristics (well, actually it was her voice first, but it didn’t take him long to notice the other). He tries to convince himself that he’s only following her around because she’s another pretty girl to flirt with. But in the end he’s dragged into her whirlwind of a mission, and by the time we first see him again in Rebels, he’s accepted her cause for his own. He’s decided that he does care about the evilness of the Empire, and that he’s willing to fight against them because he truly believes that it’s worth it, not just in the hopes that maybe Hera will pay some attention to his advances if he goes through all the motions of becoming a Rebel. But it was Hera that first showed him that there were some things worth fighting for.
Had it not been for Hera Syndulla coming to Gorse in attempt to gain information on the Empire’s surveillance practices, then giving him a chance to realize who he truly was and bringing him to understand exactly what was at stake in this war, then he would still be lost. Actually, it’s way more likely that he’d be dead by this point.
But because of Hera, he’s not lost anymore. He’s returned to his faith, he has a purpose in life, and he has a family. Now as much as I love her, I’m not trying to say that she’s perfect or that she’s the only one who has contributed to his character development. It’s also been the result of taking on Ezra as his apprentice, as well as interactions with other characters the team has encountered, such as how meeting Captain Rex and his compatriots helped him to finally release the bitterness and anger he held for the troopers that slaughtered his master, Depa Bilaba, and later hunted him down. However, this does all lead back to Hera, and her decision to give him a chance.
This really hit me way back in season two, in the episode “The Protector of Concord Dawn”. When Hera is hurt badly in an attempt to persuade the Mandalorian faction the Protectors to join the Rebel cause, Kanan chooses to go back to Concord Dawn and try again, while Sabine is bent on taking revenge on those that hurt Hera. When Sabine sneaks on board the Phantom as he’s taking off, he tells her that he’s giving the Protectors another chance. Even though they explicitly said “No thanks” the first time and almost killed the Ghost crew’s captain and team leader. He knows that these Mandos can be a huge help to the Rebellion, and that it’s what Hera would have wanted them to do. This becomes a running theme throughout the episode, as Kanan continues to staunchly believe that some people just need a second (or maybe third or even fourth) chance, like the one he was given. It struck me that this was his way of carrying on what Hera did for him: she gave him a second chance, put up with all his annoying flirting and attempts to get out of everything, and in the end he saw just how important the cause of the fight against the Empire was. And that made a huge impact on him.
Can you really blame the guy for having an attachment to her? I know I’d certainly have an attachment to any person who did all that for me, whether there was any more to it than that or not.
But for them, there is more to it.
On top of everything she’s done for him, not to mention the things he’s done for her, how long they’ve fought side-by-side in this war and always been there to have each other’s back… there’s even more to their relationship. These two have cared deeply about each other for a long time, longer than even the show has shown. From the moment they met and and got sucked into the Gorse Conflict together, they just seemed to “click”. Their personalities, their gifts and skill sets, their methods of fighting; somehow, everything fit together to make them an amazing team. It wasn’t hard to pick up on the attraction between the two, something that went deeper than just the flirty, surface here-then-gone relationships Kanan had managed to always find during his years in hiding. Though it understandably took Hera a while to let herself get close to him, once she did, she found a battle partner that would stand by her side through everything, and ultimately, a life partner as well. These two are bound together in one of the deepest ways, and their faith in each other is one of the few things that gives them a bit of joy. Even Dave Filoni has one of his famous tweets dedicated to the two and how their relationship brings them some joy in the darkness through their complete understanding of each other. We still don’t know how their story will end, and whether they’ll be able to do anything with this connection and actually end up living out their lives together as they hope, but undeniably, the wish to do so is there. Everything’s still not out in the open between them, but after over three seasons of dancing around it, their feelings for each other have become pretty evident. The possibility of a future together is one of the few things they can hold on to through everything else.
So to finally come around to point #3 in my breakdown of Kanan’s reaction: What he wanted wasn’t wrong.
What he wanted was to try to help the woman who helped him find his way, who is the reason why he’s even on Lothal in the first place, the reason why the other members of the team are around and probably why all of them are still breathing at that very moment. You can see that in his expression when he removes his mask to talk to the wolves. He just wants to try to protect her, and he doesn’t want to have to add her to the list of things he’s lost. Especially not the the reason she would be going on that list was because he turned around and left when he could’ve tried to go back for her. Can anyone truly blame him for that? Of course there was no chance he could have actually help her. He was one person, not to mention one blind person, among a ton of Imperial troops sent there specifically the take out him and his crew. Like I said way up at the top, his decision was rash and it was necessary for the wolf to stop him; but at the heart of the whole thing was a very pure and understandable desire.
#4:I can’t blame Kanan…. because he stopped.
If Kanan had blasted his way right straight into the city, only to be gunned down by stormtroopers moments after arrival, I don’t think I’d be able to blame him too much then either. I would have been disappointed in him, definitely. He’s way too smart, especially after all he’s been through and how much he’s grown over the course of this show. I would have been super annoyed at however wrote that ending for this character. I mean, seriously?? Give him all that character development and build everything up, just for him to act that dumb and die from it? And honestly, I would probably have been really mad at Kanan for a while… until I though it all out and realized everything behind it. It still would have felt like a major cop-out, though, and I’m really glad the team didn’t take it in that direction.
But the ultimately, once you dig into all these complexities behind Kanan’s choice, why he made it, what the wolf was there for, and everything else, the reason why I personally don’t blame Kanan for what he did is…
Because he stopped.
When the Loth-wolf had to get in his way and stop him to warn him of what he was about to do….
He stopped. He listened. He asked what he needed to do to make it all right again.
In the first installment of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf the Grey has finally come to the horrible truth about that shiny golden circle that Bilbo Baggins owns: it is indeed the One Ring of Power, created by the Dark Lord Sauron and filled with his malice for all other living beings. Gandalf knows exactly what it means, and exactly what it could do to the unsuspecting Mr. Baggins, who found it on his adventure with the Dwarves so many years ago. He knows that he must act fact, and separate Bilbo from the Ring if the hobbit is to have any hope of escaping its grasp. But having already had the ring in his possession for over sixty years meant that it was beginning have an effect on him. Bilbo wants to leave it behind, but at the same time he doesn’t; he tells Gandalf that it’s in an envelope on the mantle as he starts out the door, only to realize it’s actually in his pocket. When Gandalf begins to urge him to leave it, Bilbo snaps and accuses Gandalf of wanting to steal it from him, getting a look in his eyes that is eerily reminiscent of another former owner of this “Precious” little gem. Gandalf seems to grow twice his size, his voice deepens, and he reprimands the hobbit harshly, breaking the Ring’s hold on Bilbo, reminding him, “I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m trying to help you.” As Bilbo’s eyes fill with tears in realization of what’s happening, he runs to Gandalf’s arms, before turning his back on the Ring once and for all, and setting off for a long vacation with the Elves in Rivendale.
From the first time I ever watched Fellowship, I never blamed Bilbo. I understood exactly what was going on with him, and sympathized with his plight. He never meant any harm by picking up the Ring, and he never had any malicious intent in using it to play disappearing jokes on people. Everything that happened with him was a result of the higher powers of Middle-earth at play.
But I never felt anything against Gandalf either, because it was his job to stop Bilbo before it was too late.
See, just like Kanan, and just like all of us people, Bilbo did ultimately have a choice about what he would do. He could defy Gandalf, give himself over to the control of the Ring, and choose to serve Sauron, whether initially or not. Kanan could stop, listen to what the wolf had to say, and decide whether or not to continue with his very bad emotional decision to try to save Hera. Bilbo gave up the Ring. Kanan turned back around.
Finally, #5: I hope it all ends OK. Now obviously I hope that the show overall ends OK. I need to see the crew of the Ghost survive, even if they decide to go their separate ways until the war is over. I really don’t want to see Kanan and Hera’s relationship end in tragedy, either, though I’m not naive to the fact that many fans do believe he will die, possibly in sacrifice for his “family”, before the show is over. What ever happens, however, I don’t want to see his and Hera’s relationship get blamed. I don’t want Kanan to make a rash decision and run into a trap because of his feelings for her.
There’s a theory out there right now that the wolf showed Kanan a vision of Hera’s future, of all the things she’ll accomplish with the Rebellion, and this will lead to him laying down his own life to rescue her. If it’s an absolute necessity for Kanan to die, then I want it to be something like this. I want him to go into it with his eyes open, and I want it to be done in a way that won’t cause fans to blame their relationship for causing him to make a decision out of emotion and therefore lose his life. I don’t want to see yet another Star Wars character get punished for loving, when the entire core theme of the story is the power of Light, a.k.a. love, vs. Darkness, a.k.a. hate.
Alrighty, that was a lot longer than I intended. (Can anyone else tell how much I NEED this show to start back, SOON??) But this is something that’s been going through my mind since watching the episode, and I’m thinking that a lot of fans might take it the wrong way, and just wanted to share my analysis of it all.
Until next time,
May the Wind under your Wings carry you to where the Sun Sails and the Moon Walks, and the Force be with you, always!
This article was written by Shay S., Creator, Chief Editor, and Podcast Host for The Elven Padawan, and first appeared on ElvenPadawan.com
What did you think of this breakdown of Kanan’s decisions? What did you think of “Rebel Assault” in general? Are you just as excited as I am about the rest of the season?! Let me know in the comments below!! 🙂
Welcome back to another Star Wars: Rebels review from The Elven Padawan!
Shay and Audrey return once again to give you their thoughts and reactions from the two most recent episodes of this final season of the hit show: “Kindred” and “Crawler Commanders”, both of which aired in the U.S. on Disney XD on November 6, 2017.
These episodes saw the Ghost crew continue their efforts alongside the Lothal rebels as they encountered new enemies and began to discover more about the larger forces at play behind the battle for this seemingly-insignificant world. Things are beginning to move forward for the Rebels as they face new revelations and mysteries, triumphs and challenges, both in the battle and on a personal level. This episode review is full of MAJOR SPOILERS, so read on at your own risk!!
I hope you enjoy what we have to say, and be looking forward for The Elven Padawan’s final review for this half of season 4 after the mid-season finale, “Rebel Assault”, airs next week on Monday, October 13, 2017.
Shay: So starting right out, what was your big initial reaction to this set of new episodes? Favorite moment, line, scene, ya know?
And I already have a feeling a lot of ours are gonna be very similar…
Audrey: They were both really good! I loved seeing more wolves, Hera trying to convince the Rebels to launch an attack, and that Kanera part! My favorite line was probably Ezra’s entire impersonation attempt.
And Hera’s speech. Those parts are tied.
Shay: That speech was definitely amazing!! We had already heard a lot of it through the trailers for this season, but her determination to show the Rebel Alliance that this chance was worth taking was so great. I love how they’re not simply accepting that Hera’s a flat, “Rebel-leader-plus-mom-figure” at this point. I think she’s still got a lot of struggles to work through, even though they won’t be as front-and-center as those of some of the other members of the crew. She’s having to realize that the Alliance isn’t perfect, and many times she’s going to disagree with them and will probably even have to take things into her own hands when it gets in the way of what she believes is right. It’s a lot like the the Battle of Scarif. We still don’t know exactly how that went down, but we know that Admiral Raddus and all the others who went there, including Hera probably, weren’t technically supposed to, but they did it anyway. We saw some of her struggle in that way through these episodes, where she was told to leave the conversation and later worried that they didn’t trust her judgement.
Shay: On the other side, I laughed so many times throughout both of these episodes, and that actually surprised me a lot! Not that I was expecting them to be super dark or heavy or anything, but just because it catches you off-guard so much. Here they are in really a very dire situation, and we’ve got a lot of jokes about Ezra going through the vents, Seevor horrified at what he sounds like, and then Ezra cracking a joke when the poor guy got incinerated!! What did you think of the humor in these episodes? In some places, even though it was very funny and I loved it, I kinda felt a little bad for laughing because of what was actually going on, like Zeb repeatedly beating Seevor up to keep him quiet, and like I said before, when he actually met his end.
Audrey: I’m glad they put some humor in to balance out all the fighting and other things going on. The whole scene when Seevor falls backwards was framed really oddly to me though, and kind of worries me, but other than that, the other funny moments were well thought out.
Shay: These episodes were actually a lot more “hopeful” than I thought they would be… I don’t want to say “light-hearted”, but that’s actually the closest word I can think of to what I was feeling from them… The last several episodes before these weren’t too terribly heavy, but they were much more so than these, what with seeing just how bad Lothal has gotten, and the ones before that, with Saw and then with what was going on with Mandalore. When these episodes finished up, it really felt like things could be looking up for the Rebels, and I found myself wanting to believe it could all go OK. But I’m afraid they’re just setting us up with false security, and then the second half of this season is gonna come rushing in with everything going downhill really fast.
I wonder if they’re setting it for for the characters to feel that way, too, though. Especially with that very last scene in “Crawler Commanders”, where Hera calls in to tell them they’re bringing the attack force to try to help Lothal; everyone is smiling, and especially for Ezra, things are finally starting to look up. I wonder if they’re going to be in for a very hard truth on just how desperate the situation is next episode?
Audrey: Can they even pull off destroying the TIE factory? I don’t know if that would count as a major victory or not, since they can’t have one until Rogue One. From what we’ve seen in the trailers, it’s not going to go very well. But even if it fails, I did love seeing them so hopeful and happy for a moment, especially Ezra. He’s had to wait so long for this!
Shay: Ah, I know! And after last season, too, when everything seemed so dark and it looked like it was all falling apart so fast. In just a few episodes it’s like everything has turned around, and it both warms and break my heart to see them all like this. Ezra’s so excited that his home will finally get some help from the Rebellion, Kanan and Hera seem to have a promising future to their relationship, Sabine’s family problems and the occupation on Mandalore have all been resolved, and Zeb’s just happy to be there and support everyone. I honestly have no clue what Chopper is feeling, but he seems pretty positive right now too, so that’s pretty major. But then I remember that part from the opening crawl of A New Hope, and I start to worry. I personally think being able to do that much damage to the Empire, especially on a planet like Lothal, which seems to be really instrumental to their plan for some reason, would be a pretty big victory…
Shay: Ok, so now lets talk some specifics on these episodes. “Kindred” was the first appearance of a new character pulled from Legends, Ruhk! This guy was Thrawn’s personal assassin in the Old EU, and he’s carried that same occupation over into his role in New Canon and in Rebels specifically. He’s also a Noghri, which is a race we’ve never seen on-screen before. And of course we can’t forget that he’s voiced by Warwick Davis, which a lot of Star Wars fans should know as Wicket! What did you think about Ruhk and the way he was portrayed here? Do you think he’s a legitimate threat to the Rebels, and they should be really aware of him? Or will he turn out to be more like the Fifth Brother was, and look and seem creepy, but not end up actually doing any damage?
Audrey: He is pretty creepy looking. And his voice is creepy sounding too. I definitely think he’s a threat for the Rebels, they’ve never had an experienced assassin hunting them before. Ezra was losing that short brawl before he Force-pushed him away. He’s got a lot of cool gadgets and weapons. I think he may have been part of the group that went to wipe out all the Lasat, because seemed to single Zeb out a lot and has a Bo-rifle.
Shay: That’s a really interesting point, and something I hadn’t thought of before! Obviously he did seem to have something going on about Zeb in particular, so I wonder if it could be a personal thing between himself and that race, like with Kallus, or maybe something where those two groups have never gotten along, kinda like the Elves and Dwarves in Middle-Earth?
Audrey: I feel like I’ve heard something about Noghri and Lasat before, but I can’t remember where.
Shay: They seem to have a similar sort of culture, based on just the little bit we know of the New Canon version of the Noghri…
Shay: We also saw Pryce again in these episodes! I feel like that woman is standing on a very slippery slope right now, in a balance between being able to hang on to everything she’s fought her way to having and losing it all to Thrawn’s plans… She always thought she was the one in charge and had brought Thrawn in to help her, but now it’s beginning to appear that he’s the one calling the shots. Especially in the way it looked like she was being sent out into the field to greet Ruhk and start tracking the Rebels, while Thrawn got to just sit in his office.
Audrey: She and Rukh did not get along well. The first time they’re working together, and they’re already arguing and snapping at each other about who let who get away.
Shay: I just had a thought: I wonder if Thrawn is doing all this on purpose?? Perhaps he’s bringing in his own guys, knowing full-well how Pryce will respond, in order to show how she’s not really running things in the most productive way for the Empire, and to kinda get her out of the way so he can do what he really wants to? Knowing what we do of the way Thrawn thinks and plans all this stuff out, it definitely seems like he would already know how the two would get along and have a plan for it.
Audrey: That is such a Thrawn thing to do. I know he definitely can’t be working for the Empire at the end of this season, but I wonder if Price isn’t so prominent that she would have to go just because we don’t see her later.
Shay: Next thing up: #Kanera! Ok, so I know we’ve already discussed this a little together, but there has been a lot of stuff between Kanan and Hera going on lately, and there still is, but “Kindred” finally got us some stuff we’d been waiting for a very long time on. What do you think of where their relationship is headed, and how it looks like it’s finally getting some resolution?
Audrey: I do not have a very good feeling about where it’s going to lead. One of the reasons Mr. Dave decided to finally get around to addressing it was probably because he knew he could make fans feel more if Kanan doesn’t have a place to stay through the Original Trilogy.
But even though it will probably make things that might happen later harder, I am very happy we are at least getting some happy moments.
Shay: I’m both very happy and very worried about it… You’re right, it only makes sense that they’re finally getting around to it now just to make it hit us all the harder when it doesn’t end well for Kanan, but I’m drawing a little bit of hope from the fact that Han and Leia got their happy ending (well, for about 30 years, anyway…) And finally including some moments between those two actually served to lighten these episodes up quite a bit. Especially with their scene right before Hera leaves. I had thought that if they resolved anything between them, it would be when things were already pretty bad, much like Han and Leia’s scene at the end of TESB, when he’s about to be carbon-frozen. And while I think we might still get something like that between them, it was really sweet to do it the way they did, and remind everyone that even with as dark as things are looking, there’s still some moments of light in there. The way the rest of the crew, and even Ryder, started smiling when they saw what was going on just really made me grin.
Audrey: I’ve forgiven Ryder for ruining it the first time, he even tried to be polite and said “s’cuse me”.
Shay: Yeah, I think I have to forgive him too…. And I have to forgive Zeb, because his grin over that was really cute… I feel like Ryder and everyone else have been kinda watching them this whole time, knowing something was coming, but just waiting for it to actually happen. The way he said “Excuse me” made it sound like he’d been standing there for a bit.
Shay: And finally…. the Loth-wolves!! We’ve all been begging for more of those guys, but every time we get them back we just end up with more questions!! Like why is that one calling on Kanan? And why does it keep referring to him by his real name?? And how in the galaxy did they travel halfway across the planet like that??? So many questions!! We knew it was going to start getting “weird”, and I know a lot of people, including myself, kinda worried about that, but right now I’m just intrigued. I really want to know what’s going on here, and I’m really excited to find out more!
Audrey: All the wall designs are really mysterious too. I found Yoda in one of them, but I have no idea what any of it means.
Shay: I know, right?! I wonder if this is connected to how Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are able to “become One with the Force at will”, as well know they are able to “teleport” as Force Ghosts. Though that actually is pretty different, as they’re more or less just a presence within the Force, whereas these wolves seem to actually be living beings. The wall designs to indeed seem to be telling a story, and I’ve seen people already speculating on who the different individuals they portray could be. I guess it’s also possible that they’re just random people and Jedi (or Force-users).
Something that really interested me about all this was the fact that not only the Jedi, but also Zeb, Sabine, and Ryder were able to be transported, and they didn’t have to be knocked out, like when Sabine and Ezra rode on the wolf in “Flight of the Defender”. I wonder how that works? I definitely can not wait till we get to find out more!
What did you think of these episodes? Do you have any thoughts, theories, or speculations on what’s up with the Loth-wolves? What do you think of Thrawn’s recent moves against the Rebellion? Let me know in the comments!
Welcome back to The Elven Padawan’s reviews of Star Wars Rebels‘ fourth and final season!
Shay and Audrey are back to review the latest two episodes from season four, “The Occupation” and “Flight of the Defender”, both of which aired in the U.S. on Disney XD on October 30th, 3017.
These episodes saw our favorite Rebel team return to the place where it all got started, Ezra Bridger’s home planet of Lothal. Currently under Imperial occupation and being used to manufacture countless war-machines as testaments of the Empire’s might, Lothal has changed a lot since we last saw it, and Shay and Audrey share their reactions to that, as well as to the new hints these episodes gave on some mysterious creatures who seemingly will play a big part in this story, as well as where the series is taking us overall. There are plenty of SPOILERS for the current episodes of the fourth season here, so read at your own risk!!
I hope you enjoy this review, and be looking forward to The Elven Padawan’s reviews for the rest of the season, including “Kindred” and “Crawler Commanders”, two new episodes that will be airing this coming Monday. You can also get caught up on Shay and Audrey’s past reviews for Star Wars Rebels season 4 episodes here: “Heroes of Mandalore” and “In the Name of the Rebellion”.
Shay: Before we even get going on the details of these two episodes, I was wondering if you had any initial thoughts or reactions, things that really stood out to you, from them?
Audrey: I spent pretty much the whole day after I watched them thinking about Loth-Wolves and “Dume.” I also realized how many things mirror past episodes, mostly from season one, only with the stakes much higher.
Shay: I did the same when it came to those wolves! There was a lot of very intriguing stuff there, and I’m really impatient to find out what they meant by it all….
I’m also realizing just how right Mr. Dave was when he said everything since the beginning has been all thought-out and nothing was filler, that it all had a purpose. It all makes so much sense now that we’re here and the end and it’s all tying together.
I also was thinking about how strong Ezra’s ties to his home were, as opposed to Pryce, who is also from Lothal, and couldn’t care less about how the Empire is destroying it.
Audrey: Lothal is so sad looking! It’s changed so much. I forgot how long it’s been since we’ve really seen much of it. I think the only episode on Lothal last year was “An Inside Man”.
Shay: When Vizago’s ship first went into the atmosphere and we got a good look at the surface of the planet, I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. It was so natural before, something we don’t get a whole lot of in Star Wars, and seeing it the way they’ve done it now makes me want to cry.
Something that also struck me really hard about it was how much it reminded me of Dathomir, for some reason. And Dathomir is such a dead, desolate world, everything about it seems so dark and heavy.
Audrey: I think Ezra handled it pretty well though; if that was my planet that entire parts of where burning, I don’t even know how I would handle it.
When Mon Mothma told him he could go, Ezra made it sound like he wasn’t coming back to the Rebellion, so at least that provides a good way he doesn’t have to meet Luke in between now and ESB. I love how Hera immediately said they were all going.
Shay: He did very well not letting his anger get a hold on him, and instead using those feelings to make him more determined to get rid of the Empire. I love seeing how much our little Blueberry has grown!
That’s a very good point, and something I want to touch on for a moment: Ezra seems like he’s decided that he’s staying on Lothal. Now, we know Ezra has said things in the past that he’s regretted later, and he often makes rash decisions. Do you think this could turn into one of those, where he eventually sees that, like Hera believes, the only way to free one planet is to get the entire Empire out of the way? Because Ezra at this point seems to be taking much of the same mentality as Cham does, and wanting to try to free his people first, when that’s really pretty impossible. What do you think about all this?
Audrey: I think if they can do some good for the people on Lothal, then Ezra won’t completely regret it. He might regret having everyone come with him if something happens. He said he’s had a long time to think about this, so it’s not his most rash decision, but he sure seemed to be questioning his choice while they were in the sewers.
Also, about only freeing one planet, it could be argued that some planets are suffering worse than others. Maybe the Empire doesn’t have a factory on a certain planet, or they’re not mining kyber from it. Some worlds won’t make it if they have to wait until the Rebellion is strong enough to take the Empire down completely.
Shay: I wonder, though, if something very bad does happen, could it result in him walking away entirely? Not turning Dark, but just walking away like Ahsoka? So he can have a chance to watch from a distance and figure things out for himself?
Audrey: It’s hard to picture Ezra watching from a distance, he’s so involved. But if something happened, it would change him a lot, like after Malachor. If he did step back, I feel like it wouldn’t be for very long, unless he completely gives up hope.
Shay: But do you think it’s a futile effort, that in the end they’ll realize that there’s no way to push the Empire off of just one planet at a time?
Audrey: That’s true, they definitely can’t win the entire war that way. They’re in a tough spot. It’s like what Mon Mothma said about this being a time of difficult choices.
Shay: I would like to know what all the others characters think about what they’re doing. It’s obvious that Lothal has a special place in all their hearts, and I know they talked about this in the Rebels Recon for these episodes. But I’m curious about whether the others have decided what they’re really planning to do in the long run or not. Like you mentioned before, Hera quickly said that the whole crew was going together, and it reminds us all again that they really are a family and all stick together when it comes to these situations. But do you think they know about Ezra’s implied decision to stay with Lothal for good? It seems that if he does that, he would have to leave not only the greater Rebellion, but his family on the Ghost as well, and unlike Sabine and Zeb, and even Hera, he doesn’t have any family anywhere else. He and Kanan are really alone aside from each other and the rest of the Ghost family. And we know Hera eventually goes back to the Alliance and is there for quite a few more years. So is that to be taken as a sign that something bad will happen and the survivors will go back to the Alliance alone, or just that they’ll have to make hard decisions and the family will have to break up while the war is going?
Audrey: As sad as breaking up the family would be, I’d like that better then something awful happening.
Shay: I will have to agree with you 100% on that…
Here’s an item that I totally loved in these episodes: all the connections! I know we touched on this a little before, but just wow. Puffer pigs, Vizago, references to Hondo Ohnaka and Lando Calrissian, Jai Kell, Baron Valen Rudor, the “Academy days”, Sabine’s symbol, escaping through the sewers…. and not to mention the whole “We just stole a TIE Fighter when we didn’t mean to” thing! These episodes were not only amazing call-backs to the earlier seasons, but showed just how much everything has changed since then.
Audrey: I love how “all the paths are coming together.” (So far, at least..) All the episodes that some people looked down on when the show started up are coming into play. I really don’t know how people can say this show is terrible.
Shay: I know! I do understand how some people kinda rolled their eyes at the first several episodes of the first season, even I did that. But people still hate on it because of those ones, and it’s grown so much from then! And we’re seeing all the time that what they’ve always said is absolutely true, there is no filler in this thing. Everything that has happened has been important and is now coming back to remind us of that, and even the entire show is coming to be connected to the rest of the series in such awesome ways.
Just look at what they’ve done with Jai! I really never expected to see him back again, even though I have wanted it really bad since first seeing the episode with him and Ezra in the Academy.
There is one thing that really throws me, however, and that’s why he was even on Lothal in the first place. After Ezra was able to help him escape from the Empire way back in season one, it was implied that the Rebellion helped him and his mom get into hiding somewhere, since they were pretty sure he was Force-sensitive and Project Harvester was still in full-swing then. But now we find him right back on Lothal and helping with Ryder’s rebel cell there.
Audrey: Maybe he felt like Ezra, that he needed to come back and help his people. Or maybe they found him a hiding place on Lothal, though that does seem like they would have gone for a less obvious choice.
Shay: You would have thought the Empire would have been able to hunt him down by now if he was nearby, especially if he was around Old Jho’s place a lot. Of course, he does look pretty different now, even Ezra didn’t recognize him…
Audrey: We haven’t talked about a very important part! That Kanera moment!
Ok I actually don’t have many thoughts on it except how disappointed Kanan looked, but it still definitely needs to be mentioned.
Shay: Yes we have to talk about that!
Poor Kanan, I kinda feel bad for the guy… every time they start to get somewhere concerning their relationship something else has to get in the way.
Do you think we’re actually going to get some more resolution on this soon, or is it Mr. Dave teasing us and we’re gonna keep getting little “almost” things like this throughout the whole season? I don’t know what I’m going to do if I have to go all mid-season break wondering about it, but it really looks like that’s the way it’ll go!
Audrey: Mr. Dave loves to tease us so much, so I bet he waits until the finale or the episode right before to really resolve anything. Mid-season break is going to feel loooong.
Shay: Ug, I know!! I’m already feeling it, and it’s still weeks away!!
And now, because we haven’t actually talked about it yet…
Just give me what you were thinking when it first came on and knocked Sabine out.
Audrey: First I was thinking “What just happened, how did it do that?” And I was a bit put-off, and felt like Ezra when he almost reached for his lightsaber. Definitely not how I imagined Sabine getting knocked out.
Shay: I’m not even sure if I was thinking clearly when I first saw it… I didn’t know what exactly was going to happen, but like you said, I definitely never imagined that happening to Sabine! I figured the wolf wasn’t going to out-right hurt them at that point, though, as it and the cat had seemed to be trying to keep up with them and help guide them for a while now.
What do you think about the wolf having that effect on Sabine, and actually seeming to have the ability to talk some? Do you think that was all through the Force, or was it something the wolf just naturally has the ability to do?
Audrey: I get why the wolf had to do that, Sabine can’t see it (it also seemed like she couldn’t see the white Loth-Cat earlier), and if Ezra told her to ride on something that she couldn’t see was there, even with the trust she has in Ezra, I don’t think she’d believe him…
I think the talking ability comes from the Force, because no other animals have talked, have they?
Shay: Not that I know of…
I think it was all through the Force as well, because it wouldn’t work for the wolf to just be invisible and her to still be able to ride on it… That just doesn’t seem like it would follow with the rules of how these things tend to go…
I wonder if it’s only Ezra that can see these animals, or if it’s all, or at least certain, Force users? We know Ezra could hear the purgill singing and it seemed like even Kanan was unable to hear that, and I don’t think it was ever fully confirmed whether he saw the white loth-cat before, when Ezra followed it to Ryder in season two.
Audrey: I think at least Kanan will be able to see them– Wait, what am I saying??He’ll be able to hear/touch them, because we know he gets to meet them later and that they have something to do with him directly.
Shay: That makes sense.
Here’s something else I noticed, too: do you think there’s a connection between the white Loth-wolf, the white Loth-cat, and the Convor-owl with the light markings? There seems to be a common thread through all of them and the way they seem to be watching over Ezra, Kanan, and even Ahsoka while she was around.
Audrey: They each seem to be trying to help and protect them, like they’re trying to help make up for the fact that they’re some of the only Jedi, or near-Jedi, left.
Shay: I find it especially interesting that that one convor was on Malachor after Ahsoka disappeared, almost as if it were continuing to watch over her even though everyone else had given up on her, thinking she was dead.
It’s also interesting how each one seems attracted to a particular member of that group: the convor to Ahsoka, the loth-cat to Ezra, and the wolf possibly to Kanan. Each those animals really symbolize each of those characters, and seem to almost represent them, in some way, though we don’t know what it is yet.
Audrey: I wonder what the dark colored wolves represent? The white ones are beautiful and majestic, their size makes them a little intimidating, but the dark ones that are growling at Ezra in that part in the trailer are just a tiny bit creepy to me. Also that part where you see their eyes coming out of the darkness. That’s going to be interesting.
Shay: I’m assuming those are just the “normal” ones, like how there are regular loth-cats and convorees that have regular coloration and don’t seem to have anything special about them.
Do you have any thoughts on what the wolf meant with the last thing it said to Ezra? If the closed captioning on the episode is to believed, it said “Dume”, which we can take as a reference to “Caleb Dume”, Kanan’s real name. No one has called Kanan that since Order 66, and the only reference we’ve have to it in Rebels was Maul seemingly pulling it from Hera while mind-probing her.
Audrey: It might have something to do with the revelation that Mr.Dave said Kanan was going to have.
I wonder if it will tie into his fate over all, or will just guide him on the right path?
Shay: I don’t know, but I certainly can’t wait to see how it all goes down!
What did you think of these episodes? Do you have any predictions for what the wolf has in store for Kanan and Ezra? How do you plan to survive the mid-season break? Let me know in the comments!
Shay has a guest another this week! This time she is joined by Johnamarie Macias of The Wookiee Gunner, who helps her cover more news from Battlefront II, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Star Wars Forces of Destiny, and of course, Star Wars Rebels!! They also discuss underrated female characters from Star Wars (Satine x Padme for BROTP!), badgirls in the spotlight (who says villains aren’t also heroes?), the possibility of Force Sensitivity in the Erso family, and have a bit of fangirl time devoted to Rebels (the metaphors of Kanan’s mask and Sabine’s hair). Shay also has a very sad Kanera thing that everyone needs to hear.
Stay tuned after the show for a special question Shay has for all her listeners!
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