Everything We Learnt from Star Wars Rebels' Emotional Season 2 Finale

Thursday, 31 March 2016 - 12:11PM
Star Wars
Star Wars Rebels
Thursday, 31 March 2016 - 12:11PM
Everything We Learnt from Star Wars Rebels' Emotional Season 2 Finale
Disney warned us we would cry after watching the Star Wars Rebels season 2 finale, and now you've seen it, you probably understand why the studio issued such a warning.

The promise of a clash between Vader and Ahsoka Tano has been a constant feature of discussion for Rebels fans this season, and when the show's creator Dave Filoni confirmed it would happen, we were all quick to jump to the worst possible conclusions. Seen in Star Wars: Clone Wars, the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and his Jedi Apprentice Ahsoka Tano was arguably one of the Star Wars franchise's greatest triumphs. Clone Wars spent multiple seasons building on this relationship, so it was hard to see how Rebels' double-feature season finale could do it justice. But once again, Dave Filoni has shown that when it comes to truly understanding what makes the Star Wars universe tick, he's second only to George Lucas.

Spoilers for Star Wars Rebels: Twilight of the Apprentice follow



On Rebels Recon, Dave Filoni revealed that the climactic battle between Ahsoka and Vader was something that he's played out in his head for over a decade, which would explain why it was one of the best-executed and most emotional scenes ever seen in a Star Wars property. But after watching it over a number of times, there are more than a few layers to peel back from the finale's climactic moments.

Maul



The reappearance of Darth Maul was behind only the Vader/Ahsoka battle in terms of the anticipation surrounding the season finale, and we absolutely correct in our excitement. The Maul (Not Darth Maul anymore) of Star Wars Rebels might have initially seemed less evil than he was before, but we soon learn he's not one to be trusted. Quoting lines from the Sith Code showed Maul is still in touch with his past, and his presence on the show proved how little the Inquisitors have added. Maul brings a presence that no Inquisitor could, he brings a deeper knowledge of the Force and the Sith, and his arrogance never ceases to throw up interesting and bold scenarios for everybody involved. Then there's the fact that Maul is, at least in our eyes, the original dual-bladed lightsaber user.

It was disappointing not to see Maul clash with Vader, but in showing him escape in his rival's TIE Fighter, Filoni has dropped a major hint that the one-time Sith apprentice will be returning to the show. Certainly it feels as though Maul's story is not yet over, and if he replaces the Inquisitors as a threat to the Rebels, all the better.


Kanan



So far, Rebels has been as much about Kanan's journey as it has Ezra's, and Twilight of the Apprentice was no exception. The events on Malachor are going to have left a mark both physically and emotionally on Kanan, but if the closing shot of the finale is anything to go by, it's the latter of the two that will be the hardest to overcome. If Kanan thought Ezra's training had been tricky so far, he's likely more than aware that things are about to get much harder. 

With Ahsoka around, Kanan had seemed to be more able to relish the challenges of Ezra's training. But now he's going to have to come to terms with the pressure of being the only senior force-wielder in the Rebellion. Luckily, it looks like Dave Filoni plans to turn him into some form of Jedi Daredevil, which after seeing how he dispatched Maul, is totally ok with us. As we've seen with Rahm Kota, blind Jedi can make for seriously powerful warriors, which leads us to believe Kanan's journey is only just beginning.


Ezra



I probably wasn't the only one who yelled at their TV screen after seeing the final shot of last night's episode. Ezra's flirtation with the dark side was to be expected, but seeing it emerge in such a dramatic and powerful fashion totally blew me away. When it comes to sources of anger, Ezra already had plenty, but throw in what he witnessed with Ahsoka, and you've got all the makings of the perfect dark side powder keg.

We've been told that only a Sith can open a Sith holocron, but does the fact that we see the miniature pyramid open in Ezra's hand mean that he's gone full dark side? It's hard to imagine that this will be the case, and if you look at his eyes in the image above, they're only half red. Knowing Filoni's love for iconography, this has to be significant. It appears that more than becoming a Sith, Ezra is approaching a crossroads, much the same way Anakin Skywalker did in Revenge of the Sith. Seeing which path he chooses will likely be at the heard of Star Wars Rebels Season 3, and beyond.

Darth Vader



Oh Dave Filoni, you wonderful, wonderful man. It's not easy getting Darth Vader right, but Filoni is a man who truly understands what's going on behind that mask. Merging James Earl Jones' voice with that of Matt Lanter was a stroke of wonderful, but that moments hesitation on Anakin's face when Ahsoka tells him she won't leave him this time, that was a stroke of genius.

We all know the majority of Vader's story from the movies, but what we're seeing in Rebels is how deeply his bond with Ahsoka runs. In fact, I might go as far as to say that it is this bond that fuels that constant glimmer of good within the Dark Lord, that same glimmer of good that leads to his heroics in Return of the Jedi.

It remains to be seen what future role Vader will play in Rebels, but even if we don't see any more of him on the show, it feels as though this episode has shed a remarkable amount of light on what is the Star Wars franchise's greatest character.

Ahsoka



I said earlier this week that Dave Filoni was facing a lose/lose situation with Ahsoka's fate. Killing her off would see an uproar among many fans, while failing to do so would hear cries of chicken from other corners. Somehow, Filoni has successfully managed to negotiate this sticky situation, leaving us questions that will likely be asked non-stop until deep into the show's next season.

For all intents and purposes, we're expected to believe that Ahsoka perished at the hand of her old Master. However, a purposefully cryptic moment towards the end of the show leads us, and many other fans, to believe that Ahsoka's time in the Star Wars universe is not over. As we see Vader leaving the temple on Malachor, the shot pans back to the temple entrance where a shadowy (perhaps ghostly?) figure is seen walking back inside. If there was any debate who that figure was, a new line of clothing from Ashley Eckstein's 'Her Universe' has put an end to it.



So, what does this mean for Ahsoka? Has she become one with the force or did Vader spare her? The Eckstein, who has voiced the character throughout, wasn't giving anything away, saying "whether she's alive or whether she's not, I just want to thank the fans."

With a new Ahsoka Star Wars book announced, we know this won't be the last we see of old Snips, but is Rebels where her story ends? Dave Filoni told IGN that even if there is more of Ahsoka's story to tell, it probably won't happen on Star Wars Rebels.

Opening quote
I would say that – while I'm not a huge fan of being tremendously ambiguous as far as what happened – I would say that this is the one case where I think it's alright with Ahsoka to leave things a bit open-ended. You wondered what happened to her before, but you knew she walked away. Now she kind of leaves in a state of conflict. I would just say that there are probably – and I'll give you this as we go back a ways – there are probably more stories to tell with Ahsoka Tano, but I would not believe that that would happen necessarily on Star Wars Rebels.
Closing quote

And that's about all you need to know when it comes to that particular question.

What's Up With That Owl Thing?


Seen in both Clone Wars and Rebels, the owl-like creature is actually called a Convoree (named after Filoni's wife). Filoni has said that the despite its appearance in the penultimate episode of Season 2 being accompanied by the Imperial March, it's not an avatar for the dark side. That being said, Filoni has revealed that it holds a deep meaning for the lore of the Star Wars rebels, and he wants to see fans debating exactly what that meaning is.

Opening quote
"It is definitely something," Filoni told IGN. "And I would suggest – I would rather have fans debate – but I would suggest to say that whatever that thing is an avatar of has actually appeared in the animated Star Wars universe before. So decrypt from there…..Have a fun summer!
Closing quote


What did you think of Twilight of the Apprentice? Let us know in the box below.
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