Famous Jedi and Sith Return in Explosive Star Wars Rebels Finale - Fire Across The Galaxy
Disney's Star Wars Rebels season 1 came to a close last night in an episode that saw the Fulcrum's mysterious identity revealed, the appearance and reappearance of familiar faces from across the Star Wars saga, and the general sense that Season 2 is going take this show to new levels. If you haven't seen 'Fire Across the Galaxy' yet, consider everything you read from her on in a potential spoiler.
Going into the Star Wars Rebels season finale, there were a couple of key items fans were expecting to witness.
1. Discovering the identity of the Rebels' contact, Fulcrum.
2. A potential major character death as teased in the episode's trailer with the words "Who Will Fall"
3. The return of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader.
While the latter may not have been everything fans were hoping for, items 1 and 2 were hugely satisfying.
With the rebels seeking to rescue their captured leader, Kanan, by launching a seemingly suicidal attack on a fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers, we witnessed the most expansive action scenes the show has produced to date. These scenes, served as a showcase for some beautiful animation especially during the lightsaber battles, which adhered to the classic sense of Star Wars drama, perfectly. As The Inquisitor interrogated Kanan, there was yet another sign that Disney plans to take a Marvel approach to building a storytelling universe, interweaving its many properties to cohesively explore a number of different timelines. The Inquisitor probed deep into Kanan's past, bringing up memories of what happened to the young Jedi during Order 66, a time-period which will conveniently be explored in a new limited Marvel comic book series later this month.
Thankfully, Kanan did not have to endure the Inquisitor's interrogation for too long, because the rebels' audacious plan had worked and Kanan's Padawan, Ezra, was soon escorting his Master to freedom. It's at this point that the episode's, if not the show's best scene occurred. A wonderfully choreographed and beautifully animated lightsaber battle between The Inquisitor, Ezra and Kanan, which shared a number of similarities between the battle between Darth Maul, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in Phantom Menace. Visually this scene was impressive, but what stood out even more was Kanan's evolution from a man unwilling to let his Jedi powers show through, to one of the most powerful warriors in the galaxy. After Kanan sees Ezra plummet to what he believes was his Padawan's death, he begins to attack the Inquisitor with a rage that places him on the cusp of tilting into the Dark side. It's an effective tactic, though, and before long we witness the show's first major character death as the Inquisitor is surprisingly sent hurtling into the fiery depths.
The Inquisitor's death was a surprise. After all, here is a character who had been billed as the show's big bad, yet you never feel like you got to witness his true power. But there's a sense that, with both Kanan and Ezra's powers increasing, The Inquisitor was never going to be strong enough to keep them in check. It's for that exact reason the Emperor had dispatched Tarkin to aid in the capture and interrogation of the rebels, but with Kanan's team scoring a resounding victory, one of Star Wars' most famous masks was teased to be making an appearance. Vader's cameo on Fire Across the Galaxy was as brief as it was in the teasers, but put into context of what had just unfolded before it, and it takes on a new level of importance.
As the rebels escape the clutches of the Empire, they are greeted by Chopper and an armada of rebel ships. Despite all of their work and Fulcrum's promises that a wider rebellion against the Empire existed, it's not until this point that Kanan's team have it confirmed by their own eyes. There was a brief moment of terror when Bale Organa appeared via hologram to congratulate the rebels and I thought "Organa is Fulcrum"?, but my naivety was, thankfully, put to rest just moments later as Fulcrum's true identity was revealed. Just as had been predicted a number of weeks ago, we discover that Fulcrum is none other than the missing Jedi Ahsoka Tano.
Since The Clone Wars left our screens, fans had been desperate to see the young Jedi return in some shape or form to the Star Wars universe. Hugely popular and increasingly powerful, Ahsoka had struggled under the tutelage of the Jedi council and her Jedi Master, Anakin Skywalker. Now it looks as though Master and Padawan will once again share the same screen, and it's Ahsoka's presence on the show that suggests Vader will be playing a significant role when we return for a second season.
The prospect of Ahsoka coming up against her old Jedi master in Season 2 is a mouth-watering one, and many fans (myself included) will be counting down the days until the show's return. Star Wars Rebels hadn't always felt like an important show for Star Wars fans, but as the Rebellion starts to take shape and major characters like Ahsoka and Vader come into play, I can't help but feel the entire show will be elevated to a new level during its sophomore season.