Hellooooo my fellow Star Wars fans! It’s a new year and time to get back on the blogging transport! The first post of this gloriously SW-filled year will be another Rebel Transmission, and this one’s on the mind-blowing, heart-wrenching, totally unpredictable, fantasticly fantastic Path Of The Jedi! Step inside… but remember, there’s no turning back. OK technically that’s what the “back” button on your browser is for, but I would hope you wouldn’t do that without having joined me in my thoughts and queries and theories and interesting tidbits. So without further ado, Path Of The Jedi‘s Rebel Transmission, ladies and gents!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, TCW episodes Voices and Sacrifice, Rebels episodes Gathering Forces and Path Of The Jedi.
I’m sure we can all relate to Kanan in this situation at some point in our lives. We spend all day planning to do something with a friend or family member and then said friend or family member goes and forgets about it, or is late, or distracted, etc, etc. Kanan has this whole Jedi test-thing planned for today and Ezra’s not on board the Ghost. For whatever reason, he came running back to the ship. His excuse? He was hanging out with Sabine. The question remains though… what were they doing out there anyway? Pranking some unsuspecting Imperial officer, I’m sure 🙂 Can you spell “paintballs”? Hehehe. Or technically paintBOMBS, the way Miss Wren works! OK not the point. If Ezra’d told his master that this episode would’ve probably gone an entirely different direction (can you also spell “angry paint-splattered Imperial”? XD ). Needless to say Kanan wasn’t really all that happy for his late arrival. Apparently this whole “being-late-for-Jedi-training-or-sometimes-missing-it-entirely-to-begin-with” thing is nothing new as of late. It’s not easy being a kid and then suddenly being a Jedi, and even harder going from a street kid to a Jedi. This is a lot of the reason Kanan’s planned this test out for today. Back on that fyrnock-covered asteroid, Ezra might’ve played with dark-sidery in fighting the ‘Quiz and Kanan’s well-aware that that incident and his padawan’s lack of focus/discipline/etc. could become a bad combination. And this test will prove if Ezra’s meant to be a Jedi or not. Which is kind of a huge potentially planetshaking question… and just the fact alone that Ezra’s future as a Force-wielder is questionable is kinda like… “ermagosh whaaaat?!”. And Young Bridger is clearly thinking the same thing we are. If he finds out he’s not meant to be a Jedi… what does that make him? Is there really any in-between between Jedi and Sith? Thinking on this, not really… the Sith are selfish and the Jedi are selfless… no one’s able to be either one of these all the time, but what you choose to do with such powers, that’s where your loyalty to which side lies. If it’s used for the good of others, or if it’s used for your own good, and even good, seemingly harmless intentions can be corrupted. Don’t think for a moment that Anakin wanted chaos and destruction, he believed he was getting order and justice, but figured out along the road that order and justice doesn’t seem to add up with your boss hitting your kid with Force lightning. Did any of that make sense? If it did, yay, I can actually have deep meaningful conversation! But yeah… still, who is Ezra, if not a Jedi? Which side does he really lean to? Ooooooh intrigue! On the lighter side of things though… man, that bit of “My master would’ve never let you get away with–” “All the things you tried to get away with?” and the look Kanan shoots him XD Perhaps Kanan did his fair share of pranking as well back at the Jedi Temple? Somehow that wouldn’t surprise me. Anyway, off our master and padawan go! Before their departure, Kanan confesses to Hera his uncertainties about the whole thing, but she’s awesome and cheers him on, believing that they both apprentice – and master- will pass the tests ahead of them. Aghh the feels here I just about died!! Hera always knows what to say :3
So as the Phantom goes off on its merry way, Kanan explains where they’re headed. Apparently, that one Jedi Temple we all know from the Prequels and the frosty one on Illum are far from the only ones. There are quite a number of them here and there and everywhere… except of course since most of them were destroyed by the Empire they’re not really “everywhere”. But that’s the first problem on this test: Ezra needs to use the Force to find their closest Temple. And after a few moments of uncertainty, Ezra finds there’s one smack-dab on Lothal! He won’t even have to leave his home planet! Of course, Kanan already knew this because holocron maps but hey, not too shabby Young Bridger 🙂 It’s quite the impressive structure for sure; it’s basically a really big conical rock amongst smaller really big conical rocks. Of course that’s hardly a good description, but whatever you and I both know it’s some kinda awesome-looking! And on top of that, it appears we’re at the Lothal poles, ’cause there’s a fair amount of ice, snow, and auroras up here. Not as frigid as Illum , but still a little chilly, evidently. Man my head about exploded at those gorgeous auroras! Seems weird we’ve never seen them in SW before! (OK if we technically have and I don’t remember it, don’t out me on it please…) So all awe over the temple aside, Ezra’s now in charge of finding the door. Turns out there’s only a door when both teacher and student use the Force together. Man I never ever get tired of watching Kanan and Ezra work together! It’s one of the times when they’re both really really in sync, when they stand out in front of something with hands extended and full focus on the Force. So now the two walk into the dark tunnel that leads into the Lothal temple. Which goes great until HOLY CANNOLI THAT’S A JEDI SKELETON and Ezra did what all of us would do and freak out. Anddd loss of focus = ominous door closing. Whoops. Ezra has the best combination of expressions on his face, one of “GOOD NIGHT THAT WAS DISTURBING!” and the other all “uh… I’m guessing that door closing’s my fault… heh…”. And now Kanan explains the test at hand. Ezra’s basically going into the “cave” a la Luke Skywalker. He’s going to be facing his fears, and Kanan’s going to sit this one out… with his fellow (deceased) Jedi. Sooo weird thought: these two Jedi who “sat this one out” never had their apprentices come back and I guess got locked in. But… didn’t anyone else come over and let them out?? What happened to those padawans?? And how is it they apparently died meditating? They just sat there and waited and waited and waiting until they joined with the Force? And then it occurs to us that basically Kanan’s life is riding on Ezra’s success out here. Yikes O.O And as soon as Ezra walks further into the Temple… a door happens to close behind him. Yup. It’s everyone’s nightmare of doing a test where you don’t know all the answers. OK it’s worse than that in some aspects, and better than that in other ways. Hoo boy this is where the fun begins. Ezra ventures through the dark tunnel until he comes upon three different pathways, and chooses it on account of a little Lothal edition of eenie-meenie-miney-moe (which honestly made me chuckle a little). And then uh… Kanan shows up behind him, all “Really man?”. And I’m all “wait… how’d he get through the doorOHhh wait is this real??”. Looking back, I’m surprised I didn’t realize it was all an illusion. But at the time, the interactions between Ezra and Kanan seemed so real… it was hard to know for sure. I remember back on the TCW episode Sacrifice how when Yoda and Anakin were evidently leading the troops against the Emperor and how it was hard to know if it was for real or not. Even when stuff happened that seemed to be impossible, like Anakin killing Dooku, I still had to wonder. But boy oh boy this episode upped the ante on the whole “real or illusion” thing in a way I couldn’tve imagined, that took the epicness of that TCW episode and brought it up a few notches more. So anyway, Ezra found himself running after his master, trying to figure out what the apparent rush was. And then suddenly the sound of a lightsaber striking and a cry of pain from Kanan. And when Ezra turns around… there stands The Inquisitor. With a wounded Kanan. And that all-too famliar deadly double-red blade. Kanan had warned Ezra that the Empire could be watching… so somehow the fact that ‘Quiz somehow got in here seems really really believable. And there’s nothing about Quizzy that seems out-of-place… still his unique blend of classy-evil, asking who wants to die first as casually as asking who wants some tea. He takes a few steps toward Ezra, but then Kanan, even with his injured arm, pulls out his lightsaber to defend him. And so starts a seriously intense duel that continues to make us wonder if what we’re seeing is real or not. And Ezra can only stand and watch; anything he tries to do just gets met with a Force-choke-throw from the ‘Quiz. Yeah looking back, this battle seems all-too familiar to another three-way lightsaber battle that doesn’t end well. And seriously, this is one of the most frightening duels yet, as we really don’t know if this is reality. It’s still frightening even knowing how it ends! And the ‘Quiz’s nasty grins in the middle of it all certainly don’t help. And thennn oh gosh The Inquisitor plays dirty and pulls out the second blade on his ‘saber and uses it to trip Kanan up… and then that moment we all feared… The Inquisitor drives the blade through Master Jarrus’s chest. No words can adequately describe the sheer distress and horror that comes when this kind of thing happens. No words. Except I usually make a pained gasp-squeak of emotional turmoil. I mean, I spent a lot of this episode wondering if we’d indeed lost Kanan after not even half a season. And if there’s one thing harder to watch than Kanan (assumptively) die, it’s watching Ezra watch Kanan (assumptively) die. AUGHHHH SO MUCH TEARS…! Literally just seeing that hint of tears in Ezra’s eyes about made me lose it myself. Of course, after the grief comes the anger. Ezra grabs Kanan’s saber and intends to fully avenge his master. But it doesn’t work! And The Inquisitor throwing around his blade like he does pushes Ezra literally to the edge, and is sent sprawling into an abyss. And he wakes up in… his room on the Ghost? Now this part seemed to clearly be an illusion… mostly. Honestly I felt like I’d gone to Wonderland at this point, where the doorknobs talk and up is down and right is left. I admit I was holding my breath in case it turned out to be like Episode IV and everyone he cared about had been killed by the Empire *shudders*. Oh but it was almost as bad… Ezra finds himself overhearing a conversation amongst Hera, Zeb, and Sabine… and they’re all talking about him. Hera seems to have lost all faith in him, and only regrets his loss because of what he was capable of. Zeb’s just glad to have his quarters back to himself. And Sabine pities him. OUCH. So much OUCH. At all of this, Ezra starts to put two and two together, that this can’t be real. And then, judging by the sudden shade of red in the room… and all the painful sounds that follow it… Ezra witnesses the very thing I feared we’d see the aftermath of. Aughhh Sabine’s unanswered cry for help is like a punch in the gut. And just seeing the hint of her having fallen at The Inquisitor’s hands… no words. I’m actually having trouble typing this man… I hurt for Ezra so much right now I can’t even… 😥 And then ‘Quiz slowly but surely corners Ezra… but before he knows it, Young Bridger takes another fall, and he’s back in the Temple. But he’s still standing behind a locked door, and he still has no idea what to do, where to go, or if he’d really lost his master. And now he’s alone, drowning in his fear of abandonment. Yup my heart’s pretty much broken now. WHYYYYYYYY. But then Ezra holds on to a single strand of hope. He’s survived being abandoned before, so he can do it again, and maybe Kanan’s not dead and he needs his help. But behind door number #1 is The Inquisitor… again. Ezra fires back that, since he was on the Ghost, the ‘Quiz must be an illusion, too. But then Quizzy is all “Maybe that was, but I’m not.” and grabs Ezra, and that alone is enough to set us in the audience on panic mode. If he can literally do that… doesn’t that make him real? And then we start freaking out for Ezra, and it starts to set in that Kanan might very well be dead. Hoo buddy this part will never fail to terrify me, just because it really starts to make us question any lingering thoughts we had earlier about it being an illusion. The Inquisitor corners Ezra once more, casually asking if the boy’s afraid to die (while, of course, holding on to his lightsaber). But as Ezra stands here, unarmed with seemingly nowhere to go with no chance of surviving, he comes on his own terms to realize that, while he may be afraid of abandonment, disappointing Kanan, and losing the people who matter to him most, he’s not afraid to face death. Gaahhhh the bravery on Ezra’s face…! The tears on my face are just streaming down. And then he calmly stands as the ‘Quiz strikes a red blade through him. But alas! Ezra’s still alive. Suddenly the red light fades away, and he’s alone once more. And in the quiet of the moment, he hears a voice. A voice he’s never heard, but one we certainly have… excuse me while I break up all this deep discussion with a fangirl moment OMGOSH IT’S YODA!!! NOT ONLY THAT BUT IT’S FRANK OZ YODA!! THE REAL FRANK OZ!!! (Not of course that Tom Kane wasn’t just as amazing, but you get what I mean) SQUEEEEEEEEEE!! OwO “For what lies ahead, ready are you?” so much deep, Master Yoda! And then the voice manifests himself in the form of sparkly lights, just like Qui-Gon back on Voices! I can see Yoda’s done well in his immortality lessons thus far 🙂 And naturally, when someone introduces themself as a guide and appears in sparkly light-form, you have to follow them. And Ezra starts on the next half of his journey, the one where he follows the light.
It is now that we finally see Kanan again. And oh happy day he’s alive!! Still just meditating away, wondering what’s taking Ezra so long. And then Yoda decides to talk to him for a bit. Consider Kanan’s mind BLOWN. As well… he was on the boat with everyone else that you can’t exactly go around talking to people when you’re dead. Of course, Yoda’s not dead, but does Kanan know that? Either way, it’s still kinda weird having someone subliminally talk to you when they’re not around. After he recovers from the shock, Kanan’s cool with getting to somehow talk with his long-time-no-seen master-of-masters. Yoda can tell that Kanan’s a little reluctant in the teaching game. And Kanan admits that he does sometimes have second thoughts about training Ezra, only because he doubts himself and his capabilities. Poor guy still doesn’t feel qualified. With Ezra seemingly growing stronger by the minute he’s not sure if he can keep up, and if he can avoid failing the boy. And honestly? Kanan isn’t totally sure whether his feelings are right or wrong sometimes, he’s been out of the Jedi game for so long. But Kanan will do everything in his power to keep Ezra from taking the paths he took. YUS. You go, Master Jarrus!
Meanwhile, Ezra and Yoda’s conversation continues. Man, Yoda is so good at what he does. When Ezra comes to that three-way doorway, Yoda tells him to trust the Force and himself to help him find his way. Once he’s picked his door, he finds himself in a room lit dimly by glowing carvings on the wall. And it’s there that Yoda decides to ask him why Ezra wants to be a Jedi in the first place. Yeah that’s a good question, because most of us would answer that with “I’m in it for the lightsaber” (c’mon, honest, you must be). His first answer is because Kanan believes he can, which isn’t that good of an answer. His second answer is that he’s maybe interested in the power, and a lot interested in getting back at the Empire and everything they cost him. Yeah that’s just a bad answer period, Yoda knows that for sure. But it’s his third answer that’s the real truth. He wants to protect others, including the people who made him see that there was more to life than just fighting for oneself. The people who helped him see the joy in giving to others, in helping others, in showing love to others, and made him find joy and purpose in that as well. It makes him feel alive. Just… wow. Aw man… *sniff*. It’s then that Yoda assures him that though the path will not be easy, becoming a Jedi is a very likely happening in Young Bridger’s future. And then… a glowing blue spark descends in the darkness. It’s after a few seconds that it occured to me and I literally squealed “ERMAGOSH IT’S A LIGHTSABER CRYSTAL!!!” and started bouncing in my seat. Haha I will never forget that reaction as long as I live… XD
So finally Ezra walks through the Temple door, back to where his master sits. And boy, color Kanan impressed that his apprentice already has his hands on a kyber crystal! Once Ezra finds out what a kyber crystal is for, he’s pretty wowed himself. Yes, the master and padawan leave the Lothal Temple on good terms, moving onward to whatever happens next. And a few weeks down the road, Ezra reveals to his comrades what he’s been working on — his lightsaber. And oh wow oh wow oh wow… it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. It’s different, but in the best of ways! And it’s pretty much too fantastic for words. Yeah and then I started getting all weepy and feely; “Ahmagosh Ezra’s growing upppppp…!!“. Yup, really couldn’tve asked for a better lightsaber for Ezra… or a better ending. Ever.
So yeah seriously I didn’t think my mind could get this blown. Or my emotions go through so many highs and lows in under half an hour. But that’s just Star Wars for ya 😀 On an interesting note, I was surprised that there was a fair amount of similarity to Jude Watson’s Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth. Without giving much away, that tale tells of Anakin making his lightsaber on Illum, and the whole experience has a lot of similarities as both master and apprentice face some pretty earth-shattering, emotionally-draining visions. And it proves my theory that not every Jedi learns the same way. So cool! Go read that now or if you’ve read it, go read my post on it now. So anyway, I’m excited for a whole new year of Star Wars awesomeness and hopefully you can be expecting more blogs (including more topical, fun posts) from me in the weeks to come!
Keep The Peace,