And so we return to our regularly-scheduled Rebel Transmissions. And with many feels all the while! Ahh wow this episode tho…! Join me for some fascinating commentary on Shroud Of Darkness! Also, for the record, I’m going to be writing this from the perspective I had at the time I saw it, so there will be no discussion in this as how it connects to the finale or any other episode after this one. That I’ll save for another day. Got it? Good let’s read.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode VII, Raid On Corsucant, TCW episodes Overlords, The Wrong Jedi the Crystal Crisis arc (storyreels), and Destiny, Rebels episodes Path Of The Jedi, Fire Across The Galaxy, The Siege Of Lothal, and Shroud Of Darkness
So much for that potential base, huh? It’s too bad really… it had great weather (nope), friendly wildlife (maybe), and incredible rock formations (truth). Unfortunately, it was also infested with Inquisitors. OK really only two but that’s still two too many for our resident Jedi to be comfortable with. Ohh I adore this opening! We get an intense lightsaber battle right off the bat! Basically this means our emotions don’t get a break for the entirety of the episode, but hey, that’s just one of those things I love about SW 🙂 Ezra does a stellar job at holding his own against these guys, like seriously, it feels like his skills increase every episode. Also yessss “I don’t go for crazy… anymore!” XD XD Oh goodness that was perfect. Hard to believe the guy was ever a ladies’ man right? Plus, c’mon seeing Sev flirt with Kanan is hilarious, considering where their voice actors stand. Delightful. AND THEN FIFTH BRO FORCE-PUSHES EZRA OFF THE CLIFFSIDE OH NOES!! Kanan grabs him, but with the ‘Quizzes coming up fast, this miiiiight be a problem. A few well-aimed jump-flip techniques get master and padawan back in the game, which again, WOW their level of pwnage is just too amazing. But this fight can’t go on forever, which is why Ezra had a plan, and it involves jumping off the cliff. Though Kanan entirely questions the plan, you gotta give him credit, he did go along with it anyway. But THE EAGLES HAVE COME! Wait wrong fandom. I mean THE FLYING CRITTERS I CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAME OF HAVE COME! Speaking of Ezra’s stellar skillz…! And with Chopper flying the Phantom, our heroes fly off into the stormcloud sunset! Aside from the fact that they didn’t get the base and had some close calls with the Inquisitors, I think that went well. OK not really, I’m just glad they lived. Seems Ez’s gotten used to this and sits back and relaxes like that whole life-and-death fight was nothing more than a workout. Kanan’s not liking the fact that he’s gotten used to it too. How can they keep doing their Rebelling when there’s always some Darksider close behind? Their next move is to talk Jedi business with Commander Tano.
Ezra walks in on Ahsoka viewing an old holocron where stands a familiar face — Anakin Skywalker. Oh sweet mercy THE FEELS! IT’S TOO MUCH!! Turns out young Bridger’s a fan as much as we are, as he’s watched this holocron to help improve his own ‘saber moves. Ahsoka recalls not only his Jedi prowess, but the all-around nice guy he was, the friend he was. GUHHHH WHYYY. Sorry expect a lot of this in this post. Reminds me a lot of the moment in Lego’s Raid On Coruscant where Luke watches his father being a boss Jedi in the last surviving Temple holocron. I never thought I’d get to see a similar scene in something 100% canon so that just made me feel feels all over. Anyway, Ezra queries as to what became of such a boss Jedi. Ahsoka doesn’t know for sure, as the last time she saw him, he was off to save the Chancellor. That certainly brings up some questions, don’t it? I had always sorta figured that after Ahsoka left, they fell out of touch. Something hinted at pretty well in the TCW Crystal Crisis arc when Anakin’s all “I know! I’ll just call Ahsoka– oh… right… *sad face*”. But evidently… she was sorta there either a) when Anakin set off to rescue Palpatine from Dooku and Grievous or b) when he believed the Jedi were revolting. So does that mean they were still chatting here and there and meeting up when they could? Or is it simply that Ahsoka was across the road getting coffee and got a glimpse at what was going on? Definitely a question I’d like answered at some point. Absolutely fascinating. So Kanan suggests maybe doing a solely Jedi mission where they could hunt down the Inquisitors. Ahsoka’s not sure that wouldn’t just cause more problems ultimately, but what to do then? Ahsoka wishes that they had another, wiser Jedi to turn to, and wellll it happens Kanan does know where they can talk to such a Jedi. TO THE LOTHAL TEMPLE!
Again, always nice to see Lothal again, back where it all began. Still kinda chilly up there at the Temple. How is Ahsoka not cold in that though-fabulous-probably-isn’t-very-warm sleeveless outfit? Yes isn’t Star Wars weather fascinating? Anyway so Ezra offers to let the masters take the lead and open up the Temple, but Ahsoka explains she’s rather… unqualified. Ezra raises an eyebrow at the knowledge that Ahsoka’s not a Jedi in the technical sense, but hey, none of them really are. So looks like that’s a job for Kanan and Ezra to do. But things are a bit different this time around — the Temple rises up a bit higher this time, revealing a new door. Ooooh much intrigue. I mean, you really can’t go to this Temple without a lot of intrigue following, but it’s still cool all the same. As they walk into the Temple, Ahsoka’s all “OK now what?”. Kanan and Ezra have no clue how to explain how they talked to Yoda last time around, but mediating is a good start. After a few moments, Kanan sees a bright light shining from a doorway. Ahsoka and Ezra don’t see it, so Kanan figures this is where he’ll be going today. Once he walks through, he finds himself in a Jedi training room of some sort, and in that room sits a temple guard. All Kanan wanted was to find some answers, and instead this guy just shrugs his shoulders, snaps open his yellow double-bladed, and is all “Man, you’re gonna fail and that padawan of yours is gonna end up a servant to evil. I think I might just get rid of him before he does anything.”. Which garners a “WHUT??” from the audience and a “OH NO YOU WON’T” from Kanan, who ignites his blue blade with a protective ferocity. On a scale from 1 to 10, the levels of intensity just got amped to a 13.
Meanwhile, Chopper smelled trouble, and that “trouble” came in the form of two TIEs with the Inquisitor sibs in tow. Fifth Bro isn’t impressed, as it seems Sev’s instincts are a tad off and they’ve missed them. But Sis’s confidence doesn’t shatter in the slightest as she sends her miniprobe to get a closer look. Fifth eerily punctuates the scene with “Their sanctuary will be their tomb”. They make a great team, these two… they’re both completely terrifying, but in different ways, and though they take very different approaches to things, they both really can fight something fierce. And right now they very much scare me. Last time around, it freaked us out thinking The Inquisitor could break in to the temple, and now… well… O.O
So while waiting for their cue to know how they’d be spending their day here, Ezra and Ahsoka talk about Yoda. Again FEELS. Ahsoka has this whole great speech about Yoda and who he was and how he viewed the Clone Wars, only to find Ezra gone by the time she’s done. It’s nothing personal ‘Soka, I could listen to your stories all day! He just had somewhere to be right then, that’s all. That somewhere is in the starlit Force-y realm he visited a while back. And right behind him sits Yoda. THE. ACTUAL. YODA. Not a trail of sparkly lights with a voice anymore! It’s him, all green and wrinkly with pointy ears and all! Brooo if I’d been there I woulda done hugged him, even if he was just a Force-y image that wasn’t really there. Apparently the fact he’s there in the almost-flesh isn’t due to any training on Yoda’s part, but on Ezra’s growing abilities. But they can’t have a casual conversation for long, because there’s also this danger that Yoda wants to talk about…
Back to Kanan’s side of the story, it seems he was doing all right dueling with the very very very unimpressed guard. Understandable since the guard seems to have a move to combat every one of Jarrus’s. Kanan manages to reach for another ‘saber on the wall, and interestingly enough grabs a red-bladed one. Hmmm fascinating imagery. WHAT DOES IT MEANNN? Then Guard-bro just be all “Look you’re just gonna die trying so let’s make this quick” *clap clap* “OH BOYYYS!” And then more guards show up. Oh so much fascinatingness.
Now for Ahsoka… aw man… this… scene. If I flub up anything writing for it, you have the complete freedom to hit me with a cartoony oversized hammer. That second when she suddenly recognizes the voice calling her name. And then when we see him… Anakin… standing there in the shadows behind her. She can’t even look, but she knows. She knows. He questions why she left him, she tries to justify her reasons. He berates her for being selfish and failing him. There are tears on her part. And then… “Do you know what I’ve become?”. And now the shadows form Darth Vader where her best friend once stood. Ahsoka knows. Really knows. I can’t man… *sobs* It was easy enough to believe that she knew all the way back on the season opener, but I could totally see her pushing those thoughts away, calling them “crazy” and assuring herself that there’s no way in the world he had anything to do with the Dark Side. Remember the Mortis episodes? Remember how she saw a vision of her adult self warning her against staying Anakin’s apprentice? “Seeds of the Dark Side” and all that? Ahsoka was quick to defend him and likely never thought about it again. But now… oh man. Ohhh man. What happened in Siege Of Lothal was the “it’s not true… that’s impossible”, and this is the “search your feelings, you know it to be true”. Heartwrenching. Absolutely heartwrenching. Ahsoka cries out a pained “no!” and turns around, lightsaber ablaze, but nothing’s there. And in the dark room alone, she allows her tears to fall. I can’t. I’m sorry if the rest of this post comes off sloppily-written but I am absolutely wrecked right now.
Ezra cut to the chase, asking how he might go about defeating Vader and crew. Yoda answers that with the mind-blowing notion that fighting’s not the best option. The Master looks back to the days of the Clone Wars, how the Jedi got pulled into the fighting, not taking the time to further dig into what they were truly truly fighting for. Yoda doesn’t shy away from admitting the fear he felt during the war blinded him to what was to come. And then OH DANG THE INQUISITORS ARE BREAKING IN! The grounds outside the temple glow red as Five and Seven use the Force to open the doors. This lesson may need to be cut short. But seriously though Yoda you keep on blowin’ my mind open! Fighting for the right thing is one of those things I’m all-for, and, as Maz Kanata put it, we’re in a constant battle between the Light Side and the Dark side, so doesn’t that justify it? Or is Yoda simply warning Ezra to be aware as to how he chooses to fight? So many questions! Forgive me if that made no sense.
Kanan was still keeping up the fight with the guards to the best of his abilities. As the temple shakes with the arrival of the inquisitors, the lead guard says again “you can’t fight the inevitable”. At this, Kanan finally puts down his ‘sabers and admits that he can’t protect Ezra forever, he can only do his best to train him and hope his padawan will continue down that path. Then, instead of the guard striking the final blow, he KNIGHTS HIM. Yes you read that correctly. And it was beautiful. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. The man once known as Caleb Dume is an apprentice no more. Kanan don’t quite get it though. And then… the guard takes off his helmet, and we find ourselves looking the face of a much-purer version of who we knew as The Grand Inquisitor. “It means you’re what I once was, a knight of the Jedi Order”. SAY WHAT?! It kept nagging at me I knew that voice, but the only thing that came to mind was Plo Koon, which didn’t make any sense. But yeah boy did my jaw hit the floor. Assuming this is true and not something thrown together by the vision, which I believe is the case, that is an amazing discovery. My respect for The ‘Quiz-turned-temple-guard just went way way up. I MUST KNOW MORE!! But what else is new today? So many questions.
Also, though only a brief moment, I love seeing Ahsoka pick herself up and say bravely “There’s still a way”. SO. AMAZING. GAHHH. Anyway, yes Ezra’s conversation with Yoda was indeed cut short. And his final answers on the “fight or not fight” thing were a bit enigmatic, to say the least. The one thing he did pick up though, was the simple command “Go to Malachor”. And now Ezra stood alone in the crumbling temple once more. The three Jedi now reunite and decide that now’s the best time to go. The Inquisitors are here. They’re all confidence and Darkside swag as they step into the temple, but what they find knocks that confidence down a few notches: their old boss, the former Grand Inquisitor, and his temple guard friends. ‘Tis a beautiful capper for his legacy. This guy, who I always saw as a straight-up terrifying, cruel Darksider, who last time we visited this temple scared the snot out of us in the audience, has not only taught Kanan a powerful, beautiful, real lesson, but done went and kept Fifth and Seventh from catching the Jedi! It is interesting I had no idea Guard-Quiz could appear to anyone but Kanan, and for a split-second I thought he might be alive. But I’m thinking in the Force, you can do whatever you want, and since he was likely a Jedi most of his life, Guard-Quiz’s spirit decided it wouldn’t hurt to mess with his former employees a little. However that works, it’s an amazing sight to behold.
Anyway, and as the Jedi made a run for it, Ahsoka stopped and turned around to see Yoda. Oh my land this was so so sweet. He gives her a small smile and a wave, and she returns that with a smile and a nod. I’ve read several different interpretations of that moment, but for me it will always be a genuine tender moment between the master and padawan. The moment in Destiny where Yoda sees a vision of Ahsoka dying breaks my heart, so this is as much a comforting exchange for Yoda (who feared what would become of her) as it is for Ahsoka (who just found out a horrible truth). Beautiful. Seriously beautiful. No matter what would happen ultimately, it was a beautiful moment. And so, our heroes escape the temple and hop on the Phantom to head for home. Ezra tells them about what Yoda said going to Malachor. Kanan and Ahsoka exchange a look, though they seem to know more than they’re letting on, they do divulge that Malachor is a place. But what kind of place and why that place are another couple of questions added to the long long list of questions this episode has given us. And only in time will we find these answers…
As for the Lothal Temple, the Empire’s got ahold of it now, sadly. Fifth is all “dangg these Jedi are getting stupid powerful!” to which a certain masked dark lord replies “It will be their undoing…”. *Shudders* did it just get colder in here? I think that’s the darkness I feel. Yikes.
OK wow that was a lot to wrap my head around. I’m rather amazed this Transmission turned out as well as it did. So there you go, some food for thought and some questions to get asking. I’ll meet you back here for more posts next time 🙂
Keep The Peace,