The latest two episodes of Star Wars: Rebels turned up the mysticism to 11. What else could we expect from episodes about an ancient Jedi temple?
“Wolves and a Door”
The team is in favor of helping Ezra liberate the Jedi temple on Lothal but how will they get from the southern side of the planet to the northern without a ship? Ezra has a plan. His bond with the loth-wolves has gotten stronger because he quickly summons the pack who agree to take them. They disappear into a kind of hyperspace-like tunnel.
We’re almost at the end of the series so I’m expecting more nostalgic moments. In the tunnel, we see and hear sequences from previous seasons. We see Ezra’s initial interactions with the Ghost crew coupled with Kanan embracing the Jedi side of himself again and accepting that training Ezra is his fate. This is the first instance of a bridge between the past and the present in these two episodes.
At the temple, the team sees what looks like Imperial archaeologists going through artifacts. Sabine thinks she can figure out the symbols if she can get a closer look at them so Ezra and Sabine disguise themselves as stormtroopers. They soon find out that the excavation of the temple comes at the Emperor’s order. Minister Veris Hydan, who is in charge of the project, updates the Emperor on what they’ve found. Specifically, they found a large mural of the Mortis gods. The Mortis gods, a father, his daughter and his son, represent the light, the dark and the balance in the force. The Emperor tells Hydan that the death of Kanan has caused a disturbance in the force and altered the fate of Lothal. Because of this, they have to get into the temple and the secrets it holds.
Hera wants to fall back because the Emperor is involved. For that very reason, Ezra wants to continue. They can’t let the temple fall into the Emperor’s hands. In a heartbreaking scene, we see a ghostly Kanan with his hand on Hera’s shoulder and giving her silent support. She agrees to let Ezra and Sabine continue to explore while her and Zeb keep watch.
Sabine realizes that the mural is a kind of star map. Her suggestion on what the symbols mean leads to Ezra awakening the mural. Yes, awakening. The two dimensional images begin to shift. The loth-wolves leave the main painting and form a gateway. At a captured Sabine’s desperate urging, Ezra jumps in.
“A World Between Worlds”
In “A World Between Worlds”, Ezra falls through the gateway into a beautiful star-filled landscape broken up by white bridges. As Ezra explores the new environment, we hear voices from Attack of the Clones, The Clones Wars, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and even, The Force Awakens. They deal with the Jedis and their relationship with the force and each other. Death, belonging and resistance are also covered. In this one place, Yoda, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Qui-Gon Jinn, Leia, Rey, Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron, Maz Kanata, Jyn Erso, and Kanan all exist at the same time. It’s an amazing scene to witness as a Star Wars fan. While not expressly linked, they can serve as messages for Ezra.
“I won’t let him lose his way, not like I did,” Kanan says just as Ezra emerges from the portal.
“Just when you think you understand the Force, you find out how little you actually know,” Ahsoka says. The perfect description of what is happening.
The makers of Rebels have introduced something new and truly special to the Star Wars universe with this world between worlds. In the outside world, Minister Hydan explains to Sabine that the gate leads to a pathway through space and time. No wonder the Emperor wants it. With this temple, he will have the ability to affect the past, present and future – essentially time travel. Hydan uses the carrot and then the stick to get Sabine to help him figure out how to open the gate. Meanwhile, Hera and Zeb concoct a plan to get Sabine out of the Imperial headquarters.
In the temple, Ezra sees a bird that he always associated with Ahsoka. It is over a portal where an image forms of Ahsoka’s battle with Darth Vader. After years and the #AhsokaLives campaign, we finally get to learn her fate. She plunges her lightsabers into the floor, causing a hole to open for Vader to fall through. Before Vader has the chance to strike out at her, Ezra pulls her into the temple. So, Ahsoka is alive!
Ezra fills her in on what happened since they last saw each other including Kanan’s death. As if this crossroads of past, present and future wasn’t enough mysticism, Ahsoka floats the idea that Kanan’s spirit might be moving through the Dume, the loth-wolf. We’ve seen other Jedi continue to guide the living after death. It’s fitting to see Kanan fall into that tradition. Still grieving, Ezra thinks that if he could save Ahsoka then he can also save Kanan. He runs to the gateway holding Kanan’s last moment. With Ahsoka’s help, he accepts that he can’t save Kanan without dooming everyone else. In the end, they both couldn’t save their masters. Kanan sent Ezra there to save the gateway from the Empire, not to rewrite the past. It speaks to Ezra’s growth that he realizes Kanan’s lesson and doesn’t fight it.
Ahsoka and Ezra can’t stay in the temple but before they can figure out how to leave, the Emperor reveals himself in one of the portals and shoots blue fire at them. Ahsoka and Ezra use the force to try to hold it back. The Emperor wants Ezra to help him open the gate and tries to capture him. Ahsoka saves Ezra and then they split up, each running back to their portals. Using Sabine’s instructions, Ezra closes the gateway, destroying the temple. With this last mission, Hera realizes that Kanan is truly gone. The episode ends with Ezra saying a final goodbye to Kanan. With only two more episodes left, we’ll soon have to say goodbye to all of these characters.