Surprising Revelation Leads to Confrontation
If you were looking for an episode that rivaled some of the Clone Wars best episodes I think you found it tonights with Rise of the Old Masters. The remarkable thing is that it took the Clone Wars a couple of years to produces something like this while Rebels has done it in no less than three episodes. But before we jump straight into the fray with the episode I want to discuss a very exciting addition to the Spark of the Rebellion episode that aired on Sunday night on ABC. For those of you that missed it, audiences were treated to an expanded opening scene that featured Darth Vader himself, in fine form. This nugget of a scene was voiced by original Darth Vader James Earl Jones and we saw the same life-choking ambition that we grew so fond of in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. He was powerful, short and distinct, and all he wanted to do was end our heroes. Wonderful!!
Turning our attention back to the episode we find Ezra and Kanan embarking on some early Jedi training that is not going well. The dynamic of teacher and master is slowly being explored and both are struggling with their new found roles. The bantering between the two highlights this struggle but also illustrates the relationships evolution. Questioning Yoda’s “Do, or do not. There is no try” teachings brings a highpoint to this discussion and also show the series isn't afraid to make fun of itself. One of the drivers in their relationship is the fact that Ezra is near the same age that Kanan was when the Jedi were terminated at the hands of the Emperor. At this time, everything Kanan had known was suddenly gone and the only thing that was left was doubt and fear. It took Kanan over a decade to come to terms with this seeing this fear in someone in a similar position has been overwhelming and often times frustrating. The roller coaster of emotion only gets worse as an intercepted transmission reveals startling information that Jedi Master Luminara was still alive, and being held in one of the Empires Strongholds. An obviously shaken Kanan leads the gang on an immediate trip to rescue her despite the overwhelming odds. One thing that catches Ezra off-guard is Kanan mentioning the fact that if they can rescue her, she would be an ideal Master to continue his training.
Finally arriving to the planet we get out first look at the Phantom, the mini-shuttle that is attached to Hera’s ship “The Ghost”. (These little items really make fans excited, sorry). Once dropped on the side of the fortress the team goes to some make-shift strategies to get into the compound. We begin to see Kanan's Jedi powers used a lot on this trip making us wonder how extensive his training may have been. He and Ezra finally find the cell the Luminara was being held only to be dumfounded with what they find (and very sad). From here the Inquisitor enters the cell with a demeanor that is as intimidating as his look. Although he is not a sith, we find him very effective with his lightsaber, so much that he makes battling Kanan look simple, and answers our questions about his training. His spinning blade steals the show and makes both Ezra and Zeb ask “Does yours do that?” Adding some perfectly timed comedy within the heat of the battle. As our heroes escape the viewers can’t help notice the amazing nostalgic visuals that the series bring. The inside of the Compound has a very strong resemblance to the Death Star and the blast doors bring back the visions of Han and Luke trying to escape.
In the end of the episode we find a quiet moment with Ezra and Kanan coming to the realization that they both have some maturing to do in their roles of apprentice and student. The bleak past they once shared is that, of the past, and they must now work together to succeed.
Overall this episode was captivating from beginning to end. The Jedi plot twist made the story especially strong and getting a first look at The Inquisitor was thrilling. I also appreciated the humorous interludes that infuse the dynamics of the characters. As they continue to build out a solid story arc I have a strong feeling we will see more past, current and future (Episode IV) characters to keep us highly entertained!! What did you think of the Episode??
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