These are some of my thoughts after seeing the two part Season 2 finale of Star Wars Rebels, “Twilight of the Apprentice.”
This isn’t a review, it is my thoughts as I might share them with a friend who is already conversant with Star Wars lore as far as the 6 movies plus The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. As well as being familiar with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
If this is all Greek to you, you can catch up at wookiepedia, but more satisfying will be to watch The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels first. See you next month in that case.
Let me just lay out the character correspondences I see between the principals in LotR and Rebels.
Ezra = Frodo
Zeb = Samwise
Chopper = Pippin
possibly that other new droid = Merry (if the comically sociopathic Chopper doesn’t kick him off the ship from a great height like he did the last new droid)
Kanan Jarus = Aragorn
Ahsoka Tano = Gandalf
Rex = Boromir?
Hera = ???
Sabine = ???
Maul = Gollum
Vader = The Balrog
Emperor Palpatine = Sauron
The Inquisitors = Orcs, the cave troll
The Sith Holocron “containing all the knowledge of the Sith” and great destructive power = The One Ring
Star Wars intentionally follows the heroes journey particularly as described by Joseph Campbell with the Jedi characters Yoda and Luke. Each has a “descent into the Underword” experience during which they come near the brink of death and arise as it were from the grave, now infused with great spiritual power and innoculated against fear of death which is one of the great temptations of the Dark Side. So too, at Moria, Gandalf falls, to later be reborn as Gandalf the White.
So if you want to trace the narrative of the Fellowship of the Ring at Moria vrs the three (former) Jedi from Rebels, it would be as follows.
Yoda/Elrond sends the company on a quest which will lead them into darkess in order to evade the snares of the enemy.
The Watcher in the Water/Initial fight with Inquisitor 8th Brother
Ezra becomes separated from the group and meets a denizen of the darkness who has been trapped there a long time. Ezra and Maul parallels Bilbo and Gollum in The Hobbit here.
Fight with the inquisitors/Chamber of Mazarbul. The Seventh Sister/cave troll and the other Inquisitors/orcs are soundly defeated. Ezra/Frodo is saved from being skewered.
Now comes the big bad, Darth Vader/The Balrog. Everyone is scared. Only Ahsoka/Gandalf can stand unafraid and alone.
There’s also another direct callback to the Lord of the Rings here with Ahsoka/Eowyn defying the spirit of evil with I am no Jedi/I am no man.
You shall not pass! Protecting Ezra/Frodo.
Ahsoka force pushes Ezra out of the fight at the last moment/Gandalf: Fly you fools!
The company flees, disconsolate at losing their most moral, most powerful member and leader.
Meanwhile, Ahsoka/Gandalf and Vader/The Balrog fight. Long fight. Vader is severely injured/The Balrog is destroyed.
There is a last vision of Ahsoka descending deeper into the Sith Temple/Gandalf:
‘Long I fell, and he fell with me. His fire was about me. I was burned. Then we plunged into deep water and all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart. […] Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things…’
“‘Ice fell like rain. I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin. Then darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell.
“‘Naked I was sent back – for a brief time, until my task is done. And naked I lay upon the mountain-top. […] I was alone, forgotten, without escape upon the hard horn of the world. There I lay staring upward, while the stars wheeled over, and each day was as long as a life-age of the earth. Faint to my ears came the gathered rumour of all lands: the springing and the dying, the song and the weeping, and the slow everlasting groan of overburdened stone.’ ”
So Ahsoka will return, of course. But not unchanged, and not until things look very bleak indeed for the company.
Of course Disney can throw a monkey wrench into all this. Indeed it seems they have insisted that Ahsoka be written out of the story at this point. Ahsoka is so not a Disney princess. She isn’t girly, she wears practical, not sexy armor, she doesn’t need rescuing, and she isn’t going to get married and live happily ever after. Despite that she is the character that the youngest generation of Star Wars fans have come to know and love above all others for the past ten years, Disney seem to instead want to go the Abrams route. For more on that see my article, Force Awakens is a snide parody of Star Wars.
However, the force is strong with Ahsoka and her legions of fans, so I think it more likely than not that we will see her in the live action movies at some point.
There are a number of callbacks to the Old Republic in Twilight of the Apprentice, notably the Sith temple on Malachor and the female who made the great Sith Holocron, who would then be Jedi Master Arren Kae/Darth Traya/Kreia.
As far as in-universe, what does Ahsoka do next?
I would suggest that she gains knowledge of future events enough to know that not only will all of the known Jedi either fall or turn to the Dark Side, but that Luke’s New Jedi Order will fail and fall to the Dark Side and be destroyed as well.
What would she do in such a circumstance?
I suggest Ahsoka will get as many force sensitive kids as she can and head to Tython to begin a new order, which will be effectively a Grey Jedi order dedicated to the living force, like the predecessors of the Jedi, the Je’daii Order and the Dai Bendu.
By going back to the original homeworld of the Jedi, Tython, Ahsoka would be following in the footsteps of another female Jedi Master from the Old Republic era, Satele Shan. Shan went to Tython after the Sith defeated the Republic and sacked the Jedi temple on Corescant during the Great Galactic War.
This will take her off the stage indefinitely but not put her out of play if things get really bleak and suddenly the space cavalry needs to ride to the rescue as it were. Maybe literally if she can commune with the Purgill space whales like Esra. Or the Duinuogwin space dragons mentioned in early histories of the Old Republic.
Well those are my thoughts thus far. What do you think?
Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy