Just like we did for the first half of Star Wars Rebels season 4, Hannah Ortega and I will both be giving you our takes on the last half of the season, this time breaking down our thoughts on the episodes as they air. This week we’re talking about the game changing episodes “Jedi Night” and “DUME.”
From the very beginning of Star Wars Rebels, we knew it wasn’t going to end well. We’ve seen the original trilogy, we know the Rebels are in disarray, and the Jedi are all but extinct. Whatever this new band of Rebels was working to accomplish, probably was not going to have great results, and the fact that two of them were a Jedi and his apprentice, did not bode well for their futures at all. From the beginning I’ve just known, in the back of my mind, whatever happened in this series, at the very least, for Kanan and Ezra, their stories were not likely to end well.
Kanan Jarrus became one with the Force last night, and I have to say, I kind of knew it was coming. That didn’t make it any easier to watch though. As the first episode was called “Jedi Night,” I was almost certain that Kanan was going down, and this was one of those times that I hated being right.
After a successful mission, rescuing Hera from the clutches of the apparently sadistic Commander Pryce, Kanan is caught in an explosion and uses the last of his strength to Force push Hera back into their ship, and shove it out of the way of the blast, as he himself disappears into the inferno.
Honestly it was an amazing scene, and Kanan went out a hero. The way his vision came back at the last second, allowing he and Hera to share one final look into each other’s eyes was beautifully tragic. I really wish that they could have had a happy life together, but I did love every bit of their final few scenes in this episode.
As much as the end of that episode made my eyes well up, I don’t think any actual tears appeared until the next episode, “DUME.” As Hera is mourning the loss of Kanan, Chopper wheels up to her and takes her hand in his, that’s when the actual tears came. This cranky little bucket of petulance really did have a heart after all. For as much as I couldn’t stand Chopper in the first couple of seasons, this one scene redeemed him completely. I love that angry little droid.
I’m still holding out a tiny bit of hope for Ezra, but only a little. There are no Jedi by the time of A New Hope, so unless Ezra pulls an Ahsoka and just gives up the title completely, I can’t see his story ending well either. I’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
Whatever happens, we’ve got two weeks left. I’m not expecting a happy ending, and I’m bracing myself for the worst. I know our Rebels aren’t going to win the war, but at the very least I hope they will be able to liberate Lothal. It will be a small victory in an incomprehensibly larger war, but at this point we need any small victories we can get.
I’ll preface this review by saying that, thanks to the internet, these episodes were spoiled for me. However, it didn’t make the earth shattering loss of Kanan any less emotional.
I never could’ve predicted that Kanan would perish in “Jedi Night,” especially not in the first episode since the break. Many fans have long speculated that Kanan, along with Ezra, would die because he is not in the original trilogy, but I held on to hope that he could still be around. After all, Hera is not in the movies, but expanded media, including comics, the Forces of Destiny shorts, and the mention of a General Syndulla over the com system in Rogue One, worked her into the timeline. It’s simply heartbreaking to lose such such an incredible character in the Star Wars canon, as Kanan brought confidence, wisdom, and security to the Ghost crew. With his death, Hera lost her true love, Ezra and Sabine lost their surrogate father, Zeb lost a brother, and the rebellion lost a valued leader, who always held out hope despite his qualms about the alliance, as Hera said in “DUME.”
Despite the tragedy of it all, Kanan’s end, in which he was engulfed in beautiful flames that perhaps represented the fire of rebellion he helped create, was fitting, as he died protecting his family. That’s what the Ghost crew truly is– not just a team, not just friends, but family, and the characters have acknowledged this before. A sweet reminder of their close bond came in “Jedi Night” when Kanan told Hera “the kids” made the Loth-bat gliders. It was a simple statement, but it was enough to make my heart swell.
What made my heart completely burst was when Hera finally confessed her feelings to Kanan, especially since I knew what was about to happen. It seems that whenever someone expresses their love in Star Wars, something terrible happens. However, it’s better that Hera spoke up before it was too late, and at least Kanan, in a gasp-worthy moment, was able to see Hera one last time. The clearing of Kanan’s eyes, as well as the beautiful animation and music as he held back the flames with the Force, was stunning and the kind of honorable death he deserved.
Each member of the Ghost crew expressed their grief in different ways in “DUME,” and seeing Hera in such a broken state is unusual, as her voice actress Vanessa Marshall said in the episode’s Rebels Recon. She tugged further on already snapped heartstrings when she added Kanan to her kalikori, an artifact representing her family heritage. Meanwhile, Sabine and Zeb sought revenge, and it was uncomfortable to watch Zeb almost beat Rukh to death.
Ezra encountered the wolves again in “DUME” as he tried to cope with his sorrow, fear, and feeling of utter loss. One wolf in particular was named Dume, and he had Kanan’s shoulder armor marking on his forehead. Is this wolf an embodiment of Kanan, just as many speculate the convor is Ahsoka? I feel like the wolf would have Kanan’s green eyes if that were the case, but we’ll have to wait and see. We’ll also have to wait and see what happens with the rebels’ new mission to save the Lothal Jedi temple, where I hope Ahsoka will make a reappearance. The rebels certainly need her guidance in this time of need.