“Shroud of Darkness” starts right in the middle of the action, with Kanan and Ezra fighting the Inquisitors. They took the Phantom to find a new base, and somehow the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother managed to track them. They’ve been tracking them for a while, actually, and Kanan decides it’s time to ask the Force for guidance. Thus Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka head off to the Jedi Temple on Lothal.
It’s no secret I don’t usually care for Force-centric episodes, which is ironic considering my favorite scenes in the Original Trilogy involve Luke’s Jedi training and confrontation with Palpatine. The “luminous beings” speech from The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite in the entire saga. At some point, I feel like The Clone Wars and Rebels went overboard with Force mysticism, to the point where it’s just too weird for me. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I prefer to interpret events like Mortis as happening in the Force, not in real life (or ignore them completely).
This is a long way of saying I probably shouldn’t have liked this episode, but I did! I liked it a lot, actually, mostly because of Kanan and Ahsoka’s plot lines. I love Kanan having to deal with the implications of training Ezra, and that he might fail in doing so. I love him facing the Temple Guard and realizing the answer is not to fight. His insight is very similar to Luke’s in Return of the Jedi (and makes me really excited to see Episode VIII and why exactly Luke decided to leave the galaxy). Kanan being a full Jedi Knight has a ton of implications and I’m really excited to see how this affects the show going forward. The revelation that the Grand Inquisitor was once a Temple Guard was a bit predictable, given what we’d heard in behind the scenes interviews, but made me wonder if that’s how the Emperor got all of the Inquisitors.
I also loved Ahsoka dealing with her suspicion that the Sith Lord they faced is actually Anakin Skywalker. Hearing Matt Lanter’s voice again was awesome, not to mention a knife to the heart. Ezra seeing Yoda was a nice touch, but I’m much more interested in Kanan and Ahsoka. Sorry, I know people love Ezra, but he’s just not my favorite. The idea that Ezra might go dark, however, intrigues me a lot. I can’t lie.
The Inquisitors track our heroes to the temple, but the Force helps them escape. Vader arrives at the temple too late to catch them, but he has some insights of his own. Insights that will most certainly spell certain doom for some of the Jedi. (It should spell doom for all of them, but that’s another blog post.)
We’re nearing the end of Season 2, and this episode made me really excited to see how things wrap up. I also can’t wait to see Ahsoka confront Vader again, because I’m masochistic like that. Overall, “Shroud of Darkness” was a great episode, with little to complain about. I just hope we get more with the other characters throughout the rest of the season as well!