We start out the episode with Ezra being late for training with Kanan. When he gets back, Kanan reads him the riot act and calls him unfocused and undisciplined. (Like you aren’t, Kanan.) I’m torn between feeling sorry for Ezra always getting dumped on, wondering what the hell Ezra was doing wandering around Lothal by himself when they’re wanted by the Empire, (more on this later), and being annoyed at Ezra. Kanan tells Ezra he made a dangerous connection with the Force in that asteroid field (yay continuity!) and he needs to undergo a test that could determine if he’s meant to be a Jedi. First of all, Kanan, weren’t you the one who encouraged him to make that Force connection? Second, way to put the pressure on.
Sidenote: I love the use of the Force them instead of the Rebel fanfare in the title card. I also love that Kanan had a female master. We haven’t seen many mixed gender master/apprentice pairs, especially with a female master and male padawan.
Hera gives Kanan a pep talk about training Ezra. Apparently Kanan told her what happened with Ezra on the asteroid base. It’s nice to see that he confides in her. BECAUSE THEY’RE SPACE MARRIED. That said, I kind of wish Kanan wasn’t sticking so doggedly with the old way of training, but I guess it makes sense since that’s all he knows. It’s probably my bias towards wanting the Jedi to abandon the ways of the past…but more on that later.
Okay, so Kanan takes Ezra on the Phantom to find a Jedi temple where his training will continue–but the Phantom doesn’t have hyperdrive. So if the temple had been farther away, would they have gone back to the Ghost? Inquiring minds want to know. Also, nice use of the Attack of the Clones starmap music clue while Ezra is searching for the temple!
HOW CONVENIENT THAT THERE’S A TEMPLE ON LOTHAL. I mean, okay, I get it. The show takes place on Lothal. But this stretches beyond my suspension of disbelief. Between the Empire looking for them and hunting the Jedi, I can’t see how they’re going to be able to stay on Lothal much longer.
Moving on…I so like that Kanan warns Ezra that the temple might be under surveillance by the Empire. It lends plausibility to what happens later on.
So they enter the temple together (also convenient that the temple needs two of them–and wouldn’t Kanan have known that?), and they’re dead Jedi masters kneeling there. Masters whose padawans never returned. Kanan sends Ezra off on his own, putting his life in Ezra’s hands.
Jedi training is freaking intense, you guys. Especially for poor Ezra, who is new to this whole Jedi business. I can see why people in the Republic thought they were nuts.
As Ezra goes into the temple, Kanan runs up behind him and says he had second thoughts about leaving Ezra alone. He rushes forward and just as Ezra’s trying to catch up, he hears the ignition of a lightsaber and Kanan scream. He runs towards the noises and almost topples off a cliff, then turns around to see the Inquisitor. Who has stabbed Kanan.
Allow me to speak for everyone when I say “what the eff.”
When I first saw the episode, I immediately thought this was a vision. I mean, hello, dark side cave anyone. But it doesn’t matter whether it’s a vision or not, because like Dumbledore said, that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Kanan gets up and fights the Inquisitor, saying he’ll die before he lets him harm Ezra. They have a very intense lightsaber duel in which the Inquisitor fights with his arm behind his back, then the Inquisitor uses the spinny thing (still think it’s stupid) and stabs Kanan through the heart. Ezra then says he’s going to make the Inquisitor pay, but Kanan’s lightsaber won’t work for him. Then Ezra falls off the cliff.
He lands back on the Ghost, and overhears the crew talking about him in the common room. The things they’re saying are all of Ezra’s worst fears, but he’s wizened up now–he knows this is a vision. But then the vision changes and the Inquisitor is in the Ghost, chopping up all the crew. Before the Inquisitor can make the killing blow on Ezra, he falls through thin air and lands back at the temple again. He despairs at being alone again, and not knowing what’s real–but he realizes he’s been alone before and can survive on his own again. Yay, Ezra, for figuring this out! Of course, it’s not that easy…because the Inquisitor shows up again and informs Ezra that this may be a vision, but he is in fact very real.
I really loved this, you guys. Because it’s true. Sure this whole thing might be a vision, but it’s all based on Ezra’s worst fears. Fears that could easily happen at any moment. (Another reason I want them to get off Lothal. Also, because Lothal is kind of boring.) As morbid as my desires are for this show, I want to at least get a few years out in before I actually have to start worrying about Kanan and Ezra’s lives.
Back to the show! Ezra tells the Inquisitor he’s not afraid, and the Inquisitor goes to strike the killing blow. Except nothing happens. He’s in the temple again, alone. Yoda’s theme plays, and it makes me cry, and then we hear Yoda speaking to Ezra. Ezra asks who he is, and Yoda replies, “the guide.” Then these little balls of light appear and Ezra follows them into the temple. (You might remember said balls of light from the Yoda arc from The Clone Wars Lost Missions. So is that really Yoda, or just the Force in a palatable package?) Kanan also hears Yoda, and they also have a little chat. Apparently Yoda couldn’t “see” or “hear” them before, but something has changed. Kanan tells Yoda he’s recently taking an apprentice, and Kanan voices his fears about training him.
Can we note that Yoda doesn’t chastise Kanan for having attachments? Or for losing his way? However, Yoda does chastise Ezra for wanting revenge on the Empire. Ezra says it’s because he wants to protect people, and he wants to make people feel alive, the way Kanan makes him feel.
Then Yoda guides Ezra to his very own lightsaber crystal. Which is now apparently called kyber crystal, and can be found on lots of planets (bye bye Ilum?). Kanan and Ezra leave the temple, and Kanan says he doesn’t want to use the cave as a base of operations. He knows what’s inside: the past. HALLELUJAH CUE NANCI DANCING AROUND THE LIVING ROOM. I have a lot of feelings about the Jedi Order not being beholden to the mistakes of the past, you guys.
I have to wonder about why Yoda chose to settle on Dagobah. Could there have been a temple there, too? Could Luke have found a lightsaber crystal there, but didn’t actually use it until constructing his own lightsaber after he lost his first one on Bespin? These are all important questions I would like answered post haste–or whenever the new EU feels like getting around to it.
The episode ends a few weeks later, after Ezra has finished constructing his very odd-looking lightsaber, and he ignites it to the tune of the Force theme, and Nanci sheds a little tear.
Besides the extreme convenience of having the temple on Lothal, this was a pretty solid episode and I’m interested to see the implications it has for the entire saga going forward. However, I’m ready for them to move the focus away from the Jedi business for a few episodes. I miss the rest of the crew!