– Spoiler Review –
With the winter break for Star Wars Rebels finally over, it came back on air with “Path of the Jedi,” an episode that felt more like an epilogue to “Gathering Forces” than anything else. Its mystical nature and Force-filled moments, plus the inclusion of Yoda himself (voiced by Frank Oz!), will be long remembered as the show marches onward to its season finale.
Ezra’s brush with the dark side in “Gathering Forces” has obviously weighed on Kanan and his solution here in “Path of the Jedi” was an interesting and very necessary one for Ezra’s future. I’m assuming the conversation he had to have with Hera (at the end of the “GF”) was not only about Ezra’s brush, but that he might need the Ghost/Phantom to take them where ever they needed to deal with the issue at hand. Hera, who comforts him here on his choice to take Ezra to a temple, definitely understands the need to have Jedi in the future against the Empire (which we partly got hints about in A New Dawn) and is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the positive outcome of the training. I wish we had gotten more time with Hera and Kanan discussing this, but this episode felt too short already with all that happened within the Lothal Jedi Temple.
Ezra’s journey through the Temple didn’t disappoint, for the most part. In “GF” he made his first big connection to the living Force once he finally admitted his fear about learning the truth about his parents and forgiving Tseebo, while in “Path” he has to deal with his need to protect his new family while dealing with his anger over his first family. It makes his journey here feel a tad like a retread of his Force problems in “GF,” as it was the Inquisitor who uncovered Ezra’s fear of losing his new friends and being unable to help them, thus causing Ezra to tap into the dark side briefly. In a way, “Path” feels like an epilogue to the events from “GF,” itself a two-parter already, by helping Ezra start to come to terms with his fears and why he wants to be a Jedi.
The rest of Ezra’s journey in the Temple, from the always looming specter of the Inquisitor and how he destroys all Ezra holds dear, was extremely effectively and another instance of just how dark this show is willing to go. I was a little surprised, to be honest, with the Inquisitor’s slaughter of Hera, Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper and just how much they showed/let us hear. It was a very chilling scene, which was a counterpoint to the thrilling lightsaber battle between the Inquisitor and Kanan, even though that ended with Kanan’s ‘death.’
And as much as action and brutality were part of Ezra and Kanan’s time through the Temple, their time spent communing with Yoda was the true highlight. As I discussed in my article on when it was announced Frank Oz would return to voice Yoda, to me Tom Kane is Yoda and Frank Oz is the Yoda. And wow, was it magnificent to hear Yoda through Frank Oz, even if it was more so for what Yoda had to say than just because he was voicing Yoda. I watched the Yoda arc from the 6th season of The Clone Wars just a few weeks prior to “Path” and Yoda’s words here really showed how his experiences on that journey changed him to be more like the Yoda from TESB. As for how Yoda was able to communicate from Dagobah, I have a theory: he was tapping into and testing his connection to the Cosmic Force, hence those ‘light sparkles’ here, much like in TCW arc when Qui-Gon used them to originally help guide Yoda. I’d say that connection allowed him to know when they’d be there as well, but I doubt we’ll ever get a concrete explanation about it. And I’m okay with that.
It was a tad anti-climatic that Ezra just got a lightsaber crystal to end this episode, but Yoda’s confidence rousing discussion with Kanan and Kanan’s acknowledgement of losing his way (also seen in A New Dawn) and committing to not fail with Ezra was the much better ending of the two young(ish) Force users. Ezra accepts his responsibility to help his friends and everyone he can with the gifts he is gaining the power to use, but Kanan has accepted the responsibility for Ezra’s accomplishments or failures, which can carry a high price (like hiding out in the desert for 20 years) and is a much bigger commitment I think. Yoda’s ominous but hopeful line to Ezra, “A Jedi you may yet be,” plus his line to Kanan on how Ezra will be his last chance, will hang over this series till its end, I believe.
Here are a few other things:
- I know people have felt like Ezra’s blaster/lightsaber is too gimmicky, but weren’t they all the same people who disliked his slingshot? This combo weapon is way more functional (see: deadly) and I like the idea of it. I still hope he uses his slingshot where applicable (like stealth missions).
- The visuals were very strong in this episode, with standouts being the snowy area around the Temple, the Temple rising out of/lowering into the ground, and Ezra amongst the vast emptiness of stars, but my favorite visual was the red aura always accompanying the Inquisitor as he Terminator-style stalked through Ezra’s worst nightmares.
- It doesn’t seem like Hera necessarily told Ezra yet what Tseebo revealed to her about the Bridgers’ fates and I believe we’ll witness that scene on screen before the season is through.
- Not spending more time with the rest of the crew felt like an odd choice, considering just how important everyone is in this show and how much Ezra cares about them. It would’ve been nice to get a little more of their thoughts and reactions to him going off to a Jedi Temple, besides the scene in Ezra’s visions.
- Though I glossed over it initially, the Twitter reaction to Ezra’s comment at the beginning of the episode, about him being with Sabine, certainly raises a couple questions considering the events in both “Empire Day” and “Gathering Forces.” It seems the trivia guide for this episode says what they were up to, “…will be evident by the end of the season.” Intriguing, no?
- That Star Map in Kanan’s holocron look familiar? I nearly screamed “Star Map’s live!” when it came on screen, since I’m among the many fans of the first Knights of the Old Republic video game.
- Head over to the official site and listen to the audio cue for this episode. A classic song returns with a classic character with a classic voice!
- I think I enjoyed the youngling’s trip to Ilum in TCW S5 to get their lightsaber crystals more than Ezra’s here, but since each one takes place in much different eras of Jedi training, it isn’t easy to judge them against one another. Still, I really like the aspect that everyone’s journey to their crystal is unique and tailored to that Jedi, even if they all go to same place. Wonder what it’s like for the Sith…
- The Inquisitor’s spinning lightsaber feature came in handy when he ‘killed’ Kanan, so it doesn’t seem so gimmicky after all.
A more soul-searching affair than most previous episodes, “Path of the Jedi,” laid some intriguing groundwork for Jedi in this era, while giving Kanan and Ezra answers to some of their tougher questions. Now their fates have become more intertwined than ever before, as Yoda whispered to Kanan that Ezra would be his last chance. Does this bode well for their fates? And for all the mystical aspects, this episode’s focus on the two Jedi left out the rest of the crew who have become just as important, making their lack of presence more noticeable. This was an epilogue needed not just to touch on certain events so far, but both for viewers and the Ghost‘s two Jedi occupants alike.
+ Ezra’s ‘journey’
+ Kanan’s doubts and guidance
– Leaving out the rest of the crew
STAR WARS REBELS REVIEWS:
Season One: Spark of Rebellion | Ep. 2: “Droids In Distress” | Ep.3: “Fighter Flight” | Ep.4: “Rise of the Old Masters” | Ep.5: “Breaking Ranks” | Ep.6: “Out of Darkness” | Ep.7: “Empire Day” | Ep.8: “Gathering Forces” | Ep.10: “Idiot’s Array” | Ep.11: “Vision of Hope” | Ep.12: “Call to Action” | Ep.13: “Rebel Resolve” | Ep.14: “Fire Across the Galaxy”
Season Two: The Siege of Lothal | Ep. 2: “The Lost Commanders” | Ep. 3: “Relics of the Old Republic” | Ep. 4: “Always Two There Are” | Ep. 5: “Brothers of the Broken Horn” | Ep. 6: “Wings of the Master” | Ep. 7: “Blood Sisters” | Ep. 8: “Stealth Strike” | Ep. 9: “The Future of the Force” | Ep. 10: “Legacy” | Ep. 11: “A Princess on Lothal” | Ep. 12: “The Protector of Concord Dawn” | Ep. 13: “Legends of the Lasat” | Ep. 14: “The Call” | Ep. 15: “Homecoming” | Ep. 16: “The Honorable Ones” | Ep. 17: “Shroud of Darkness” | Ep. 18: “The Forgotten Droid” | Ep. 19: “The Mystery of Chopper Base” | Ep. 20: “Twilight of the Apprentice“
Season Three: Steps into Shadow | Ep. 2: “Holocrons of Fate” | Ep. 3: “The Antilles Extraction” | Ep. 4: “Hera’s Heroes” | Ep. 5: “The Last Battle” | Ep. 6: “Imperial Supercommandos” | Ep. 7: “Iron Squadron” | Ep. 8: “The Wynkahthu Job” | Ep. 9: “An Inside Man” | Ep. 10: “Visions and Voices” | Ep. 11: “Ghosts of Geonosis” | Ep. 12: “Warhead” | Ep. 13: “Trials of the Darksaber” | Ep. 14: “Legacy of Mandalore” | Ep. 15: “Through Imperial Eyes” | Ep. 16: “Secret Cargo” | Ep. 17: “Double Agent Droid” | Ep. 18: “Twin Suns” | Ep. 19: “Zero Hour“
Season Four: Heroes of Mandalore Part 1
A New Dawn (Novel)