– Spoiler Review –
The Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother Inquisitors return, carrying out a dastardly plan first seen in a The Clone Wars episode but modified to give us our (possibly) first big hint about how the Inquisitors are ‘made.’ Ezra, Kanan, and Zeb manage to get in the way, but they have to call in an audible: Ahsoka Tano returns in a big way in Star War Rebels‘, “The Future of the Force.”
I get that not all of the fans watching Rebels might have seen TCW episode, “Children of the Force,” (nor did the characters in the show) and therefore “The Future of the Force” had to draw out everyone’s realization of the Inquisitors’ plans, but it still felt like it took longer than it should’ve for all the characters to grasp it. In TCW episode (the 3rd part of an arc), the storyline revolves around a stolen Jedi Holocron and the bounty hunter Cad Bane’s orders to kidnap Force-sensitive children for Darth Sidious’ nefarious purposes of creating spies within the Jedi Order. Ahsoka even visited Mustafar, where Sidious had set up his shop for brainwashing the kids, and helped Anakin take down the facility and save the children. Since there is no Jedi Order for brainwashed Force-sensitive kids to infiltrate, what could Sidious/Vader want with these kids? My guess…the Inquisitor program. Don’t let them become Jedi and don’t let them become strong enough to be a Sith Lord, but at least make them competent Jedi hunters (and this Tumblr post from Sounds of the Force speculates how this plan could even be part of the backstory for two The Force Awakens characters, so read at your own risk! [via ClubJade] Plus, just look at this episode’s title! Totally seems like a big hint, too…or also that kids are simply the future of the Force. Take your pick). It’ll be interesting to see if Ahsoka can connect some dots about the Emperor trying a similar kidnapping plan to the one she thwarted all those years ago, and if it’ll help her uncover Vader’s identity at all.
While I’ve not minded Zeb has been sidelined over the last few episodes, mainly because the underutilized Sabine and Hera were given more screen time, “Future of the Force” is certainly a fun one for him. Since he’s basically the last of his kind, Zeb tends to take any assignment as something beneath his stature, but his reluctance at the job and eventual confidence booster after successfully completing it have been a highlight of the character. After helping Sabine and Ezra escape with their lives from their first run-in with the new Inquisitors, he’s certainly proven his warrior status and I can only imagine what a planet of Lasats could’ve done against the Empire had they not been wiped out by Agent Kallus. Some of his standout moments here include: “Garazeb Orrelios: Honored soldier; feared rebel. Baby hunter,” sees droid with baby, “At least I’m good at one of those things.”; Carrying Kanan like he’s a baby (which made me laugh the hardest); and leaving the Inquisitors a present.
Ahsoka has grown in many, many ways since her final scene in TCW, but holy cow was that lightsaber battle pretty amazing. Her confidence and abilities were astounding, as she held off both of the Inquisitors with relative ease. If she were to eventually face Darth Vader before the season is over, I can safely say it’ll be a hard fought battle for both combatants. My favorite moment had to be when she mediated in the middle of her battle with the Seventh Sister, calmly reaching out and grabbing the Sister’s handle, turning off the blades, and easily Force pushing the sister into submission. If the Imperials hadn’t shown up the Inquisitors would’ve been toast, though it seems Ahsoka is more interested in capturing them instead of killing them, leaving me to wonder if she would’ve used them to gather information on the Inquisitor’s order…or if her hunt for the truth of what she felt when connecting with Vader would’ve taken precedence.
Before the cliffhanger-ish ending, Kanan and Ahsoka are discussing the Inquisitors’ plans to take Force-sensitive children, agreeing they need to be vigilant for more children in the future due to there being no Jedi Order anymore. As great as that sounds, I have to wonder if we’ll get to see them carry out that mission again in the show or if that’s something Ahsoka will be doing in the background and occasionally Kanan, Ezra, and the rest of the crew will help her out. I won’t be sad if we don’t get to see more baby rescues, but it would be odd to have them discuss it and us never visiting it again. And then after even the excitement from Ahsoka’s badassery and their pledge to help more children in the future, nothing gave me chills more than when the Seventh Sister’s probe droid reveals its recording of Ezra name dropping the Ghost crew’s homebase on Garel. The crew has felt too safe on Garel (something that hampered the first season) and things look to be changing in that regard soon!
Here are a few other things:
- My love for the Seventh Sister doesn’t change, but the Fifth Brother is just too much of a brute to be completely effective. He acts first, thinks second, as we see when he falls for Kanan’s trick of placing his comm on a different floor from where Ezra is with his comm and the baby, but later, he gets his giant lumbering self beat up easily by Ahsoka. If the midseason finale ends with one Inquisitor dead, I suspect it’ll be the Fifth Brother…and I’d be okay with that.
- I’m very curious why Ahsoka was flying an A-wing during this episode…she has to have her own ship at this point. Could it possibly be something we’d recognize? Or are they just waiting to show it for budgetary reasons? I’m hoping the latter.
- Considering Alora, the human baby, is with her grandmother, I feel like there’s quite a story to be told regarding Alora’s parents and why the grandmother is taking the baby to start a new life. Comic book or short story one of these days?
- The Seventh Sister came to life in the “Jedi Training” portion of Disney’s Seasons of the Force. How cool is her outfit in real life (she comes in around the 11:30 mark in the video at the link)!?
- StarWars.com’s episode guide reveals the Willow reference we all probably missed. I’ve not seen that film in nearly two decades and I’m thinking it’s time for a rewatch, reference notwithstanding. The Rebels Recon has Filoni tease more lightsaber battles, how time is kept in the GFFA, and clip from the next episode.
- An odd gaffe happened when Zeb and Kanan revealed themselves to the Inquisitors, to distract them from Ezra and the baby: the Fifth Brother’s lightsaber is lit when they show up, leading into a commercial break (breaks are even noticeable when watching on Amazon Video), and upon returning from the break his lightsaber is off and holstered on his back, allowing Zeb the opportunity to charge/not be killed outright.
Ahsoka reveals the highly trained and emotionally balanced warrior we’ve always hoped she’d become, while an old plan by Palpatine resurfaces for new purposes in the fun, exciting, and stake raising, “The Future of the Force.”
+ Ahsoka Tano returns (in a big way!)
+ Game of cat and mouse
– Took them a little too long to understand the Inquisitors’ plans
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.9: “Path of the Jedi” | 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. 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: Step Into Shadows