Well, that time is finally here: the Star Wars: Rebels Season Two finale. It’s been a long time coming, hasn’t it? A long journey to get us here. And what a season it’s been. I was pretty critical of the first season feeling very safe and, in a few places, pretty boring, especially compared to early Clone Wars seasons. This season has really pulled out all of the stops to step up the game and make this feel like a genuinely important story being told in the Star Wars galaxy.
So let’s dive into our Five Thoughts on the finale, titled “Twilight Of The Apprentice”, but make sure you know I’m going to be dropping heavy spoilers down there. Watch the episode before reading further!
One thing I found pretty cool about this episode is that, for all that was hyped about going to Malachor and the way it was linked to the tales of the Great Scourge of Malachor that was part of the history of The Force Awakens, we never actually learned much about Malachor itself. Like, sure, we know it’s home to a Sith Temple that still holds a holocron that powers a weapon of some kind housed in the Temple itself, but the show wisely steers away from getting bogged down in tying itself to The Force Awakens. The most we get is a reference to the crossguard lightsaber that was an in-universe inspiration for Kylo Ren’s lightsaber.
Now, am I going to come up with a million theories about how Snoke and Kylo Ren used the Sith Temple weapon as a basis for Starkiller Base? You bet your ass I am, but that’s one of my favourite things about Star Wars right now: it allows fans to come up with theories to fill in the gaps while focusing on the story and the characters instead of trying to clarify elements that don’t need it. Yes, I’m talking about midichlorians. I hate midichlorians. Dammit, George.
2. Old Master
Maul is back! I mean, we all knew that as soon as the trailer for the second half of the season dropped around Christmas, but it was just so good to see him back. Thanks to The Clone Wars, Maul quickly became one of my favourite characters in the galaxy and not just because of how cool he looks. Dave Filoni put a lot of work into saving Darth Maul from his terrible fate of being in The Phantom Menace by bringing out a menacing yet very vulnerable personality that shows him as someone who wants to achieve great power, but ends up having everything taken from him.
This is a very different Maul than we’ve seen before. He’s older, wiser and actually a little frailer. Not just in terms of his very Yoda-like way of fooling Ezra, but there’s an emotional frailty to him here. He’s had everything taken from him. He’s had to live in the shadows for years while Darth Vader embodies who Maul should have been and so his anger and rage at his position in life has been consuming him from the inside to the point where he’s ready to destroy the galaxy than let anyone else have it.
With the revelation that he survives the episode, I’m very interested in where they continue his story.
3. The Temptation Of Ezra Bridger
Wow, so I guessed they go dark side with Ezra this season, but I had no idea just how far they'd go with it.
Maul, in like ten minutes, had Ezra pretty much entirely converted to the dark side. He was using his anger to control the Force to let him enter a Sith Temple. That's some heavy duty shit. Even as soon as they land on Malachor, we feel the dark side call to him as he touches the pillars. And then that final shot of Ezra opening up the Sith Holocron?
Something big is happening with Ezra next season and I'm a little worried about how far down this path he's going to go.
4. “I’m No Jedi”
This is it. This is the moment I’ve been waiting all year to see: the confrontation between Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader and… holy shit, I cried real tears. This was a majorly emotionally charged moment and a fantastic crescendo for the finale. This is a lightsaber battle built in the style of the Original Trilogy where the actual duel is just a literal extension of the emotional conflict between the two characters.Continued below
And, boy, was this emotional. Ahsoka finally having to confront the truth of what happened to Anakin after she left the order. Seeing and hearing the still-pretty-young Anakin inside the Darth Vader helmet. Vader’s insistence that Anakin was weak and had to be destroyed. This is something that the Prequel Trilogy never could pull off: it takes the facts we already knew about Vader, but layers an entirely new and emotional story into it with the introduction of a new character and her arc parallel to Vader’s.
And with Ahsoka’s final fate being somewhat unclear, I wonder just what this means for her in the third season.
5. The Path Forward
Speaking of the third season, this finale ended with a lot of open ends for where the story will go. Kanan’s gone all Daredevil (or Matrix Revolutions Neo) and must content with an apprentice being tempted by the dark side while he can’t even see. Ezra’s being tempted by the dark side. Ahsoka’s probably dead. Vader’s on the hunt for the Holocron in Ezra’s possession. Maul’s looking for revenge against Kanan and Ezra. And the rest of the Ghost Crew are going to have to deal with the fallout from all of this.
No one is going to be the same after Malachor and where we’ll find the Rebels at the beginning of next season is anyone’s guess, but this season has been a huge step up overall and I’m way more excited to be watching this show than I was when it was first announced.