Howdy people of the internet, hope y’all are doing well and all that jazz, well today I finally got around to watching the season finale of Star Wars Rebels entitled “Twilight of the Apprentice” and man, I’m still just trying to process what I watched. This doubled length episode pretty much had the meat of what us fans had been waiting for since the “The Siege of Lothal” and the awesome trailer that was shown a little while ago for the latter half of this season. Now normally I’d do a condensed review as part of my “What I’m Currently Watching” posts, but this two-part episode was just too good to not make a specific post on. Oh and before I begin SPOILERS AHEAD!! Okay? Cool let’s rock.
So “Twilight of the Apprentice” what a damn good finish to this season of Rebels. I know the quality of the in stories season 2 has been a bit up and down because of it’s expanded length when compared to season 1 and the numerous episodes that didn’t really add to the main plot involving Vader, Ahsoka, the Inquisitors and Ezra’s path to the dark side, however, when Rebels commits to its story, characters, tone and action, it goes hard and kills it and this was certainly the case with this finale. And while there were certain things that I may nitpick about or played out a little differently than I had anticipated, I can say that this was one of the most satisfying season finales I’ve watched for a while.
I mean where do you start? This episode had drama, suspense, brutality, action and death, and as the episode ended there was foreshadowing for the future that just makes things even more intriguing and exciting going into season 3.
Okay so the premise for this episode can be described as the following:
“Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra head to Malachor to find a Sith temple. While there they battle inquisitors, Darth Vader and the old master.”
Straight from the time Kanan, Ahsoka and Ezra arrive on Malachor things felt tense. The atmosphere was great with use of ambience and the muted colours used for the planets clouds and surface, and after that things only got more interesting. Learning about what happened to the Jedi below Malachor’s surface was fascinating and a little depressing at the same time, and then when that Inquisitor showed I was like “Damn, things escalated quickly.” But once Ezra got separated from Kana and Ahsoka and started his journey with Maul (aka Darth Maul) that’s when thing truly got interesting. Just hearing these two talk, relate to each other, but also see Maul teach/manipulate Ezra to tap into the Dark Side and use his emotions to get into the Sith Temple and obtain the holocron, that material was so thought-provoking, unsettling and yet so cool at the same time. Their pairing just had me constantly engaged and I could just watch a whole episode or two just listening to these two learn about each other, their different ideologies and how they could change once Ezra became his apprentice.
It was also great to see Ahsoka and Kanan take on the new Inquisitor and apprehend him only for the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister to arrive and mess things up. I also really enjoyed how Kanan and Ahsoka had to unwillingly team up with Maul to take out the Inquisitors, and how Maul tried to get Ezra to outright kill Seventh Sister but ultimately refused leaving Maul to do it. And then for Maul to send Ezra off and unlock the secret of the holocron and then show his true colours by blinded Kanan and trying to take out Ahsoka? That was some crazy shit! Something I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did was the mythology and history, learning about the Sith Temple and the holocron, hearing about Maul’s history and how he wanted to take revenge on all who wronged him, and seeing the green cross saber, all of that material was great world-building and it also made for good references to The Clone Wars and main film saga too which was really cool as well.
And then of course we had the appearance of Vader who just descended from the sky on top of his ship in such a badass manner, took down Ezra and destroyed his lightsaber, but before killing him got to take on Ahsoka. Their confrontation was beautiful, adrenaline-fueled and I really enjoyed their interactions and how even in the midst of the fight Ahsoka still sensed Anakin’s presence and how she ultimately saved Kanan and Ezra by stopping Vader and allowing the others to escape. If I had any complaints it was that there was no definitive end to Ahsoka, I know she’s a character loved within certain circles of the SW community but I would have liked to have gotten an on-screen death because towards the end of the episode it looked like Vader was victorious, but who was that figure stepping into the shadows? I certainly looked like Ahsoka and I was prepared for death, but alas I guess we’ll have to wait.
Oh and the fights, holy moly! I LOVED the action in this episode. The lightsaber fights were some of the best so far, and while I still prefer the more realistic/heavier movements of the live-action fights, this is a pretty close second. The fights they were hard, fast, vicious, aggressive, and wonderfully choreographed with each person having a particular style being shown off especially when it came to Maul, Ahsoka, Kanan and Vader. Oh I adored how much more dark and edgier this episode was with two of the Inquisitors being killed by Maul in such a brutal way, and that other Inquisitor falling to his doom, nice. I also have to mention how fantastic this show looked, from the design of the Sith Temple to the upper and lower surfaces of Malachor, and the use of colour, lighting and animation, everything felt so right with the visual presentation. And the music was excellent with some lovely call backs to themes from the live-action films.
The end of this episode felt very Empire Strikes Back with everyone in a dark/melancholy place; Kanan’s now blind, Ahsoka’s no longer part of the Ghost team, Ezra looked to be channeling the Dark Side, Maul escaped into space and Vader’s still alive, but there were a lot of questions going forward now like:
- Was that Ahsoka going into the remains of that Sith Temple? And what will the future hold for her? Because she can’t last forever.
- Will Ezra turn? Maul had planted the seeds of Dark Side knowledge into him, but he hasn’t committed to it yet, but if that aggressive expression was anything to go by then Ezra may still develop feelings towards that dark path in season 3.
- How will Kanan function now? It was a pretty gutsy move to blind one of the main characters, I thought it got slashed in one eye, but to know that it was two? Damn, I will be curious to see if he can gain his sight back or if it’s permanent and he’ll have to become the Daredevil of the Jedi.
- What will happen with Maul? I was so glad that the dude got away because he’s too good of a character to kill off after this awesome return.
- How will the end of this season effect the show tonally going forward? There was certainly a feeling of loss, pain and a bit of hopelessness for several of the characters involved. So will the next season still have room for fun or will the storylines and characters be more serious and dark? I am so curious.
In conclusion “Twilight of the Apprentice” was a great way to finish this season of Rebels. Dear god, I can’t sing the praises of this show enough, it is pure Star Wars in an animated format and I never thought I would be so invested in this show, but it truly is fantastic. There was some fantastic emotional material, tension, darkness, great mythology and intriguing foreshadowing for story material going into season 3. I can’t wait.
So have you seen the season finale of Star Wars Rebels and if so what did you think of it? Did it met your expectations or fall below them? Be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀