Disney XD’s animated series Star Wars Rebels is part of the official Star Wars cannon, though season 2 of the show in particular has tied in closer to co-creator/head producer Dave Filoni’s work on the Star Wars: Clone Wars TV series than any other previous installment in the franchise. To cite just one example: Jedi Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), the former apprentice of Anakin Skywalker on Clone Wars, has become an important recurring players on Rebels season 2, building towards a confrontation between her and her former master in the upcoming season 2 finale, titled ‘Twilight of the Apprentice’.
The Rebels season 2 finale will also feature an appearance by Darth Maul – the former apprentice to Darth Sidious (a.k.a. Palpatine, before he became the Emperor), who was seemingly killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi near the end of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace only to be “resurrected” in Clone Wars season 4. However, as the above clip from ‘Twilight of the Apprentice’ illustrates, the last episode of Rebels season 2 will also include a direct connection to another live-action Star Wars movie installment, namely Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
In the above Rebels clip, we see Ezra (Taylor Grey), Kanan (Freddie Prinze. Jr) and Ahsoka exploring an abandoned temple, where they find the remains from an ancient Jedi battle. However, before they are interrupted by “a glowing red blade” (as the official logline puts it), Ezra happens upon a barely-functioning cross-guard lightsaber – the same design of lightsaber that Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) wields in Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Many a Star Wars Rebels fan has no doubt been anticipating this moment since it was glimpsed in a previously-released trailer for the second half of Rebels season 2, though now we have the proper context for the scene (as far as the where and when is concerned).
Kylo Ren’s cross-guard lightsaber is based on a design for the weapon that dates back thousands of years before the events of Episode VII in the Star Wars universe, to an event known as the Great Scourage of Malachor. That cross-guard lightsaber that Ezra happens upon in the Star Wars Rebels season 2 finale functions pretty smoothly (when it’s working at all, that is); by comparison, Ren’s lightsaber contains a cracked Kyber Crystal, which accounts for why the blades of his weapon are less stable – and thus, why his lightsaber appears to “spit” out the blades, when activated. It doesn’t appear as though the Rebels season 2 finale will explore the history behind the cross-guard lightsaber design in any real depth, but it’s a fun nod to the ongoing third Star Wars live-action movie trilogy nevertheless.
On the other hand, it’s plausible that ‘Twilight of the Apprentice’ will set Ezra and/or Kanan on a path to learning more about the history of the Jedi Order (including, weapons like the cross-guard lightsaber) in Star Wars Rebels season 3. After all, it appears as though Rebels season 3 could break away from the narrative structure from seasons 1 and 2 by splitting up The Ghost’s crew; in turn, setting up two over-arching story threads for next season that revolve around the increasingly unified Rebel Alliance’s war with the Galactic Empire and Ezra’s ongoing journey to mastering The Force, respectively. As for Ahsoka: it remains to be seen if the Rebels season 2 finale shall mark the end of her own personal journey or not…
Star Wars Rebels season 2 will conclude when ‘Twilight of the Apprentice’ airs Wednesday, March 30th @9 p.m. EST on Disney XD.
Source: Disney XD