Warning! MAJOR SPOILERS for Star Wars Rebels Season 4 ahead!
It's the beginning of the end on Star Wars Rebels, with the premiere of the first two episodes from the last season's back half moving us towards a dark finale with the shocking death of Kanan Jarus. Emotional as it may be, the loss of the Last Padawan also leaves us with many big questions.
Picking up events immediately following the mid-season finale, "Jedi Night" sees the Ghost crew embark on a rescue mission to free Hera from the Empire, although saving her comes at a great cost. In part two of tonight's premiere, "Dume", the rebels mourn for their loss, eventually learning new information that strengthens their resolve to fight back.
All season long fans have been preparing themselves for the worst, picking up on ominous hints that there was tragedy on the horizon. And yet, suspecting a major character death is right around the corner doesn't make it any less heartbreaking when it actually happens. In the final minutes of "Jedi Night", just as Sabine and Ezra arrive with a transport to rescue Kanan and Hera from the roof of the Empire's fuel depot, Governer Pryce orders her men blow up the fuel pods. With only seconds before the explosion reaches them, Kanan creates a barrier of Force energy and buys the rebels enough time to escape before the flames engulf him.
Kanan's death is shocking not because it was entirely unexpected, but because of how it happened. Right before Ezra and Sabine showed up, Hera and Kanan finally admitted that they loved one another, making it only all the more tragic when he dies just minutes later. Kanan also dies saving not just Hera - who he stops from coming to his rescue, using the Force to push her back inside the transport - but Ezra and Sabine, who would have also certainly died had he not held back the explosion. The destruction of the fuel depot, as luck would have it, also results in the TIE factory being closed down, meaning that in a way Kanan completes their mission, too. His death is a heroic sacrifice befitting a Jedi - and that makes what happens just before he dies and what comes after all the more interesting.
This Page: What Happens In Kanan's Final Moments?
Why And How Did Kanan Regain His Sight Before Death?
During those seconds that Kanan is holding back the explosion, he looks back at Hera as his eyes change from pale white to their original turquoise - seemingly, in those final moments before he dies Kanan regains his sight. But how and why? Assuming that is what happens here (and really, what else could it mean?), it would appear that Kanan's sight is returned to him as a gift of sorts before he dies. It does allow him to look upon the woman he loves one more time; a most precious gift for someone who's been blind since the end of Season 2.
We may never really know why Kanan regains his sight, and it may just be there to add to the emotion of his and Hera's final goodbye. How it happens, though, might prove to be what's most important. In his dying moments, Kanan is tapping into the Force to save his friends and expending a lot of energy to hold back such a massive explosion. Connecting with the Force at his moment of death could be the key to why Kanan's eye are healed, with something similar happening (though not exact) as what happens when a Jedi becomes one with the Force in death. Anakin Skywalker is no longer maimed or burned when he returns as Force ghost, and if Luke Skywalker returns as a Force ghost in Episode IX, it's only too likely his severed hand will also be healed and whole again.
What makes what happens to Kanan different, of course, is that he hasn't received any training for how to become one with the Force. His vision is also shown returning before he actually dies, so while it may be that his sight is healed in some way through the Force, this isn't the same as returning as a Force spirit after death. Still, the moment of Kanan's sight returning is certainly unusual, and with no explanation given, we can only assume it's through some mystery of the Force that it returns.
What Is the Loth Wolf - And How Does It Link To Kanan?
Following Kanan's death, the Ghost crew each mourn their fallen friend in their own way. Sabine and Zeb want to get even, so they leave to add their own "fireworks" to the Empire's parade; Hera regrets not telling Kanan sooner how she felt and decides to add a new segment to her family's kalikori in his memory; and Ezra sits alone with his thoughts, worrying about what to do next without his master there to guide him - at which point the Loth wolves show up, growling at Ezra and chasing him away from the Rebel base.
The Loth wolves have been a mystery ever since they first appeared early in Season 4, but it's clear that they like other creatures - most notably, the Bendu from Season 3 - hold some deep connection with the Force, neither light or dark. Previously, the wolves have come to Ezra's aid, even leading him and the other rebels to safety halfway across the planet through some kind of hyperspace tunnel. They've also shown a keen interest in Kanan, calling to him with his true name, the name he went by when he was a Jedi - Caleb Dume. The wolves have actually used "Dume" and its homonym "doom" almost interchangeably, something many took as a hint towards Kanan's fate. And when Ezra meets the giant Loth wolf in this episode, the first thing it says to him is: "I am Dume."
At first, having the Loth wolf identify himself as "Dume" so soon after Kanan's death seems like a suggestion that Kanan has somehow become or communed with the wolf after death. However, while not impossible that Kanan's spirit is now somehow connected to the Loth wolves, nothing else from the wolf and Ezra's interaction seems to back this up. What's more likely is that this wolf is someone else - someone who reminded Kanan of the Jedi he used to be, which is why Kanan cuts his hair and removes his mask as a way of signaling he's assumed that identity once again.