[This is a review of the Star Wars Rebels season 1 finale. There will be SPOILERS.]
From the very beginning, Star Wars Rebels was placed under the immense pressure of being the first series to usher in this new Star Wars Universe that will eventually lead into J.J. Abram's The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.
Sure, the universe is already filled with wonderful stories told through decades of books, comics, and video games, but Rebels is the first to tell its own story in this "new canon." So, how did they do?
'Fire Across the Galaxy' did what any good season finale should do. There where high stakes for the main cast to overcome, and the writers chose to include some "OMG" moments towards the episode's conclusion for fans to ponder over until the series returns later this year. Creators Dave Filoni (Clone Wars) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) gave us a thrilling curtain call to a season filled with ups and downs. For every episode about shopping for groceries, there was an excellent Empire Day. As the series continues, there will hopefully be more adventures like this finale. Only time will tell.
Getting back to the exciting events of this episode, let's take a deeper look at the fight between Kanan and The Inquisitor. Besides the well choreographed nature of the battle, there were some striking similarities to a scene from Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace. Did you notice the crisscrossing walkways that ended up breaking Ezra's fall? Even though Ezra was not as involved in the fight like Obi-Wan was, it still felt like an echo of one of the best lightsaber fights ever conceived. Even the choral and instrumental accompaniment were reminiscent of Dart Maul's dual with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn. If you want to learn more about the fate and origins of The Inquisitor, be sure to check out our Inquisitor Origin Theory article.
As the central villain this season, The Inquisitor was adequate. Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter) brought a gravitas to the character that was sorely needed, but we never had a sense of who he actually was, or his motivations for hunting down Jedi. It would have been nice to have an episode dedicated to him, but perhaps this was not the last time we'll see the grey-faced villain? Like Darth Maul in Clone Wars, do you think he could have survived the fall? His last words to Kanan about somethings being worse than death was a chilling reminder of how little we know about the inner-workings of The Empire. What could he be referring too?
For fans of The Clone Wars franchise, the fate of Ahsoka Tano was a lingering question with no guarantee that it would ever be answered. Thankfully, Filoni and Kinberg felt it important enough to include her in this story as one of the key figures in the formation of the Rebel Alliance. Her leadership role as "Fulcrum" was key in helping Hera and the rest of the Ghost crew escape the Mustafar System with their lives. As we all expected, Ahsoka has grown up to be a beautiful Togruta Jedi. According to Filoni, in a behind the scenes look at next season (see below), Ahsoka's blades will be clear, or white to demonstrate that she belongs to neither the dark or light side of the force. Seeing her in action next season will be reason enough to come back for a second helping of Rebels.
While this season was strong for the most part, hopefully there will be more character development for Hera and Sabine. Kanan, Zeb and Ezra seemed to get most of the spotlight, so next season should be when the ladies get their moment to shine. The reveal of Darth Vader at the end brings with it more questions about what we can expect in the future, like a possible fight between him and Kanan. Hearing Vader's breathing brought me right back home and with the news that James Earl Jones will be giving voice to the Sith Lord, we are assuredly in good hands. It's just too bad we have to wait so long for next season to begin.
What were your favorite moments from this first season and what are you hoping to see more of in season 2?
Star Wars Rebels will continue later this year. Check out a behind the scenes look at this exciting finale in the video above.