[This is a review of Star Wars Rebels season 2, episode 16. There will be SPOILERS.]
Star Wars Rebels delivers one its best episodes to date in this thrilling adventure that sends Ezra, Kanan and Ahsoka back to Lothal in search of a way to defeat the Inquisitor at their own game. Each Jedi has their own path of enlightenment to take this week, some more harrowing than others.
Even before we step foot inside the temple, 'Shroud of Darkness' begins in an exceptional way, with a tense battle featuring Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister. Kanan and Ezra continue to work better as a team and use the force to propel one another into battle. Ezra may be a young padawan, but his perception and control of the force is strong. Like the space whales a few episodes back, Ezra's connection to the force saves his master yet again when he summons a group of flying creatures to aid in their escape.
Once on Lothal, the team-up ends and the companions are forced to confront their tests alone. Kanan is the first to be tested when he enters a doorway to what looks like an ancient training facility. The temple guard who greets him foretells of a potential future where Ezra turns to the dark side. Many Rebels fans have speculated that Ezra would break bad, but remember the famous words of Master Yoda when he said, "Always in motion the future is." What Kanan ended up learning from his trial was that he had to understand that he had no power over the future. Trying to fight it face first isn't going to change what will happen. Now anointed, Kanan can call himself an official Jedi Knight.
Ezra's journey was less arduous then his fellow counterparts, as his vision consisted of a nice chat with Yoda himself. Yoda acknowledges that Ezra is indeed growing in the force, but also shares some insights that we did not expect. Fifteen years after The Clone Wars, Yoda is questioning the Jedi's decision to help fight against the separatist army. Ezra informs Yoda that their minds are already made up and that they will fight the Empire. Even with the boy's conviction, Yoda seems doubtful. It's almost as if he's lost for words. In the end, the short green Jedi tells Ezra that they need to go to Malachor for the answers they seek. Malachor is most likely where will see the tri-blade and hopefully the "old master," also known as Darth Maul. This is all speculative of course, but with only a few weeks left before the season finale, story arcs are going to be wrapping up sooner than you think.
Ahsoka had the most heartbreaking encounter of the group, as she finally learns the truth of her master's fate. Hearing Anakin's voice pleading for Ahsoka's help was hard to take in. Fans of The Clone Wars understand how strong their bond was and with the inevitable confrontation looming ahead, there's no telling how this will all play out. This reviewer is hoping that Ahsoka makes it to season three, but it doesn't look good. Either way, their fight will be something you won't want to miss.
'Shroud of Darkness' is everything you could ask for in a Rebels episode. Even the Grand Inquisitor reveal was executed well. What were you favorite moments from this week's outing. Stay tuned to see what happens next.
Star Wars Rebels continues with 'The Forgotten Droid' next Wednesday @9:30 on Disney XD. Check out a behind the scenes look below: