"Star Wars: Rebels" Season 4 Episodes 10, 1 – Jedi Night and DUME (9 out of 10) – Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas; Starring: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar; Special Guest stars: Warwick Davis, Lars Mikkelson, Clancy Brown; Rated TV-Y7, Aired on Disney XD 2/19/18.
This review will contain spoilers.
After the cliff-hanger of the mid-season break, with Hera in the clutches of the Empire and the Ghost crew bent on rescuing her, it's been too long since we've had a chance to be with these characters, but after watching these two episodes, I understand completely why they broke the show on the note they did.
Because that last episode was the end of something. The last of the way things used to be.
Starting with Jedi Night, things are going to be different and shocking all the way through to the end of the series. There's a sense of sadness that permeates the first (and better) episode of this pair. Throughout the episode, I found myself bursting into tears because there's a definite pall of inevitability baked into the episodes. Kanan spends the episode essentially saying goodbye to everyone in turn. He goes through a transformation of his own that reminded me very much of Seven Samurai when Kambei Shimada cuts his hair to save the little boy from the bandit. Kanan sees this change coming and his hair reminds me a bit of what it used to look like the last time he was known as Caleb Dume. His hair is merely the first step in a journey that shows him shedding his identitty completely.
He cuts his hair and gets rid of his face mask. He then loses his lightsaber. Hera strips his gun from him.
Finally, by the end, his eyes turn from milky to blue as he transcends his purpose and embraces it.
I love this journey as it offers us a window into the serenity he's found in that decision. But, ultimately, what does it mean?
For Kanan, he's come full circle. For those of us who have been following Rebels since before the beginning, Kanan's beginnings in John Jackson Miller's novel A New Dawn offer us one of the most drastic character arcs we've seen in Star Wars that shares a bit of trajectory with Han Solo. He began as a drunken freight worker who found himself pulling up stakes and ghosting on all of his acquaintances as soon as he exhibited any level of Force ability. Meeting Hera Syndulla changed all of that for him and it's fitting that she's the thing he gave everything for.
But what higher purpose does he have left and what does this mean for the future of our Force mythology? What cosmic aspect of the Force to the Loth-Wolves represent? Are they akin to Bendu? Has Kanan transcended into the wolf known as Dume? Does this have anything to do with the Ahsoka/Sister like convor we've seen hinted at this season and across social media? For some Jedi, like Obi-Wan and Yoda, are they able to maintain their form and identity, and for others they can reincarnate in the natural world? I don't know. And I hope we get a little more information to go off of.
The second episode of this pair offers what might be a clue, but I'm still not sure. DUME is a harder episode to pin down. Jedi Night had not a single wasted frame, but it was a payoff for everything that came behind it. DUME is a set up for the real endgame and it's difficult to judge without seeing the threads it is meant to pay off. But the best part of this second episode besides that is that with the loss of Kanan, the Ghost crew has unraveled and they all need to find their own way to move forward. It's a powerful episode about dealing with grief and loss and it certainly raises more questions than answers.
Will Ezra be heading toward the dark end of dealing with these emotions? Or will he meet this loss with resolve? We'll know as he barells toward his destiny at the Jedi Temple on Lothal.
These episodes offered a lot of interesting touches to history and film. The first touches I noticed were the gliders that whisk Ezra, Sabine, and Kanan into the Imperial facility. They look and act very much like the gliders used by the allies in World War II, but in the context of Star Wars here, they exemplify a connection to the natural world as they're disguising themselves as Loth-Bats. There are many great sequences in film history that feature the gliders. There's also a hint of the Cliffs of Insanity from The Princess Bride as Kana climbs Hera up a sheer rock face to rescue her. The fight with Rukh evoked Predator in more than a few ways, too, from Sabine's heat vision to the invisible foe.
Jedi Night was, in my view, a perfect episode of Rebels and earns a 10. DUME is a perfect compliment to allow us to mourn our favorite cowboy Jedi, but feels paced a bit slower than I would like and I'm giving it an 8. These two episodes together earn a 9 out of 10 this week.
Star Wars Rebels airs on Disney XD on Mondays.
Season 4 Scorecard
- Heroes of Mandalore (9 of 10)
- In the Name of the Rebellion (9.5 of 10)
- The Occupation and Flight of the Defender (9 of 10)
- Kindred and Crawling Commandeers (9 of 10)
- Rebel Assault (10 of 10)
- Jedi Night and DUME (9 of 10)
Season Average: 9.2 out of 10
For more in-depth discussions about Star Wars Rebels and all other things Star Wars, be sure to tune into Full of Sith every week.