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*Spoiler warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Legacy.”

“Legacy,” the mid-season finale of Star Wars Rebels is a sobering episode and quite a departure from the fun adventure tales we’ve had thus far. Last March, Dave Filoni told starwars.com that whereas season one of Rebels was inspired by A New Hope, the second season would take its cues from The Empire Strikes Back. “Legacy” is a prime example of that and is in fact structured much the same way as the film from which it drew its inspiration.

In the first act of Empire, Luke Skywalker receives a vision from Obi-Wan Kenobi–a vision he follows and that charts the course of his destiny while also providing the impetus for the rest of the film’s plot. In much the same way, “Legacy” begins with Ezra having a vision that features a white Loth-cat and, more importantly, his parents. Convinced that his vision holds the key to finding out the truth about his parents, Ezra enlists the help of Hera and Kanan in exploring even the feeblest of leads. The Force-aided research leads them to a prisoner known only as X-10 and seemingly back to Lothal–a trip Ezra is only too eager to make.

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But before Ezra (who will be joined by Kanan) can begin his quest, the Rebels must first make their way off Garel due to Ezra’s inadvertent leaking of their location (as seen in last week’s “The Future of the Force”). “Legacy” borrows heavily from Empire here as the episode is heavily front- loaded with action sequences before evolving into a very personal and emotional story.

Ezra with picture of parents

Ezra skirts the line between brave and foolish in the first sequence which features our heroes being nearly pinned down by Agent Kallus and his troops before the boy unleashes both his wrath and burgeoning lightsaber skills on the hapless Imperials. So reckless is he that he nearly engages both Inquisitors, and only a well-placed blaster bolt from Kanan that jams shut a pair of blast doors prevents Ezra from revealing just how far he’s come as a swordsman–and most likely how far he still has to go.

Ezra takes on Imperials

A thrilling in-atmosphere chase by the Imperials follows this sequence, and eventually most of the Rebel fleet manages to escape. As Hera and Sabine flee in the Ghost, Kanan, Ezra and Chopper take the Phantom to Lothal and begin their search in earnest for Prisoner X-10. The trio begin at Ezra’s house, and although the structure has been reduced to nothing but a hollowed-out shell, the search is not a total waste, for it is here the white Loth-cat from Ezra’s vision reappears.

In much the same way that Alice followed the White Rabbit down the hole into Wonderland, Ezra shows no hesitation in following the small mammal throughout the streets of Lothal’s capital city and even across the rooftops of several dwellings. Ultimately, the Loth-cat leads him to a speeder bike on which Ezra is able to place a tracker before it rockets off.

Continuing down the rabbit hole,  Ezra and Kanan track the vehicle to the outskirts of the city and encounter its driver–a man named Ryder Azadi, the former governor of Lothal…and Prisoner X-10. Once a vocal supporter of Ezra’s parents and their mission to spread the truth about what the Empire was actually doing, Azadi was charged with treason and ousted from his position of power. Now, he is the only one who knows the true fate of Ezra’s parents and he willingly shares what he knows.

As many fans had guessed (and the boy himself suspected), Ezra’s parents have died at the hands of the Imperials–although Azadi reveals that the actual time of their demise is quite recent. Visibly shaken by the news, Ezra immediately turns to Kanan (his surrogate father) for support and the Jedi comforts him without hesitation.

Ezra Heartbroken

Just as Luke Skywalker learned a terrible truth about his family in the final act of The Empire Strikes Back, Ezra faces tragedy as “Legacy” comes to close. And much like his original trilogy analogue faced the revelation about his father with resolve and courage, Ezra Bridger does the same with the news he is given and ultimately accepts his parents’ fate with grace and dignity. Having done so, he is given another vision of his parents through the Force who proclaim their pride in the man he is becoming and remind him of the importance in remaining strong in his convictions. Receiving a modicum of peace from the conversation, Ezra re-commits to continuing the Bridger legacy.

Ezra at the end

And so ends the first half of Star Wars Rebels’ second season. The series returns in January, and when it does, I’ll be back with more Rebels Reconnaissance. Until then, Merry Christmas to all and enjoy The Force Awakens!

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Thank you for reading! If you have feedback or just want to say hello, you can leave a comment on this page or email me at cdickinson@coffeewithkenobi.com. You can also contact me on Twitter @influxman or check out my Rogue page on “Star Wars in the Classroom.”

And don’t forget to check out Rebels Reactions for even more insight, discussion, and analysis of this episode.

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