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Star Wars Rebels Talking Points: “Jedi Night” and “Dume”

Star Wars Rebels Talking Points: “Jedi Night” and “Dume”

Star Wars Rebels Season Four returns for its epic final episodes and leaves no stone unturned. You are going to get some answers to some pretty heavy questions, and will undoubtedly go through a whirlwind of emotions. Strap yourselves in ….

HEAVY SPOILERS BELOW!! PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Kanan

When we were first introduced to this collection of characters that would change the way many of us look at Star Wars forever, the first person we met was Kanan Jarrus, the “cowboy Jedi”. Voiced by the multi-faceted and immensely entertaining Freddi Prinze Jr., Kanan rapidly worked his way into my soul. He is not only one of my favorite Star Wars characters, but one of my favorite fictional heroes. Without question.

The image above (courtesy of Disney) is full of symbolism and meaning. It’s a beautiful harbinger of Kanan’s fate, discipline, and maturity. He has come a very long way, and, in many ways, is almost a perfect Jedi. Flawed, honest, loyal, and talented, Kanan Jarrus is the Jedi Luke Skywalker wishes he could have had before he exiled himself to Ahch-To. This entire column could easily be about him. His noble, poignant sacrifice is everything a Jedi should be, in a perfect universe. This is not the case, of course, but for Kanan, his arc is pretty close to it.

The symbolic opening, with Kanan’s preparation, is stellar and enlightened. There are so many mythological and thematic elements here. I think that Filoni fellow knows what he’s doing.

Hera and Governor Arihnda Pryce 

As we remember from the last episode, “Rebel Assault”, Hera has been kidnapped and is now at the mercy of the Empire. There are a number of eye-catching moments here, and we learn a bit about her family’s history. Be prepared to loathe Governor Pryce, as she seems to have gone off the deep end. To me, she has drastically devolved since Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn novel. She went from being a tolerable character to a despicable one. Tension is built, as is suspense, and be certain to notice the juxtaposition between Thrawn’s tactics and Pryce’s. There is some interesting subtext here. Perhaps more importantly, Hera’s grit and toughness are on full display. However …

Vulnerability and Sacrifice

Every character shows vulnerability in these two episodes, and in pitch-perfect ways. Sabine marches off of the captured Imperial vessel and throws the TIE pilot helmet she is wearing to the ground.  She is angry, sad and stunned; as she stomps away from everyone, the audience knows she is going to grieve in private. Ezra misses his mentor and dear friend. He feels he has lost his compass.

Zeb is interesting in that he is clearly devastated, and feels the loss, but you also know that, as a brother in arms, values Kanan’s selflessness and sacrifice. The scene where these two embraces hit me more than perhaps anything in “Jedi Night” or “Dume”. It also is a sign of how far they have come in their relationship. They are brothers.

Hera, of course, is on another level of pathos. Her sudden realization of what she wants to tell Kanan, combined with their kiss on top of the building, is symbolic of where they truly feel when they are at peace and centered. They really do make each other the best version of themselves. In that exact moment, when Kanan does make his choice, and Hera runs to stop him, they both truly understand what love is. Literally and metaphorically, Kanan sees more clearly than he may ever have. His loss will be felt amongst the crew of the Ghost, as well as with all of us.

Loth-wolfs

The loth-wolfs are essential to “Dume”, and, without speculating, seem to be integral to where some of our favorite characters find themselves. I only add it here because this is where I believe our heroes will find themselves enlightened. It’s much more of a Buddhist philosophical construct than many other themes in Star Wars, and I look forward to seeing what it will mean by the time the series comes to its conclusion.

What aspects of “Jedi Night” and “Dume” resonated the most with you? Please leave your comments below, and MTFBWY.

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