The mid-season breaks of Star Wars Rebels can be quite arduous, especially if the mid-season finale ends on a cliff-hanger. ‘Rebel Assault’ certainly brought the first half of Season 4 to a stage of uncertainty. Indeed, Hera was captured by the Empire after the failure of the assault on the TIE Defender factories on Lothal. The rest of our heroes needed to regroup and come up with a plan to rescue Hera. We have had to wait a long time to see what would happen.
The Beginning of the End
However, this final season of Star Wars Rebels has begun again and these latest episodes, titled ‘Jedi Night’ and ‘DUME’, are a couple of the last few remaining instalments we will get of this TV show. As such, I expected the resolution of this entire series to start in these episodes. One of the ways in which Star Wars Rebels would wrap would be through the deaths of certain characters.
For the longest time, I expected that most of our heroes in this television show would die. As a series centred on key figures in the formation of the Rebel Alliance, it seemed obvious to me that the protagonists would have to die. This is because they are not around or referenced in the Original Trilogy. That view has, over time, changed slightly. Indeed, thanks to Rogue One, we found out that Hera and Chopper make it out of Star Wars Rebels alive.
Additionally, an episode of Forces of Destiny showed that Hera was on Endor around the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Through Star Wars content such as this, I realised that some of the characters in Star Wars Rebels can survive after the show ends and still be around during the Original Trilogy thanks to the expansion of the Star Wars universe.
However, something which has not changed is my belief that the Jedi in Star Wars Rebels had to go by the time this show ended. Yoda tells Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi that he will be the last Jedi. That statement has always made me feel that the only Jedi around once Star Wars: A New Hope begins are Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. Once they are gone, Luke is the last Jedi. No others remain at that time.
My Thoughts on ‘Jedi Night’ and ‘DUME’
I believe that the end of Star Wars Rebels will coincide with the events of either Rogue One or A New Hope. Consequently, this meant that both Kanan and Ezra had to either die or be in a position where they are no longer around during the events of the Original Trilogy by the end of Star Wars Rebels. Sadly, one of them did die in ‘Jedi Night’. This episode was focused on the rescue of Hera and the mission cost Kanan his life.
Yes, Kanan Jarrus sacrificed himself to save Hera and, throughout ‘Jedi Night’, it seemed as though he knew what was coming. His conversations with Ezra had an ominous tone to them, as though he was mentally preparing Ezra for what was to come. Looking back at the end of ‘Rebel Assault’, it is evident then that Kanan knew what his fate would be. Still, even though his death was foreshadowed, it was still hard seeing a character we have all become so attached to meet his demise.
It was an incredibly emotional moment which was beautifully enhanced by an awesome piece of music. I cannot stress enough how important music can be in enhancing a scene/moment in an episode of television or a film. The music in Star Wars is essentially a character in this franchise thanks to the incredible work John Williams has done when it comes to the films.
From a television perspective, it is Kevin Kiner who has composed the music in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels and he has done a magnificent job. For me, the piece of score which accompanied Kanan’s death is amongst the best work he has done. It elevated the scene to make it that more of an emotional gut punch.
The Continuation of the Darker Tone in Season 4
In addition to its emotional weight, Kanan’s death was just one element in both ‘Jedi Night’ and ‘DUME’ that continued that darker tone which has been established in Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels. Indeed, as a prisoner of the Empire, Hera suffered torture at the hands of Governor Pryce and Grand Admiral Thrawn both physically and mentally. Moreover, Zeb almost brutally killed Rukh as retaliation in the aftermath of Kanan’s death.
Clearly, Kanan’s death had a severe impact on every member of the Ghost crew which was showcased in ‘DUME’. This episode was entirely devoted to the fallout of Kanan’s death and the different ways in which the rest of our heroes were emotionally dealing with this loss. For Zeb and Sabine, it was anger. For Hera, she was overcome with sadness about the death of someone she loved. Insecurity plagued Ezra who felt unprepared for the mantle of responsibility bestowed upon him.
The Fight Continues
However, in the end, everyone came together with renewed purpose and resolve to continue the fight against the Empire. A big factor in this was through Ezra’s contact with the Loth-wolves. He met what looked to be the leader of the Loth-wolves who was called Dume. As such, the uttering of Dume by the Loth-wolves throughout Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels clearly has a double-meaning as Kanan’s real name was Caleb Dume.
The Loth-wolves have been a guide for both Ezra and Kanan in Season 4 and I am still unsure about where this will go. However, for now, I will go along with what is happening, especially as Ezra was told by Dume to go to the Jedi temple on Lothal to uncover secrets. This will be the next objective for our heroes now that the mission which failed in ‘Rebel Assault’ has been achieved. Indeed, the way Kanan died caused the fuel depot for Thrawn’s TIE Defender project to be completely destroyed.
As a result, the mission eventually turned out to be a success which obviously displeased Thrawn who himself was on his way to Coruscant to meet with Emperor Palpatine. This came about after a conversation Thrawn had with Tarkin which linked in very nicely with Rogue One and set up what could be an extremely engaging scene with Palpatine. The only thing that could make it better is if Darth Vader shows up.
My Final Thoughts on ‘Jedi Night’ and ‘DUME’
Still, we will have to wait until the next episodes to see what transpires. Overall, I thought ‘Jedi Night’ and ‘DUME’ were great episodes that did a tremendous job of reintroducing us to Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels. They rank amongst the most emotional and important episodes of this show and I am sure more of the same is in store.