Starring: Taylor Gray, Vanessa Marshall, Tiya Sircar, Steve Blum, Freddie Prince Jr., Frank Oz, Matt Lanter, James Earl Jones, Ashley Eckstein, Philip Anthony-Rodriguez, Jason Isaacs, Sarah Michelle Gellar
Series Count: Season 2, Episode 17
Channel: Disney XD
In many ways this was the episode fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and now Star Wars Rebels have been waiting for. Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) would finally learn the truth that Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) is her former master, Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter). However, this was not the grand showdown we expected. Well, not yet.
“Shroud of Darkness” opens with yet another duel between Kanan (Freddie Prince Jr.) and Ezra (Taylor Gray) against the Fifth Brother (Philip Anthony-Rodriguez) and the Seventh Sister (Sarah Michelle Gellar). It has become evident, to Kanan, that these two new Inquisitors are constantly finding them. If Kanan and Ezra are to help the Rebellion, they need to stop the Inquisitors once and for all. With Ahsoka’s help, they return to the Jedi Temple on Lothal, in the hopes of speaking with Master Yoda (Frank Oz) again. Much like their visit to the Temple before, in “Path of the Jedi” (Season 1, Ep. 9), each of the Jedi will have to choose his/her own path for a unique vision.
The moment we have been waiting for as Star Wars fans comes when Ahsoka has a vision/ realization that her former master is Darth Vader. Anakin Skywalker speaks of her abandonment of both himself and the Jedi order. It is a different vision, but one that is clearly riddled with her own guilt as she knows what Darth Vader did and has done since the Jedi fell.
Kanan’s vision is one where he tested against Jedi Temple Guards. It is a great test for Kanan as he must accept that he will not always be there for his padawan, Ezra. A true test of any teacher is being able to let go. We see early in this episode that Ezra’s abilities are starting to surprise even Kanan. His test rewards him his knighthood in the Jedi. The kicker to this episode is that the “Sentinel”, who christens Kanan, is in fact the Grand Inquisitor (Jason Isaacs). Yes, you read that right. We last saw him choose death over being saved by Kanan and say “there are worse things than death”. Clearly, there is even more to his story.
Ezra’s vision was a sit down chat with Master Yoda. Ezra, ready to fight for his friends as always, is told by Yoda that there is another way. Confused, Ezra wants the answers. Yoda can only tell him to seek out Malachor. Malachor is in fact a place and has been mentioned before in both continuity (cannon) and in Star Wars Legends (the non-cannon Star Wars universe). Again, the creators behind this series build on what has come before and enrich this incredible universe.
“Shroud of Darkness” is clearly a setup for the final 4 episodes. It felt very much like a prelude to a four act story. We have the problems of the Rebels and finding a secure location. A problem that we know will be resolved. After all, the Rebellion does, in five years time, destroy the Death Star. What we don’t know is the fate of Ahsoka, Kanan and Ezra. Here we have three Jedi whose fate is clearly blowing in the wind. Whatever their outcome, the minds behind this series will not let us down.
Star Wars Rebels returns March 16th with the “The Forgotten Droid”. [review]
Rebels Recon #2.17: Inside “Shroud of Darkness” | Star Wars Rebels