It seems like yesterday that I was watching the short character videos Lucasfilm gave us on each major character from Star Wars: Rebels. Now, Season One is over and the damage has been done. We have seen the characters develop, and progress the greater Star Wars mythos forward. Though, what exactly did Star Wars: Rebels accomplish to push the greater franchise forward on its own? In my opinion, progress is greatness and that falls in line with what Star Wars: Rebels managed to achieve.
So what exactly has Star Wars: Rebels added to the greater franchise lore?
The Ancient Jedi’s Temples and Teachings
The Original Trilogy didn’t give us a diverse way of how the Jedi taught and where that happened. This was left open to interpretation, to be explained in the Expanded Universe/Legends, only to be bulldozed over by George Lucas, which of course was the Prequel Trilogy. It displayed the legalistic and unspiritual Jedi that trained and operated out of, essentially, the capitol of the galaxy. It was quite the departure from what a lot of fans were used to in the EU/Legends and Original Trilogy. Rebels managed to bridge together the two ideas that George Lucas introduced. In the episode “Path of the Jedi,” Kanan takes Ezra to a secret Jedi Temple and we are given a glimpse into how the old ways were focused less on rules and more on the spiritual side of the Force. Rotting skeletal remains of Jedi Masters waiting for their padawans to return from the trials the Force would bestow on them are found when Kanan and Ezra enter into the temple. This displays a sense of commitment and in a way, attachment for the Jedi, which the Prequel Trilogy declared was forbidden. Star Wars: Rebels appears to be trying to correct this idea…from a certain point of view.
The two-part episodes “Empire Day” and “Gathering Forces” continued this idea of Jedi and attachment. Kanan shows Ezra how to use the Force and connect one’s self to others in such a way to mind control them, essentially. Kanan simply states: “You have to be willing to attach to others.” It’s this message that helps save them against the Empire, by using this Force ability of mind control on the animalistic Frynocks.
The Formation of the Rebel Alliance
I didn’t read a lot of the EU/Legends material on its formation, but as a kid I always assumed that the Rebel Alliance was “Rebel planets/systems” banded together, waiting for the right time to gather their forces and strike as one.
I still think some of that is true to an extent, but with Rebels, we are getting a wider view of what the Rebel Alliance is. The show’s entire premise focuses on this one Rebel cell: a small group of individuals making life hell for the Empire. Naturally, we all knew that they would be part of the Rebel Alliance, but I wasn’t expecting the greater Rebellion to be as small as it was. I never expected that the leaders of the Rebellion would operate separately as organized groups of people, compared to entire planets as I always thought (Maybe I’m slow?).
Obviously, Rebels takes place before ANH and (I’m assuming) will eventually explain that film’s crawl, with the Rebels winning their first victory against the Empire, resulting in obtaining the Death Star plans. I always assumed that the Rebel Alliance took the entire Empire by surprise with their level of organization as they lash out in one huge push. Instead, Season One illustrates that the Empire is aware of them and trying to “snuff out that spark before it catches fire,” as Agent Kallus says regarding patterns that could signify a rebellion. The show is taking the idea of Rebel cells/factions/tribes and gradually building one on top of the other. By the end of this first season, we see another Rebel Cell bail out our main heroes, and we are introduced to the idea of the Rebels joining together on smaller situations, not only for big flurry attacks that we see in the Original Trilogy. It’s going to be awesome seeing the Rebel Alliance grow before our very eyes.
The Inquisitor and The Significance of His Presence and Death
What started out as simple Legends/EU material for authors of books and role playing games who wanted to include more lightsaber-wielding bad guys not named Darth Vader or Emperor Palpatine, the Inquisitorius might be getting their due thanks in part to the Lucasfilm story group and the show’s creative team. The introduction of the Inquisitor into the new canon has now opened the door for a lot of potential stories going forward. Darth Vader gives the Inqusitor a new mission where Vader states, “the Jedi Knights are all but destroyed,” which sets up that he helped hunt them all down. Vader then gives him a new purpose, to find Force-sensitive children. What’s even more interesting is that Vader doesn’t tell the Inquisitor to simply destroy them all, but rather if they won’t serve the Empire THEN illuminate them. Force-sensitive servants of the Empire gives me the impression the Emperor wants as many Force sensitive underlings as he can. Perhaps he is building an army of them? The Inquisitor does give Ezra the chance to join him in “Rise Of The Old Masters,” and thanks to the new introduction to “Spark Of Rebellion,” that offer makes a lot more sense.
I think the Inquisitor’s creation gives us a good idea about what the Emperor has in mind. We have been told that the Inquisitor is NOT a Sith Lord, but a dark side user from the Lucasfilm story group. It will be interesting to find out just how much training an Inquisitor receives with the dark side of the Force. Does the Emperor himself do it? Or does Vader? Something to take note of is the eyes of the Inquisitor. They are yellow and that means he’s tapping into the dark side of the force. That says an Inquisitor is not simply a “force user,” but rather someone who is actually utilizing the dark side of it.
We know dark side acolytes/assassins aren’t new to the Star Wars canon, but we know that the Emperor also didn’t want them around very long either. Since the Inquisitor is a title, and it’s based off old EU/Legends material that featured MANY that had that title, I think its safe to say that more Inquisitors are coming, especially, since they killed off the first one we met. Something tells me Kanan and Ezra have more than Darth Vader to worry about in the coming seasons.
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