After the dramatic events of last week, how would our Ghost Crew carry on? We find out this week in a spectacular double. The first of which, Wolves and a Door, takes us right unto the edge of our seats. Spoilers!
Since last week the stakes couldn’t be higher. With Kanan’s death and our Rebel friends having barely found the courage and will to carry on, their first mission is about to take them to the Jedi Temple. It is the kind of mission Kanan and Ezra would often go on alone, or in the company of Ahsoka. It does feel different now. Kanan is missed in every frame even though it is never said explicitly anywhere.
Wolves to the Temple
The scene in which Ezra summons the wolves is beautiful in its simplicity and execution. Although hardly anything surprising happens, it is executed in a very satisfying way. Kevin Kiner supports that with a splendid piece of score. As they ride their wolves towards the Temple we’re being reminded that these are no ordinary wolves, this is no ordinary ride.
After a few minutes we see how the Wolves seems to vanish in the undergrowth while carrying their riders. Before that the mysticism of the journey is lighted up a little by subtle, or not so subtle, references to Zeb’s smell responded to by the sniffin’ wolves and a bit of comedy with Chopper being carried in a wolf’s mouth. The Rebels team manages to strike a really good balance between comedy and mystical seriousness.
A Journey through Space and Time
The wolves take them to close by the Jedi Temple on Lothal. But this journey leads them through warps of space and time, symbolised by audible quotes of Hera and Kanan and other characters from previous Rebels episode. This episode clearly sets a theme here: the connectedness of past events to our present in the Galaxy far far away. This will repeat itself when they are at one of the Temple arts works later, where a character from the Mortis Arc from The Clone Wars will repeat in a whisper some of the lines she spoke when meeting Anakin, Obi Wan and Ahsoka.
As they emerge from their hyperspace-like jump they find that the Empire has started an odd but thorough excavation of the Jedi Temple. Ezra and Sabine go in to find out what is going on, while Chopper tunes in to an incoming communication from the Emperor to the scientist leading the excavations. Aware that this is now not merely a high profile mission but likely also a high-risk mission Hera becomes doubtful whether she should allow Sabine and Ezra to continue.
Here Filoni treats us to a beautiful moment where we see Hera’s emotion in the form of a ghost-like Kanan putting his hand on her shoulder. I am sure this is not a ‘force-ghost’ appearance by Kanan as that skill wasn’t fully available until after Obi Wan’s and Yoda’s passage into the Force in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The Kanan we see is the Kanan Hera feels to be present … a very human emotion.
Deeper into myth
Ezra and Sabine are a good pairing. Where Ezra brings his force-ability Sabine contributes her insight into the visual language of art. I like how Filoni has been weaving that theme into this series from the very start. Bringing in Thrawn in Season 3 also makes perfect sense from this point of view and here the pay off is even greater. Although Sabine knows little about the Force mythology, she does know a lot about artistry and it makes a credible case for hr being able to party ‘read’ the inscriptions and drawings they see on the Temple’s outer walls. Especially the depictions of the Mortis Force-wielders have special significance.
Together they read and trial & error their way towards opening a new entrance into the Lothal Jedi Temple. Much to the dismay of the resident scientist who had been unable to do so, so far. Ezra is deliciously hesitant about whether to enter or not, but Sabine’s arrest and her cry “Go!” make him jump into the portal that has opened up for a moment. Two storm troopers that are trying to follow him hit the wall, literally.
This episode stops where Ezra enters the Temple interior. Yet it has revealed quite a bit of stunning mythology by then. Not only do we know that the Emperor knows about Mortis and that archives were held about these stories in the Coruscant Jedi temple. But we also know how the Wolves of Lothal are deeply connected to the Mortis narratives. And finally the depictions of the Father, Brother and Sister not only feature the Wolves but also a Convor … the little birds that have been following Ahsoka pretty much since she first ran into them in the Clone Wars, season 3, Episode “Padawan Lost“. An of course it is not a coincidence that the convor we associate with Ahsoka wears the colours of the Sister from Mortis … the Force wielder who saved Ahsoka’s life many, many years ago.
Everything is set for the next episode of Rebels to become an awesome journey into deep Star Wars lore!