Star Wars Rebels Recap: Shroud of Darkness


In the 18th episode of Star Wars Rebels season 2, Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka return to the Jedi Temple on Lothal to seek out how to defeat their enemies.

While Kanan and Ezra are scouting out a new planet for a potential rebel base, they are once again accosted by the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother. Ezra is able to use his unique connection to animals through the Force to make his and Kanan’s escape. While the Padawan exults in having survived yet another battle with the Inquisitors, the master is concerned about how the target the Inquisitors’ have on their backs is endangering the rebel fleet. He wants answers for how to defeat Darth Vader and his servants, and for that he consults an old friend.

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Kanan and Ezra meet back up with The Ghost, far away from the rebel fleet. Per Kanan’s request, Hera has taken a guest on board: Ahsoka Tano. Ezra enters her chamber to find her watching a hologram of Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka’s former master, running through a lightsaber defense tutorial. Ahsoka tells Ezra that Anakin was the best warrior the Jedi had. When Ezra asks his fate, Ahsoka says the last time she saw him was right before he was rushing off to rescue Chancellor. She doesn’t seem to know that he has turned to the dark side, though she appears saddened by seeing the hologram of her former mentor and friend.

Kanan enters the room and voices his concerns about the danger he and Ezra are putting the rebellion in. He’s also concerned that he doesn’t have the training to take care of himself, much less his apprentice. Though Ezra protests that he doesn’t need protecting, Kanan is still adamant that they should seek council from somewhere. Ahsoka says that during her time as a Jedi during the Clone Wars, she would turn to Obi Wan Kenobi or Master Yoda for help. Kanan suggests that perhaps, since Ezra was able to commune with the Jedi once in the Jedi Temple on Lothal, they could try that avenue again.

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The three Jedi, with Chopper in tow, take The Phantom to Lothal. While Chopper stays on board the ship to keep a satellite out for any Imperial presence, the others must open the entrance to the Temple. Ezra wants Ahsoka to help, but she tells him that she is no longer a Jedi; she gave up that life, and with it, presumably, her access to sacred Jedi locations. Kanan and Ezra work together to do the job, and the hulking stone that is the Temple rises at their command to reveal the doorway inside. They enter into the gloom of the cave-like stone structure, and the door shuts behind them.

The three kneel in the center of a circular room within the Temple to meditate, hoping they will receive guidance. Kanan is the first to be given a vision: he sees a glowing doorway in the wall opposite him, but the others cannot. He reminds Ezra that the last time they were in the Temple, they were separated. He decides that this doorway is a path meant for him alone. He steps through it, and disappears from Ahsoka and Ezra’s sight.

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Kanan walks, blinking in the brightness, into what appears to be a lightsaber training room. In front of him stands a Jedi Temple guard. Kanan moves toward him, saying he has come to seek guidance: he wants to know how to defeat Vader and his Inquisitors. But instead of offering him advice, the Guard delivers him a warning. He says Kanan cannot fight, and if he does, the rebellion will be destroyed, Kanan will die, and Ezra will fall to the dark side. He says the dark side is already pulling at the boy. He then ignites the yellow blade of his lightsaber tells Kanan to stand aside, for Ezra, he says, must be killed before he can become a servant of evil. Kanan, who already has his blade ignited, says he won’t let that happen. A clash between the two ensues.

Unbeknownst to the Jedi, the Inquisitors have once again been able to track them. Chopper detects their ships’ presence on Lothal before they land and is able to whisk away The Phantom to a safe location to await Kanan’s word to return. The Inquisitors land their fighters in front of the Temple, which has closed itself up again. The Seventh Sister uses her droid to determine that the structure is, in fact, a Temple. Now, it’s just a matter of them finding a way inside.

Alone together once again, Ahsoka and Ezra begin to talk of Master Yoda. Ahsoka describes him as being happy when she was younger; but as the Clone Wars dragged on, she says he grew more sad, as if he were carrying a great burden. “As if he knew before anyone else,” she says, “that one time was ending, and another beginning.” It is then that Ahsoka realizes that Ezra, too, has disappeared.

Ezra finds himself in the same starry field where he received his kyber crystal during his last visit to the Jedi Temple. Instead of a crystal, this time, he finds Yoda sitting on a log. Yoda tells him his power has grown since the last time they spoke, for then Ezra could only hear the old Jedi. Then Yoda delivers a sobering warning: with the growth of Ezra’s power in the Force, danger is also brimming.

Kanan, still fighting the guard, is finding himself at a disadvantage in the fight when suddenly, two more Jedi Temple guards appear. He grabs a lightsaber from a rack on the wall and ignites it, and the blade is crimson. He appears perturbed by the dark side color, but he is desperate to defend himself. The first guard continues to bombard him with his worst fears: “You will never be strong enough to save your pupil. And you will perish for your failure.”

“You were selfish. You abandoned me.”

Back in the Temple, Ahsoka continues to meditate. From time to time, she hears a voice calling her name, but she ignores it; until finally, it becomes too familiar and insistent to block out. It’s the voice of her former master, calling to her. Behind Ahsoka, a vision of Anakin appears. He asks her why she left him. He says she was selfish for leaving him when he needed her. Ahsoka says, almost as if to herself, that she wasn’t selfish, but the vision only grows more aggressive. Anakin asks her, “Do you know what I have become?”

In that instant, the vision of Anakin changes to one of Darth Vader surrounded by a ghostly field of red. Tears fill Ahsoka’s eyes as the truth finally hits her. She cries out, “No!” Finally, the vision disappears, leaving her bent over the ground in despair.

Meanwhile, Ezra asks Yoda what he, Kanan, and Ahsoka need to do to win against their enemies. Yoda emphasizes that how a Jedi chooses to win is important. Ezra thinks that the only way they can win is fight, but Yoda has learned from the Clone Wars that this is not the best way. Fighting to save your friends consumes you with fear, he says, and fear is just one step away from anger. At that moment, Ezra realizes that dust is falling into his vision; the Inquisitors are using the dark side of the Force to break into the Temple.

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Kanan, after having battled with the Guards, finds himself to be no match for them. As the dust falls down and the room shakes, he admits his own defeat. In doing so, he finally lets go of his fears, and, lowering his blade, acknowledges that he doesn’t have the power to save Ezra. The only thing he can do is train him to the best of his ability. The Jedi Temple guard raises his lightsaber as if to strike Kanan down, and Kanan bends his head in acceptance. But instead of slashing him in half, the guard uses his blade to perform the Jedi knighting ceremony.

Kanan doesn’t fully comprehend what just happened. He gets up and follows the guard, asking him what all this means. The guard, his back turned to Kanan, removes his helmet. When he looks back at Kanan, he is revealed to be the Grand Inquisitor; his eyes are a warm gold color, as opposed to the malignant yellow and red that indicates the poison of the dark side. “You are now what I once was,” he says, meaning Kanan is now a Jedi Knight (and that the Grand Inquisitor was once a Jedi Knight, as well). He tells Kanan to go, saying that he and the other guards will hold off the Inquisitors.

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Ezra is insistent, however, and he is growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of answers he’s getting from the Jedi Master. Finally, almost reluctantly, Yoda tells Ezra to seek out Malachor. Ezra doesn’t know what that is, but he’s run out of time.

The three Jedi meet back up inside the Temple. Ezra wants to tell the others about his vision, but Kanan says to tell them later; they’ve got to make their escape now. An exit has appeared amid the crumbling walls, and they flee down it. Before she follows the others, Ahsoka hesitates and looks back. In the center of the Temple where they were all kneeling earlier sits Master Yoda on his log. He smiles and gives her a small wave of his hand. She nods back at him, and then takes off after the others.

They make it out of the Temple and into The Phantom, where Chopper is eagerly waiting for them. They take off and make it off the planet; the Inquisitors, however, who are now inside the Temple, must encounter the vision of the Grand Inquisitor and his fellow Jedi Temple guards.

Aboard The Phantom, Ezra tells Kanan and Ahsoka that he saw Yoda, and how the Jedi Master told him to seek out Malachor. He asks who that is, and Ahsoka replies with visible disgust that it’s not a person, rather it’s a place. That is where the Jedi must go to learn how to fight Vader and his servants.

Back on Lothal, Imperial reinforcements under the command of Darth Vader himself have arrived. He enters the Temple to find the Inquisitors unscathed and says that his master will be “most pleased” with this new discovery. After bowing in deference, the Fifth Brother tells his master that the Jedi are growing in their power. Vader replies, “It will be their undoing.”

Next: Mark Hamill Starts Unintentional Rumors For Star Wars: Episode VIII

Tune into Dork Side in two weeks for a one-off on the grumpy, but lovable Chopper in Star Wars Rebels: “The Forgotten Droid.”