Kanan meets The Bendu, the Middle between the dark and light sides of the Force, in a new clip from Star Wars Rebels season 3.
The Force just got a whole lot more mysterious with a new clip from Star Wars Rebels season 3, in which Kanan Jarrus meets The Bendu.
Meet the hulking Force creature that is The Bendu for yourself in the clip below, which first debuted on USA Today.
Voiced by the legendary Tom Baker – also known as the Fourth Doctor in the BBC’s Doctor Who series – The Bendu is a powerful being in the Force. He describes himself to Kanan as being neither of the light side nor the dark side of the Force. Rather, he is between them; or, in The Bendu’s words, “The Middle.” Not only does he not associate himself with either the Jedi or the Sith, he also doesn’t seem to think much of them, either. And no wonder, since he and his power are beyond Kanan’s and our comprehension.
CAMBER SANDS, UNITED KINGDOM – FEBRUARY 6: Actor and Doctor Who star Tom Baker at the SFX Weekender taken on February 6, 2010. (Photo by Rob Monk/SFX Magazine via Getty Images)
In an interview with USA Today in coincidence with the latter’s premiere of The Bendu clip, Tom Baker described what exactly The Bendu brings to the Star Wars universe.
"Q: What does the Bendu add to the Star Wars saga? A: The Bendu is described as a “life force,” which is something we haven’t really seen before in Star Wars. He’s not the dark side or the light — he’s something greater. I’m quite flattered that (Rebels executive producer) Dave Filoni fancied me as a “life force” at the age of 82."
We got our first look at The Bendu in the first full-length trailer for Star Wars Rebels season 3, which debuted at Star Wars Celebration Europe this past July. But the above clip reveals more of The Bendu’s power, and his mystery. He seems to have a depth of knowledge of the Force beyond what we have learned from other areas of Star Wars canon thus far. He speaks of the light and dark sides of the Force as Ashla and Bogan, for instance, as if they are actual entities.
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Ashla and Bogan are not new to Star Wars lore. The pair were mentioned in a Legends book and a comic series. Both of these literature works were part of a story called The Dawn of the Jedi which discusses the earliest stages of the Jedi’s formation, thousands of years prior to Star Wars: Episode I. Ashla and Bogan are the moons of the planet Tython, where the Jedi originally lived (in the Legends canon, at least, which is only official canon if the Lucasfilm Story Group approves it). Ashla represents light, while Bogan represents darkness.
These names and what they represent are even older than The Dawn of the Jedi stories. They were first developed by George Lucas, when he was writing his first story treatments for A New Hope. Ashla has also been mentioned on Star Wars Rebels before by an elderly Lasat in the season 2 episode “Legends of the Lasat,” in reference to the Force. It’s all connected, goes the hashtag.
It’s good to see Lucas’s old ideas about the mythos of the Force being brought to light in canon. Star Wars is such a deeper story than we realize. It looks like we are finally going to explore more of it.
What do you think of The Bendu and exploring the deeper aspects of the Force in Star Wars Rebels? What kind of wisdom do you think he will impart to Kanan? Learn more about him, and maybe about the Force, as well, this fall after Star Wars Rebels season 3 premieres on September 24th on Disney XD.