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Friday, 1 April 2016
STAR WARS REBELS - TWILIGHT OF THE APPRENTICE (REVIEW, SPOILERS)
Hey all, and wow the last fortnight has been amazing for movies and shows. We had Daredevil season 2 drop, Batman V Superman, and now the finale of Star Wars Rebels season 2. So before you read further let me warn you that there are spoilers for SW Rebels.
We all had been waiting for the finale, ever since we saw the mid season trailer, and speculation has been rife concerning the fate of fan favorite Ahsoka Tano. I held my own theories on what would happen, but Twilight of the Apprentice shook the force to its core. It was such a powerful episode, which left many of us processing what took place, and the possible implications for season 3.
Twilight of the Apprentice opens up with Ezra, Chopper, Kanan, and Ahsoka on their way to Malachor to seek the forbidden knowledge to help them against the Sith and Empire. As soon they touch down to the surface of Malachor the scene and tone are set. Chopper stays behind with the ship whilst the rest of crew ventures forth to discover a Sith temple.
I'll try not to describe every detail of the episode so we don't cover too many spoilers, but I'd recommend watching Twilight of the Apprentice with as little spoilers as possible.
Kanan, Ezra, and Ashoka find themselves apart inside the temple, and this is where the dramatic conclusion to season 2 starts to unfold. Ezra, now separated from the others meets the old master who is Darth Maul. He now goes by Maul, but he is still the same manipulative, self serving character. At first he does appear frail, but its an illusion, and a smartly crafted game played by 'old master'. Maul seeks the knowledge from the temple for himself whilst trying to turn Ezra to the dark side as his apprentice. They both work together to successfully acquire a Sith holocron, which will help unlock the secrets of the Sith temple. Awesome alert! I cannot wait to see how it plays out next season, but I'll chat more about this near the end of the review.
Meanwhile Kanan and Ashoka are battling the Inquisitors including the new one we saw in the mid season trailer. He seems less experienced than the main two, but more agile. Its kind of a cat mouse situation that takes places with roles reversing frequently, which sees Maul and Ezra rejoining Ahsoka and Kanan to face off against the Inquisitors. The Inquisitors are now defeated quite easily, but they are severely outmatched, and it shows.
The Sabre battles are great, the score is awesome, the flow, and action sequences make for such an enjoyable episode so it all comes together to make this truly special. Our heroes, and I guess 'Darth Concerned Only for Me' aka Maul head to the top of the Sith temple to unlock it with the holocron. Maul reveals his true agenda, attacking Kanan, wounding him greatly, but the two still duel with Kanan coming out on top. Next we come to the climatic last round for Twilight of the Apprentice. The holocron is successfully unlocked, which is proceeded by the arrival of Darth Vader.
Yeah, this is where the duel we had been waiting for takes place. Ahsoka confronts Vader to save Ezra and Kanan. Wow, just what a scene this is. The fight is insane, and during the exchange Ahsoka lops off half of Vader's mask to reveal Anakin! His face and yellow eyes from episode 3 are exposed. There is some turmoil too as he does call out to Ahsoka for a second as Anakin. He says to her he destroyed Anakin, and if she remains she will die. Ok its time for the quote of Twilight of the Apprentice, but Ahsoka swears to stay with Anakin this time, and avenge him. Well Vader retorts vengeance is not the Jedi way, and Ahsoka gets you to root for her instantly when she replies "I'm no Jedi" and leaps at him with her sabres. Seriously, you need to see this.
Kanan and Ezra make their escape, leaving Ahsoka with Vader, but all is not lost, and I believe Ahsoka is alive and well.
Twilight of the Apprentice was one of the best episodes of Rebels I've watched. Season 2 was a great ride, with only a few minor filler episodes, but overall it was fun, enjoyable, and led to a most memorable finale.
Before closing the review I want to share with you all some thoughts for season 3, and particular stand out moments from Twilight of the Apprentice.
* Darth Maul. Maul is one of the greatest characters in SW so it was awesome to see him back, and he will be a player in season 3. I did think it was funny that he escaped in Vader's tie fighter.
* Ezra. Look at his eyes when he is on the ship leaving Malachor. He is sat holding the Sith holocron. Its unlocked, and there is a red glint in Ezra's eyes. Do I think he will go to the dark side? I think so. It appears he will become a Sith as the temptation is there for him in his hands with the holocron. Whether this lasts for the whole of season 3 or he does a Revan and comes back to the light I don't know, but just an idea on what I saw.
* Adaption of EU material. We could do a whole other post on this topic, but its pretty cool how they are adapting and integrating EU material into Rebels.
* Vader. He was messed up after the fight with Ahsoka. You could clearly see this was a fight Vader hadn't been in for some time or had faced since Obi Wan. He's in bad shape, look at the way he walks out of the Sith temple. I suspect he and the Empire will really step it up in season 3.
* Ahsoka. I don't believe she was killed for a few reasons. When Vader is walking out of the Sith temple (he is really messed up), Ahsoka is in the background stood in the entrance to the temple. She stands there for a moment then turns around, walking back inside. I don't believe its a force ghost, and no visible body, means she's ok. I also remember reading something way back that she fought Maul after Revenge of the Sith. Maybe in season 3 at some point? Hopefully my speculation doesn't bite me, but I'm basing this on what I saw in the episode. How did she escape or did Vader hesitate for a second, which allowed her to flee? Could be. Its guess work atm, but she is definitely clearly stood in the background watching Vader from a distance as he struggles to walk, and then turns around, heading back inside the Sith temple.
We just need to use the force and be patient until season 3, but its difficult. The Stupendous Wave on Twitter ran a poll asking people if they thought Ahsoka was alive. So far 67% say yes.
In closing, I do believe we haven't seen the last of Ahsoka Tano due to the evidence on screen, but in time if we stand corrected we shall say so. Whether you were disappointed with The Force Awakens or not, Rebels is a great series to watch with a solid set of characters.
Ahsoka Tano we shall see you in season 3!
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