Check out Our Review [WITH SPOILERS] of Star Wars Rebels Episode 20: “Twilight of the Apprentice.”
It was a season finale any show would be envious of. Star Wars Rebels wrapped up its second season with possibly the best episode in the history of the show. It was filled with amazing action sequences, compelling stories… and a cliffhanger that will have fans of Rebels wishing they can cryogenically freeze themselves until season three makes its way to the airwaves.
“Twilight of the Apprentice” both ended the current season on a high note and delivered moments that could cause shockwaves through the Star Wars Universe.
-THE RETURN OF MAUL
You can’t talk about this episode without first mentioning the return of Darth Maul. Not seen since The Clone Wars, Maul has turned into a recluse, living outside of an underground Sith temple. Once our three heroes (Kanan, Ashoka and Ezra) get separated, Maul begins his mind games on a young and impressionable Ezra.
The show followed the lore of the Sith we are familiar with. To enter the Sith Temple, two are needed, an apprentice and a master (or in Maul’s case… Old Master). Throughout the episode, we see Maul befriending Ezra, encouraging the young Jedi to get in touch with his inner anger. Working together, the two make their way to the center of the Sith Temple and collect a Sith Holocron!
In Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul’s character was reserved. He was essentially a mindless fighting machine, only focused on killing Jedi. In only one episode, Rebels expanded on the character we saw in The Clone Wars, making him a manipulating terror, and his presence may have dictated the future path of Ezra Bridger.
-JEDI VS SITH
“Twilight of the Apprentice” delivered some of the best action sequences in any Star Wars outlet, like three Inquisitors (complete with spinning, duel-blade lightsabers) going head-to-head with our Jedi heroes. The pinnacle moment appeared to be Maul joining Kanan and Ashoka to help even out the numbers. “I am your enemy’s enemy.” Oooh… sends chills down your spine.
However, the fights didn’t end there. Needing to get the Sith Holocron to the top of the temple, the teams of Maul & Ezra, and Kanan & Ashoka, climb their way higher and higher with each group finding Inquisitors. Having the numbers advantage, Maul and Ezra team up against their foe before Maul delivers a fatal blow… killing one Inquisitor.
Seeing Kanan and Ashoka struggle, Maul sends Ezra to the top of the temple and assists the two Jedi in killing the remaining Inquisitors (well… really, Maul does all the killing). Just when you think a new powerful ally has come to their aiid, the story gets thrown a curveball.
-KANAN’S DEFENDING HIS PADAWAN
This season has been a big one for Jedi Kanan Jarrus. He was granted the position of Jedi master and has taken on Ezra Bridger as his apprentice. That role comes with protecting Ezra at all costs… but still letting him learn from his own mistakes. One of those mistakes is offering a lot of trust to Maul, something Kanan paid the price for.
Following their 3-on-2 deadly beat-down against the Inquisitors, we finally get Maul’s true plan… to take on Ezra as his own apprentice. Throwing his lightsaber, a bright flash occurs, permanently blinding Kanan. This is the moment we learn Kanan’s true power. Without the use of his eyes, Kanan dons a Jedi Temple Guard mask, and getting in touch with the Force, defends himself to a point where Maul makes a mistake… and falls off the side of the temple (to his apparent demise).
Kanan has been on a journey that took him from being a Jedi version of Han Solo to a reincarnation of Obi-Wan Kenobi (well I guess not a reincarnation… since Kenobi is just in hiding on Tatooine). Once a smuggler, he is now Rebels’ embodiment of the Force and his character is one Rebels fans can respect. However, now we need to watch to make sure his Padawan doesn’t follow Obi Wan’s…
-EZRA’S JOURNEY TO THE DARK SIDE
As we’ve seen Kanan become a Jedi Master, we’ve also seen Ezra being enveloped by the Dark Side. Befriending Maul, the young padawan embraces the anger lurking within him. It allowed him into the Sith Temple, and also allowed him to place the Sith Holocron into the peak of the temple… which turns it into a weapon capable of mass destruction. While the episode ends with Ezra and Kanan removing the Holocron, leading to the temple’s destruction, we also see Ezra fiddling with the Holocron and able to unlock it in the episode’s final scene. Not only is Ezra able to use his anger, he embraces it.
Another key scene was in the beginning. Once Kanan, Ashoka and Ezra arrive at the Sith Temple, they encounter a Pompeii scene; Jedi and Sith alike trapped as ashen battle statues. It’s here when Ezra finds something; a crossguard lightsaber… not unlike Kylo Ren’s. It’s the first time we’ve seen this weapon outside of The Force Awakens… and it could possibly be a sign of things to come.
-THE FUTURE OF ASHOKA TANO
Rebels ended by delivering something many fans thought they would never see: Ashoka Tano facing off against her old Master, Darth Vader. Vader arrived on the scene after the Inquistiors were wiped out, not unlike the final boss in a video game. Ready to strike down Ezra (who was trying to remove the Holocron), Ashoka comes in to save the day.
The fight between Master and Apprentice was the best fight scene Darth Vader has ever been in. The battle was intense and jaw-dropping (even after you realize that no matter what, Vader survives). When Ezra and a blind Kanan are trying to make a run for it (before the Temple collapses), it’s Ashoka who holds off Vader, sending a blow that cracks his mask, and showing his now yellow eyes. Even as Ashoka pleads for him to reconsider his journey to the Dark Side, it’s clear he’s too far gone. When we return to a shot of a collapsed temple, we see Vader slowly making his way out, seemingly leaving Ashoka behind and making us believe she’s been killed.
And maybe Ashoka did meet her demise at the hands of her former master. We’re going to have to wait until season three arrives to find out. However, that’s not our only lingering questions. Will Ezra embrace the Dark Side (and perhaps take a crossguard lightsaber as his own)? Will Kanan get awesome new robot eyes? Is Captain Rex that old guy from Return of The Jedi? Now that Darth Maul is back in the fold, will we get a Maul vs Vader showdown?
So many possibilities. Now let’s hope season three of Rebels can pick up right where season two left off!