Star Wars Rebels: “Path of a Jedi” Season 1 Episode 9 Review

Photo Credit:http://comicbook.com/2014/12/29/star-wars-rebels-nothing-and-everything-clip-released/

After a month on hiatus, Star Wars Rebels returned with a strong, Force-heavy episode that invoked The Empire Strikes Back in all the best ways.

After Ezra’s seemingly dark connection to the Force in Gathering Forces, Kanan is determined to find out if his apprentice is truly meant to become a Jedi. The two split off from the rest of the Ghost for a private mission. There weren’t even any subplots, but the episode was better for it.

Path of a Jedi reignited the mysticism in the Force in some very cool ways. To find the nearby Jedi temple, Ezra must guide them there by way of the Force. Once inside, we see creepy skeletons of Jedi in a meditative position. Kanan says they died waiting for their padawans to return from their journey inside the temple. While this wasn’t quite as disturbing as the Luminara zombie from Rise of the Old Masters, it certainly added to the creep-factor of this episode.

Ezra’s journey into the temple was obviously meant as a callback to Luke’s encounter in the cave on Dagobah in Empire. His greatest fears manifest themselves first as the Inquisitor, who seemingly kills Kanan after a lengthy duel. Perhaps too lengthy. If I have one complaint about this episode, it’s that the hallucinated lightsaber duel between Kanan and the Inquisitor felt like a cheap way to keep the kids invested, especially when you consider how well the Force material here would have stood on its own.

He next sees the crew of the Ghost as they talk amongst themselves about how useless Ezra is, with Sabine saying she pities him. This was a bit more powerful of a fear to explore. From there, the Inquisitor was used well, creepily following Ezra through his nightmares. The young padawan manages to overcome his fear, waking up in the Jedi temple with a familiar voice presenting itself to guide him.

Meanwhile, Kanan meditates about his own shortcomings in teaching Ezra. But he also gets help from an old master. Frank Oz reprised his role as Yoda in Path of a Jedi, having almost a god-like presence as he comforted and guided both Kanan and Ezra. With Yoda’s help, Kanan comes to terms with himself and Ezra finds something he didn’t expect to: a kyber crystal, the heart of a lightsaber as Yoda himself once put it on Clone Wars.

Returning to the Ghost, Ezra builds his lightsaber, a unique blade we haven’t quite seen anything like in Star Wars for at least some time. Ezra’s path has never felt more exciting. All through this mostly quiet, meditative episode. This is one of the strongest entries of Rebels yet. And, damn, it was good to hear Oz as Yoda again. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

 

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