Yeah, just one episode again for me this week. With all the lists and Christmas to content with, I just thought that there was no need to push myself. The problem is, I’m kind of enjoying just talking about one episode a week…
If I keep it up though, I’ll be watching this series for years before I actually finish it. Going to try for two episodes next week so we can polish off this second season in the new year.
Season 2, Episode 18: Shroud of Darkness
The episode opens on some desolate husk of a world, with Kanan and Ezra already facing off in a duel against the Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother. This pair really feel like they were reduced in their status as villains almost right from the beginning. They were introduced while being intimidating, but they’re already relegated to the status of jobbers.
Although Kanan and Ezra end up escaping rather than fighting them off, Ezra once again using his particular skill in the “beast control” force power. using Knights of the Old Republic terminology. It’s happened enough at this point that I feel like this might be his standout skill in the force, his ability to forge connections with the “animals” of the Star Wars world.
Kanan starts to worry that his and Ezra’s presence is actively hindering the Rebel fleet’s ability to establish a static base, as the Inquisitors keep managing to find them. So he decides to meet Ahsoka out in the middle nowhere. Who is watching a Holocron with a surprise Matt Lanter cameo as Anakin Skywalker.
She and Ezra have a brief conversation during which she still seems oblivious to Anakin and Vader being one and the same. I still have to believe she has her suspicions, she is one of three people in the galaxy who knows him best, there’s no way she couldn’t be thinking about it.
The solution they come to, in looking for advice is a cool one actually. During the season 1 episode: Path of the Jedi, Ezra entered an old temple on his home world of Lothal, faced some visions and attained his Lightsaber crystal. During that time, Yoda reached out to them through the force from Dagobah. It sounds like Kanan wants to reach out to him again.
And honestly, I kind of like them coming back to this and that not being a pure bit of fan service. I mean, if you know you can contact Yoda, of course you’d try and do so again.
Ahsoka also reveals to Ezra that she is no longer a Jedi, thus cannot open the temple. Y’know, I don’t think she is any more or less a Jedi than Ezra is at this point. In the current galaxy, dogmatic old traditions and rules of the fallen order don’t really amount to anything anymore. In my eyes, if you wield the force for the sake of good, then you’re a Jedi.
Time for more vision quests. Kanan is seperated from the group and enters a training hall, one that takes heavy inspiration from the Samurai lore that the the Jedi came from. I’d also bet that there is some level of inspiration from the Matrix here too, in the whole dojo within a dream thing they got going on.
Kanan’s test is one of resolve, he encounters a temple guard who informs him that Ezra’s fall to the dark side is inevitable. Thus he must be executed to prevent it. Something Kanan obviously takes exception to. Nobody ever seems to realise these force visions are always tests and mind games do they.
Kanan’s duel leads to his defeat, but he also accepts the risk of what he is doing. While it’s always going to be a risk that Ezra could fall to the dark side, that’s a risk every Jedi had to deal with. He accepts that call he can do is train Ezra to the best of his abilities and trust Ezra make the final choices himself.
Which seems enough for the temple guard, who responds by Knighting Kanan. A ritual he never got the chance to undergo before the fall of the order. The man who knights him reveals himself to be a vision of the Grand Inquisitor, or the man he was before he was taken by the Empire and twisted into a tool.
Ezra’s vision puts him in direct contact with Yoda himself, whose redesign is… not my favourite. Yoda talks about how the Jedi Order all fell under the influence of the dark side. The events of the Clone War allowing them all to give into fear and anger much easier. Something Yoda still seems to carry with him, as he seems to balk at Ezra’s resolve to fight the Empire.
In the end he gives Ezra the final message to “find Malachor”. Which I know as Malachor V; the planet that played a role in the final days of the Mandalorian Wars from the Knights of the Old Republic video game and was the place the Mass Shadow Generator was activated, ending the war and turning the world into a twisted remnant of gravity and dark side energy. Whether that’s still going to be the case in the new, Disneyfied continuity. Well, we’ll just have to wait and find out.
And Ahsoka has a vision of Anakin, guilt tripping her for abandoning him and blaming her for “what he has become”, transforming him into Darth Vader. Which to me, says to me that Ahsoka always did kind of know, she just refused to accept it. It’s with this vision that she is forced to face the truth.
Seems like things aren’t just going to be purely tests of mental fortitude though, as the duo of Inquisitors once again find Kanan and Ezra. Seriously, how do they keep doing this? have they got a tracker on them or something?
As the Sister and Brother force open the door of the temple, they are descended upon by the ghosts of the Grand Inquisitor and his fellow temple guards. Leaving them trapped in the crumbling temple while our trio of heroes escape.
As the episode ends, Darth Vader descends upon the destroyed temple, encountering the two Inquisitors and congratulating them on their discovery. Saying that while the Jedi increase in power, that it will only lead to their undoing.
This was a cool episode.
I can find the mystical mumbo jumbo of the Jedi focused episodes a little grating at times, but I liked what this one had to give. It gave us some growth and development for all three of our heroes through varying degrees of metaphor. Plus brought back elements from the old continuity for lore nerds like me to chew on.