Saturday, 5 March 2016

Star Wars Rebels S02E18 "Shroud of Darkness"


"Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka risk travelling back to Lothal to seek Yoda's advice about the Inquisitors."

What I thought?

What another top episode! So much of this season seems to have been pretty "meh" since the opening handful of episodes, but with things heading towards the finale the standard of storytelling has been raised to the top shelf in very recent episodes.

Things kick off dramatically with Kanan and Ezra battling the two inquisitors beside an obligatory cliff edge. Ezra is really holding his own these days. I'm no fan of the lad and his progress does seem somewhat puzzlingly quick, but there's no doubt that he's a significant player now in the ways of the force. Seeing those two is like watching Obi-Wan and Anakin together as they were in the excellent Clone Wars cartoon. That's not the only comparison to the previous Star Wars Series, because this felt very much more Clone Wars than the "lite" version that Rebels has been on the whole over the last 1.8 seasons. Ezra is once again annoyingly calling on animals with the force, enabling him and Kanan to escape the inquisitors after yet another jump off a cliff edge into what looked like an abysses but alas was onto the back of some flying creature. It feels like I've seen this so many times in Star Wars ...

Ahsoka, Kanan and Ezra head back to Lothal and that hidden Jedi temple. Surprisingly, Ahsoka says she can't help them open the door as she's not a jedi. Sure, I got that, but neither is Ezra? Hmmm. Anyhow, once inside they meditate and each of them gets a separate force vision. Ezra chats a rather 1970s looking Yoda who tells him about the bad times of the Clone Wars and that fighting isn't the answer. He also mentions a place for Ezra to visit, which I believe relates to Darth Maul who we know makes an appearance this season. Interesting! Ahsoka has a vision of Anakin chatting to her, complaining that she deserted him doing his usual whining stuff but giving the strongest evidence yet to her that he's Darth Vader. I'm sure she must have known by now but if she didn't, she does now. Kanan gets the most interesting vision of sorts as he meets Jedi Temple guards. They battle as they debate Ezra's future (they wanted to kill Ezra now before he succumbs to the dark side). Kanan realises at the end of their little testing battle that he cannot protect Ezra forever. The lead temple guard then "knights" Kanan, which I guess means he's been made into a jedi. Removing his mask, the guard reveals himself to be the former grand inquisitor!! What a reveal! Presumably this is the inquisitor's force ghost of sorts, and a "good" user of the force, as when the two inquisitors arrive and start to bash the temple with their force, it's the Temple Guards, led by the Grand Inquisitor who battles off the two inquisitors, much to their surprise!

As if all those revelations aren't enough for one episode, the end segment shows Darth Vader arriving at the temple and revealing that his master will be very pleased.

This episode is packed with revelations, lightsabre battles, mystery, intrigue, and the icing on the cake, Darth Vader. When the finale occurs, you know that with all this build-up it's going to be pretty amazing.

Rating 8/10 (GREAT)

What a start! Lightsabres everywhere as Kanan & Ezra battle the inquisitors.
The Jedi three are off to the temple on Lothal.
With the spotlight on Kanan, the time to perform his tap-dancing routine arrives ,,,
... actually he meets the Jedi Temple Guard who want Ezra dead!
Ezra meets the oddest looking Yoda yet
Ahsoka gets 100% confirmation of Anakin's transformation.
Something which feels like she's the only one left who doesn't know.
Arriving in cool modified Tie-Fighters, the inquisitors attack the temple.

But are seen off by the former Grand Inquisitors and Temple Guards who help our Jedi three escape!
Darth Vader arrives and looks pleased. Well, he sounds it. We can't see his face.

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