Rebels Review: Path of the Jedi

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Rebels Review: Did “Path of the Jedi” Just Change a Historical Moment from the Original Trilogy?

Mitchell SteinIt feels good to be back and reviewing these episodes once again. After a fairly short winter hiatus, Rebels is back in a interesting new format. What I witnessed in this week’s episode was something that leaves me with mixed emotions. I found it entertaining certainly, but there are flaws that are just leaving me uncertain of what new direction the show is heading in.  Beware of spoilers ahead.

Like I said, Path of the Jedi is a confusing episode, not just in the story perspective, leaving you just as clueless as Ezra in the hallucination scene, but so much happened in this is episode, and ultimately at the end, not much of an actual outcome exists out of this episode, (or so we may think). So we get Ezra and Kanan going to a secret, ancient, Jedi base, yet another Inquisitor encounter (which actually doesn’t truly happen), and some confusing encounters that really just lead up to the one moment that the entire episode had me devote twenty-two minutes to getting the point across.

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On the other hand, as bare as it seems, there might be some pretty major plot points in this episode that could change the entire original Star Wars trilogy canon at large.
In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda famously claims that there is another Jedi hope out there, other than Luke Skywalker, in an encounter with Obi-Wan’s ghost. Now, there’s a great debate in Star Wars circles if Yoda intended Leia Skywalker, or the redemption of Darth Vader as “the other hope,” but what if Yoda was referencing Ezra? Okay obviously at the time that Empire was released Ezra was lightyears behind of even being a single thought of being part of the Star Wars franchise, but something gives me the feeling that this potential tie-in could ultimately change a historical moment from the original movies, and this encounter with Yoda makes it seem all the more likely.

What if the writers are getting at having Ezra become the next great Jedi hope? Projecting what they have now, it’s a highly likely development, but if it isn’t what they are getting at, it doesn’t shine a very cheerful future for Ezra or Kanan, with Ezra either being killed off or turning to the dark side (the former seems more likely with the canon). Either one seems like a pretty dark plot twist, but it’s totally likely with what they’re going at right now.

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Beyond all this crazy speculation that it potentially set up, the Inqusitor returns once again (sort of) in the most epic battle yet. But none of it actually happened.
Okay, maybe I’m just being a bit dark and a bit of a nitpicker, but maybe there really should have been a death encounter with Kanan. I mean, I love Kanan as much as the next guy, but this show suffers with its lack of losses. With Kanan dead, Ezra would have no choice but to seek the help of Yoda (which all depends on how much Frank Oz is willing to play the character, if not, Tom Kane is always a great option) to continue his training. It falls perfectly in place with my previous theory, and it’s not like it would really be the end of Kanan, couldn’t he return as a Force-ghost and interact with Ezra? It seems unlikely from the show’s perspective at the moment, but I think it would play out marvelously.

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Which brings me to my complaint of the episode.
Frank Oz is a brilliant performer, and at this stage in his life, he is retired, and sadly he barely does a single interview, let alone return for an entire episode of Star Wars, so you would think “hey, we got the most legendary voice actor for Star Wars back in a brand-new production, so we should really take advantage of this and use the heck of this opportunity”, but nope. Yoda only “appears” as a voice confrontation through the Force, and simply just guides the way. Oz certainly does a fantastic job, especially considering he hasn’t performed the character in years, (unless you count the new Star Tours update).

But really, there really should have been a heck of a lot of Yoda in this episode when you have someone that big agree to return to the franchise. If it doesn’t make sense to have him meet the new Master and Padawan in person, then why not in some sort of hologram like Obi-Wan did in Spark of Rebellion? I just really wish more of this great opportunity was taken advantage of. I really hope this isn’t the last we see from Frank on Star Wars Rebels as that would be disappointing.

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So, lots of mixed emotions about this week’s episode. Somehow I feel it’s setting up the bigger picture for something we currently just don’t understand and will all make sense in the long run, or it could be just a “filler” episode. We’ll certainly find out as the season progresses, but really, Lucasfilm and Disney XD, next time you score a major Star Wars acting legend, please take complete advantage of their talent!

Mitchell Stein is a major Star Wars/Disney/Muppet/Marvel fan. He co-operates the website The Mickey Mindset (link: mickeymindset.comwhere he celebrates all these and more, daily! Be sure to check it out and like them on Facebook! (facebook.com/TheMickeyMindset)

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