Who Is Fulcrum?
Now We All Know
For those of us who loved Star Wars: The Clone Wars from its outset to its premature end, the announcement of a new Star Wars animated series on Disney XD resulted in mixed emotions. Many of us were frustrated that one of Disney’s first moves after purchasing Lucasfilm was not only to cancel The Clone Wars but to halt production on many several episodes which had been planned, written, recorded, and in various stages of production, from animatics to final rendering. However, we were also cautiously curious about this new series. We had questions, some of which remain unanswered: Would Disney give this new series a fair chance to attract an audience? After all, the ever-changing and inconsistent scheduling of TRON: Uprising (a Disney property) led to viewers wondering when it would air. Would the audience be left hanging (again) by a premature, inconclusive end to the series? Star Wars fans are still wanting an appropriate conclusion for The Clone Wars and the aforementioned TRON: Uprising came to an abrupt halt on a cliffhanger. Most importantly, would our favorite characters from The Clone Wars be seen in Rebels (specifically, Ahsoka Tano)?
Anticipating the upcoming series, I was diligent to seek out all information regarding Star Wars Rebels prior to its release — especially interviews with Dave Filoni. Empire Online asked him about tie-ins to The Clone Wars to which he responded, “It’s possible, I’ll just say that. I think people would be disappointed if there wasn’t some connection…” On the official site, during a video entitled, “The Lost Missions Q&A Rebels”, he admitted, “It would almost be crazy for there not to be anything that is related to a show I loved so much in a new show I’m doing.” These statements, combined with my admitted bias for Ahsoka, convinced me that we would indeed be seeing her return at some point in the series.
During the fifth episode, “Out of Darkness”, we heard about Hera’s mysterious contact, Fulcrum. When Sabine and Hera go to an outpost to pick up supplies from Fulcrum, Hera specifies which crate she will move to the Phantom, based on a mark on the outside of the container. In the same episode, we heard Fulcrum’s voice, albeit altered to disguise the voice. Some fans put together the clues and believed Fulcrum was none other than Ahsoka Tano (though I was a believer, I wanted to argue all the angles, just to challenge my own first impression). However, these clues were certainly pointing us in her direction.
As the season progressed, the makers of Rebels actively focused on turning our attention from my favorite Togrutan by showing previews of holographic images of a hooded Fulcrum speaking to Hera — a hooded form that was distinctly different from the familiar scenes of a hooded Ahsoka from The Clone Wars which clearly showed Ahsoka’s montrals and lekku. Thankfully, we were not kept waiting for long (like a season-ending cliffhanger), but Fulcrum was revealed at the conclusion of the season finale, “Fire across the Galaxy,” when we saw the return of Ahsoka to the screen as she descended the ladder, revealing herself as Fulcrum. We discovered who Fulcrum is, but what is the significance of her code name?
A fulcrum is the pivot point for a lever. Therefore, Fulcrum may carry the connotation that Ahsoka is the hinge for all the work being done amongst the separate cells of rebels. This fits the current storyline, since it appears that each rebel cell only knows Fulcrum outside their immediate context. As Hera pointed out in “Fire across the Galaxy,” this would prevent any cell from being used against the others. With Fulcrum as the contact point for all the cells, she could manage all the cells efforts for a greater impact in their resistance against the Empire. In doing so, she increases the efficiency of the rebels’ efforts, enabling more work to be accomplished (like a lever) due to a well-placed fulcrum.
The Empire has amplified their efforts to quell rebel cells, focusing on Lothal because of the reported presence of a Jedi and his Padawan, as well as their successful attacks on the Imperial base and supplies (Kyber crystals). Perhaps, they concluded that the force behind the rebels’ recent success was the Jedi they had repeatedly encountered on Lothal. Interestingly, it is the Empire’s capture of Kanan that spurs a larger attack on Imperial forces, enlarging our Rebels’ perspective of their place in the galaxy.
A fulcrum is the balance point for a scale. In a balance scale, the fulcrum is in the central position, perfectly set to enable each side to be equally balanced. Perhaps, Ahsoka is able to fulfill this position, as well. Given her history with the Jedi Council, wrongfully accused, yet turned over to the Republic’s (biased) legal system, she recognized that something was out-of-place in the Jedi Order before many others did. She tasted the Dark Side on Mortis, was warned by a vision of her future about her Master, and made at least one true friend on the “other side” of the Clone War (Lux Bonteri). She understands the need for balance.
With Dave Filoni’s latest comments regarding Ahsoka’s white lightsabers, stating that they are neither green or blue (Jedi), nor red (Sith), we will clearly see in Season Two that Ahsoka is something different: neither Jedi, nor Sith, yet still using the Force. (Maybe she will team up with other “third party” characters like Hondo Ohnaka or Bo-Katan.) Ahsoka may well be the perfect person to usher in a new era of Star Wars by revealing the need for a true “awakening” of the Force with a balanced perspective of light and dark, as alluded to in the Mortis trilogy.
A fulcrum is a prop or support. I’m sure I was not alone in my trepidation going into Rebels. Even as the series progressed, something just didn’t feel “right” about the new endeavor — likely because of my adoration for the former series, the look, the feel, the richness that had developed over the years, and above all, the characters. The code name Fulcrum could be a signal to audience members like me who have needed an anchor to the previous series to prop up and support this new show. The unveiling of Fulcrum as Ahsoka certainly did that for me and my family. Now we can’t wait to see what happens in Season Two.
Rebels Review: Did “Path of the Jedi” Just Change a Historical Moment from the Original Trilogy?
Mitchell Stein: It 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.
Review: Droids In Distress by Michael Kogge (or, Something Meta This Way Comes)
Droids In Distress, by Michael Kogge, is an odd one. For me, that is, as a reviewer. The book itself is good, don’t worry about it. Droids In Distress is a direct translation – from the perspective of Ezra – of the TV series Star Wars: Rebels. Which puts me in a rather odd position. Should I review the story of the episodes? Should I review how the book conveys the story of the episodes? Should I review just the book as its own entity? And there’s the meta aspect of it all: since the book is an adaptation of a TV show, I’m essentially reviewing a synopsis in a book of a TV episode that’s on TV. Okay, I’m slightly confused now. Is this what it’s like to be in the Matrix?
Mitchell Stein: Star Wars Rebels just can’t stop getting better and better!
Although not really that much happened story-wise in this episode, it still stands as a really superb piece of Star Wars action and story-telling. It raises a minor question which of course is on its way to be answered in a future episode, and it finally shines some light on Sabine and Hera, the two characters who never nearly got enough screen-time. This episode packed a whole lot of awesomeness into twenty-two jam packed minutes.
I don’t think this series has the ability to pick up as easy as The Clone Wars did, and these episodes are a fine proof of that. Regardless of the fact, the writers are working with brand-new characters in this series, and they must create new character situations and development to make these characters shine, and this episode was by far the most impressive in that aspect.
Fans have been waiting to learn a little more about Sabine, other than the small bits of screen-time she made in the other episodes. This episode was clearly about Sabine, and her relationship with the group, and specifically Hera. Sabine feels she isn’t trusted when she discovers Kanan and Hera are being provided with info from a mysterious individual named Fulcrum, who we have yet to find out about.
Sabine allows us some information about her past in the Empire, which wasn’t that much to be honest, but will hopefully build to a fuller story. Regardless of her previous life before joining the Rebel team, I’m just really excited this character is being built up on, and we’re finally seeing some more of these awesome characters. Now that everything has been set up, the writers should be moving forward pretty quickly from here on in.
If I were to describe what exactly happened in this episode, it wouldn’t end up being a very long explanation. To be honest, not that much happened in this episode, but this episode was anything but boring. This week was a wonderful blend of great character development and mystery, combined with some seriously exciting action. Rebels is getting better and better every week… can’t wait to see which direction they’ll be heading in next!
Mitchell Stein is a major Star Wars/Disney/Muppet/Marvel fan. He co-operates the website The Mickey Mindset (link: mickeymindset.com) where he celebrates all these and more, daily! Be sure to check it out and like them on Facebook! (facebook.com/TheMickeyMindset)