Why I Love Star Wars: Rebels

Welcome back to my series “Why I love Star Wars”. This is a series that was inspired by reading Ken Napzok’s Why We Love Star Wars: The Great Moments That Built A Galaxy Far, Far Away, a countdown of the top 100 moments from Star Wars that made him love it all, including canon stories from every medium. As I was reading this book, I found myself thinking of some of my own favourite moments and wanted to discuss them.

While there are certainly some films that I do not like as much as others, every movie has some wonderful moments that I would always say outweigh the bad, so for that reason I wouldn’t say that I hate any of the Star Wars films. With the way that too much Star Wars talk has gone down a dark hole in recent years, hopefully reminding ourselves of the great moments and focusing on the positives will help the fandom recover.

Why I Love Star Wars:

Unlike in the book, I will not put the moments in any specific order (I do things like that enough in my Top 10s!) as the order would probably change on every viewing. With all the movies now covered, I have enjoyed doing these so much, I have chosen to carry this on to cover the series. Today I will be looking at Rebels

Beware: this will contain spoilers for the series!

The death of Caleb Dume

From season 4 episode 10 “Jedi Night”

star wars characters kanan jarrus death rebels

As soon as the series started with 2 potential Jedi, fans knew that getting attached to Ezra and Kanan would probably be a mistake considering there is no mention of any other Jedi in the Rebel Alliance during the Original Trilogy. Of course, we all got attached to the characters and had our hearts broken in the first episode after season 4’s mid-season break.

Just moments after we finally saw Kanan and Hera admit their love for each other, Kanan was running off to sacrifice himself as the fuel pod they were on was destroyed by Imperials, as he used the Force to hold back the explosion long enough for the rest of the Spectres to escape.

It was the ultimate heroic death and the score from Kevin Kiner was an utterly beautiful complement to the visuals of the flames being held back. And then if we weren’t already crying, seeing Kanan regain his sight to see Hera one last time was the perfect beat to hit right before his death. All of this ended perfectly with a fade-out to a white background with the Rebels logo in black as ash falls around it to bring an emotional end to the episode.

In my opinion, one of the best deaths in all of Star Wars!

Sabine’s past revealed

From season 3 episode 15 “Trials of the Darksaber”

star wars rebels trials of the darksaber kanan jarrus sabine wren

I’ve always enjoyed the idea of the Mandalorians so coming off the incredible Mandalorian episodes in The Clone Wars, I was very into the character of Sabine Wren. Over the first 2 series we didn’t learn much of her past, save that she had been part of the Imperial Academy but due to something happening in her past, she had trouble trusting others in authority. As season 3 heated up, we finally got some more of her story in a thrilling finale to an episode.

Being convinced to train to use the Darksaber in order to try uniting Mandalore against the Empire, Sabine was holding back but Kanan finally managed to provoke her by saying about her running from her family. As their sparring increased in intensity, Tiya Sircar did a wonderful job of voicing Sabine as she relived her past and told of how she helped to build weapons for the Empire that they then used on her people, how she spoke out to save her people but saw her family side with the Empire, forcing her to leave.

“I helped enslave my people!”

It was a wonderful scene as we finally saw Sabine become proficient with the blade and accept her past, putting her on the path to return to her family and begin uniting her people against the Empire.

The duel in the desert

From season 3 episode 20 “Twin Suns”

Star Wars Twin Suns Kenobi Maul

After Maul’s return at the end of season 2, season 3 was clearly setting him up for yet another confrontation with Obi-Wan Kenobi. While I was somewhat indifferent of the majority of the episode, the inevitable confrontation when it came was absolutely amazing.

“Why come to this place? Not simply to hide. Oh! You have a purpose here. Perhaps you are protecting something? No… protecting someone!

From the beautiful visuals of a smoking campfire going out and the lightsabers against the starry sky right down to the incredible visual sparring between Sam Witwer’s Maul and Stephen Stanton’s Kenobi, the moment was playing out perfectly. And then we actually had the fight. I know some people were disappointed that the fight was just 3 moves, but it is much more like a fight between 2 samurai masters and there is so much story behind those moves:

Kenobi starts with the stance that belies him using the form he used during the Clone Wars, when he was unable to defeat Maul, but then transitioned to the stance we see “Ben Kenobi” use against Vader and onto the stance Qui-Gon used in The Phantom Menace. It is clear that Maul notices this as the shots focus on his eyes widening and his footwork changing, and as the fight begins he immediately attack in the same way that he had to kill Qui-Gon, going for the same move to use his hilt to push Kenobi’s arms above his head and leave his torso undefended, only for Kenobi to show that was what he expected and one downward slash cut the lightsaber in half and proved to be the fatal blow.

And even after this, the emotional moment at the end when Kenobi holds his foe in his arms as he dies, exactly the same way that he had held Satine and Qui-Gon as they died from wounds inflicted my Maul. If ever you needed proof that Obi-Wan is one of the greatest Jedi, this is it!

The broken mask

From season 2 episode 22 “Twilight of the Apprentice (Part 2)”

Star Wars Rebels Twilight of the Apprentice Vader Anakin

Much like how season 3 was clearly setting up a confrontation between Kenobi and Maul, season 2 was doing that for Vader and Ahsoka, and we finally go that in the season finale.

While I could have included the entire confrontation here, I have chosen to focus on one moment. With Vader distracted, Ahsoka manages to catch him off guard and land a hit on him. As she goes to join Kanan, Chopper and Ezra in their escape from Malachor, she hears her name called out from behind. It sounds like Vader, but distorted, and we see that it is because Ahsoka’s strike has broken open Vader’s helmet, so we are getting a combination of James Earl Jones and Matt Lanter. In that moment, Ahsoka refuses to leave Anakin again and in a beautiful moment, Vader announces that she will die, but the voice we hear is chillingly that of Matt Lanter, without James Earl Jones.

“I won’t leave you, not this time.”

“Then you will die.”

If we needed the proof that Anakin was too far gone to be turned back to the light by Ahsoka, this was it. Not only that, but having Matt Lanter return gave even more of an emotional hit for us fans who have got to know him through all the seasons of The Clone Wars. I recently re-watched this moment watching a reaction on YouTube and I still got goosebumps watching!

The Grand Inquisitor’s death

From season 1 episode 15 “Fire Across the Galaxy”

star wars rebels fire across the galaxy grand inquisitor death

The Grand Inquisitor was key to season 1 growing up with him being involved in many of the darker, less childish moments and while I would have loved to see the character continue into season 2, his defeat in the finale of season 1 was such a big moment for Kanan, while allowing the danger for the Spectres to grow going into season 2 with the inclusion of Vader.

The final duel with Kanan was incredible, but the highlight for me was at the end, where the Grand Inquisitor has been beaten and is hanging off the platform while the reactors below him explode. As Kanan stands over him, he gives a chilling warning of what is to come, before choosing to let go and fall into the explosions to die.

“You have no idea what you’ve unleashed here today. There are some things far more frightening than death.”

It is a great moment to highlight that things will only get darker in season 2 and the cryptic message soon becomes clear to us fans as the final shot of the season shows Darth Vader arriving on Lothal. The Grand Inquisitor was a Jedi Temple Guard who fell t the dark side, and his final words make you wonder just what he has had to endure and wonder if he ever regrets his decision. One thing is for sure: this moment left me so excited for season 2!

What are your favourite moments from Rebels?

Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…

Screengrabs from cap-that.com

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