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STAR WARS REBELS Review: ‘The Future of the Force’

Warning: This review contains spoilers for the Star Wars Rebels episode “The Future of the Force.” Jump into hyperspace and away from this page if you haven’t watched the episode yet.

When Ahsoka Tano made her debut on Star Wars Rebels in the Season 1 finale, executive producer Dave Filoni and Ashley Eckstein made sure to mention the character would be used sparingly. That’s definitely been the case in Season 2 and reserving Ahsoka for certain situations makes the times she shows up more important—like Kanan noted, her arrival usually means trouble. Ahsoka’s presence in the dark “The Future of the Force” was tied to a discovery about the Inquisitors’ activities and highlighted how much further Kanan and Ezra have to go.

Their discovery about the Inquisitors’ mission was grim. They were tasked with finding Force-sensitive children. This happened in Star Wars: The Clone Wars too, specifically in the Season 2 episode “Children of the Force.” Sidious paid Bane to track down Force-sensitive kids and take them to Mustafar. What do they plan to do with the kids? Considering Darth Vader killed Younglings on Coruscant, I don’t want to know. Maybe instead of being killed, they’re groomed to become Inquisitors? The use of “brother” and “sister” lines up with that.

But, I digress. There are still people who poke at Star Wars Rebels and call it too light, but those people apparently don’t stick around for episodes where Ezra has to engage in a lightsaber fight with individuals who are much better than him while holding and protecting a baby. Sure, the moment was a little amusing because of baby Hammerhead reaching for the lightsaber blade, but it was a harsh situation. As we saw in the opening, the Inquisitors were overzealous in carrying out their orders–the chances of people on the ship putting up a fight were slim, but the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister killed them anyway. It was precisely the right time to bring them back into the picture to remind the audience of the serious threat the Empire presents on multiple fronts.

Speaking of the right time, “The Future of the Force” reminded us how inexperienced Kanan and Ezra are in comparison to someone like Ahsoka. Someone pointed out to me Ezra’s been too powerful lately, and I couldn’t disagree. Though he’s leveled up more than I would like–his skills are practically on par with Kanan’s–he’s a clumsy kid compared to Ahsoka. Ezra was still a valuable part of the mission, but in the specific arena of lightsaber fighting, he should spend some time training with Ahsoka.

Kanan and Ezra were obviously key to dodging the Inquisitors inside the tower, but I was happy to see Zeb’s contributions get recognized. Ahsoka specifically requested him for the assignment, mentioning his last dealings with the Inquisitors. I’m guilty of sometimes relegating Zeb to the comedic relief category, and it’s not fair. He more than carried his weight and in fact, carried Kanan. Did anyone else think a fastball special was going to happen? He was crucial to the success of rescuing both children. And Chopper was responsible for being ridiculously cute as he tried to entertain them. I didn’t know seeing Chopper playing peek-a-boo was a thing I needed to see in life, but it was.

Ahsoka saved the day. Her arrival at the end might be one of my favorite moments of the series thus far. Before I dive into the gorgeously intense fight, I want to touch on her comment to Kanan when she brought him news about the mission. She joked Kanan was more of a Jedi than her. As far as training goes, that’s not accurate. Ahsoka was much more advanced than Kanan when she left the Jedi Order. So, is she talking about present day? It gave us the tiniest bit of insight into her current beliefs, which may not necessarily align with the Jedi point of view. I don’t think she’d call herself a Jedi despite pulling Kanan aside with the “Jedi business” line.

The battle between Ahsoka and the Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother was poetic. The music and actions were so reminiscent of The Phantom Menace. I know we’re in an era where everyone wants to focus on the original trilogy, but it’s nice to see a nod to the prequels. The parallels of the imagery between this fight and Darth Maul against Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi was on point and reverential without being an exact copy. The moment where Ahsoka paused to close her eyes and shut down the Seventh Sister’s lightsaber? It was powerful and not just because of the result. That Ahsoka could calm herself and tap into the Force in such a way says much about how she’s grown in the years since the Clone Wars.

I don’t compliment the lighting and animation on Rebels enough, and I should. So many scenes jumped out at me. The combat at the end was a shining example, but it’s not the only one. The shots of the Inquisitors’ blades coming up through the floor in the tower chase were so well done and had me on the edge of my seat. Also, it’s really fascinating to watch the differences in the way the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister move and fight.

Favorite quotes:

  • “I really hope that’s not a baby Inquisitor.” – Zeb
  • “Garazeb Orrelios. Honored soldier, feared Rebel, baby hunter.” – Zeb

What did you think about “The Future of the Force?” Wasn’t the battle between Ahsoka and the Inquisitors awesome? Share your opinion in the comments or come talk to me on Twitter.

Images: Disney

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