There are moments in our lives that we can remember forever because they are marked by great happiness or by great grief. As children we remember the moments we learned about death from the films we watched or from actual death we experienced. Star Wars Rebels is providing that moment for our children to learn about death and grief right now. While Star Wars Rebels is not made for adults it is also not made for only kids. The lessons we are learning in this show even as adults are of great importance.
A year ago almost exactly I lost my grandfather. He was my hero and my guiding light in many ways. I could probably even say that he was my Jedi Master. A few days before this episode aired I went through the experience of having to remember a year of his passing. Needless to say my emotional state has been a little shaky since. From the beginning of this season I have been saying that all our heroes were going to die. I felt like that if I said this over and over that somehow it would become easier. Well I can officially say it did not make a single thing easier.
It is funny to me how much I have been crying. I first saw these episodes an hour ago. I have been crying off and on for a good solid hour because there is a huge hole in my chest. I have always really liked Kanan as a character especially after reading A New Dawn. Kanera, at first I was not a fan of because I wanted Hera to just exist on her own, I soon learned how much Kanera would mean to me. My favorite Star Wars relationship is Hera and Kanan hands down. The loss of Kanan in this episode hit me so hard. I feel like I lost a family member. I can hear Hera screaming his name in my head over and over right now.
If I try to pull myself out of my emotions and look at this episode all I can say is that Dave Filoni’s storytelling has reached a new height. The impact and beauty of this moment was incredible. In a very strange way it is a moment that because it is so powerful I could watch over and over.
There are some specific moments I have to address in regard to Kanan and Hera. Kanan has some very telling moments that make you wonder if this is going to be it. The first thing I have to address is the cutting of his hair and shaving. To me this symbolized his return to Caleb Dume from Kanan Jarrus. It was as if he knew he had to die and that this was that moment. He may not have known exactly how it would occur but I think he knew it was his role in the story. He was prepared to go out as Caleb and not Kanan. In their final moments we got some much needed Kanera time. To be able to see them flirt, banter and love on each other was amazing and it made his death so fulfilling and wonderful. He died saving and protecting everyone that truly mattered to him. It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that if the Jedi were allowed and encouraged to make connections and fall in love the Jedi Order very well may have ended up much different. Hera did something in this episode that made a huge impact on me, she finally told him she loves him. That was huge because she had to let her walls down to do it and when she did it, it was beyond perfection. The biggest moment for me was seeing Kanan use the force so strongly that he got his eyesight back long enough to see Hera one last time before he sacrificed himself. The second his eyes changed back I knew in my heart that we were saying goodbye to him.
This episode has more going on than just the death of Kanan Jarrus. There are some very serious implications for the empire that occur as well. We get to hear Tarkin discuss the Stardust plan which was a very cool moment. Due to the actions of Governor Pryce however Thrawn’s plans have hit a standstill and that might be the most terrifying aspect of this episode. Thrawn in this episode was a true villain which I really enjoyed. The Thrawn from the novel was not a true villain and I prefer him this way where he is bone chillingly terrifying. I am actually quite worried for Governor Pryce now.
Thrawn’s interactions with Hera bring us back to her calicori. I think this was so important because of things that happen in episode 11. The fact that this heirloom of Hera’s has made it this far is astonishing and I am so glad that it has because it becomes a way of coping for Hera with the loss of her one true love.
To the cast and crew of Star Wars Rebels all I can do is stand and applaud you because this episode truly stands as a work of art and to this day is my favorite episode of any Star Wars animation.
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