Ezra going dark. Kanan going blind. Ahsoka going…dead? Even Ashley Eckstein who portrays the ever-popular former Jedi and Rebellion leader had no idea after the screening if her character was dead or alive. “Well obviously, I knew the lines I recorded and that was pretty much it,” Ashley said during a Q&A following the screening. “I’ve been giving Dave (Filoni – Executive Producer of Rebels) an incredibly hard time because we’ve known each other for 10 years now and he’s always told me everything. Always. The storylines ahead of time. And nobody believed me out there but I didn’t know. And…wow!”
In what had to be one of the most suspenseful, surprised-filled, shocking, and emotional shows in the two seasons of Star Wars Rebels, “Twilight of the Apprentice” upturned the apple cart as we knew it. It became painfully apparent that despite the progress Ezra and Kanan have made in their Jedi skills, as impressive as Ezra has been in his growth in the Force, both Jedi were sorely lacking when stacked up against Darth Vader. To overcome him and ultimately win the fight against the Empire, they have a long way to go.
But the one question everyone had at the end of the episode was the same. Ashley put it best when she asked Dave, “So I want to know am I reprinting the ‘Ahsoka Lives’ t-shirt or am I designing the ‘Ahsoka’s Dead’ t-shirt?” Dave’s answer was funny (and completely avoided the answer). “What’s great about this is you can sell two shirts,” he said. He looked at the audience, “I help her out all the time.” Then he turned back to Ashley, “What you do is you sell this shirt (Ahsoka Lives) for like the optimists and then you sell a new shirt and all you have to do is take that design and add a question mark. And that’s all you have to do. It’s a really inexpensive thing. You can even take back stock you have of additional shirts that can’t sell and you can just ‘poomp’ put a question mark on it and it’s a whole new shirt!”
That was Dave. Insightful, funny, light-hearted but ever-mindful of the deep, rich history and magnitude of the Star Wars Universe. Even though he dodged the “Ahsoka Lives” question, he did offer a lot of insight into other aspects of the show.
What was the deal with cross guard lightsaber? – Dave shared that it was an homage to the fine work done by JJ Abrams and the crew of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Dave shared how it was likely both Jedi and Sith would take inspiration from one another and create similar weapons, but the weapon in the Jedi temple was definitely a Jedi cross-guard lightsaber.
Was the Grand Inquisitor we saw in the Jedi temple at Lothal a Jedi Knight? – “The Grand Inquisitor was a Jedi Knight. He is one of the temple guards that arrests Ahsoka when she is accused of treason against the Jedi Knights. And he is also more importantly one of the temple guards in Clone Wars that is with Anakin when he fights Barriss Offee and arrests Barriss Offee for treason.”
What species was that third Inquisitor? – “What I believe that species is is a Terellian Jango Jumper. It’s a real thing trust me.” And Dave’s right. If you look them up online, they actually exist in the Star Wars Universe prior to the show.
One of my favorite answers that Dave gave was about the link between Ahsoka and Maul. “Well, he’s red and she’s orange and that’s very close.” Lots of laughs from the audience. “It was an interesting thing, during Clone Wars we had gotten away from just being absolute that you’re either a Jedi or a Sith. And there were people who were disenfranchised, Ventress among them that kind of lost their path. And those two characters, Ahsoka and Maul, had come together in a final story that we didn’t get to finish on Clone Wars so you can see hints of that in their dialogue where the two of them talk as if they met before because indeed they had and it was a very important moment in the timeline of clone wars that those two characters crossed but yeah it’s all about the way Maul would digest what happened to him and throw it into the realm of I need to seek revenge and Ahsoka would take it and not make it about that.”
Almost at the very end of the Q&A, Dave was talking about giving the audience SOMETHING of a spoiler. “The one thing I have toyed with, and this is probably a spoiler Carrie Beck (Director of Creative Content Strategy at Lucasfilm and one of the four members of the story group), but I’ve gotta give them something. I’ve said absolutely nothing today…but the one thing I have really thought about is, I really do think that Rex is that guy on Endor (the older bearded man among the Rebels storming the bunker). I really do. Why else is there a bearded old guy on Endor? Why? It makes no sense!”
The second season of Star Wars Rebels winds up with a crescendo of revelations. How will our heroes face the future? We’ll have to wait until Season 3 to find out.