After the nail biting season 2 finale, Star Wars Rebels is back in action once again with its Season 3 Premiere “Steps Into Shadow.”
This episode focuses primarily on Ezra and Kanan as they both are trying to cope with the events that happened in “Twilight of the Apprentice.” We are first introduced to Ezra leading a mission to save everyone’s favorite pirate Hondo Ohnaka from an Imperial prison where we see that he has grown both in appearance and skill. Unfortunately we find out that a lot of these skills were learned through his use of the Sith Holocron that they obtained at the Sith Temple.
Meanwhile Kanan has been on a self-imposed exile (from missions at least) since he lost his sight at the hands of Darth Maul. When he finds out Ezra has been using the Sith holocron, he is understandably disturbed and takes it away from him. It is at this point that the master and the student deviate onto their own unique journeys that make them realize how they have been each have coping in unhealthy ways.
Kanan on one hand has distanced himself from everyone and has also distanced himself from the Force. It takes an encounter with a Force-wielding being known as the Bendu (played by the Fourth Doctor Who Tom Baker) who helps him realize that his isolation due his unresolved fear, grieve and anger only cuts him off from the support that his friends and the Force can provide him. It’s only when this barrier is stripped away that Kanan can see…not physically, of course, but in the sense that he can rely on his connection to the force to give him a sense of his surroundings. This gives him the renewed drive and determination to stand by Ezra and his fellow Rebels once again leaving the Sith Holocron with the Bendu for safekeeping.
At the other end of the spectrum we have Ezra, who has been relying on the teachings of Sith holocron in Kanan’s absence. The voice from the holocron gives him the justification for using his anger since gives him strength, focus and the ability to see things clearly. This however works against him when he leads a recon mission of an Imperial reclaim station in the Yarma system which, according to intel from Hondo, is housing Y-Wings from the Clone Wars that could useful to the Rebel cause.
Ezra then makes the impulsive decision going against the parameters of mission to recover the ships before they are destroyed, because he feared there would be none left if they waited for backup. His reckless behavior almost gets him and his team killed despite whatever good intentions he may have had. Thankfully the Rebel fleet comes to the rescue and Kanan saves him before the reclaim station is destroyed.
It’s a good introduction back to the series and gave food for thought as we followed the character development of Kanan and Ezra since the time skip. It also gives us the first appearance of the infamous Grand Admiral Thrawn who is a fan favorite from the old Extended Universe. Needless to say, I can’t wait to what the rest of season 3 has in store and I know this is only the start of great things to come.