The Bendu once said, “An object cannot make you good, or evil. The temptation of power, forbidden knowledge, even the desire to do good can lead some down that path. But only you can change yourself.” This quote describes Ezra’s journey perfectly, the young orphan from Lothal endure a lot in his life. At an early age, Ezra’s parents, Ephraim and Mira Bridger, were part of the rebellion after the Empire started to set their sights on Lothal. His parents worked alongside several powerful figures that Ezra would come to know in his young adult life. When he first met his new family on Lothal, he was just another Loth rat trying to scrap by with the ever-growing Empire presence there. He was able to sense Kanan through the Force very early on, although he didn’t know what he was feeling. He saw how the Phoenix Squadron was able to deceive the Stormtroopers and procure what they wanted, while having a little fun. That was the beauty of Star Wars Rebels, it was able to balance the humor and fun with the mundane and suffering. Lothal was being really hurt by the Empire, but here we are laughing in the first two episodes with this new rag tag group who all knew their roles and they played them well.
Kanan finally allows Ezra to join the Ghost crew and during so he discovers the kid’s latent Force ability. However, with Kanan, his own personal demons make him hesitant to train the young boy. Kanan never finished his Padawan training due to the result of Order 66. Rebels really shows the aftermath of people who survived the Great Jedi Purge and the forming of the Galactic Empire. The entire Ghost crew is affected by the Empire in one way or another and rather than spoiling an amazing story, I won’t go into detail about everyone’s backstory and reasoning for joining the rebellion. Just understand that the great storyteller Dave Filoni really utilizes each episode as a medium for a bigger picture.
Ezra was very attached to Lothal; it was his home planet. His parents were fighting for the liberation of that planet. His attachment was so great that he was able to commune with the local wildlife. Most people never even see Loth-wolves due to their supposed extinction. However, in his time of need, Loth wolves appeared before Ezra and helped him on his journey towards being hopeful again. His story really inspires me to stand tall in the face of adversity. There is an episode where they take over a communication tower to send out a message of hope:
“We have been called criminals, but we are not. We are rebels, fighting for the people, fighting for you. I’m not that old, but I remember a time when things were better on Lothal. Maybe not great, but never like this. See what the Empire has done to your lives, your families, and your freedom? It’s only gonna get worse…unless we stand up and fight back. It won’t be easy. There will be loss and sacrifice. But we can’t back down just because we’re afraid. That’s when we need to stand the tallest. That’s what my parents taught me. That’s what my new family helped me remember. Stand up together. Because that’s when we’re strongest—as one.”
This message was picked up on all frequencies and the ragtag Ghost cell that was supposed to remain in the shadows now came to the forefront. So much spotlight was shone onto the Phoenix Squad that they got introduced to the secret spy Fulcrum; Ahsoka who has been working with Bail Organa to help the Rebel Alliance. Ezra grows over time with the help of Ahsoka and Kanan’s training, however, after Kanan became blind during a duel with Maul, Ezra had been using a Sith holocron to further his training. It is here that we get to really understand the power that holocrons have. Within the Sith holocron are secrets to the Sith: Force abilities that are very dark in nature. When breaking out Hondo from a jail, we get to see Ezra’s new skill set that he had developed since opening the holocron. He was able to control a Stormtrooper inside a Walker to destroy his teammates and then walk off the platform. When Sabine and Hondo see the young man in a very dark form, they ask when “Kanan taught him that,” in which he replies, “He didn’t.”
From there we see the balance that is being shifted in Ezra. He blames himself for Kanan becoming blind, and with Kanan being distant, it doesn’t help the cause. So, Ezra looks to the power of the holocron to make sure he never lets a teammate down ever again. He was totally giving me Anakin vibes with how much he wanted to make sure no one he cared about died. However, with everything Jedi based, attachments are a bad thing. As the series progresses into its final season, we see a large growth within the group, and you could see that this team is very cohesive with one another and they all trust one another greatly.
Ezra faced off against a lot of heavy hitters in the Empire. Following his master’s footsteps, he sacrifices himself to ensure the liberation of Lothal. The ending of the series leaves so much open to future stories that a lot of fans, including myself, hope to see a sequel to the show soon. There were some things I wasn’t a fan of when I first saw the series, but as I gave it time, it really grew on me as one of the best Star Wars animated shows of its time frame. It had heart, humor, and it dealt with pain, the past of failure, and ultimately letting go and realizing you cannot save everyone. If you get a chance, there’s a beautiful scene that Ezra shares with Ahsoka regarding their masters and I believe this is what ties these two to one another permanently. The reason Ahsoka has survived so long might be to instill her wisdom on the new generation of Jedi to make sure they don’t make the same mistake of the past.
P.S. A notable moment is the relationship that Ezra develops with Maul, it’s the first time we see a light side user walk hand in hand with a fallen Sith and actually learn somethings from them. It’s the closest thing we will probably ever get to a Grey Jedi and I can’t help but think Filoni put this in to show people that he does listen to the internet and he too has looked into different stories of the Jedi.
Till next time, May the Force be with you and be good humans. Love you guys.