Warning: Spoilers are ahead for the Star Wars Rebels season four episodes "Wolves and a Door" and “A World Between Worlds.”
Monday night's Star Wars Rebels opened a portal to a place where all of time and space is accessible, a world between worlds. As Ezra walked through the empty space, he heard snippets of quotes from all over the Star Wars timeline--Qui-Gon Jinn, Rey, Yoda. Everything is happening at the same time in this place. At a Q&A at Lucasfilm following a screening of "A World Between Worlds," Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni communicated he wanted it to be ominous. "To me a very dangerous thing would be this world where all things are happening and possible and time is fluid," he said. "So, we sound designed in a line from pretty much every single Star Wars film to be happening all at once in this void, to prime you for the idea that time is always happening in here. And all these events are happening."
The idea of different portals came to Filoni through C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew's Wood between the Worlds; the story made an impression on him as a kid. He recalled it was powerful, and that's why Ezra has to watch himself. He explained, "You have to be careful when you're moving through these big powerful dimensions and what you're wishing for. Everything he [Ezra] wishes for, out loud, is a dangerous thing to do. If you watch and listen when Ezra talks and he makes certain statements, there'll be a thunder clap, and that thunder is representative of something else listening. There's multiple things going on in there and everything becomes a choice between how you want to use power and control, and influence others."
Ezra restrains himself when it comes to saving Kanan's life, but he chooses to use his power to save Ahsoka Tano--which is something Kanan engineered. "What particularly excited me about this story was I could tell a story that takes place within the Malachor episode that shows you how she gets out of the conflict with Vader, and then puts her at the end of that episode, which is her going down the staircase and the triangle doorway," Filoni said.
"So, you're not technically further than you were before with her story, but you get an interesting part of that story. Because I'm not doing that story right now. I don't want to interrupt it with anything that I might later go, 'Oh, I have a better idea.' The thing about Ahsoka you have to remember is that everything she does in Rebels has to service Rebels. If I don't do that, it's not true to what we're doing here and then it will feel very fake, and flawed, and self serving."
We don't know Ahsoka's ultimate fate, but we at least know she's alive and well after Malachor. And it stems from what happened in "Twilight of the Apprentice." Filoni said, "Kanan makes a decision on Malachor not to go with his gut--which is that Maul's going to betray them. Because he's not willing to step up and say, 'No, this guy is evil. Let's get out of here, let's walk away from this,' everything bad [falls like] dominoes after that. And Ezra says it. He says, 'That's when everything changed.'"
"In a way for Kanan, it's like a big failure. He doesn't pass this test of believing in himself and committing to what's he willing to trade off to defeat evil in this moment. They should have just walked away from Malachor. But they didn't. So, the only thing Kanan really engineers, that I think is questionably a little bit selfish, is he engineers the rescue of Ahsoka. He wants to see if Ezra can figure out that's what he's capable of doing in that moment. So, he puts him in this place where he can do that. That's why the big wolf is saying restore the past and you redeem the future. Kanan's correcting that thing where she otherwise dies. Now she's back in play which is, I think, a good thing because she's an interesting character."
And in case you wondered, the Kanan Hera sees is not a Force ghost. Filoni said, "It's more like a way to show her present memory of a presence that is of course around you, but not there in a way that she would intuitively know or see."
Images: Disney XD/Lucasfilm
Amy Ratcliffe is an Associate Editor for Nerdist. She likes Star Wars a little. Follow her on Twitter.
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