Warning: Serious spoilers are ahead for the Star Wars Rebels season four episodes "Wolves and a Door" and “A World Between Worlds.”
Star Wars Rebels is coming to an end, and in its final episodes, it's facing questions fans have been holding close for years. Last Monday, the story addressed the fate of Kanan Jarrus. And in this Monday's episodes, we learned his loss is connected to a fan favorite character. “A World Between Worlds” revealed what happened to Ahsoka Tano in the season two finale after she fought Darth Vader on Malachor.
Ahsoka Tano is alive.
I care deeply about the characters introduced in Star Wars Rebels, but Ahsoka is my favorite, the character I've grown alongside as I've explored Star Wars fandom. I've put hours (more than I want to count) into theorizing about Ahsoka's fate. We didn't see the end of her duel with her former master; we only saw Vader limp away from the battle and Ahsoka disappear into the Sith temple. None of my theories about symbolism and the convor (who is not surprisingly an avatar of the Daughter) acting as a guide into another state of being were close to what happened. Ahsoka was saved by Ezra reaching out to save her from the future. To call it time travel seems simplistic, but in a way, it's what happened.
This Topps card illustrated by Rebels' executive producer Dave Filoni makes a lot more sense now, huh?
Ahsoka survived. She still has to find her way off Malachor, because Ezra returned her to those final moments from “Twilight of the Apprentice.” I don't know if she'll return in Rebels' series finale, a la Gandalf “I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.” But that's besides the point for now. We know her story can continue. Kanan wanted Ezra to save her; it was perhaps his final teaching for his apprentice. He spoke through the cosmic Force as the wolf Dume. As for the wolves, they arguably wanted Ezra to shut down the portal to stop Emperor Palpatine (voiced by Ian McDiarmid) from accessing the world between worlds, a place where we heard familiar lines of dialogue from the likes of Jyn Erso, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Kylo Ren, and more floating through the air. Could you imagine the damage Palpatine could inflict by being able to access all of time and space through this place?
Which is another key part of this episode: Star Wars Rebels has introduced this huge piece of mythology to the Star Wars universe. The portal is likely why Palpatine has nurtured a special interest in Lothal. It's not clear if other access points to this world exist in the galaxy. He had Imperials tearing the Jedi Temple apart for artifacts, a la Raiders of the Lost Ark. The Indiana Jones influence was present in visual cues and in Kevin Kiner's music (which has been on another level for these final episodes). And the idea of the Empire looking to what is like a religious institute for sources of power fits the structure of Raiders all too well.
This exploration of the deep and the unusual in regards to the Force is part of what makes Rebels unique. If you've been watching this series, you probably didn't blink at Rey's mirror scene in the cave on Ahch-To in The Last Jedi. You're already used to confronting the Force in unconventional methods outside of the Jedi—through the Mortis gods, through beings like Bendu, and creatures like the loth-wolves. Though it may not directly affect plot points in the films, it opens passages so you can look at the Force differently.
And of course, it introduces questions I don't have answers for right now. The Minister (voiced by Malcolm McDowell, by the way) mentioned the Mortis gods were documented in the Jedi Temple. Is that because of what happened in the Mortis trilogy in The Clone Wars? Or do they have an even bigger role to play? Why does this world between worlds exist and who created it? What do all the animal constellations in the “sky” of the world signify? Do they represent creatures like the loth-wolves that have a strong connection to the Force and guard portals on other planets?
It's enough to make your head spin in the best kind of way. I don't know if I'm ready for the final 90 minutes of this series.
How do you feel about what happened to Ahsoka on Malachor? Did any of your theories involve time-bending possibilities?
Images: Disney XD/Lucasfilm, Topps
Amy Ratcliffe is an Associate Editor for Nerdist. She likes Star Wars a little. Follow her on Twitter.
More from Star Wars Rebels!
- Dave Filoni on the loss of Kanan Jarrus.
- The beautiful way Rebels handled grief.
- What is up with those loth-wolves?