Follow TV Tropes

Following

Fanfic / Children of the Force

Go To

Children of the Force is a completed For Want of a Nail Star Wars Rebels fanfic by HLine. While the first to be written, it's technically the second in the series with a prequel short story and a sequel on the way.

Anakin didn't fall, but Order 66 still happened. Now there are only remnants of the Jedi Order remain, seemingly paralyzed by grief and fear - leaving many vulnerable to the Dark Side and the Sith.

Advertisement:

Kanan Jarrus very carefully doesn't pay any attention to this; he has his team, and that's all he needs. He left the Jedi behind a long time ago. But the Force won't let its children go so easily, especially not so many still need his help.

The story now has a sequel called Every Colour But Red in progress, updating once every two weeks.

Children Of The Force contains examples of

  • Academy of Evil: Dromund Kaas, where trainees become Inquisitors. Ahsoka notes the Academy title is a misnomer, and it's basically a slave-breaking camp designed to torture its "students" into compliance.
  • Actually, I Am Him: Ahsoka acts as Fulcrum's representative to the rebels, with only a few being aware she is Fulcrum.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Kanan's issues with PTSD are far more prominent here, Ezra was abducted into the Inquisitorius and partially turned into a living weapon, and Sabine was forced to participate in her people's genocide.
  • Advertisement:
  • Adaptational Villainy: Say what you will about the Seventh Sister in canon, but she never raped anyone. Likewise, Sato goes from a Reasonable Authority Figure to an Inspector Javert.
  • All Therapists Are Muggles: Averted and inverted. Jedi mind-healers are the largest source of psychological support shown providing therapeutic help in the story, but one of the Wookie soldiers is a former child psychologist. Ezra gets regular sessions with Knight Nema, but there are many characters who don’t have access to therapy and have severe psychological problems that they could probably have worked through if there were more therapists around.
  • Alternate Universe: Due to the failure of Order 66, Palpatine simply invaded the Republic and turned the CIS into the Empire. There's smaller alterations here and there, like Stance being alive.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ambiguous Gender: The first High Interrogator is only referred to as "it" and Anakin mentions that he can't discern a figure beyond "tall and thin".
  • An Arm and a Leg: The Seventh Sister severs Ezra's leg during the final battle.
  • Animal Motifs: When describing how the Force feels, Ezra tends to use wasps stinging for the Dark Side and cats purring for the Light.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In her youth Master Unduli felt disdain for her native culture’s spirit worship, despite being a space wizard herself. She didn’t believe the Force would ever manifest itself into flawed, physical forms.
  • Ascended Extra: Lt. Dicer, a random Red Shirt in the show's continuity, has a supporting role here as one of Ezra's guards.
  • Asshole Victim: The entire "Escape" chapter goes into detail how truly horrible the Headmaster was before he's given the one of the cruelest deaths in the series.
  • Ate His Gun: After Amidala's Command came through, eighteen men in Depa's legion committed suicide this way.
  • Bad Dreams: Several characters start getting these near the beginning of the story, and Master Unduli later reveals they were caused by Ezra’s psychic powers. What she doesn’t know is that he’s been suffering from Power Incontinence when he sleeps due to his own Flashback Nightmares and complete lack of instruction in the self-control department.
  • Because Destiny Says So: The Force insists that Kanan and Ezra become master and apprentice, and every plan to pass him on to someone else or separate them inevitably falls apart. In the end, even the Jedi are forced to admit that the two are bonded.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The end goal of Dromund Kaas, with an added bonus of "Being Tortured Makes You Easy for the Emperor to Use."
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Aside from Kanan, Zeb is most openly protective member of the crew when it comes to Ezra. He even acts as an emotional anchor for Ezra when he goes through his first mind healing session, and after Kanan distances himself from Ezra he takes Kanan's place a few times as a caretaker.
    • In the flashbacks, it's shown the older children at Dromund Kaas were protective of the younger ones and did what little they could to help them survive, with Ezra in particular going from being jaded to their fates to feeling responsible for them all. Even when he's fully Drunk on the Dark Side and forcing the Headmaster to mutilate himself for his own enjoyment, he takes a moment to hurt him especially for what he did to Fleti and Dev. In the present, even if he's terrified and traumatized by his experiences, the need to help them overwhelms his need to run.
  • Bi the Way: In contrast to canon where his orientation never came up, Fenn Rau is clearly interested in both Hera and Kanan when he first meets them.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The children are rescued, the Order will be rebuilt, and Kanan and Ezra have truly begun to heal from their past trauma. However Ezra's leg has been severed, Sabine has also been traumatized, and the Inquisitors are still out there.
  • Blackmail: While bringing Ezra into the Order for many years of treatment is probably the best option and would have happened regardless, Master Windu uses the opportunity to tell Kanan that if he doesn't want to lose Ezra, he'll have to return to the Jedi. Kanan's thoroughly unnerved when he realizes that his own Grandmaster is blackmailing him.
  • Blood from Every Orifice: Can be a side effect of Mind Rape or of an Inquisitor really straining themselves. When the Headmaster is forced to commit suicide he bleeds extensively from his eyes, ears, and nose while his killer bleeds from the mouth.
  • Body Horror: Ezra visualizes his mental state as his physical body at one point in his treatment, and the result is this. The author put out a warning for the description.
  • Book Burning: Happened en masse in the subjugation of Mandalore, with all forms of art and writing not glorifying the Empire being burned and their owners killed.
  • Book-Ends: The first chapter begins with Kanan doing all in his power to avoid Janus and Grey, and the final chapter has him inviting them both over for dinner to thank them for helping Ezra.
  • Broken Bird: Luminara, Kanan, Ezra, Dev, Sabine.
  • Canon Immigrant: Quite a few from the Legends EU. Mara Jade and Starkiller appear as Imperial trainees, Kyle Katarn's father is a medic, Rahm Kota is within the Jedi Order, and Dromund Kaas is the planet where the Inquisitorius is stationed.
  • Children Are Innocent: In the end, nothing, not division in the ranks or world-worn cynicism or fear of Inquisitors, is sufficient to stop the Rebellion and the Jedi from listening to their consciences and doing all they can to rescue the children of Dromund Kaas.
  • Children Forced to Kill: Even putting aside the Inquisitorius program, Imperial cadets were a part of Mandalore's lockdown and genocide.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: One of the few disturbing elements of Ezra’s past that isn’t from the Academy. Turns out children growing up in the Empire are raised to believe that some pretty shitty things are acceptable.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: During the battle with Starkiller and the Eighth Brother, Kanan is torn between helping Luminara fight as he promised and the Force telling him to go help Ezra. Luminara orders him to go.
  • Cooldown Hug: What Kanan usually uses to calm Ezra after a meltdown. As it's been a long time since he was shown physical affection, it's very effective. Hera also hugs Sabine when she breaks down remembering Mandalore.
  • Crushing the Populace: Happened on Mandalore, where the culture was wiped out along with a good part of the population.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: The closer the Skywalkers are to each other, the easier Sidious can find them. Which brings Anakin much angst.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: All the major characters have one, though the narrative mostly focuses on the stories that have significantly changed from canon.
  • Darker and Edgier: Dave Filoni mentioned once that what happened to the children captured by the Inquisitors could never be shown on Disney XD. This fic goes into detail why.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Downplayed, in that the dead persons’ name is used as an alias, although one could argue it was a mix of this trope and an attempt at a Meaningful Rename.
  • Death World: Dromund Kaas, filled with lightning storms, massive and abnormally vicious animals, deadly jungle, and an unnatural climate that makes you sweat and freeze at the same time. Naturally, it's where children go to become Inquisitors.
  • Defusing The Tykebomb: Kanan to Ezra, using You Are Better Than You Think You Are, The Power of Trust, and some help from their training bond.
  • Demoted to Extra: Though Luke, Padme, and Anakin all show up and help the protagonists, none of them are main characters. In Anakin’s case this has been enforced ever since he was given epilepsy via telepathic torture.
    • Han and Chewie become such extras only one of them has been called by his name in-story.
  • Deprogramming: A variation in Amidala's Command, which disabled the Order 66 protocol in the clones.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The trainees strike back at their torturers more than once, with the most notable being Ezra killing the Headmaster and Starkiller killing the Eighth Brother.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Ezra manages to resist breaking totally right up until the moment where he's made to kill Dev. Past that point, he willingly gives into the brainwashing and tries to lose his entire identity.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Thoroughly defied. Ezra's rape by the Seventh Sister is treated just as seriously as it would be if the genders were reversed. The Resistance is horrified when they learn about it, and even more so when they have to explain to Ezra that he was raped.
    • Also defied with Kanan's drunken Date Rape experience in his teenage years.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • The Jedi greatly fear that Kanan could accidentally overwhelm Ezra's mind and turn him into a empty puppet since he lacks the proper training to be a teacher, and take comfort in the fact that Kanan has not let down his shields or felt too strongly. By this point in the story, Kanan has had quite a few PTSD episodes around Ezra and openly let down his shields around him several times, and Ezra has retained his free will.
    • When he learns how they bonded, Ezra remembers several times that he felt that it was right that he and Kanan should be close and wonders if it was just the bond making him feel that way. Earlier in the story, Luminara noted similar feelings when she thought about Kanan potentially being Ezra's teacher, meaning these feelings don't come from the bond but from the Force.
    • Sabine's worst fear is that Ezra will take her over and use her to hurt her family. She does get taken over, but to hurt Ezra, who by then has become her family.
  • The Dreaded: Inquisitors, to the point where hearing Ezra might be one sends the entire station on high alert. The High Interrogator is The Dreaded even among the Jedi, as even Anakin needed rescuing from it and took a year to recover.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • After being forced to participate in the subjugation of Mandalore and the slaughter of her own family, Sabine nearly killed herself out of shame. Kanan saved her from that fate and brought her to the Ghost.
    • A number of the clones that were forced to commit Order 66, Styles being the most prominent.
  • Dying Race: The Jedi have not taken a single padawan since Luke and their numbers dwindle by the day due to persecution and infighting. With nearly three hundred children rescued from Dromund Kaas and brought into the Order for training, that's no longer the case.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After years of trauma, dashed hopes, and horrific damage, the children are rescued, Kanan and Ezra are on the path to healing, the Order is being rebuilt and united, and they've struck a severe blow against the empire.
  • Empty Shell: Ezra, prior to the story.
  • Emotional Regression: Ezra tends to act a lot younger than he is in the middle of an episode, clinging to the nearest person (usually Kanan) and crying his eyes out. When he's particularly drained after a day of healing, being threatened by Sabine, and recounting his worst memories, he's so tired that he needs help undressing, and Kanan notes he's acting like a very young child. Given how he was six when he was last comforted by someone, it's possible he doesn't know how else to react.
  • Emotion Bomb: Ezra causes these involuntarily. He gives the station nightmares for a week, and when Sato puts him in a cell he's triggered so badly that the entire carrier starts dreaming or hallucinating their worst traumas, with those closest to him being reduced to sobbing wrecks from the fear he's projecting.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: The Force was always this, but a special case goes to Kanan in chapter 42. After truly accepting his role as Ezra's mentor, he feels closer to the Force than ever before, letting him defeat the Seventh Sister with ease even though he's years out of practice.
  • Evil Feels Good: Played with. Ezra's encounters with the Dark Side are described as if a hive of insects were dragging their stingers against his insides, but the Power High he gets from actively wielding it against his enemy is so great it outstrips the pain and makes him borderline ecstatic.
  • Explosive Leash: Chain spikes function as this with the bonus of stunning and tracking the slave in question. Ezra was in the early stages of being fitted for them when he was rescued.
  • Expy: Powerful empathic abilities that he can't shut out, damage to his brain which forces him to feel far more trauma than necessary, being Mind Raped by an Academy of Evil in the hopes of making him a weapon... in many ways, Ezra's a genderflipped River Tam.
  • Facial Horror: When she's dropped in the Mandalorian underground in the sequel, Sabine has a Force vision of the day the purge began. She tries to speak out against it and stop the massacre, but finds only smooth skin where her mouth used to be. Then she starts trying to claw her mouth open.
  • Fingore: The Headmaster is forced to shoot off his fingers and then chunks of his hand before his killer finally makes him commit suicide.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Kanan and Zeb both mention having unusually intense nightmares a few chapters before it's revealed that Ezra's causing them.
    • When Ezra is freaking out in the cell, Luminara notes that he looks like he's being raped.
    • Grey mentions that Stance tried to cut his chip out of his head when Amidala's Command came through. When Ezra later crashes into the kitchen where Stance is cooking, he recognizes him from the scar on his temple.
    • When rescued, Ezra uses the alias Dev Morgan. At first it just seems like a Mythology Gag, but it's eventually revealed to be the name of Ezra's friend from the Inquisitorius.
    • Kanan's first glimpse at Ezra through the Force nearly paralyzes him with fear, and he wonders how any being could be so scared. Several chapters later, we learn that the Inquisitorius Mind Raped Ezra into experiencing the fear of those around him, as well as having several traumatic experiences tied to his normal mental processes. It's also our first indication that his injuries should leave him catatonic, but his bond with Kanan is negating the worst effects.
    • Kanan mentions more than once that he feels he has to protect Ezra and occasionally shows Skewed Priorities for his sake. This is due to them having unknowingly formed a Master-Padawan bond, since without the proper training to distance himself Kanan will prioritize Ezra's well-being over anything else.
    • When Kanan comforts Ezra after learning about the Inquisitorius, he notes that he's radiating his emotions into the Force but doesn't much care. A few chapters later, the Jedi discuss their connection and come to the conclusion that the only reason Kanan hasn't accidentally wiped Ezra's mind is that he hasn't taken his shields down, showing that there is something abnormal about their bond.
    • Sabine's greatest fear is mind control. She is mind controlled by the Seventh Sister near the end.
  • For Want of a Nail: According to Word of God, the entire story hinges on one change; that Obi-Wan managed to arrive at Coruscant shortly before Anakin told Windu about Palpatine being the Sith. Anakin confessed to Obi-Wan, and Obi-Wan gave Anakin enough emotional support to avert his fall.
  • Freudian Excuse: Sabine's entire planet and her immediate family were the victims of Inquisitors. Finding out Ezra is one of them is incredibly triggering to her, moreso because he specializes in Mind Rape and she's terrified that he's warping the minds of the people closest to her. It gets worse when we learn she was forced to participate in the genocide and nearly killed herself once free, so the fact that Ezra could take her over again and make her kill her second family makes the situation even worse.
  • Friend to All Children: Anakin favors any course of action that protects children and is very friendly to Ezra. Considering Sidious’ repeated attempts to kidnap the Skywalker twins, it’s not very surprising.
  • Genius Bruiser: The Gold Squad assigned to watch Ezra has both a child psychologist and a trauma specialist in their ranks, and all four were trusted to take out Ezra if the situation got bad.
  • Given Name Reveal: More like True Name Reveal and though any reader who’s seen episode 6 of Rebels knows who “Dev Morgan” is right off the bat, it’s an Internal Reveal for Kanan and crew.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Kleeve and Queen Organa are both present at Ezra’s debriefing so she can provide a comforting, understanding presence and he can make sure they stay on track.
  • Good Feels Good: Kanan and Luminara both feel the warmth and happiness in following the will of the Force, and note how good it is to feel after so long without it.
  • Group Hug: The children of Dromund Kaas form one around Ezra when he comes to save them.
  • Handicapped Badass: Anakin has epilepsy.
  • Harmful to Minors: The Inquisitorius was specifically designed to traumatize the trainees in the every way possible to make them into living weapons. Children are tortured, sexual abuse is the norm, and many are killed in horrific ways or just break and commit suicide.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In-Universe. Kanan's many interactions with Ezra, including the moment when he comforted Ezra through the Force, all take on a darker tone when Kanan reminiscences about them and takes them as evidence that he's been brainwashing Ezra.
  • Heel Realization: Well, on a hero's side. Luminara seeing Starkiller being abused by the Eighth Brother breaks her out of her Black and White Morality, realizing for the first time that the darksider she's fighting is just as much a victim of the Empire as she is.
    • Luminara also has a downplayed example when she meets Ezra and realizes he's nothing like what she expected. Though she feels bad for antagonizing him, she doesn't change her world view so much as she changes her view of Ezra specifically.
  • Hero of Another Story: The Skywalker family apparently had quite a few adventures when they were on the run from Sideous after the fall of the Republic.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Eeth Koth rams the Interdictor to give the fleet an escape route, reasoning that a single Jedi Master, even a Councilmember, is a worthy price to pay for the rescue of three hundred children and the continued future of the Order.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: The Jedi, as in canon. While their actions towards Palpatine were eventually vindicated, more than a few people are resentful of the fact that the Jedi have become largely isolationist in an attempt to preserve what's left of their order.
  • Hidden Depths: When Ezra sees Knight Nema through the Force he notices that she has tendrils of darkness clawing at her soul, drawn by the despair and anger over what happened to the Jedi.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: If the Academy hadn’t tried to force Ezra into a training bond with the Grand Inquisitor, he wouldn’t have formed a training bond with Kanan literally the moment Kanan found him, and Kanan wouldn't have been able to find him before Luminara did.
  • Human Weapon: The Inquisitorial trainees were made to be weapons, not soldiers, and extensive mind rape and torture is used to break them until they're little more than an extension of their handlers.
  • I Am a Monster: Kanan of all people, once he learns that he and Ezra have a psychic bond, since he misunderstands Luminara and believes that he's been emotionally and mentally violating Ezra due to their bond. He even asks Hera how anyone could stand to look at him. What's worse is that Ezra tries to tell him he was wrong but Kanan believes he's subconsciously forcing Ezra to comfort him out of his own guilt.
  • Imprinting: This is more or less what happened between Ezra and Kanan. After his mind was mutilated in the Inquisitorius, he instinctively formed a very strong bond with the first Force-sensitive to cross his path in order to stay sane, which due to the Force's meddling was Kanan.
  • Incompletely Trained: Invoked at the Academy, where students were never taught to defend their minds or properly control their powers to keep them vulnerable to the Dark Side. One of the Jedi later points out that the Academy wasn’t built to train students at all; only to break them down into obedient slaves.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Hearing Ezra's full story about his time in the Inquisitorius prompts Yularen, Kleeve, Queen Organa, and quite a few others in Resistance command to reach for a bottle.
  • In Mysterious Ways: The Force repeatedly influences very small decisions in ways that lead to a larger result, like telling Kanan to board with a certain party or prompting Luminara to speak at the meeting with Katooni.
  • Inspector Javert: Sato is insistent that Ezra is an Inquisitor and will eventually turn on them, and is very resistant to any loosening of security around him. He's more willing to compromise than most examples, though. And much more understandable due to the stealth abilities and sheer destructive power of the Inquisition.
  • Internal Reveal: Mixed with Given Name Reveal (which is more like a True Name Reveal) during Ezra’s Defusing The Tykebomb moment.
  • It's All My Fault: Due to extensive brainwashing and psychological torture, Ezra thoroughly hates himself and tends to believe everything bad that happens is his fault if he has the slightest connection to it.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: At least part of the reason why Ezra is so determined to be compliant with the Rebel Alliance is that he thinks they'll punish the Ghost crew if he isn't. Luminara reassures him that won't happen.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Sato does all he can to get Ezra either thrown into a hole or outright executed. As he points out, though, if the others are wrong and Ezra is a mole or a Manchurian Agent, the measures he takes would be necessary to stop him. And since Ezra tends to mentally torment entire space stations and incapacitate Jedi purely by accident, it's not hard to see why Sato would fear what he could do deliberately.
    • Downplayed with Sabine, as the only member of the Ghost crew who is suspicious of Ezra she has a point about his psychic abilities. Turns out Kanan was being more protective of Ezra than normal due to the Force, although this wasn’t Ezra’s fault.
  • Karmic Death: The Headmaster dies at the hands of Ezra, one of the children he abducted and tortured. What's more is that he dies utterly helpless, pleading and crying to no avail, like many of his victims.
  • Killed By The Adaptation: So far just one: Bail Organa dies much sooner than he did in cannon.
  • Kneel Before Zod: The Headmaster likes making the kids he tortures kneel before him, both to demonstrate his control over them and for sexual pleasure. In a case of karmic punishment, Ezra makes him kneel as he tortures and eventually kills him.
  • Knight Templar: Master Taa is overly concerned with the purity of the Order and insists on keeping the children out should they fall.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: The Ghost crew for Ezra, especially Kanan. When Luminara tries to teach Ezra shielding, the only safe time he can remember is when Kanan rescued him.
    • Turns out with Kanan and Ezra it's a literal example. Their psychic link is the only reason Ezra isn’t still an Empty Shell.
  • Mind Hug:
    • About the only good part of Ezra's out of control, hypersensitive empathic abilities is that people genuinely caring about him gets channeled straight into his brain. Just being around the Ghost crew prevents his nightmares and stops most of the episodes.
    • Knight Nema gives Ezra Orenda tea to place him in a mental realm of the Light Side during his mind healing sessions.
    • After Kanan learns what made Ezra break in the Inquisitorius, he mentally and physically hugs Ezra for hours.
    • Another mental and physical example is the Group Hug the children of Dromund Kaas create, sharing their happiness and relief at their rescue with each other and Ezra.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: After having his shields destroyed, Ezra feels everyone's emotions on a very wide radius, an experience that would be terrifying under normal circumstances and made much worse by the fact that everyone around him hates him for being an Inquisitorial trainee. In addition, when others recount bad memories he sometime sees and feels them from their perspective.
  • Mind Rape: Used extensively, as Ezra was being groomed to do this to others and is such a mess that he often does it by accident. The most horrific is the one that was performed on Ezra by the Seventh Sister, which forcibly bound the traumatic memories she created to his normal mental processes, making him almost incapable of functioning in normal life.
    • Kanan even name drops the trope when he mentions the Master-Padawan bond he and Ezra have formed, although in that case nothing could be further from the truth.
    • There’s what was done to Anakin to give him permanent epilepsy.
    • And now Sabine has been added to the list after the Seventh Sister used her as a PeoplePuppet to draw Ezra into a trap.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Styles nearly beat Janus to death after Order 66 because he was under the impression that Janus was going to sell the then fourteen-year-old Kanan to a brothel.
  • Mood-Swinger: Ezra does not have the best grip on his emotional state. In Chapter 7 he goes from trying to kill Kanan to hugging him desperately to begging him not to sacrifice himself within the span of a single short conversation.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Ezra and Kanan are enjoying lunch and watching toons together when Luminara Unduli comes to tell them that they have a Master-Padawan bond, and the implications of it.
    • Invoked by Chopper. He breaks Ezra out of a self-destructive spiral by making some rude noises at him, making him laugh.
  • More Than Mind Control: According to Nema, Force manipulation can only go so far and any bonds have to be built from a person's true feelings. Thus, Inquisitors use Stockholm Syndrome and other psychological techniques to supplement their Mind Rape skills. This is how Ezra realizes that his bond with Kanan is genuine, as the Master-Padawan bond can't create or force feelings, only enhance them.
  • Morality Pet: Dev for Ezra, providing an emotional anchor for him during the tough times and helping him stay on the side of the Light. Ezra snaps out of his Dark Side high when Dev becomes scared of him, and being forced to kill him is what finally breaks Ezra. No wonder Ezra adopted Dev's name after escaping.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Once she sees Ezra in person and examines his mind, Luminara is deeply ashamed of herself for being willing to kill an abused child out of fear.
    • After learning how their bond got formed, Kanan is thoroughly ashamed of himself because he believes he forced a bond on Ezra, calling it tantamount to rape as Ezra had no way of refusing it and is now dependent on him. Unfortunately, Ezra's empathy leads him to believe he's disgusted with him and Kanan avoiding him means he can't clear it up, or even tell Kanan that he's wrong about their bond.
    • Naturally this flips the other way when he realizes how badly he's hurt Ezra by avoiding him.
    • All the clones after Order 66 was recalled and their chips were turned off. Styles killed himself over it, and he was far from the only one.
    • Sabine’s backstory is that she was an Imperial Cadet stationed on Mandelore when the planet was purged.
  • My Greatest Failure: Barriss was Luminara's, as her stoicism and detachment towards her padawan led to Barriss losing her trust in Luminara, resulting in the Temple bombings. When Kanan is torn between completing his mission and going to help Ezra, she tells him to not make the same mistake she did.
  • Mythology Gag: "Revenge is not the Jedi way." and the response "I am no Jedi.", first spoken by Vader and Ahsoka, is repeated with Kanan when he swears revenge on the Inquisitorius.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Inverted. In canon “Dev Morgan” was just an alias Ezra once used; here he was another student at the Academy who Ezra was forced to Mercy Kill.
  • No Sympathy: When Kanan was returned to the Temple after Order 66, the Jedi Order refused to help him through obvious PTSD from the events and told him he should rejoice at Depa's death because she was one with the Force. It's for this reason, among others, that Kanan wants nothing to do with them in the present day.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The story begins with a captured Star Destroyer.
  • Only Sane Woman: Queen Organa is one of the very few in Resistance command who sees Ezra as an abused child first rather than a defector or Inquisitor.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: At the Academy, Ezra got removed from the "group lessons"… by getting a personal teacher who kept him isolated from the others and would "reward" him for "good behavior."
  • Papa Wolf: Kanan will not let anyone hurt Ezra, not the Jedi, not the Resistance, not even Sabine.
    • Anakin also qualifies, despite largely being one off-screen.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A bit of poor wording on Luminara's part nearly destroys Ezra's healing process and by extension the entire plan. She tells Kanan and Ezra that they have a Master-Padawan bond that was created by the Inquisitorius as an attempt to bend Ezra to their will, and if they aren't careful Ezra could be overwhelmed by the bond. However, the way she words it makes Kanan believe that he Mind Raped Ezra into loving him and Ezra believe that all the stability and peace he feels when he's near Kanan is just brainwashing, when in truth the bond only gave them a link and their feelings are genuine. As a result, Kanan starts avoiding Ezra and Ezra has a minor breakdown, putting him in crisis right before the attack on Dromund Kaas.
    • The entire first half of the Trauma Conga Line in Kanan’s backstory. Both Caleb and Janus were unaware that Order 66 had been recalled when the clones showed up. This happened just when Janus happened to be washing Caleb’s dirty robes, and the clones assumed that Janus was planning to sell Caleb to a brothel. Then Caleb attacked the clones and got shot with a stun blast; but nobody told Janus the shot wasn’t lethal. After Caleb woke up in the med bay, learned the truth, and went with Grey to get Janus released from prison, they arrived just in time to see Styles beating the crap out of Janus because by this point both men believed the other to be a villain and Janus mouthed off to Styles about it. And that wasn’t even the end of it.
  • Power Incontinence:
    • Even untrained Force users have natural shields to avoid being overwhelmed by others' thoughts and emotions. Ezra's "training" ensured that these shields were destroyed, so he can't block anything out and broadcasts his emotions to others involuntarily.
    • It's also the reason he forged a Master-Padawan bond with Kanan. On his part, Kanan doesn't know the bond exists and has no control over it, resulting in him feeling immensely protective of Ezra and prioritizing him over anything else because he can't separate himself enough to act rationally.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Ezra made the Headmaster shoot himself while on Dromund Kaas.
  • Psychic Block Defense: Ezra spends most of the story learning how to rebuild his shields. By the end, Kanan offers to teach Sabine as well.
  • Psychic Link: It’s established that Jedi can form telepathic bonds between a master-padawan pair, and that this sort of teacher-student link is common in force users. Usually it’s used for the master to help show the student certain techniques, help them keep calm in distressing situations, and better understand each other as people.
    • The Sith turned these bonds into a weapon by stripping away at the mental defenses of force-sensitives so that an Inquisitor could force them into a padawan training bond. The Inquisitor then amplifies whatever emotions are most useful for brainwashing almost to the point of Emotion Control. Combining this with mundane brainwashing pretty much ensures the student will develop Stockholm Syndrome and eventually become completely Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Psychic Strangle: A panicked Ezra does this to Kanan when he thinks he's come to execute him. Luckily, Kanan gets him to let go.
  • Psychological Projection: A rather sad case. Kanan insists on helping Ezra through his episodes, repeatedly reminds him that his mental illness is not his fault, and gets very angry when anyone blames Ezra for being triggered. Yet it's very clearly shown that Kanan is deeply ashamed of not being able to overcome his PTSD himself.
  • Rape as Drama: The Seventh Sister sexually abused Ezra specifically to traumatize him as part of his "training" in the Inquisitorius. Healing from it is a key part of Ezra's character arc.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Most of the authority in the Resistance and the Jedi are this trope. The exceptions are either too used to being Properly Paranoid to realize this case is different, or have personal traumas clouding their judgement.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kanan gives one to Mace Windu for how cruelly he was treated at the Temple after Depa died, and makes it clear that he will not see the same thing happen to Ezra. Master Windu defends himself at the time, but a later conversation shows he's having some serious doubts.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: Their actions during the raid on Dromund Kaas, first in fighting side by side with the Rebel troopers and then their Big Damn Heroes moment, has done this for the Jedi in many people's eyes.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Deconstructed. Styles felt so guilty for killing Depa that despite doing all he could to redeem himself, he eventually committed suicide because he felt he didn't deserve to live. Right in front of Kanan, as a matter of fact. Kanan uses the story to convince Ezra that even if he feels overwhelming guilt for what he did in the Inquisitorius, he can still find redemption without having to die for it.
  • Red String of Fate: Non romantic. Even though it seems like the worst possible option to everyone else, the Force is insistent that Kanan and Ezra become master and apprentice.
    • Possibly a more pragmatic example than most, as the bond eventually leads to several major blows against the dark side and victories for the light side.note 
  • Revenge: Kanan swears it against the Seventh Sister, the Grand Inquisitor, and the Fifth Brother for what they did to Ezra. By the end of the first story, he's killed the Seventh Sister.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The mask that Ezra is wearing when the rebels find him on a Star Destroyer distinctly resembles the Winter Soldier's mask from the MCU. Fitting for a fundamentally good guy who the villains were brainwashing into their own personal weapon.
    • There are monsters on Dromund Kaas that resemble the monsters from Attack the Block.
    • Ezra having a tattoo of the Imperial cog on his neck is an homage to On the Edge of the Devil's Backbone, where all Imperial slaves had them.
    • The Adventures of Captain Andor seem to be one to the old serials that Star Wars was based on.
    • A darker nod to the Rebels fandom has the Seventh Sister actually be a sex offender.
  • Shower of Angst: Kanan takes one in Chapter 20, still recovering from seeing Mace Windu and ashamed that Zeb has to escort Ezra to The Hidden Temple since it's too full of triggers for him to do it.
  • Show Within a Show: The Adventures of Captain Andor, an old toon that stars Captain Andor, Too-kay, and his first mate Rook in one of the nameless wars from the Old Republic.
  • Skewed Priorities: Kanan is more concerned about Ezra crying and saying that he's nothing than he is about Ezra strangling him.
  • Slasher Smile: The Headmaster of the Inquisitorius is wearing one when he greets the trainees. Ezra likens him to a loth wolf grinning at a kill. Ezra wears a similar smile when killing him.
  • Smug Snake: Gar Saxon was already on the edge of it in-universe, but here he's clearly reveling in Fenn having to beg him for his nephew's life.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: The Headmaster attempts this, but is far too Ax-Crazy to pull it off. The High Interrogator, on the other hand, paralyzes Anakin with intense psychic pain as calmly as if he was telling him how his day went. Ezra's pretty good at it himself when he kills the Headmaster.
  • Sorry I Fell on Your Fist: When Kanan accidentally hits Ezra during an episode, Ezra immediately blames himself for getting too close. It takes a while for Zeb and Kanan to convince him that he shouldn't be apologizing.
    • Averted when Ezra hit Grey during an episode of his own. Although Grey quickly accepts his apology, he doesn't assign blame to anyone.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Padme being spared lead to a chain reaction that caused the current events. Also applies to most of the Jedi, Stance, and Grey.
  • The Stoic: Luminara in the Clone Wars was stoic because that was how she interpreted the Jedi Code. Luminara in the present is stoic because it's the only thing keeping her from falling apart.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Luminara gets one a chapter after she interrogates Ezra, showing just how badly the Clone Wars, her Padawan's betrayal, two Jedi Massacres, and living in exile has hurt her.
  • Tears of Fear: Sometimes, like the Headmaster's death.
  • Therapy Is for the Weak: Deconstructed with a vengeance. The Jedi tend to take this stance, and having it ingrained in his psyche has made Kanan's PTSD far worse than he would have been and kept him from seeking help. Comments from the author indicate that even the mind healing the Jedi do is focused on undoing Force damage rather than actually working on a mental illness.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Dev Morgan maintained hope, idealism, and morals in some of the most unforgiving conditions in the story, and is rewarded by being used as a plaything and tortured over months, then having his last hope shattered when his best friend kills him.
  • Tranquil Fury: Kanan when he finally confronts and kills the Seventh Sister.
  • Trauma Button:
    • Kanan has a lot of them relating to the Jedi and the Massacres, to the point where seeing Luminara gives him a panic attack. Mace attempting to appeal to him by fixing Depa's favorite chala backfires rather badly.
    • Ezra working with Luminara sends him into one of his worst episodes yet due to her resemblance to the Seventh Sister.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Sabine, Kanan, and Ezra all have these in their backstories. Kanan’s is largely due to multiple cases of Poor Communication Kills and really shitty timing, Sabine’s has to do with her past in the Imperial Army, and Ezra’s was invoked by the empire.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: Justified, as these occur only in three situations: if someone is telling another character about their past, if someone is having a nightmare about their past, or if someone (namely Ezra or Kanan) is having a PTSD attack.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Ezra is far too broken not to engage in this, and it really doesn't help his case. He nearly kills Kanan in a rage, and took great pleasure in controlling, torturing, and then murdering the Headmaster (who, granted, really had it coming).
  • Undying Loyalty: The clones towards the Jedi. Grey in particular has vowed to do anything and everything he can for Kanan, even if Kanan doesn’t want his help.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: Ezra's talent with connecting surpasses that of any known Force-sensitive. It's why he was chosen as the next High Interrogator.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Chopper, as in canon. When Ezra is having a meltdown, he curses at him and smacks him until he gets too confused and annoyed to be upset, then fetches Hera and hot chocolate to help him recover.
  • Walking Techbane: At one point during his stay at Dromund Kaas, Ezra makes everything around him break or malfunction.
  • Was It All a Lie?: After finding out about their bond in Chapter 30, Ezra questions if he truly cares about Kanan, or if the mental injuries he got on Dromund Kaas just forced him to feel that way. Nema reassures him that's not the case. Kanan's thoughts are darker take on this, as he believes that all the moments when it seems Ezra was doing better were just him unconsciously forcing him to act that way.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • There are two categories of rebel: former Separatists and former Republicans. The Fulcrum/Rebel Alliance schism was created so they could work together without infighting.
    • The Jedi Order is falling apart due to figurative and literal infighting over doctrine and the actions of the Order, to the point where certain sects can't walk into other sects' territory.
  • What If?: What if Ezra was taken by the Inquisitorius as a kid? And what if Anakin didn't fall and Palpatine had to resort to other measures?
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Luminara, Kanan, and Rig Nema all call out Sato for throwing Ezra in a cell despite knowing it would likely trigger him into causing another panic, then claiming Ezra was attacking the crew when the panic inevitably happens. Nema in particular tells him he has no one but himself to blame for the events.
    • Hera, Zeb, and to a lesser extent Luminara chew Kanan out for rejecting Ezra after he learns about their bond.
  • The Woobie: Ezra in-universe to everyone who actually knows him, especially Kanan.
    He felt so small in Kanan’s arms. Bony, his sobs shaking his frame, Kanan just wanted to keep him safe from the galaxy forever as he howled out his pain and fear.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Inquisitorius is an obvious example, but it's more than a little disturbing how willing the rebels are to kill Ezra, a fourteen year old, and the rest of the children of Dromund Kaas out of fear that they're Inquisitors. Luminara and Lt. Dicer at least come to regret it.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: A central theme, as Kanan and Ezra hate themselves and have many other characters reminding them that they aren't as bad as they think.
  • You Are Not Alone: Another central theme. On the way to Dromund Kaas, Lt. Dicer tells Ezra that despite her initial misgivings everyone here is there because they believe Ezra. The realization that so many people care about him shocks him. The 39th chapter is even called "Not Alone" and centers around Ezra drawing on his experiences with the others to stay calm when facing Seventh Sister.
    • Ezra’s “class” at the Academy stayed sane long enough to be considered unusual because they found solidarity in each other.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Ezra believes that he should have died rather than Dev, to the point where he takes on his name and identity when freed.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report