Disney may be running the show now, but that hasn't made this galaxy any less scary.
- "Droids in Distress" introduces us to T-7 ion disruptors, handheld rifles capable of taking down starships with only a few shots, but are said to have really horrific effects on living beings, most notably during the massacre of Zeb's homeworld, Lasan. This was enough for the Imperial Senate to make them illegal, but more immoral Imperials like Maketh Tua try to bring them back into circulation. We haven't seen what they can to do to living beings (yet), but carrying over from the Legends continuity (confirmed in the novelization of that episode), disruptors break living beings apart atom by atom, resulting in a slow painful death. It's no wonder Zeb and other surviving Lasats hate these guns. And Cikatro Vizago still has a few of them, so we may see what they can do later.
"Rise of the Old Masters"
- In Rise of the Old Masters the corpse of Luminara Unduli is downright disturbing. Her nose and eyes appear to be gone, her face is very gaunt and her facial bones are jutting out beneath her dried out skin. The way the skin is stretched out means her teeth visible even though her mouth is closed. If it wasn't for her chin tattoos, you couldn't even recognize her.
Dave Filoni: It became an interesting way also to tell the story of what probably happened to some Jedi Knights, Jedi survivors. Order 66 didnt wipe them all out. Some of them were captured and probably executed later, which is what you see the holographic recording of. Its actually Luminaras execution in that chamber.
- The build-up to the revelation is also pretty creepy. Kanan could sense her presence in the Spire, and he finds her sitting in her cell alive and well. Then she silently stands up, walks over and phases into the casket (which is empty at first), before turning into the mummified corpse described above in way that makes it look like she's quickly rotting away. A big Yank the Dog's Chain moment if any. And until Word of God weighed in, there was some speculation on what that image of Luminara sitting in the cell was? A hologram? Her spirit bound to her corpse? Or an illusion created by the Inquisitor? And was Gall Trayvis, that supposedly sympathetic Imperial senator who protested her "imprisonment" on the HoloNet, even aware of the trap being setup?
- According to an interview with Dave Filoni it's a hologram.
- Is Gall Trayvis a real person to begin with? The transmission did say he was a Senator in Exile, meaning he could just be a creation of the Empire to leak information they want to leak. "Vision of Hope" confirms him to be both a real person and an Imperial agent using his broadcasts to lure rebel cells into traps.
- There is also a throwaway line during a HoloNet news broadcast, the same one where the crew learns about Luminara, that mentions "another successful planetary liberation through the Base-Delta-Zero initiative". In Legends (and this is confirmed to be canon from its description in Sabine My Rebel Sketchbook), this is the Empire's phrase to describe wiping out everything on the planet's surface via orbital bombardment.
- As noted in Fridge Horror page, the key word is ANOTHER.
- Base-Delta-Zero is not simply a phrase - it's a unitary order to specifically command the complete incineration of a planetary surface. Only given when actively intended to be carried out, to avoid any form of confusion.
"Out of Darkness"
- The fyrnocks, those creatures inhabiting the abandoned Clone Wars base, Fort Anaxes. Vicious, relentless, and strong enough to tear apart shuttles with ease. They live in darkness, and if you think you're safe just waiting outside the base, the asteroid they inhabit has a sun that's periodically blocked out by other asteroids. They are also willing to charge into a minefield of rhydonium canisters just to get a meal, and even that won't be enough to kill them all. And even though they're apparently nocturnal, they're smart enough to discern artificial light from natural light. According to the databank, they also reproduce very quickly. If you thought that was bad, "Gathering Forces" ups the ante. The fyrnocks may be trouble, but the big one living underground is a whole lot worse. When Ezra summons it out of anger, it even gives the Inquisitor chills.
- The lore behind Fort Anaxes. Before animatics of the "Bad Batch" arc were released to the public, we had very little context on what happened to the base (in Legends, Anaxes was a loyal Imperial world that didn't get blown up). The concept art for the episode reveals it to be a reused asset from the "Bad Batch", and the databank confirmed that the planet was destroyed in a cataclysm after the war. However, the last episode of the "Bad Batch" arc had the Separatists plant a bomb that could destroy the planet. That attempt was thwarted then, but it's very possible someone reactivated that bomb.
- What the Empire did to Tseebo. He's so overwhelmed by the data in his head that he's basically an Empty Shell spouting facts in response to stimuli. Tseebo was a worst-case scenario, but it's clear that this happens to some degree to everyone with the implants. The Empire does this to low-level technicians just to make them a bit more efficient.
- Ezra tapping into the Dark Side to summon the fyrnock mother. When you make the Inquisitor take a step back in fear, you know you're onto a winner...
- Ezra facing off with the Inquisitor in Gathering Forces. The Inquisitor has just knocked Kanan out without breaking a sweat. Ezra attempts to save Kanan only to get pushed back to the edge of a cliff. The Inquisitor slowly walks towards him, taunting him by stating that he'll kill Kanan and everyone else. The only thing that saves Ezra is tapping into the Dark Side, which is Nightmare Fuel on its own. It's worse because Ezra is so angry that he's in a kind of trance, and he has no real knowledge of the danger that the Dark Side of the Force possesses.
"Path of the Jedi"
- Ezra's visions of the Inquisitor killing his friends.
- The vision of Sabine's death is somewhat more brutal. While the slaughter takes place off-screen, judging from the sounds, Hera, Chopper and Zeb die quickly, but there are several slashes between Hera's death and Sabine's, which suggests she's either managing to dodge away, or the Inquisitor is merely toying with her for cruel amusement. All the while, she can be heard pleading with Ezra for help and when the Inquisitor's blade finally hits, the bloodcurdling scream she lets out sends a chill down the spine. Finally, when the Inquisitor emerges from the cabin after the massacre, all that can be seen of the crew is Sabine's prostrate legs, which evokes Jango Fett's fate and implies Sabine suffered the same.
- The corpses of the Masters. Not only are the bodies themselves disturbing, the reason they're there is that their Padawans went into the temple but never came out, and the Masters just sat there waiting until they died.
- Even though he was only a vision, the Inquisitor made himself out to be even more terrifying than he is in reality (although that's pretty much a rule with nightmares), and this brings up a new bit of horror in regards to Force hallucinations. It's noted that as long as Ezra was afraid of death, the vision of the Inquisitor could have actually killed him. So what happened to those Padawans that came before? They weren't killed by anything in the cave. They were killed by their own imagination, which means Luke could have been killed by his vision of Vader in the cave on Dagobah.
"Call to Action"
- Grand Moff Tarkin. For starters, he reprimands Minister Tua and Agent Kallus for their repeated failures in containing the rebel cell, then turns on the Inquisitor for not being able to stop a single Jedi despite numerous chances. THEN he summons two high ranking Lothal agents to discuss the latest activity, ending with him having the Inquisitor taking their heads with his lightsaber, putting off Tua and Kallus.
- Finally, just look at how all three take this guy's criticisms: Tua is speechless, and cannot talk her way out of it; Kallus holds his head in shame for being unable to do the job; while the Inquisitor is pissed. In short, Tarkin's appearance means shit just hit the fan.
- By the episode's ending, he has Kanan in custody, and his final line is "You do not know what it takes a win a war, but I do." Tarkin's modus operandi is Make an Example of Them, which does not bode well for Kanan or Lothal.
- Chopper ex-filtrates itself from an Imperial transport by simply opening the nearest hatch and letting itself get sucked out in the rush of air. Never mind the squad of stormtroopers that just got spaced along with him. Word of God, tackling this very issue admitted that while the stormtroopers' armor can be hermetically sealed, the amount of air they would have had on them was negligible.
- Kanan's interrogation/torture session aboard Tarkin's Star Destroyer. If that wasn't bad enough when he doesn't break they intend to take him to Mustafar, which is described as 'where Jedi go to die'.
- With the release of Rogue One, this line has a whole new meaning : Darth Vader's personal residence is located here (which Tarkin is certainly aware of as Director Krennic knows its location). So if Kanan doesn't break to the Grand Inquisitor, the Dark Lord of the Sith will certainly do the job with greater chances of success. This may explain why the Emperor's Apprentice shows up nearly instantly with the Grand Moff at the end of the season when he returns from Mustafar.
"Fire Across the Galaxy"
- The Inquisitor would rather kill himself than report to Darth Vader that he had failed. Think about that.
- The Rebels were having a hard enough time with the Inquisitor and Tarkin handling things, now Lord Vader himself is handing the matter personally!
- He now provides the page image.
- The reveal of Darth Vader. "The Emperor has sent an alternative solution." What would that be? Cue the most iconic breathing in cinema history.
- Vader in his prime is a terrifying sight to behold. In trope term, he was a combination of Genius Bruiser, Magic Knight, Implacable Man, Manipulative Bastard and The Chessmaster. He was also a Knight of Cerebus on a higher caliber than even Tarkin. His list of achievements in his first true appearance included:
- Planning the perfect trap to lure the rebels out, and then have them lead him back to the Rebel fleet:
- First, he instilled such fear in Maketh Tua that she attempted to defect. Unfortunately for her, it was Just as Planned.
- Then he had her followed and killed and blamed it on the Rebels, turning Lothal against them.
- After raiding their hideout and destroying their transport, he planted a tracker on one of his own shuttles, correctly anticipating it would be the only way out.
- He then staged a massive firefight, even appeared in person to make their escape as believable as possible.
- When they got to the fleet, he followed alone in a single fighter and utterly decimated them. The only reasons he didn't take them all and end the series right there were Hera's uncanny piloting skill and the Imperials' own incompetence. What's worse, they didn't stop him, only change his goals - he broke off the attack himself, after discovering that Ahsoka was there. He soon makes it clear he wants to take her in alive...
- Beside his strategic mind, his combat skill, piloting skill and mastery over the Force were no joke either:
- He easily overpowered Kanan and Ezra during a duel. Using one hand, in a fight he intentionally let them escape.
- He alone vs an entire rebel squadron and their ships. It's a Curb-Stomp Battle in his favor.
- Even though he was half machine, his mastery of the Force was still very powerful. He easily lifted the fallen walkers when they fell on top of him. And when Ahsoka attempted to read him through the Force, the backlash (along with the sheer horror at sensing exactly who he is/was) was enough to knock her out.
- When they attempted to escape after their initial confrontation, Sabine attempts to cover Kanan and Ezra by firing on Vader. He deflects both shots and both of them end up hitting her; one in the shoulder, the other her head. If she hadn't been wearing armour, she would have been killed.
- Vader's Wham Line when he realizes that Ahsoka is a part of the rebellion; "The Apprentice lives." While creepy on it's own, Word of God would later drive it home even further by revealing that Vader wants to destroy anything and everything associated with his former life as Anakin. So there will not be any heartfelt reunion the next time the two meet.
- Planning the perfect trap to lure the rebels out, and then have them lead him back to the Rebel fleet:
- The way Ezra described him and the way he referred to Anakin Skywalker as if they were different people gave us a glimpse of Vader's mind during his tenure as the terrifying Sith Lord.
- There's also Vader using the Force to almost have Ezra slice his own head off with his lightsaber!
- How Kanan and Ezra sense Vader's presence. They describe it as feeling a chilling cold (much in the same way Luke felt in the cave on Dagobah). For some reason, the idea that Vader just being within range of their senses results in causing Jedi to feel fear makes him even more unsettling.
- Vader chews out Tua for being unable to find the Rebels, and she protests that she's just a public official, not a military commander. Vader replies that she can tell it to Tarkin the next day. As Tua got a front row seat to what happened when Tarkin was displeased with Aresko and Grint's failures, Tua knows exactly what this means. Kallus even takes a moment after Vader leaves to reassure Tua that they'll manage just fine in her absence.
- Emperor Palpatine's appearance. The room goes dark, Vader bows, and the only light is from Palpatine's hologram. All while his ominous, extremely foreboding theme heavily employing a deep choir plays, and the echo of Sam Witwer's performance really sells it that we are seeing (well, kind of) an appearance from the franchise's literal incarnation of Satan for all effects and purposes.
- The first time Ezra and Sabine meet the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother is like something straight out of a horror movie. Creepy, abandoned hospital? Check. Dark, foreboding atmosphere complete with haunting music? Check. Two nigh-unstoppable killers waiting in dark, toying with them? Check.
- The Seventh Sister. She likes playing with her prey, tortures Ezra using the Force (and she'd have moved on to more physical methods if she hadn't been interrupted), and looks forward to torturing him and Sabine to death once they're of no further use. Not to mention her creepily intimate interactions with Ezra, who is fifteen. Her voice also has a rather unsettling reverb effect to it.
- In Always Two There Are The Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister repeatedly threaten Ezra and Sabine with their lives if they do not give away important details. Ezra and Sabine are just children.Seventh Sister: Once we have the others, we'll dispose of them both. Very slowly.
- In The Future Of The Force Palpatine is back to his old tricks concerning Force sensitive children — except this time he has a hell of a lot more resources to use, with no need to be subtle and nobody to really stop him now. What's more, the Inquisitors use violence if the families of the children object, with no regard for collateral damage, and the kids will quite probably either be killed outright, experimented upon, or brought up as Inquisitors themselves.
- No bodies are shown, but it's heavily implied that the Inquisitors killed everyone on the transport except the grandmother (and considering she's never seen again after Ahsoka finds her, she might well have died off-screen from her injuries).
- In the Rebels Recon for the episode, when asked what would have happened to the children had the Inquisitors managed to hold onto them, Filoni says it's definitely not something he'd ever be able to show on Disney XD.
- The worst part is, this definitely isn't just one isolated incident. The Empire's been going strong for fifteen years now; the Ghost Crew and Ahsoka saved two infants, but who knows how many babies have been already rounded up to have god knows what done to them?
- Ezra's Roaring Rampage of Revenge in Legacy is kind of disturbing, when you think about it. He kills several stormtroopers, then charges full tilt toward Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister, yelling as he does so. No worries — he's just angry, right? Well, what side of The Force is anger a part of? The Dark Side. Remember how Ezra summoned the giant fyrnock in Gathering Forces when he tapped into the Dark Side? Imagine what he would be capable of now, with his powers growing as they are.
- It should be noted that Dark Side is not actually anger or hatred, but passion. The most base and simple emotions like hatred and rage are some of the more passionate and raw emotions that allow a person to tap into the Dark Side easier. And single minded passion is something that defines Ezra.
- In Legends, Concord Dawn was a sensibly habitable agricultural world. Here? You'll be wondering how exactly the Mandalorians were able to blow out almost an entire hemisphere of the planet. This is the result of hundreds of years of warfare for no reason beyond battle for battle's sake, long before the Death Star was made. Worse, since the Protector camp is based on one of the moons, it's pretty clear the planet itself is far from agriculture friendly now. From a non-Mandalorian perspective, it's not hard to see why House Kryze tried to reform Mandalorian society into pacifist culture for a time after what happened to this planet.
- Toward the ending of The Call, Ezra falls off a platform into a crater filled with gas...which he can't breathe. His helmet falls off his head, and he lies on the back of a purrgil unconscious. When he finally wakes up, he quickly realizes that he's choking, and reaches out for his helmet, only for it to fall beyond his grasp. If the purrgil hadn't caught his helmet and returned it to him, he'd have suffocated and died. Not pleasant to think about.
- When arriving on Geonosis in The Honorable Ones, the crew is under the impression that the Geonosians are building new weapons for the Empire. Then they scan the planet, and find no signs of life. What's more, it's implied in the episode (and confirmed in Rebels Recon), that Ezra can sense the death from orbit.Ezra: They're dead. All of them.
- The reason why they're all dead is a Continuity Nod to the Star Wars: Darth Vader series (which occurs about four years later), where it's stated that they were wiped out in an act of genocide to keep the Death Star a secret. Yes, the Emperor is so monstrous that he pulled a case of the You Have Outlived Your Usefulness trope on an entire species of his own allies just to cover his tracks.
- The Bonzami (the creatures Zeb and Kallus encounter on the Geonosian moon) are large creatures with pickaxe-shaped heads that posses More Teeth than the Osmond Family, and for added fun, they're Immune to Bullets.
- Hope you don't have arachnophobia, because if you do, Mystery of Chopper Base, will terrify you, courtesy of the Krykna.
- The new Inquisitor waits in the shadows, blending in with the petrified corpse-statues, before he strikes.
- The ancient Sith temple has dozens, more likely hundreds of these petrified corpses on and around the pyramid, remnants of an ancient battle between the Jedi and Sith.
- Ezra, on the orders of Maul, is tricked into activating an ancient Sith superweapon. When he tells it he doesn't want to destroy any particular planet, it says that maybe the person coming up will want to use it's power. Ezra runs to warn Ashoka and Kanan about Maul's deception, only to find the person coming is Darth Vader.
- Maul strikes Kanan's eyes with his lightsaber, permanently blinding him. They even show the aftermath shown in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it form!◊
- Maul in general. After his defeat by Palpatine, Maul has learned the arts of subtlety and deception, but lost little of his trademark savagery.
- Maul has the Seventh Sister trapped in a Force Choke and orders Ezra to kill her. When he refuses the Seventh Sister's expression's relaxes a bit, obviously thinking of a way out of her predicament. Unfortunately for her, Maul is far less merciful and throws his lightsaber; she barely even has time to scream in horror before she's cut in half, with the camera showing only her clearly severed lower torso hitting the ground and falling over.
- During Ahsoka's duel with Vader, part of Vader's helmet gets cut open, so that when he turns his head to look at Ahsoka she and the viewer can see just a part of his face beneath the mask - including the piercing, Sith yellow eye.
Ahsoka: I won't leave you. Not this time.Vader: Then you will die.
- To add to the horror, Vader calls out to Ahsoka with a twisted mishmash of Anakin's voice and Vader's artificial one.
- Honestly, hearing Vader speaking in Anakin's voice with his face partially visible while still acting like Vader only makes him even scarier. At least before he had the armor and altered voice to keep us from entirely identifying with him. Now we can see that this is the Anakin we spent the entirety of the Clone Wars following and rooting for, now a Fallen Hero and The Dragon to the Big Bad who wiped out the majority of the Jedi.
- What really sells the moment is the soft music. That horn in the background just sounds sad.
- Ahsoka calmly delving deeper into the Sith Temple on Malachor after her battle with Vader. What could possibly drive her to do that?
- Vader Force-dragging Ezra towards him by the arm holding the holocron, all while Ezra is panicking and scrabbling on his feet, with Kanan desperately trying to hang onto him.
- Ahsoka and Kanan dismissed the Sith holocron as useless, as no Jedi would be able to open it. At the very end of the episode, the Sith Holocron begins to open in Ezra's hands while he looks up at the camera with a look of pure rage, the red light of the holocron reflected in his eyes as he does so. Ezra's going to a bad place...
- Season 2 got dark when Darth Vader joined the party. How do you top that? Grand Admiral Thrawn, that's how.
- For those who don't know who Grand Admiral Thrawn is, he's a cold, calculating, strategic genius who nearly brought the newly formed New Republic to its knees. His specialty is goading his opponents into traps, understanding a species and their future actions just by learning its culture, and being such a big fan of art that he didn't deny how beautiful his own assassination was. All in all, not someone you'd want as an enemy
- Hera is shown looking very nervous in Thrawn's presence, who plans to turn the Rebels against each other, and let them destroy themselves. Hera is essentially The Heart of the Ghost crew; kill, damage or corrupt the heart, and the body will soon follow.
- Ezra's trembling voice at the end of the Celebration trailer as he mutters "the key to destroying the Sith..." isn't exactly soothing.
- The trailer features shrieking, skeletal spirits bound to a table with runes on it. At one point, one of them caresses Kanan's face and then possesses him, using his body to fight Darth Maul. Seeing Kanan grinning creepily as he steps off the table, his ruined eye sockets filled with green ichor, is what nightmares are made of.
- And then it turns out Kanan isn't the only one subjected to this Demonic Possession; one teaser shows Maul getting it, and so do Sabine and Ezra in the Rebel Beat commercial. And the spirits are making them fight each other.
- In the midseason trailer, Thrawn has found Chopper Base. And we see scenes in the trailer of Atollon being destroyed (in what seems to be Base Delta Zero, which was long foreshadowed back in Season 1), with only the shield generator (or as some speculate, the Bendu's powers holding off the Imperials long enough for the rebels to flee) protecting Chopper Base, but for how long?
- Practically everything about the midseason trailer is unnerving. While scenes are shown briefly covering how things are taking a turn for the worse for the rebels, the ominous repetition of Obi-Wan's warning plays across the trailer, giving a much darker and uneasy tone to the short moments as they play out.
"Steps Into Shadow"
- The episode really establishes the dark effects the Sith Holocron from Twilight of the Apprentice has had on Ezra. He's gone from being Kanan's go-lucky (if somewhat jaded) and smooth apprentice to a hot-headed, paranoid, angsty cynic. The focus of the episode is not establishing the new characters, but rather making it clear just how close Ezra is to falling to the Dark Side.
Ezra: We're not leaving any witnesses.
- In the Time Skip, Ezra has become extremely ruthless and vicious in battle. With his quick shots on a new DL-44, he's got a bit of Han Solo, but with his flurry of lightsaber attacks, he unnervingly resembles Maul. Hondo is unnerved by the change in his young friend and asks quite nervously "Is that really Ezra?" in an utterly serious tone of voice. Sabine indicates that's how Ezra is now most of the time...
- Everything about the scene with Ezra and the Imperial walker, which is likely one of the darkest moments in the show.
- First, Hondo's associate Terba decides to bail on him and the gang, and flees outside to what he believes is freedom... until he sees an AT-ST waiting for him, and he's blown to hell by the Imperial walker.
- The group is then pinned down by the same walker. Ezra takes control of the walker pilot's mind with the Force and makes him fire on the stormtroopers and then step off the platform to his unambiguous death. Scary enough, but the way Ezra's movements mirror that of the pilot's shows that it's less of a Jedi Mind Trick, and more like People Puppets or maybe even outright possession. It's basically the Force equivalent of bloodbending, and the others are visibly shaken by it.Sabine: When did Kanan teach you that?
Ezra: (Kubrick Stare) He didn't.
- It's even worse when you think about it from the pilot's point of view. Imagine a routine day on the job, shooting at members of a small rebel cell (or what you believe to be one). Suddenly, you get utterly stripped of your will and manipulated like a puppet into shooting your friends while they scream for you to stop. After that, you die. How do you die? You tumble through the clouds, probably just now becoming aware of yourself and your surroundings again before you inevitably smash into the ground. It's seriously a cross between Grand Theft Me, Mind Rape, and possibly And I Must Scream, with the worst possible outcome.
- Also, the music that plays when he starts using the force on the pilot starts as the original triumphant Force theme only for it to twist into something far darker as the pilot gets controlled.
- Possibly tying in with Grand Admiral Thrawn's introduction in the same episode, but the technique Ezra used on the walker pilot is exactly the kind of thing Joruus C'baoth was famous for.
- The chilling way Ezra tells Sabine to deal with the mining guild shuttle (which is technically an unarmed civilian ship).
- Do you remember those lovely, adorable spiders who provided so many entries on this page during the second season? Kanan blunders right into one while blind and at their mercy.
- The revelation that Thrawn was promoted after his "victory" at Batonn, which has more civilian casualties than insurgent deaths. The fact that not only is Thrawn willing to go to such lengths, the Empire has no problem ENCOURAGING such things, is kind of frightening. Such is the way of totalitarian dictatorships.
- As shown in his book, Thrawn didn't cause those civilian casualties. The casualties were actually caused by Governor Pryce when she detonated a cache of explosives located under a shield protecting the settlement where the insurgents were hiding. Because of the shield, the shockwave of the explosion rebounds and hits the settlement again and again, obliterating it. All this just to cover up her murder of an Imperial agent, and she lets Thrawn take the credit/blame. The fact that this level of civilian casualties is considered acceptable is rather disturbing.
"The Holocrons of Fate"
- Darth Maul has captured Hera, Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper and is holding them hostage, tied up with blasters to their heads and threatening to kill them if Ezra and Kanan don't co-operate.
- After Ezra and Kanan arrive at the station, Maul has two droids take Ezra to a place where they can fuse the holocrons, while he takes Kanan to an airlock, which he then throws the hapless Jedi out of.
- While Kanan survives being thrown into space, he ends up being almost frozen and is gasping for breath by the time he gets back to the station.
- Near the end of the episode, while Ezra looks away from the holocrons, Maul has a full view of them just as they explode. Immediately after, he disregards the entire Ghost crew and just hastily stumbles his way out of the station, into his ship, and flies away, cackling maniacally and saying "He lives!" over and over again. Just who is he so eager to meet? And earlier in the episode, the Bendu states "Once a secret is known, it cannot be unknown". Seeing how unhinged Maul seemed after the explosion, and how he didn't turn away, he may have very well gone insane.
- What makes the whole thing worse is that the holocrons never finished their revelation, with Ezra having cut off the connection before they could find the full answer. Given how badly just fragments of that knowledge hurt Ezra and Maul, what would have happened had they found what they were looking for?
- When Kanan and Ezra find the Sith Holocron in the krykna nest, the spiders are all piled up in a contorted, painful looking mess with the Holocron sitting innocuously on top. When the Holocron starts to move, the group moves with it, almost like it was a being itself before the Holocron moves far enough away that they separate and go back to normal. Words don't do justice to how eerie it looks, and it makes you wonder what exactly the Sith Holocron was doing to them.
"The Antilles Extraction"
- Cadets going through a simulation where the commanding officer orders to fire on an unarmed civilian vessel. It's no wonder Thrawn was promoted after Batonn; the Empire doesn't care who dies or who lives so long as the military stays loyal.
- Even worse: they actually want pilots who are okay with the Just Following Orders mentality.
- Hera pretends that she's an ordinary Twi'lek servant when she gets caught in a doorway by Thrawn and an Imperial officer. And Thrawn being Thrawn, it definitely didn't get past him.
- Thrawn appears to have taken a close interest in Hera.
- Thrawn's final line in the episode sheds some light in how he defeats his opponents: fail first then succeed.Thrawn: I've found this whole experience to be very...enlightening.
- It's worse than that. Thrawn isn't like other Imperial higher-ups; while they are quick to action and enjoy short successes, he is patient. He is willing to let small failures go for the bigger picture. He is willing to put others lives on the line just so that he can learn. Thrawn is pretty much a sociopath in charge of an entire Imperial fleet.
- Thrawn's perpetual serenity is creepy enough. Thrawn going from serene to enraged and right back on a dime is even more so.
- Judging by his reaction, he probably could and would have killed Slavin on the spot had he not collected his thoughts. Whatever you do, don't threaten art around Thrawn...
- Thrawn's Leitmotif, "Thrawn's Web", is both this and Awesome Music. The piece played in the episode begins on an elegant and oddly serene tune, almost fringing on Ominous Music Box Tune. Then the Ominous Pipe Organ begins, emphasizing the fact that despite his externally affable demeanor, Thrawn is a very dangerous tactician and a No-Nonsense Nemesis, which is followed up by an eerie mixture of both "Thrawn's Web" and "The Imperial March".
"The Last Battle"
- Rex is clearly on the verge of a PTSD flashback when he awakens to find himself captured and surrounded by battle droids, which, as a clone (or any soldier in general), is the last thing you want (though it isn't a rarity) when you're in enemy territory in a warzone. He even calls out for Cody, mistaking Kanan's voice for his. Doubles as Tear Jerker.
- The full reality of what happened to the clones hits hard this episode. Even without a chip to render him incapable of defying orders, Rex was still molded from birth to be a soldier, and is compelled to go into battle because he was taught there was no other way to live. The worst part is Rex seems aware of this, calling it his "programming", but war is so much a part of him that he can't give it up.
- The idea that not only is Sabine's family fighting the other side of a war from her, but that her mother is with the Empire, and possibly now hostile to her daughter is Adult Fear mixed with Nightmare Fuel.
- Gar Saxon threatening to shoot Chopper to get Ezra to talk.
- Not to mention how rough he is with Ezra himself towards the end, outright flinging the boy across the room.
"An Inside Man"
- Thrawn engineers Mr. Sumar's death when his hover bike overheats, to enforce the fact that sabotage will not be tolerated. Ezra and Kanan have to watch their friend be violently killed, unable to help for fear of breaking their own cover.
- Even Kallus is shocked and horrified by Mr. Sumar's death. Not surprising considering his first unit was killed in a similar manner.
- Kallus is the new Fulcrum — and Thrawn quite probably knows this.
"Visions and Voices"
- Ezra's first visions of Maul, who appears at the edge of his vision before quickly disappearing, with Maul's voice saying his name in an extremely creepy way. And it culminates with Maul appearing right behind him, screaming right in his face!
- The whole scene plays out like a horror movie, with erratic camera movements, eerie stormy atmosphere, creepy music, sound starting to echo, and Maul looking right at the camera, his face shadowed and his eyes glowing like some kind of demon specter from hell.
- Kanan and Ezra go to see Bendu in an attempt to try and solve Ezra's issues. When Bendu asks what Ezra wants, he replies that he wants to stop seeing Maul. "Then don't turn 'round." Of course they do and, complete with a Scare Chord, find Maul only a short way off, staring coldly at them.
- Ezra seeing a rebel soldier as Maul and attacking him. He comes within a hair's breadth of killing the guy before Kanan manages to snap him out of it.
- Maul's been busy since his last appearance setting up a hideout, which includes such wonderful details as "Kenobi" written on the wall in blood, a pseudo-shrine to Satine with her throat slit, and a collage of crude, cryptic drawings covering the walls, all tied to "Kenobi" in red lines.
- When Sabine's possessed by a Nightsister ghost and stalking Ezra through the caverns, she crawls along the wall in a way no human should be capable of; more like a lizard or spider than anything else.
- Kanan and Sabine being possessed is disturbing enough. The possessed Sabine talking is creepy. But possessed Kanan talking is far, far worse due to the sheer dissonance between his actual speaking voice and the voice of the Nightsister ghost. For reference, only Darth Vader and the Bendu have deeper voices than he does, and the Nightsister ghost's voice is quite high-pitched and scratchy, resulting in a very disturbing scene.
"Ghosts of Geonosis"
- The Empire had wiped out all Geonosians save for one and a queen egg for reasons unknown to our heroes save that they were building something. It just shows how far they were willing to go to keep secrets hidden from the galaxy.
- When Klik-Klak is questioned what he and the other Geonosians were building for the Empire, he responds by drawing a circle within a circle. During the journey deeper into Geonosis, the heroes assume he was either drawing the planet's rings, the queen egg, or the bio-weapon canisters the Empire used to kill his kind. Of course we know what he really meant...
- The Imperial Recon Droid that infiltrates Chopper Base. At first, it looks like a normal droid not unlike C-3PO. Then, as AP-5 casually talks to it, it hears the word "Rebel", and suddenly starts repeating the word over and over again, before identifying the base. Then it transforms into a very freaky looking, multi-eyed droid with Creepy Long Fingers that immediately attacks Zeb, Chopper, and AP-5 with eerily smooth movements, such as running extremely quickly and jumping extremely high, all while producing a guttural "laughing" sound. Yeesh.
- Zeb re-programmes the droid so that, when it returns to the Star Destroyer it was sent from, it self-destructs — taking out not only the two techs examining it, but quite a lot of the Star Destroyer as well. Zeb caused the deaths of who knows how many thousands of people.
- What's more, Thrawn is able to take this disaster and coldly analyse it: now he knows to look for the rebel cell on the planets to which those droids were sent.
- The fact that most violence in the episode is directed towards droids allows for some quite graphic imagery, even for this show. EXD's hand getting severed with fluid leaking out of it is one good example, as is EXD disemboweling a Gonk droid for parts while it's still awake. And there's no Just a Machine excuse here, as two of the main characters are droids themselves.
"Trials of the Darksaber"
- Mixed with Tear Jerker, Sabine's backstory while she was at the Academy is finally explained: she was helping the Empire develop weapons, weapons which they used to coerce her family and friends to bow to them. And when she spoke out against this, her family turned away from her.
- Sabine mentions having seen them used on her loved ones, and from other episodes we know she barely escaped being killed herself after her family abandoned her to her fate. She was 15 at best during all this, probably even younger.
"Through Imperial Eyes"
- Thrawn continues to show an uncanny ability to show up exactly when and where the Rebels are planning to move.
- Thrawn's Elite Mook, Implacable Man droids he spars with. Even the Admiral himself invokes a hint of Oh, Crap! when they suddenly break into his office, manhandle his Stormtrooper escort, come after him next, and refuse to obey his verbal override anymore (all courtesy of Kallus). Even worse? This is a Mythology Gag to his final fate in Legends: being killed In the Back by bodyguard Rukh, whose name is the aforementioned override here.
- Continuing the trend from "An Inside Man", the Imperials are becoming better and better at preventing rebel infiltration of their ranks. Ezra's Trojan Prisoner gambit fails when he's immediately taken to Thrawn's Star Destroyer for questioning, and Kanan and Rex's attempt to board the Chimaera using a stolen shuttle and Stormtrooper armour barely lasts a minute before they are found out by Governor Price and fired upon. If not for Kallus, their mission to hack Thrawn's database would have failed. It shows just how effective the Imperial military can be with competent leadership, and how much tougher the rebel's operations will be moving forward.
- As he obsessively searches the boundless desert for Obi-Wan, Maul is reduced to muttering to himself before shrieking his quarry's name to the sky, clearly on the verge of losing what's left of his mind.Maul: KENOBIIIIII!
- Ezra, Chopper, and Maul all find themselves dealing with the unpleasant reality of crossing the desert without food or water. Aside from Ezra's brief encounter with a few Sand People, none of them are fighting any enemy aside from the endless sands and implacable sun. Before long, Maul has gone even more insane, Chopper is forced to shut down while Ezra begs him to stay, and Ezra eventually passes out. If Ben Kenobi hadn't found Ezra, Ezra would have died, and Maul would likely have spent what was left of his life searching in vain.
- Maul sports a wide smile as he cuts down several Tusken Raiders. The Tuskens let out a scream of terror at the sight of him, no doubt having knowledge of the last time a man with a lightsaber attacked some of their people (though Maul's demonic appearance can't have helped matters).
- Maul and Obi-Wan's final confrontation has them throwing taunts and jabs at each other one last time, with Obi-Wan gently trying to convince Maul to stand down and leave. However, Obi-Wan slowly realizes that this isn't an option, as Maul confirms he knows about Luke. Adult Fear kicks in, and Obi-Wan stops playing around and draws his lightsaber with every intention to kill.
- Pre-release information shows that Kallus tried to desert, but he still ends up in Imperial custody while flanked by Death Troopers that could kill him the second Thrawn hands out the order, but Thrawn wants him to watch the rebels on Atollon burn. And if you look closely, he's bleeding, meaning that either he was beat up by the Death Troopers or subject to Cold-Blooded Torture.
- Imagine being trapped on your small military base because you're cornered by about more than few enemy cruisers than your defense can handle. If there's no cavalry coming to help you, you're as good as dead.
- We get to see a near-POV from Wedge and Hera as Imperial ships rain Death from Above on Chopper Base. And at any moment, that shield might give way...
- Worse, as we find out, Kanan can't make it back to the base in time... luckily, he survives.
- The score used, a variant of Thrawn's theme is hauntingly beautiful and a terrifying at the same time. Despite knowing many of the main characters have plot armor, you get the feeling that Thrawn is about to annihilate them all just with a single attack.
- Ever wonder what happens to a Physical God, that desires to be neutral in all things and refuses to fight for either side, when you piss it off? The Bendu shows everyone on Atollon exactly what he is — a force of nature that has the power to dole out death to anyone he sees fit. And there is nothing you can do to stop him...
- The Bendu cryptically foretells Thrawn's defeat, and Thrawn himself appears unnerved. He shoots the Bendu, only for the great being to disappear with a disembodied laugh, leaving Thrawn just as spooked as we are.
- The Rebels Recon for "Zero Hour" gives us a piece of concept art showing the helmets of Clan Wren, a Protector, and a Nite Owl — quite possibly Rau's and Bo-Katan's, though luckily none appear to be any of the main Wrens — littered across a scorched and smoking landscape like skulls, yet there are no bodies around...
- The second trailer gives s good reason for that: an AT-DP armed with a lightning gun that can burn a Mandalorean to ash right through their armor. Is this one of those weapons Sabine made for the Empire?
- Upon further inspection, the Nite Owl helmet does not seem to be Bo-Katan's, judging by the color scheme. As for the Protector helmet, maybe Rau isn't the only one with that set of armor. But there's only one female Clan Wren helmet out of all of them... let's hope it isn't Sabine's.
- You guys remember the Noghri Death Commandos from Legends? Guess what? They're back. To make matters worse, Rukh has returned to canon.
- The midseason trailer reveals that eventually, Ezra will have to confront Palpatine himself. And Palpatine has taken an interest in him, for whatever reason. If you thought Maul was bad, this is a thousand times worse.
"Heroes of Mandalore"
- Sabine's superweapon burns Mandalorians to death by superheating their armor, leaving nothing but piles of ash. And yes, we see this happen on-screen. What's worse is that the weapon isn't operating at its full capacity. At full power, it would affect an entire army, leaving the Mandalorians completely helpless.
- Thrawn's speech on the artistry of the anti-Mandalorian weapon, how beautiful it is that it turns strength (armor) into a crippling weakness and turns the Mandalorian culture, where they can't abandon or replace their armor, against them. Suddenly Thrawn sounds a lot less like a military strategist and more like a Mad Artist whose canvas is war.
- Sabine sets the weapon against Stormtrooper armor, incapacitating the base and gloating over Tiber as he writhes in pain, and then declares her intentions to take the weapon for herself and turn it against the Empire. It's definitely a case of Kick the Son of a Bitch and Bo-Katan manages to talk her down from keeping it, but it's a good reminder that she designed such a terrible weapon in the first place and has a very dark side no matter how well she hides it.
- To make matters worse, there's also the fact that Sabine unknowingly put Ezra in danger by losing herself, due to him wearing a Scout Trooper helmet. It carries the implication that if Sabine set the weapon to lethal capacity, Ezra's head would've been vaporized before he could react, and it wouldn't be a pretty picture.
- Most of Lothal had been burned to the ground. Its unknown what could have done it but seeing we had the Death Star at its lowest setting and Operation:Cinder, what the Empire had might have been equally as bad.
- Lothal has gone from a poor world with bullying police to a nightmarish totalitarian regime. No one is wandering the streets anymore, ads have all been replaced with floating speakers chanting "Serve your Empire. Stamp out the Rebellion. Loyalty is obedience." and other phrases over and over, and pollution is so extensive it seems like the middle of the night even though it's actually noon. All of the things that gave Jhothal personality are gone in favor of gray buildings with smooth lines and no distinguishing features, and if it weren't for the occasional light from a house you'd think the town was abandoned altogether. The worst part? This isn't the final stage of the Empire's plans.
- The fight between Ezra and the short & scrawny but deceptively dangerous Trandoshan ore-crawler commander ends with the latter tumbling backward into a smelting pit full of glowing-hot molten metal... and judging by the screams, his death was not instant. Not to mention that when the giant ore press continues pounding up and down afterward, the pounding sounds squishier than it did seconds earlier.
- Arguably more disturbing than even the death itself is Ezra's nonchalant, sardonic reaction to it, which hints at some persisting flirtation with the dark side on his part. There is even some ambiguity as to whether Ezra himself may have caused it to occur by subtly using the force to shift his dropped lightsaber to a position that caused Seevor to trip and fall into the pit.
- Pryce's Cold-Blooded Torture of Hera is likely one of the darkest scenes in the show. The whole scene is portrayed very realistically and pulls no punches in showing just how much pain Hera is in and how nasty Pryce really is. Hera is seen being strapped to table and repeatedly electrocuted as she screams in pain, while Pryce gleefully smiles, doubles down on the torture, and responds to her screams by complimenting the sound of her voice. It's no wonder that along with Kanan's death, this episode is what cemented Pryce as one of the most hated characters in the show among the fandom. It gets even worse when you realize that Hera was pregnant the whole time.
- Thrawn then arrives and rubs Hera's brother's death into her face, which must have been a horrible experience from her. Then Pryce uses a droid with a sharp needle-like syringe to inject truth serum into Hera's neck (and unlike the scene with Leia in A New Hope, the scene does not cut away), with only the droid itself blocking the sight of the serum being inserted into Hera's neck.
- Kanan's death, while both Tearjerking and visually stunning, is also rather nightmarish with the hellish landscape of the burning fuel station surrounding him. Not to mention that Kanan died by being consumed by a huge wave of fire, which is NOT a pretty way to go.
- Ezra is terrified of the Lothwolves, which make no attempt to seem friendly towards him this time round. The giant one in particular gets a lovely shot of it snapping at the camera as though intending to bite Ezra in half. Not to mention how fundamentally wrong it looks when it's talking.
- In the aftermath of Kanan's death, Governor Pryce tries to cover up the destruction of the TIE Defender production line with a parade celebrating her victory over the Rebels. Thrawn, of course, is not fooled for an instant, and is probably the most angry we've ever seen him; hissing a statement, not a threat, that can only be described as certain doom in words. The sheer menace and anger Lars Mikkelsen is able to portray in so few words as he explains to her exactly how she gave the rebels a victory and compromised the TIE Defender project, is absolutely terrifying. And he never raises his voice.
- Thrawn:"I will deal with you, when I return, Governor."
- Of course, what is Tarkin going to do to Thrawn if he find out about this? Knowing Tarkin since "A Call To Action", he will likely give Thrawn anything worse than you can imagine.
- Tarkin may not have to do anything. Given that he arranged a meeting between the Emperor and Thrawn, he will likely leave Thrawn to the Emperor's wrath, which as we know, means that Thrawn is fucked.
- That is, if Thrawn is held accountable for the TIE Defender project being compromised, which isn't actually too likely especially since this isn't the first time she's screwed up her own or Thrawn's plans. It's much more likely that Pryce will be held responsible and that she will be punished instead of Thrawn. Which adds an unhealthy heaping of Fridge Horror when you realize, if the reporting really goes that far up the chain of command, that her actions may have just brought down the wrath of Thrawn, Tarkin, AND Palpatine on her head.
- It's also worth noting that Thrawn already had Hera as leverage to save face with the Emperor when his TIE Defender project was at risk of losing support. So yes, definitely Pryce is the only one in trouble.
"A World Between Worlds"
- Palpatine's one-sided confrontation with Ezra and Ahsoka within the eponymous Eldritch Location. Both lightsiders are horrifically outmatched, and can do nothing but run as the Emperor attacks them with some form of Sith sorcery, cackling and snarling as only Ian McDiarmid can.
- At one point he actually does grab hold of Ezra and for a split second his hand passes through the portal, until Ahsoka manages to break the connection. He came terrifyingly close to seizing the power to rule all time and space and becoming a Physical God in his own right.
- One that's only clear on repeat viewings....the first word he says is not Palpatine's voice, but Kanan's, grossly distorted. Ezra seeing Kanan in the portal was an illusion and had he followed through he'd probably have pulled Palpatine right through the gateway.
- It's just as scary that Ezra can hear the past, present, and future. Remember back when Ezra said he is afraid of the truth? Well, he found out a LOT of hard truths (even if he can't quite make sense of them).
- Ezra's not the only one who knows Ahsoka isn't dead, but so does Emperor Palpatine. Ahsoka might have evaded his radar for now by going back to the past, but she's still in danger of being hunted by Sidious. It's only a matter of time until he is able sense her again.
- Now, Palpatine has been seeking Ezra and the terrifying part? He knew who Ezra really is enough to single him out. How long has he been keeping watch of Ezra and/or Kanan?
"A Fool's Hope"
- The Lothwolves are back, and going as close as the censors will allow to tearing squads of Stormtroopers apart. To the point that they are able to get a lot more action in.
- At one point we see two of them grab a single stormtrooper and start pulling. Sure they're on the side of the heroes but Savage Wolves is a trope for a reason.
- Even though she survives, Pryce is utterly traumatized by the wolves after the battle is through.
"Family Reunion And Farewell"
- Palpatine's glamour of his Clone Wars era self is deeply disturbing. He's also garbed in pure white robes and really playing up the kind old man act which is a jarring contrast with the monster we know he really is. Even In-Universe, this catches Ezra off-guard.
- Remember what the Bendu said to Thrawn? Turns out the many hands referred to Purrgill tentacles crushing him, while the cold embrace was hyperspace, after the purrgill speed off with the Chimera's hull breached. Not a good way to go.
- However, Word of God has stated that Thrawn is still alive. Hey, Bendu did say "defeat", not "death".