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Recap / Star Wars Rebels S2E16 "Shroud of Darkness"

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Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka visit the Jedi temple on Lothal, hoping to learn how the Inquisitors are tracking them.


Tropes in this episode:

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  • Action Prologue: The episode starts with Kanan and Ezra fighting the Inquisitors, with plenty of Casual Danger Dialogue.
  • All There in the Manual: In the interview after broadcast, the creators revealed that everything Ahsoka, Ezra and Kanan experienced in the Lothal Jedi Temple were in fact visions sent by Yoda to instruct and to answer each of their questions and doubts.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Ahsoka's vision of Anakin is vague enough to wonder if this is an actual conversation, or simply a manifestation of the guilt Ahsoka feels about what happened to Anakin after she left.
  • Big "NO!": Ahsoka, when she's forced to acknowledge that her former master is now Darth Vader.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Yoda makes his first major physical appearance in Star Wars media since the end of The Clone Wars, almost two years prior to the episode's air date. He previously made a vocal appearance back in "Path of the Jedi".
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    • The Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother are back for the first time since "Legacy".
    • The Grand Inquisitor makes his first posthumous appearance since his death in "Fire Across the Galaxy".
    • And finally, Darth Vader returns since his last appearance in "The Siege of Lothal".
  • Call-Back:
    • Lothal's Jedi temple was last seen in "Path of the Jedi", and Kanan had to pass a test by surrendering to his opponent, much like Ezra had to in that episode. For bonus points, it's the same person: the Grand Inquisitor.
    • Yoda speaks to Ezra, as he did in that episode, only this time Ezra can actually see him.
    • Before dueling, Kanan and the Sentinel perform the Makashi salute as done before in "Fire Across the Galaxy" between the former and the Grand Inquisitor. Although this time, Kanan does it first.
    • The Sentinel also raises his lightsaber behind his back when he is about to deliver a fakeout final strike on Kanan, like the Grand Inquisitor did in Ezra's hallucination in "Path of the Jedi".
  • Continuity Nod:
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    • Kanan's snarky quip, "I don't go for crazy... anymore," is a likely nod to his womanizing habits in A New Dawn.
    • Ahsoka says the last time she saw Anakin, he was rushing off to save Chancellor Palpatine, the kidnapping of whom was explained in the opening crawl of Revenge of the Sith and shown in the then-canonical Star Wars: Clone Wars 2D series.
    • The shots of the Phantom landing at the temple, Kanan and Ezra opening it, and the Jedi heading inside reuse the same camera angles from the shots of the same events in "Path of the Jedi".
    • Ahsoka recalls Yoda's increasingly sullen mood as The Clone Wars progressed, which came to a head in the series finale when Yoda learned the Jedi Order was doomed to fall (albeit after Ahsoka's departure from the Jedi).
    • Ahsoka mentions that she left the Jedi Order, which happened back in the season 5 finale of The Clone Wars.
    • Yoda shows Ezra clips of The Clone Wars, and also a brief snippet of the iconic shot of the clones from Attack of the Clones.
    • Yoda implores Ezra to not let his fear turn to anger, recalling his quote from The Phantom Menace.
    • The episode's title harkens back to Yoda's words that "the shroud of the Dark Side has fallen" when the Clone Wars began. Falling in line with that, Yoda elaborates on his opinion from back then that the very act of starting the war (and thus turning from peacekeepers to warmongers) was the Jedi's defeat.
    • In his mental conversation with Ezra, Yoda is sitting on a mossy tree branch and surrounded by mist, indicating that he is speaking to Ezra from his hideout on Dagobah.
  • The Corruptible: Ezra, as shown in both his and Kanan's visions. Kanan worries that he can't save Ezra from himself, and Yoda warns him that if he isn't careful, he'll be consumed by the Dark Side and become no better than the people he's fighting.
  • Disconnected Side Area: The Lothal Jedi Temple is raised further up, revealing another, deeper entrance, rather than using the one from "Path of the Jedi".
  • Dramatic Unmask: The Sentinel reveals himself to be the Grand Inquisitor's former self.
  • Dual Wielding: Kanan grabs a second lightsaber during his duel with the Sentinel, who trumps that by calling in two additional temple guards from nowhere, putting Kanan back on the defensive.
  • Easily Forgiven: Subverted, as while now Ahsoka speaks fondly of her time with Yoda, she nevertheless clearly didn't forgive him immediately given his part in her departure from the Jedi Order.
  • Fastball Special: In the intro, Ezra and Kanan repeat their Force Throw trick from "Homecoming", this time throwing each other at the Inquisitors.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Pay close attention to how the Sentinel speaks (nevermind that he sounds like a filtered Jason Isaacs) and acts, and note the similarities between his outfit and body language and the Grand Inquisitor.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Grand Inquisitor (or at least, a vision of the Jedi he once was) helps Kanan with his doubts about Ezra, then he and his Temple Guards keep the Inquisitors busy while Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka escape.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ahsoka finally realizes she's known who Darth Vader is ever since they connected back in "The Siege of Lothal", and she doesn't take it well.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Yoda warns Ezra of this. How one wins a battle is just as important as winning it, if not more so.
  • Informed Ability: Kanan says that the Inquisitors are able to follow the Jedi through the Force, and that's how they keep tracking them down. However, it's been seven episodes since the Inquisitors were last seen, and their ability to follow the Jedi comes across more as New Powers as the Plot Demands than anything else.note  In fact, the only reason the Inquisitors found the Rebels the last time is that Ezra unknowingly leaked their location.
  • Jacob Marley Warning: We see a vision of the Grand Inquisitor, before he turned to the Dark Side. It's heavily suggested that that's what happened to the Grand Inquisitor, and he cannot let the same fate befall Ezra due to his connection to the Dark Side.
  • Knighting: The Sentinel knights Kanan after he passes the Secret Test of Character.
    Sentinel: By the right of the Council, by the will of the Force...Kanan Jarrus, you may rise.
  • Knight Templar: The Sentinel in Kanan's vision sees that Ezra has a connection to the Dark Side of the Force, so believes he will inevitably embrace it and must be killed before he can fall, but this was a Secret Test of Character.
  • Medium Blending: When Yoda shows the Clone Wars to Ezra, there's a live action shot of the clones from Attack of the Clones, slightly altered but still very noticeable.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Never My Fault: In her vision, Anakin blames Ahsoka for his fall, claiming that she abandoned and failed him because she was selfish.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister have a big one when they see a group of Jedi Temple Guards surrounding them, led by their very own Grand Inquisitor.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: Just like in "Path of the Jedi", the Temple shows the three visions. Ezra gets spared the trouble, though, just getting a face-to-face with Yoda.
  • The Reveal: The Grand Inquisitor is revealed to once have been a Jedi Knight; it's also implied, but not stated, that he used to be a Temple Guard.
  • Secondhand Storytelling: According to Ahsoka, the last time she and Anakin met was immediately before the events of Revenge of the Sith, which was not actually shown.
  • Secret Test of Character: Kanan is faced by three Jedi Temple Guards, the leader of whom claims that Ezra's dangerous because he's drawn to the Dark Side and has to be eliminated before he falls. Kanan tries to fight to protect him, but eventually realizes that the only way to do that is by continuing to teach Ezra the best he can. The leader knights Kanan for passing the test.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Kanan is unable to beat the Sentinel in his vision, no matter how hard he tries. Only when he stops fighting and accepts his role as Ezra's mentor does he succeed.
  • Shout-Out: Ahsoka looking back to see Yoda in the collapsing temple is similar to a scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
  • Stunned Silence: Kanan's shocked to realize he was just knighted, by the Grand Inquisitor no less.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Kanan tries to throw his lightsaber at the Sentinel before he grabs another one for Dual Wielding.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Kanan and Ezra are faring much better against the Inquisitors, particularly Ezra. Kanan is even knighted by the Sentinel.
  • Tragic Mistake: Looking back on it, Yoda realizes that going into the Clone Wars was a fatal mistake for the Jedi, leading them into the Dark even before Order 66 wiped them out. He even implies that the Jedi as a whole were corrupted by the Dark Side during that time, not just the ones who defected to the Sith.
  • The Un-Reveal: After her vision, Ahsoka realizes that there's something that can help, running down one of the corridors. She makes no mention of what this thing is, nor does she reveal what happened to Kanan or Ezra. It's also implied she may have conversed with Yoda about something.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Ahsoka finally accepts that Vader is Anakin, Kanan becomes a Jedi Knight, the Grand Inquisitor is strongly implied to have been a Jedi Temple Guard, Ezra learns that he has to go to Malachor, and Darth Vader and the Inquisitors learn of the Lothal Jedi Temple.
    • Not only a wham episode for Rebels, but the Star Wars saga as a whole: Yoda directly describes the prequel-era Jedi as giving in to fear, anger and hate during the Clone Wars and thus being consumed by the Dark Side.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: When the Jedi go on their mission to the temple on Lothal.
    Sabine: So where are they going now?
    Hera: Sometimes it's better not to know.

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