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Recap / Star Wars Rebels S2E20 "Twilight of the Apprentice, Part II"

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Even as an evil despot, Anakin Skywalker has to show off.
Ahsoka: Maul, what game are you playing?
Maul: The endgame, Lady Tano. The endgame.

The Jedi and their new ally continue their journey to the core of the Sith Temple, but the ensuing battle against Vader comes at a terrible cost.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Compared to how he looked in Revenge of the Sith, the later-produced Obi-Wan Kenobi and Return of the Jedi, Vader's skin around his right eye looks remarkably well healed after Ahsoka breaks the helmet, even showing off eyebrows that were supposidely burned away, and even edited out of Sebastian Shaw's appearance in the re-releases of Return of the Jedi to better line up with Revenge of the Sith. Behind the scenes information says it was a deliberate choice to make it easier to animate.
  • All There in the Manual: At least according to Filoni, the Temple was indeed a Sith superweapon, under construction by the holocron's Sith Lord. When the Jedi Knights attacked, the superweapon fired or malfunctioned, which is how everyone turned to stone. In addition, the voice from the Temple belonged to a female Sith Lord who served as the architect. Also, the Sith in question is not Traya.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • The dialogue between Vader and Ahsoka when Anakin's voice was clearly heard. Either Vader was pulling a Hyde Plays Jekyll by pretending to be his Anakin persona to bait Ahsoka, or Anakin really did manifest for a brief moment, only for his Darth Vader persona to take over and strike at Ahsoka. invokedWord of Filoni says it was the latter.
    • After Vader and Ahsoka are last seen fighting in the soon-to-explode pyramid, Kanan and Ezra are forced to leave, presuming her dead. Vader climbs out of the wreckage, while Ahsoka is seen at a distance going back inside.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Ezra attempts one when facing Vader, but the Sith Lord shrugs it off.
      Ezra: I don't fear you!
      Vader: Then you will die braver than most.
    • Ahsoka delivers one to Vader just before they duel.
      Vader: Anakin Skywalker was weak. I destroyed him.
      Ahsoka: Then I will avenge his death!
      Vader: Revenge is not the Jedi way.
      Ahsoka: I am NO Jedi!
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Maul kills the Seventh Sister, then the Fifth Brother, both after they had been disarmed.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The rebels wanted a way to defeat the Inquisitors — they got Maul.
  • Big Entrance: Vader enters the scene via his TIE Advanced... and standing on top of it, with his lightsaber ignited, no less, using the Force to land it.
  • Blatant Lies: Ahsoka claims that there are no more surviving Jedi. Vader sees through her bluff and threatens to torture the information out of Ezra if she won't give it up.
  • Book Ends: The season began with a duel with Vader and now ends with another duel.
  • Boss Remix: The Imperial March is remixed to accommodate the second part of Ahsoka's duel with Vader.
  • Break the Haughty: The Seventh Sister, who has always thought highly of herself and laughed at Ezra's weakness for not killing enemies, ends up defeated by Maul and Ezra. Just when she gains a Hope Spot, Maul decides to finish her off himself.
  • Broken Faceplate: Ahsoka manages to land a blow to Vader's mask, damaging it and exposing part of his face.
  • Call-Back:
    • After being blinded and prevented from using his usual style, Kanan defeats Maul by allowing him to get close, then grabbing his sword hand and shoving him off the platform. This tactic is similar to how Vader defeated Kanan back in "The Siege of Lothal".
    • Ezra opens the Sith holocron when alone in his room, just like he opened the Jedi holocron in the first episode.
    • Similarly to Ahsoka's conversation with Rex at the beginning of the two-parter, Ahsoka's calm declaration to Vader, that she's not a Jedi, before igniting her lightsabers, is a contrasting reference to a scene from The Clone Wars movie: when she and Anakin entered the monastery on Teth they met a droid who called her a servant girl, to which she angrily ignited her lightsaber, declaring herself a Jedi Knight, only to be forced to backtrack ("or soon will be.") at Anakin's disapproving look.
    • The last lesson Anakin taught Ahsoka as her master was "revenge is not the Jedi way." He repeats the lesson before their duel.
    • Maul cuts the Seventh Sister in half, much like Obi-Wan once cut him in half. Unlike Obi-Wan, he makes sure it takes.
  • Call-Forward:
    • One of Vader's lines (and the intent behind it) here echoes something said by Kylo Ren.
      Vader: Anakin Skywalker was weak. I destroyed him.
      Kylo Ren: Your son was weak and foolish, like his father, so I destroyed him.
      • It also calls forward to Obi-Wan telling Luke that Vader killed his father.
    • Maul announces that the temple is a "Battle. Station." in the same tone his former master does in Return of the Jedi.
    • As the temple collapses and Anakin's face is partially revealed from behind the mask, Ahsoka says "I won't leave you", the same words Luke says after unmasking the redeemed Vader.
    • Ahsoka's confrontation with Vader can be seen as a combined contrast to Vader and Luke's duels on Bespin and on the Death Star:
      • Ahsoka enters the confrontation knowing who Vader is, but she's still denying it. Luke on Bespin had no clue until their duel is decided, at which point he accepts the truth rather quickly (though not easily).
      • At the start of the duel Ahsoka declares that she's not a Jedi before igniting her lightsabers, intending to kill Vader. After their duel is decided, Luke on the Death Star II refuses to kill Vader, deactives his lightsaber and throws it away, before declaring himself a Jedi.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Vader arrives, he asks Ezra how he managed to unlock the secret of the temple, and Ezra responds "You're smart, figure it out!", almost exactly what Kanan said to the Grand Inquisitor in "Gathering Forces" when asked why he and Ezra had lured the Inquisitor to Fort Anaxes. ("You're clever, figure it out!")
    • Early in Ahsoka's duel with Vader, she re-uses the move she used at the beginning of her duel with the Inquisitors in "The Future of the Force": jumping high in the air and falling towards her opponent, holding her lightsabers in front of her.
    • The cry of pain Vader makes when Ahsoka slashes his face is the same one he utters when Luke cuts off his hand in Return of the Jedi. His breathing also becomes the same hoarse wheezing he makes in Return of the Jedi after he loses his hand.
    • Vader tells Ahsoka their duel was "foretold". He had previously seen flashes of this battle in a vision during the final issue of Dark Lord of the Sith.
    • The ending of Ahsoka and Vader's confrontation comes with several cues from the final scene and credits sequence of "The Wrong Jedi", where Ahsoka left Anakin and the Jedi Order.
  • Cool Helmet: Needing something to cover his damaged eyes, Kanan stumbles upon a Jedi Sentinel helmet.
  • Cooperation Gambit: After defeating the Inquisitors and covertly coaxing Ezra to activate the temple superweapon using the Sith holocron as part of his short-lived Enemy Mine with the Jedi, Maul promptly betrays Kanan and Ahsoka, as they have expended their usefulness to him. It's implied from Ahsoka and Kanan's small exchange of nods that they were quite aware Maul could be playing them but pragmatically opt to have Maul around to defeat the Inquisitors.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Eighth Brother dies this way. Maul also gets tossed off the same ledge of the Sith Temple, but he survives.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • The title of apprentice can refer to Ahsoka, former apprentice to Anakin; Ezra, apprentice to Kanan, and whom Maul intends to corrupt and take on as his apprentice; Kanan, former apprentice to Depa; Maul, former apprentice to Sidious; Vader, former apprentice to Obi-Wan as Anakin, and apprentice to Sidious; and the Inquisitors, technically apprentices to Vader.
    • Twilight is also the time between sunset and dusk in the evening, as well as the time between dawn and sunrise in the morning. As in, this may be the end of at least one apprentice's story, but it is also a new beginning for at least one apprentice's story as well.
  • Downer Ending: Kanan is blinded, Ahsoka is missing (and presumed dead), Maul is still alive, and, obviously, Vader is still alive. The only consolation is that Kanan and Ezra manage to escape with their lives and prevented the Empire from claiming a fatal weapon, but even then, Ezra has opened the Sith Holocron, meaning he's succumbing to the Dark Side.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Lightning seems to strike up from the Sith Temple below the surface, likely from activating.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Some of Vader's helmet is broken off by an attack from Ahsoka, exposing some of Anakin's face and his right eye. After this, he speaks with Anakin's voice through the respirator; this is still provided by Matt Lanter.
  • Enemy Mine: Darth Maul only teams up with the Jedi to fight the Inquisitors. Once they're dead, he attacks and blinds Kanan before trying to kill Ahsoka.
  • Eviler than Thou: The Inquisitors run when Maul turns up, which ultimately doesn't stop him from killing two of them, and he seeks to destroy the entire Empire.
  • Eye Scream: We don't see much of the aftermath of Kanan's eyes after Maul slashes at him, but it was bad enough that Kanan initially covers it using a mask he finds.
  • The Faceless: We never see the Eighth Brother's face.
  • Fighting from the Inside: After Darth Vader's mask is slashed open by Ahsoka, Anakin briefly breaks free from the dark side and starts to call out her name, feeling touched by her response, including her declaration that she would not leave him this time...but that would not be enough to prevent his Vader persona from taking over again.
  • Foil: Maul acts as one to Yoda, an elderly Force wielder who needs a can to walk, but who can spring into action when needed, who guides younglings ... on the path to the Dark Side.
  • Force-Choke: Used by Maul on the Seventh Sister, rendering her an easy victim. He tries to get Ezra to kill her, but does it himself when Ezra refuses.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Vader obviously can't die or be redeemed by Ahsoka, as he's still got a lot to do in the future and his redemption only comes about because of Luke (though some believe Ahsoka may have had at least some influence on it).
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The animators went the extra mile and animated Kanan's lightsaber burns, and if you pause at just the right moment when he's blinded you can see them.
  • Funny Background Event: Ezra veeeeeeerry carefully starts to scoot away from Vader while he's distracted talking to Ahsoka.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • The Seventh Sister is bisected just offscreen without showing her death itself, instead showing the bottom half of her body fall to the ground.
    • We see the Fifth Brother's reaction when Maul stabs him, but not the slash itself. The burn mark, however, is shown when he hits the ground.
    • Maul slashing Kanan's eyes is a P.O.V. Shot that cuts to red, after which Kanan hides the wound with a mask and later bandages.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Implicitly with the Seventh Sister, who Maul kills by throwing his saber at her while she's suspended by his Force Choke. Only half of her is seen hitting the ground, obscured enough to hide any cut marks.
  • Handicapped Badass: Even after being blinded, Kanan proves to be a match for Maul by using the Force and his hearing.
  • Hope Spot:
    • For just a moment, it seems like Vader might actually be swayed by Ahsoka's declaration that she won't leave him. Then his expression hardens and he threatens to kill her. Since the good guys are Doomed by Canon, (at the very least to some extent) of course it wouldn't work.
    • When Maul Force-chokes the Seventh Sister and urges Ezra to finish her, Ezra can't bring himself to finish off a helpless opponent. The Seventh Sister smirks at this, clearly thinking of a way to get out of the situation. Then she sees Maul throw his lightsaber and can do nothing more than scream as he slices her in half.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Ahsoka pleads with her old master that she won't leave him again. Vader is given pause by this for a few moments...but then shakes it off, reigniting his lightsaber and snarling "Then you will DIE!" in answer to her entreaty.
  • I'm Not Afraid of You: Ezra says this to Vader. Vader taunts him by saying that he'll just die braver than most. When Vader wrecks his saber and Ezra cowers at the coming death blow, Vader retracts his remark.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How the Fifth Brother dies, courtesy of Maul.
  • Ironic Echo: When Ahsoka resolves to avenge Anakin's death, Vader mockingly reminds her that, "Revenge is not the Jedi way."
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Darth Maul's cold-blooded murder of the Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When we finally get to the scene that has been hypothesized and speculated about, then hyped up for almost an entire decade.
    Darth Vader: Our long awaited meeting has come at last.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Maul convinces Kanan and Ahsoka to take another path to the tip of the pyramid while he and Ezra use the available lift, splitting up the Inquisitors. Kanan reluctantly goes along with it.
  • Lost Superweapon: The pyramid/holocron can "destroy life" by the will of its user.
  • Multi-Part Episode: The conclusion of the season finale.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Ahsoka refuses to abandon Anakin as she did before, a sentiment lost on the man he's become.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Vader reminds Ahsoka that revenge is not the Jedi way, which was the reason George Lucas changed the title of Episode VI from Revenge of the Jedi to Return of the Jedi — which would be the film where Vader finally finds redemption after his son realizes it himself.
    • As mentioned in Adaptational Attractiveness above, the exposed part of his face only looks the way it does so that it would be easier to animate. However, it could also be reminiscent of how he still had his eyebrows before they were edited out in later releases.
    • The image of Vader with a lightsaber slash in his mask, exposing his eye and cheek, has been noted to resemble a panel in the Purge comic books in the Legends continuity.
    • Maul's new double-bladed lightsaber has a much shorter single-grip length handle than his iconic one from The Phantom Menace, much like Exar Kun's from Tales of the Jedi. It also serves as a Continuity Nod to Obi-Wan cutting the longer hilt in half in the middle of their first duel. According to concept art, Maul's new lightsaber is very similar to those of the Inquisitors, suggesting it is one he took from a dead Inquisitor.
    • The obelisk at the peak of the Sith temple is very reminiscent of Rakatan technology from Knights of the Old Republic, while the voice of the woman coming from it is much more reminiscent of Kreia, from the sequel.
    • During the sequence in the duel where Ahsoka and Vader are fighting on the edge of the temple, the music is more than a little reminisicent of the last time we saw a Jedi and Sith duel on Malachor.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Kanan is blind, Maul has corrupted Ezra enough that he can open a Sith holocron by himself (with Maul himself still at large), and Ahsoka is missing after her final showdown with Vader.
  • Oh, Crap!:
  • Ominous Owl: In the ending montage as Vader limps away from Malachor, we see a convor fly away. Word of God suggests that owls have some sort of relation to Ahsoka. Might also count as Book Ends, since "The Mystery of Chopper Base" also ended with a convor shot after Ahsoka arrives.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Ezra is told that only a Sith can open the holocron, but Maul explains that it can be used as a key for the pyramid and opened that way. It works, but the holocron only offers the power to destroy life, and will gladly give that power to Vader if Ezra won't take it. After they've removed the holocron and escaped Malachor, Ezra is able to open it unaided.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Ahsoka confronts Vader, he deactivates his lightsaber and genuinely offers her a place in the Empire if she rats out the surviving Jedi.
  • Pillar of Light: The lightning shooting up from the ground in the temple is channeled into one in the middle of the structure, where it holds the Sith holocron in place.
  • Put on a Bus: Aside from a brief return to the events of this episode in Season 4, this is Vader's final appearance in Rebels.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Ezra utters "no" ten times when Darth Vader tries to use the Force to wrench the Sith Holocron from his hands.
  • Redemption Rejection: Vader hesitates when Ahsoka declares she won't leave him behind again... then declares that she'll die.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Ezra opens the holocron, the red glow briefly causes his irises to appear red.
  • Red Shirt: The Eighth Brother ends up serving this role.
  • Rule of Two: As expected of a Sith temple, the Rule of Two comes up quite a bit. Two Force wielders need to work together in order to enter, and the elevators to the top only fit two beings at a time. Maul and Kanan's argument about who's riding on the Sith elevator with Ezra ("Only two! No more, no less") is actually about whose apprentice Ezra is. And finally, it takes a master and an apprentice to remove the Sith holocron from the temple.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Kanan, recently knighted by a Temple Guardian on Lothal, puts on the mask of a Temple Guardian. He does so as he seeks to defend the galaxy from the Sith in a temple, no less.
  • Say My Name: Vader calls out Ahsoka's name after she breaks his faceplate, and she whispers Anakin's in response.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The Inquisitors do this twice:
    • In their first duel, realising they are outclassed by Maul, the Seventh Sister orders her male colleagues to fall back.
    • After the Fifth Brother's death, the Eighth Brother decides to pull another one rather than face two Jedi and a renegade Sith. Though his malfunctioning lightsaber puts paid to it, give credit to him for knowing when to get out of dodge.
  • Season Finale: Following Part 1.
  • Second-Person Attack: Maul's blinding of Kanan is shown this way.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: The Eighth Brother dies when he foolishly attempts to fly off using his damaged saber, which breaks completely seconds after he engages the ring mechanism.
  • Silence Is Golden: The ending plays a reprise of Ahsoka's theme over a montage of the crew reuniting, Maul fleeing to parts unknown, Vader limping away, and the woman herself disappearing, with no dialogue.
  • Shout-Out: And "knowledge is power" was such an innocent saying till the Sith holocron said it.
  • Sole Survivor: Vader is the only Imperial Dark Side user confirmed to escape Malachor alive.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The track that plays out during the episode's silent final scene starts out fittingly enough as a mournful version of Ahsoka's theme as it showcases the rebels losing one of their closest allies and the villains still at large. Then the song transitions to a more uplifting climax, which would coincide well with a shot of the rebels getting back up on their feet, ready to face whatever the future has in store... except it comes with the foreboding shot of Ezra opening the Sith holocron, clearly tainted by the Dark Side.
  • Step into the Blinding Fight: Kanan does pool all his strength and instinct to defeat Maul while blind, but he needs assistance getting around, namely, he asks Ezra to escort him to the obelisk.
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!: Maul uses the Force Choke to restrain the Seventh Sister, then tries to goad Ezra into killing her while she's defenseless. Ezra refuses, so Maul does the deed.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Underneath his helmet, Vader's eyes are the same orange-gold they were in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Superweapon Surprise: The Sith Pyramid. All There in the Manual reveals that if activated, it can turn anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in its blast to stone. It seemingly gets destroyed before we get to see it in action.
  • That Man Is Dead:
    • Vader initially offers Ahsoka mercy, but both he and Ahsoka decide that he's no longer Anakin Skywalker, despite Ahsoka's final offer to leave with him.
      Ahsoka: I was beginning to believe I knew who you were behind that mask, but it's impossible. My master could never be as vile as you!
      Vader: Anakin Skywalker was weak. I destroyed him.
    • Maul also toys with this a bit by pointing out to the Inquisitors he has renounced the title of 'Darth', now "just 'Maul'.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Ever so briefly, Maul serves as this to the team of Jedi.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Eighth Brother tries to fly away using his broken lightsaber. His helicopter blade unsurprisingly malfunctions, sending him falling to his death.
  • Uncertain Doom: The outcome of Ahsoka's duel with Vader isn't shown, and while she's assumed dead by her friends, she's shown walking back into the temple from a distance.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Crosses over with Mugging the Monster, as the Seventh Sister clearly thinks that Maul is nowhere near as powerful as he was when he was Darth Maul. This is despite Maul single-handedly fighting all three Inquisitors briefly. And the fact that his new, double-bladed lightsaber is a modified Inquisitorius saber... This has fatal consequences for her when she ambushes Ezra and Maul. Ezra actually drives her back by tapping into his anger, and Maul almost casually Force Chokes her, taking her out of the fight. She doesn't live to regret it, as Maul cuts her in half.
  • Villain Has a Point: After savagely killing the Seventh Sister, Maul points out how, by not killing your enemies, they will inevitably return to hurt you and the ones you care about.
    Maul: The next time you hesitate like that, it may cost you your life... or the lives of your friends.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Maul declares Ezra to be his apprentice.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: When the Seventh Sister advises a change of plan to stop the Jedi reaching the pyramid's summit, the Eighth Brother immediately departs to cut off Maul and Ezra. The Fifth Brother moves to follow, but she holds him back, claiming they can use the Eighth Brother to thin out enemy numbers, then step in to take the credit.
  • We Can Rule Together:
    • Vader implies this in his dialogue with Ashoka.
      Darth Vader: We need not be adversaries. The Emperor will show you mercy... if you tell me where the remaining Jedi can be found.
    • Subverted, since invokedWord of God says that this was an obvious lie anyway. There is no way the Emperor would actually show her any mercy, and both Vader and Ahsoka know it.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The Eighth Brother is quickly killed without any development.
  • Wham Episode: The Seventh Sister, Fifth Brother, and Eighth Brother are dead. Ahsoka stays behind at the temple, with her friends assuming her dead. Maul is still at large. Phoenix Squadron has lost one of its main leaders and assets. Kanan has been blinded, most likely permanently. Finally, Ezra is able to open the Sith Holocron, meaning he's succumbing to the Sith mentality.
  • Wham Line:
    • First, on the path to the peak of the temple.
      Kanan: Where's Ezra?
      Maul: You mean... my apprentice? [blinds Kanan]
    • Second, inside the temple.
      Darth Vader: [speaking with the voices of both James Earl Jones and Matt Lanter] Ahsoka!
  • Wham Shot:
    • When the Temple declares that if Ezra won't take its power, the "one who approaches" might, Ezra runs out to warn Kanan and Ahsoka, assuming the temple is referring to Maul, only to be caught in the glare of a searchlight. He looks up... and all see, descending atop a TIE Fighter, cloak billowing in the wind, lightsaber already drawn, distinctive helmet and guttural, rasping breathing unmistakeable, the one the Temple meant. Not Maul, but Vader.
    • Ahsoka cuts open Vader's mask, revealing the face and yellow eyes of Anakin Skywalker beneath.
    • Another happens at the very end of the episode. Ezra secretly brought the Sith Holocron back with him to the Ghost, but only someone corrupted by the Dark Side can access its information. Blaming himself for Kanan's blinding by Maul and Ahsoka's apparent death, Ezra's in a broken state and has finally reached a point of no return. The final scene shows Ezra sitting in his quarters and taking out the Sith Holocron... and then activating it. As he holds the now opened Holocron, he then proceeds to look up in what can only be described as a truly menacing glare. A certain glare fans... know all too well.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Much to the Seventh Sister's shock, she learns that Darth Maul is willing to kill anyone the hard way.
    • Darth Vader attempts to kill Ahsoka.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Vader has absolutely no qualms about trying to kill Ezra, and threatens to torture him for information on any surviving Jedi if Ahsoka won't give it up. Anyone who's seen Vader enter the temple before the Jedi younglings in Revenge of the Sith would certainly attest to that.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Three times. The Fifth and Eighth Brothers get their sabers wrecked, though the Eighth's was only damaged just enough for it to fall apart when he tried to fly off using it. Ezra's saber is destroyed by Vader during their duel.

There's nothing we can do now. It's over. It's over.


Video Example(s):


Twilight of the Apprentice

Season 2 of Rebels ends with Darth Vader and Maul still alive, the Ghost Crew suffering from their losses, Ahsoka (supposedly) gone forever, and Ezra beginning to fall under the Sith Holocron's influence.

How well does it match the trope?

4.71 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / DownerEnding

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