While the other rebels engage the Imperial forces outside the Jedi temple, Ezra gains access inside and experiences a revelation.
Tropes in this episode include:
- Advancing Wall of Doom: Palpatine is "fought" as one; all Ezra and Ahsoka can do is escape his Sith Sorcery and prevent him from entering the Nexus.
- Affably Evil: Hydan courteously treats Sabine to tea and discusses the art of the Temple with her, praising her work.
- Ambiguous Situation: Ahsoka's fate as of the end of this episode, though much less so than her last appearance.
- Beam-O-War: Palpatine conjures eerie blue fire to attack Ahsoka and Ezra through a portal, who use the Force to deflect it. It's a bit ambigous, whether they used a standard Force-push, or some more advanced technique, because both of them have a glowing white orbs appear before their palms, which could be just an artistic choice.
- Big "NO!":
- Palpatine screams one of these when Ezra escapes his clutches.
- Hydan also gives one as the temple collapses in on itself.
- Bittersweet Ending: It's implied Kanan's spirit completely goes to rest. Hera and Ezra realize that Kanan is gone for good, and make their peace with it. Ezra sees a Loth-Wolf in the distance and gets a proper farewell.Ezra: Good-bye, Kanan.
- The Bus Came Back:
- Welcome back, Ahsoka!
- After being absent since the Season 2 finale, Vader briefly returns when we see the outcome of his duel with Ahsoka from that episode.
- The Topps cards showing the fate of Ahsoka after "Twilight of the Apprentice" are finally explained: After the events of this episode, she walked back into the Sith Temple so that she could access the rift again and go through the Lothal portal to find Ezra.
- Ahsoka telling Ezra about Kanan finding the right moment when he was needed the most to make a sacrifice is just about the same thing she told Hera in "Rebel Resolve".
- Sidious uses Sith sorcery to attack Ezra and Ahsoka, as he used to attack Yodas mind in the final produced episode of The Clone Wars.
- The ending shot is an inversion of the final shot of "The Wrong Jedi" in The Clone Wars. Ezra walks towards the camera and away from the rising sun, compared to Ahsoka walking away from the camera and into the setting sun. In both cases, it's a Padawan walking away from their master for the last time.
- A brash young Jedi rushing to save a loved one without thinking of the consequences. Ezra even says "I can save him" (Kanan) with the same impatient tone Anakin said "I can overthrow him" (Palpatine). Just like Anakin back then, Ezra thinks he can now make things the way he wants them to be.
- Hera clutching her shoulder at the end where she imagined Kanan touching her in the previous episode to highlight that Kanan will be remembered.
- Continuity Cavalcade: Throughout the episode, multiple quotes from throughout the history of the Star Wars franchise can be heard, including quotes from events that haven't chronologically transpired yet.
- From Attack of the Clones:Yoda: Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.
- From The Clone Wars:Anakin Skywalker: You never would have made it as Obi-Wan's Padawan, but you might make it as mine.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: What is this place?
Qui-Gon Jinn: A conduit through which the entire Force of the universe flows.
The Father: And now you see who you truly are.
The Daughter: It is his nature...
- From Revenge of the Sith:Yoda: Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is... Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
Anakin Skywalker: I won't lose you, Padmé.
- From Rebels:Kanan Jarrus: I won't let him lose his way, not like I did.
Ahsoka Tano: Just when you think you understand the Force, you find out how little you actually know.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: What you need, you already have. Unfortunately, you seem to be letting it all go.
- From Rogue One:Jyn Erso: You give way to an enemy this evil with this much power, and you condemn the galaxy to an eternity of submission. The time to fight is now!
Chirrut Imwe: I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me.
- From A New Hope:Leia Organa: This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.
Obi-Wan Kenobi: The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.
- From The Empire Strikes Back:Yoda: Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.
- From Return of the Jedi:Darth Vader: Obi-Wan once thought as you do. You don't know the power of the dark side.
- From The Force Awakens:Poe Dameron: The Resistance will not be intimidated by you.
Kylo Ren: Show me, Grandfather... And I will finish what you started.
Maz Kanata: Dear child. I see your eyes. You already know the truth. Whomever you're waiting for on Jakku...they're never coming back... But...there's someone who still could... The belonging you seek is not behind you...it is ahead.
Rey: We'll see each other again. I believe that.
- While The Last Jedi doesn't have any quotes (likely due to Production Lead Time) and The Rise of Skywalker not having any due to not being made at all yet, one of the portals Ezra passes by is framed by fathiers and topped by a stylized Canto Bight.
- From Attack of the Clones:
- Death Faked for You: We find out Ezra ended up accomplishing this for Ahsoka by pulling her out of the collapsing temple at the last moment before she could die, allowing Vader to believe she is dead. This seems to be the only way to save someone using the World Between Worlds: to save them in such a way that only the present you is doing the changing and they know it happened. Unfortunately, the Emperor now knows shes alive
- Eldritch Location: Ezra ends up in a realm that looks like a three-dimensional human-scaled star map connecting to all of space and time.
- Evil Mentor: While Sabine might not like it at first, Hydan feels there is so much she can learn from him about the artwork. And of course, Sabine ends up learning a very crucial fact that will save Ezra from certain danger.
- Final Boss Preview: Ezra is introduced to Darth Sidious, the Big Bad of the franchise himself, but Ezra can do nothing but run from his Sith Sorcery.
- Flashback: A first for Star Wars Rebels, we go back and see what exactly happened to Ahsoka after she chose to stay on Malachor to fight Vader.
- The final Call-Back heard before Ezra emerges from the portal is Yoda urging Anakin to "train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose". Ezra ends up learning this exact same lesson, accepting Kanan's death and allowing it to occur.
- Ahsoka says she can't return with Ezra to the present, and instead opts to return to the temple. Ezra making Ahsoka promise to find him when she gets back takes on a completely different context in the finale than simply asking her to rejoin the group.
- Gave Up Too Soon: When Ezra pulled Ahsoka from the rift, Vader exited the temple assuming his former apprentice is dead, as we last saw him. Had he stuck around a few moments longer to check, he would've realized otherwise.
- Grandfather Paradox: Creating one of these is why Ezra can't save Kanan: if he undoes Kanon's Heroic Sacrifice, it will instead result in the deaths of him, Hera and Sabine. And doing so will create an entirely new timeline.
- Hope Spot: After saving Ahsoka, Ezra tries to save Kanan the same way upon realizing he can undo his death. But, he finds that he can't without dramatically altering history and essentially undermine everything Kanan's sacrifice meant and stood for.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: In a Shout-Out to Frodo's speech in The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Ezra wishes that his life were different and that he had his parents back.
- I Owe You My Life: Ahsoka says this to Ezra after he saves her from Vader.
- I Will Find You: Before parting ways, Ezra tells Ahsoka to find him once she gets out of Malachor, to which she promises. As we see in All There in the Manual, she does return to the rift shortly afterwards and at some point entered the Lothal portal.
- Metaphorically True: Last season, Ezra felt responsible for Ahsoka's death. In a sense, that is true, because he pulled her out from her fight with Vader, making her apparent "death" Ezra's doing.
- MacGuffin Super-Person: The Emperor is specifically after Ezra because with Kanan dead, he's the only one who can open the portal to the realm, and with Ezra's guidance, he will attain ultimate power.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: The Emperor never before showed fire powers. Presumably, though, Sidious has spent some time studying the magics of the witches of Dathomir.
- No Man Should Have This Power: Ahsoka convinces Ezra not to use the power of the temple to bring back those he loves out of fear of altering history. After Ezra and Ahsoka flee the World Between Worlds, he uses the mural to collapse the temple and by extension the gateway, preventing anyone, especially the Emperor, from using it again.
- No One Could Survive That!: By the end of "Twilight of the Apprentice", Ahsoka was last seen dueling Darth Vader, and the temple collapsed, and by all counts, either one of those would've killed her. Ezra ends up invoking the trope by pulling Ahsoka through a portal to the World Between Worlds as the temple was collapsing, allowing Vader to believe the collapsing temple killed her, and the Empire to believe she is dead. Of course, as of now, only Ezra knows about this.
- Oh, Crap!: Ezra and Ashoka's reaction to being confronted by the Emperor himself.
- Also, Sabine's reaction to Hydan summoning a couple of Death Troopers to make her more talkative.
- Once More, with Clarity!: We get another view of the ending between Vader and Ahsoka's duel after the barrier closed, and it is brutal. Ahsoka's on the defensive the entire time, and with the temple about to explode, she breaks the floor underneath them to get them away from the blast zone. Then Ezra rescues her via the Nexus, and Vader believes her to have died in the explosion. The ending of "Twilight of the Apprentice" also gets seen again, with Ahsoka descending further into the ruins of Malachor to find another gateway into the Nexus to leave the planet.
- Outrun the Fireball: Palpatine unleashes a blast of fire that engulfs the paths of the rift, causing Ezra and Ahsoka to flee back to their respective portals as the fire chases them. Though it seems to be representative of Palpatine catching them with the Force rather than them actually being threatened by fire, as it catches up to Ezra at one point and it attempts to drag him back to Palpatine.
- Pietà Plagiarism: After Ezra passes out sealing the gateway, Zeb carries Ezra like this as they run from the collapsing temple.
- Place Beyond Time: The World Between Worlds connects all times and places.
- Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: Hydan remains completely courteous with Sabine even though she goes out of her way to be uncooperative.
- Power-Strain Blackout: Ezra passes out after using the Son mural to seal the gateway.
- The Reveal:
- The real reason that the Emperor has been so interested in Lothal is revealed: the fact that it has a portal into an Eldritch Location that can allow powerful Force users to influence time itself. And all he needs is Ezra to bring him in and act as the entrance.
- Ahsoka was pulled into the rift by Ezra before she could be killed by Vader or the temple explosion, but upon exiting the rift, she emerged in the aftermath of the battle and went back into the rift so she could find a way out of Malachor, hence why she is seen descending into the Sith Temple at the end of "Twilight of the Apprentice".
- The rift was what the lothwolves used to fast-travel across Lothal back in "Kindred".
- Run or Die: Ashoka and Ezra don't stand a chance against even Palpatine's indirect power, and thus all they can do is run and seal the portal to prevent him from gaining access to Nexus.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Once he learns what the world between worlds can do, Ezra immediately races to try and stop Kanan from dying. Unfortunately, if he saves Kanan, then he (along with Hera and Sabine) will die and create a paradox. Upon realizing this, he's forced to let his father-figure go.
- "He who controls the Pathways controls the universe".
- Ahsoka's rift looks inspired by the Azorius Senate sigil.
- Ezra telling Ahsoka how he wishes things were different while she comforts him is one to Frodo's "I wish the Ring had never come to me." speech in The Lord of the Rings, made more potent by the parallels between Ahsoka and Gandalf.
- They double down on the reference to The Secret of Kells from the last episode with the Nexus being a dark realm of curving white lines visually similar to the dark cave where Brendan steals Crom Cruach's eye.
- Stable Time Loop: Ezra saves Ahsoka at the moment before Vader falls, leaving him to believe she perished in the explosion. Ahsoka then returns to Malachor a few moments afterward, but is presumably unable or unwilling to find a way back before Ezra's timeframe, letting events proceed the same as they did when everyone thought she was dead for two years so Ezra will be able to save her in two years' time.
- Special Edition Title: The end credits play an alternate soundtrack that is aptly named "Kanan's End Credits".
- Sword Plant: Knowing that she can't overpower Vader, Ahsoka stabs her lightsabers into the Malachor temple's floor to crack it open and send him plummeting away. Her strategy pays off, but only because of Ezra's intervention, otherwise Vader would have dealt a killing stroke before he fell.
- Take That, Critics!: The interaction between Sabine and Hydan is rife with this. He admits he's not an artist, more of a critic, causing her to roll her eyes. Of course the art critic is serving the Emperor (directly) while the artist is a rebel. And even though she does learn something of value from him, Hydan ends up dead and buried with the rest of the temple excavation team.
- Title Drop: Ahsoka describes the rift as "a world between worlds".
- Trash the Set: After Ezra closes the portal, the Son, Daughter, and Father disappear one by one into the ground and the temple's remains collapse around them. By the time Ezra wakes up the next day, the entire area has been transformed into a pristine, flat plain. The only hint the temple was ever there are two circles etched in the ground connected by a line, one with a symbol inside.
- Tricked Out Time: In the realm of space-time, one can save people from death, but only if they can do so without affecting the timeline and altering history in any way. As well, attempting to use it is very risky.
- Uncertain Doom: Played with; while Ahsoka is revealed to have clearly survived the events of the Season 2 finale, her fate as of this episode is anyone's guess.
- Walk-In Chime-In: How Palpatine makes his presence known, inserting himself in a conversation between Erza and Ashoka.Ashoka: I can't go with you.Palpatine: Perhaps I can.
- Wham Episode:
- Ahsoka is revealed to be alive, and thanks to the Force's usage of space-time folding in the rift, Ezra rescues her from the Sith Temple before Vader can kill her. At the end of the episode, she emerges in the aftermath of the temple's explosion, leading to the scene of her walking into the Sith Temple at the end of "Twilight of the Apprentice".
- With whatever he's up to, it's clear from here on out, Palpatine runs the show.
- Wham Shot: Ezra reaching into the portal and taking Ahsoka out.
- Would Hit a Girl: Continuing on from their duel in "Twilight Of The Apprentice", Vader is fully intent on killing Ahsoka before Ezra pulls her into the World Between Worlds.
Hydan: Lady Wren, I am no fool, so do not mistake my pleasant demeanour for weakness. [...] I had hoped we could have a civil conversation about art, but I see now the Mandalorian in you only understands one form of discourse.
- Hydan also has his Death Troopers hit Sabine in the face when she keeps playing dumb about the significance of the Temple painting.
- You Already Changed the Past: If You Can't Fight Fate holds true, then Ezra was supposed to save Ahsoka, as Vader obviously sensed no sign of her after the temple collapsed, allowing the Empire to declare the Jedi leadership decapitated, setting in motion the events of Season 3.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Even with the Temple's power, Ezra can't save Kanan without invoking a paradox, as his Heroic Sacrifice was necessary to keep Ezra and the Ghost crew alive. Hera subtly comes to terms with this too and makes peace with Kanan's death.