Alas the end is near. Star Wars Rebels midseason four premiere is truly heartbreaking. It marks the end of a primary character, and formally sets the stage for the series finale. Jedi Night will ring heavy in the hearts of fans. As the Battle for Lothal comes to its conclusion, the show continues to lead into the timeline of Rogue One. I think that we need to brace ourselves for a dark ending to Phoenix Squadron.
Jedi Night opens with Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) meditating in a field on Lothal. He thinks back to his time with Ezra (Taylor Gray). Suddenly, a white Loth-wolf appears in front of him. It stares into his blind eyes. The creature disappears as Ezra appears to talk to his master. Hera (Vanessa Marshall) is being held by the Imperials. Kanan asks Ezra to plan the rescue.
In Lothal City, Hera is being interrogated. Governor Pryce (Mary Elizabeth McGlynn) electrocutes the bound Hera. Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) implores her to reveal the location of the rebel base. She refuses. Thrawn then brings her the Kalikori. This was the family heirloom he had previously stolen from her. He explains the totem represents family who had perished, including a brother who died in his youth. Thrawn tells her that she will be the end of the Kalikori. Governor Pryce resumes her sadistic duties.
Ezra has sensed the location of Hera. He stares at the Imperial command building through binoculars. Loth-bats are seen flying around the facility. He tells Sabine (Tiya Sircar) and Zeb (Steve Blum) that they can mimic the creatures and glide in. Sabine agrees, any technology would be detected. Meanwhile, inside the cave, a kneeling Kanan uses a knife to cut his hair and shave off his beard. He looks completely different, also abandoning his face plate. The others are surprised by the change. He gives Ezra a brief talk about the future. Ugh Oh.
Three gliders are lined up behind Zeb's speeder. Ezra and Sabine disguise themselves as TIE pilots. Kanan goes with his bad ass new do. The gliders are attached to a rope held by Chopper. Zeb speeds up, Chopper holds the rope, and the gliders are airborne. Ezra detaches from Chopper and they glide, like Loth-bats, to Lothal City.
In space, Thrawn is on his star destroyer talking to Grand Moff Tarkin (Stephen Stanton). He tells Thrawn that Director Orson Krennic's STARDUST project has taken priority over the TIE Defender program. Tarkin laments that STARDUST has been riddled with failures, but that the Emperor supports it. Tarkin has arranged a meeting between Thrawn and the Emperor. Thrawn radios to Pryce that he will be leaving immediately. His ship takes off into lightspeed. The thread to the Death Star is thus drawn tighter.
As the rebels glide to a platform on the facility, Rukh (Warwick Davis) smells something is in the air. He takes two storm troopers and goes back inside the huge building. After they land, Kanan tells Ezra that people don't pay attention to the world around them. And that he is a good listener, which will serve him well in the future. Double Ugh Oh.
Kanan begins to climb using magnetic discs from Sabine. She and Ezra, dressed like pilots, go to find a ship. As Kanan advances, he comes to Thrawn's office and senses the Kalikori. He retrieves it. Meanwhile, Pryce has unleashed an interrogation droid on Hera. It injects her with a truth serum. Hera is about to speak when she sees Kanan dangling outside the window. He hides as Rukh enters the room. Rukh takes Pryce outside for a discussion.
Hera, loopy from the drugs, wonders aloud how Kanan is going to get in. He cuts out the floor below a stormtrooper. Then leaps in the room, throwing the other soldier and droid out the hole. He then slices through the door mechanism. He unlocks Hera and they share a warm embrace. She giggles that she doesn't like his new haircut. Kanan gives her the Kalikori. They embrace again, before beginning the climb to the platform.
Rukh and the Imperials destroy the door. He leaps out the window to follow the escapees. Pryce orders a lockdown of the facility. Sabine and Ezra, still in disguise, commandeer a transport filled with troops. At the platform, Hera is about to profess her love for Kanan when Rukh attacks. It's a brief fight, Kanan uses the force to throw Rukh off the platform; but loses his lightsaber. As the stormtroopers barrage them, they jump on a glider and sail off into the night.
The glider is hit and burning. Hera radios to Sabine to meet them on top of the fuel depot. Sabine opens fire and destroys the ships in her convoy. She then flips her vessel. Ezra holds on as the stormtroopers tumble out. The glider lands safely on the depot. Hera professes her love for Kanan. He jokingly wonders if it's the truth serum, before grasping her into a passionate kiss. The romance is cut short when Sabine arrives.
Below the fuel drums, Pryce approaches in a walker. She orders her troops to open fire on the ship. The fuel pod explodes into a huge fireball. As it approaches them, Kanan uses the Force to hold the flames back. Hera runs toward him, but he pushes her unto the ship, and then in a moment of incredible strength, hurls the ship away. Hera watches in horror as the flames engulf Kanan. His burnt eyes transform back to blue as he is killed in the blast. The screen then cuts to the rebels logo. It is now black and white, as the ash from the fire rains down in the background.
Wow...wow...wow...a stunning, completely unexpected turn of events. Kanan Jarrus sacrifices himself for his beloved and companions. This death hit like a sledgehammer. Star Wars Rebels has never shied away from loss. We've seen supporting characters killed, but this was the star of the show. Kanan's character arc throughout the series has been so well written and developed. I'm sure we will see him again, in the Force; but it won't be the same. Dave Filoni and the production team have dropped a missile on the midseason premiere. Our hearts are broken; I sincerely hoped that we would see a film version of Kanan. Sigh, Star Wars Rebels returns with the dramatic Dume on Disney XD.