Star Wars Rebels A World Between Worlds

As Star Wars Rebels moves closer to its final episode, the series has been pushing the boundaries of what we expect from an animated Star Wars show. Just like The Clone Wars before it, Rebels has become a vital part of series canon, expanding the landscape of the films, books, and comics that make up the main Star Wars universe. From the re-introduction of former expanded universe villain Admiral Thrawn to vital new characters like Kanan, Hera, and Ezra, Rebels has always been at the forefront of Disney’s plans for the Star Wars galaxy.

But with Monday’s penultimate episode, Rebels introduced something that changes a core part of the mythos of Star Wars. It will have a huge impact on the final three episodes of the show and the greater Star Wars universe…maybe even the films.

So here’s everything you need to know. Natural, major spoilers lurk ahead.

The Lothal Temple

Lothal, an outer rim planet, has long been the stronghold of the show’s titular Rebels. In fact, before they were known as Specters, they were known as the Lothal Rebels. The Jedi Temple on Lothal was originally discovered by protagonist Ezra Bridger, due to his connection with the Force. His bond with his Jedi Master Kanan Jarrus – a Force-sensitive human who managed to survive the Empire’s Order 66, which saw the Clone Troopers terminate the Jedi – was strengthened by the pair’s time in the Temple, where they went through a series of challenges. The Lothal Temple is one of the few in the galaxy which wasn’t destroyed by Order 66.

After Force-connecting to Lothal’s native Loth-Wolves in “Dume,” Ezra was warned that the Temple on Lothal contained knowledge, but also destruction, encouraging Ezra and the team to embark on a mission there during “Wolves and A Door.” As the team arrives at the Temple via some apparent Force-teleportation enabled by the Loth-Wolves, they find the Empire already in residence, protecting more of the art and artifacts that the team had come across earlier. Though the entrance to the Temple is nowhere to be seen, the team try and get a closer look. Wearing Sandtrooper disguises, Ezra and Sabine overhear a trooper talking to a strange, hooded old man called a Minister, and the Minister admonishes the disguised Sabine and Ezra for putting the Gateway at risk. That’s where things begin to get really, really interesting.

Sabine and Ezra overhear the Minister speaking to Emperor Palpatine about finding the secrets of the Temple. The Emperor speaks of the Temple as a “conduit between the living and the dead,” an interesting tease to the secrets of the Temple that are slowly beginning to become clear. We quickly learn that the art and artifacts around the Temple hold a language of secrets, one that Sabine deciphers when they come across a mural of three figures – the father, the son, and the daughter – surrounded by Loth-Wolves. Though the Temple usually needs a Jedi and a Master to get in, Ezra manages to use the Force to enter, where the true power of the Lothal Temple is finally revealed to us, changing everything we know about the way space and time work within the Star Wars universe.

Time Travel in the Star Wars Universe

“A World Between Worlds” begins with Ezra surrounded by stars, in a vast empty space with the same images of the Loth-Wolves running in a circle in front of him. We hear the voices of Yoda, Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Kanan, all throughout different points in their lives. It’s a startlingly moving moment that hints at the ramifications of what’s to come. Why can Ezra hear each of these voices at the same time? It’s Obi-Wan’s quote from A New Hope that truly hints at the impact of what we’re seeing: “It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”

As the Minister interrogates Sabine, he calls the Temple a “portal,” “the veil,” and “the door,” finally telling Sabine and us that it’s actually a pathway between all time and space! This is one of the most astounding reveals in over 40 years of Star Wars canon, and explodes all of our notions of how time and space work in this universe. Zeb and Hera attempt to save Sabine from the Minister, but he tries to force her to decipher the Temple’s mural. Ezra is still in the portal, surrounded by the voices of the future and the past. We hear Rey, Jyn Erso, Leia, Maz Kanata, and Kylo Ren. We see Ezra surrounded by transparent walkways, which appear to lead to multiple different portals. The voices get louder or softer, suggesting that each portal connects to a different moment in time.

The next huge moment in “A World Between Worlds” comes when Ezra stumbles upon a bird that would often accompany Ahsoka Tano. The fate of the beloved character, initially introduced in The Clone Wars series, has been left up in the air since the finale of season 2. But now we know what happens.

Ezra finds a portal that shows the last moment where fans and Ezra had seen Ahsoka. As she battles her former Master, Darth Vader, Ezra pulls Ahsoka out of the portal and into the ether with him. This would technically mean that anyone who enters the Temple of Lothal can go to any moment in the galaxy’s past or future to pluck people out of it, as well as enter new times themselves. The Lothal Temple gives anyone who enters complete and utter power over the galaxy.

The Emperor

“A World Between Worlds” sees the first appearance of Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars Rebels. The fact that the Emperor knows about the capability for time travel within the universe is a massive reveal. It also hints that something huge will likely happen in the final three episodes that will explain just why the Emperor gave up his mission for complete galactic control after the Temple sunk into the ground during “A World Between Worlds.”

Though we know the Emperor never attempted to utilize the Temple in the original trilogy films, this opens up is the likelihood that the legend of the Lothal Temple has been passed down through the Sith, and that the lore of the Temple has likely not been forgotten. It could have huge ramifications on Star Wars canon going forward, because if the legend of the Lothal Temple is rediscovered, anyone who finds it could end up with complete control of the galaxy.

Ahsoka

Ahsoka’s return would, in any other episode, have been the most monumental moment, and it still makes a huge emotional impact when Ezra pulls her from the portal. What really sticks out about Ahsoka’s return, though, is the fact that she runs through a different portal than Ezra as the Temple collapses. This leaves infinite possibilities as to where she might end up. Did Star Wars just create a route to introduce a fan favorite character into live action canon? Could Ahsoka be the star of Rian Johnson’s next trilogy? Could she be the star of one of the new Star Wars shows Disney is planning?

The fact that Ahsoka survived and is now in a random moment in galactic history is incredibly exciting, and opens up a world of possibilities for her story after Rebels ends. It also, for now, solves the mystery of her fate, which means the last three episodes of the show can focus on the Rebels themselves dealing with the ramifications of the discovery they just made…and the wrath of the Emperor who just lost his chance at complete omniscience.

The Jedi

From the outset, Rebels has been about the plight of the last of the Jedi in the wake of Order 66. Kanan and Ezra have always been the heart of the show, and now with Kanan gone forever – as Ahsoka explained to Ezra, saving Kanan would condemn the rest of the crew to death – and Ahsoka flung off to another place in space and time, it looks like Ezra is truly to his knowledge the last Jedi. That makes sense, as we know the series takes place just before A New Hope, in which Obi-Wan perceives himself to be the last of his kind before he finds Luke. Fans have long wondered just what would happen to Ezra and Kanan so they would fit into that part of canon. Now that we know Kanan’s fate, things are looking pretty bleak for Ezra’s future.

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