Note – I’d love to steer clear of it, but this review is going to contain pretty hefty spoilers. This late in the game it’s nigh-on impossible to talk about the episode without spoiling something. I’d rather give you some fully fledged thoughts rather than feel like all four limbs are tied behind my back!
Last week I nearly reviewed both episodes of Rebels together, as intertwined as they were. Ultimately though I had enough to say that it made more sense to split them.
That is not the case this week. If you’ve seen any preview footage you may find that hard to believe, but ‘Wolves and a Door’ is essentially a prologue to ‘World Between Worlds’. It set ups the more important episode but doesn’t achieve much on it’s own. If anything it spins it wheels.
At times it’s a beautiful episode, with some stunning music to accompany it. But that quickly gives away to the realisation that it doesn’t do much. Getting all the pieces in place for it to kick off in the next episode would be great if it could hang together on its own. Instead, bar the extremely exciting appearance of Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor, ‘Wolves and a Door’ is literally what the title implies. The Empire are looking for a door. Ezra and the crew find it with the help of the Loth-Wolves. After a lot of mucking about, and Zeb and Hera becoming commentators, they find the door. Job done. These episodes were originally one, and I can see why it was split. But that doesn’t prevent it from coming across as compromised.
So we move on, onto the meat of this two-part story, ‘World Between Worlds’. It’s a big deal.
Palpatine. Vader. Ahsoka. Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon. Yoda. Rey. Kylo.
Now we can see what Maketh Tua was hinting at all the way back in Season 2. Sure, Lothal has the resources to sustain TIE Defender production. But there was always something else going on and now we know what it is. More importantly we know why the Emperor himself not only took such an interest, but was willing to throw Tarkin, Vader, and Thrawn at any problems arising there.
The Jedi temple has revealed itself before, but here it shows itself as something we’ve never seen in Star Wars before: a nexus that sits between time and space. I’ve already a lot of comments along the lines of ‘that’s how how the force works’. Rubbish. We’re already in a world where it can imbue people with stunning abilities and allow themselves to communicate and project across huge distances. How does it do that? The Force as a ‘thing’ is a completely unknown entity to us. That it’s far bigger than a lot of us think shouldn’t be a massive surprise and shouldn’t be scrutinised to much.
Hearing voices from the prequels, originals, and sequels was music to my ears. As much as I moan that Star Wars can be made to feel very small, with everything intertwined, it was very special to see Ezra in the centre of everything. Those voices further legitimizes Rebels in my eyes…and it’s just really cool.
I’ve not been too concerned about Ahsoka’s fate, but at least it’s somewhat cleared up here. I always thought she’d survived Malachor, and now we know how! What I found more strange was how Ezra could get into the nexus but Palpatine couldn’t. Why chase Ezra with lightning when we saw his hand come through? Limited due to being of the dark side? Who knows. But I do love a good Palpatine cackle, and he came across as very menacing. Knowing it’s McDiarmid makes it all the more sweet.
Filoni loves looking into different aspects of the Force, and does it great effect here. An episode may have been somewhat wasted setting everything up, but it was worth it overall.
So, one more week of Rebels. 90 minutes to wrap it all up.
I don’t know how they’re going to do.
I’m sad that we’re at the end.
But damn am I looking forward to it. A conclusion to the battles for Lothal? What will become of Ezra? We’ll find out!!