By: Lillian Skye
Since the Star Wars Rebels characters were revealed at the New York Toy Fair, Star Wars fans have been discussing the interesting design of what we assume to be Ezra’s lightsaber, which can be seen on the packaging in the image above.Like the Inquisitor’s weapon, Ezra’s appears to have a handle attached to the hilt. Some fans are particularly calling the design for Ezra’s lightsaber “idiotic” and are complaining about it’s appearance. However, like every Jedi’s lightsaber, there’s a story behind it. Fans should remember that the show Star Wars Rebels is set fourteen years after the Jedi purge. Ezra, a young teenager with Force ability, has only known Imperial rule, and is growing up in a time when there aren’t rules and regulations under the Council anymore. Ezra was born during a time of civil unrest in the galaxy, and I believe that there’s more to him than the everyday pickpocket.
With that being said, there aren’t exactly spare lightsaber parts lying around either. Ezra’s lightsaber could be a combination of spare parts–possibly parts he stole from the Empire–and scrap, and the design is intended to be unique to hide it’s true purpose. If the weapon looked like an ordinary lightsaber, I’d imagine every stormtrooper in the galaxy would be vying to cut the cut the boy down.
Although we don’t know when or how Ezra received a lightsaber, it’s safe to guess that he discovered it after he joined Kanan’s band of Rebels on The Ghost. Although it’s a weapon of the Jedi, few weapons can match a lightsaber in combat, and lightsabers probably sell for a pretty ‘credit’. In a time when lightsaber crystals are not easily accessible, perhaps making deals with “scum” or freedom fighters is how Ezra receives his own lightsaber.
Filoni has expressed that the Ezra and Kanan are individuals who “need each other,” and has stated that“Ezra will never become a Jedi without Kanan, and Kanan will never reclaim his status and become a Jedi Knight without Ezra.” Through what we’ve learned about Kanan so far, we know that he’s scarred by the Jedi purge, and may have even seen fellow Jedi cut down in front of his eyes. The purge happened fourteen years before Rebels, so even if Kanan is approximately thirty years old in the series, he would have been around sixteen years old during Order 66.
While Kanan may be a hardened fighter now, he might be hesitant to take Ezra under his wing. Since Kanan grew up in the Jedi Order, he was accustomed to the Jedi Code: specifically avoiding attachments and that potential Jedi are brought up into the Temple at infancy. In his lifetime, Kanan would have only seen one exception to the Code when a young Anakin Skywalker was brought in at nine years old to be trained in the ways of the Jedi, the same Anakin Skywalker who would eventually be seduced to the Dark Side and ruthlessly cut down his own brethren. Haunted by the deaths of the Jedi, Kanan may have seen his own Master fall at the hands of Darth Vader and, as a result, scorn the very idea of training anyone who does not meet the regulations of the Jedi Code. If Kanan can overcome his own doubts about taking a padawan to train and overcome his fears of molding a potential Sith, then indeed, with Kanan’s help Ezra can learn the long-lost ways of the Jedi and Kanan can fulfill his potential as a Jedi Knight.
When the prequel trilogy aired and introduced the Jedi Council and the Jedi Code, fans questioned how Yoda could have wavered from his firm beliefs in the Code and accepted to train Luke Skywalker, the boy from Tatooine who knew attachment, fear, anger, and love. Perhaps Kanan and Ezra bridge the gap between training beings who are strong in the force from infancy and training force-users who are just as capable of becoming Jedi Knights but already have prior attachments.
Lastly, Ezra is fourteen years old, and Star Wars Rebels takes place fourteen years after Order 66. These numbers are certainly not a coincidence, and I have a feeling that the Rebels crew are going to play upon the fact that Ezra was born into a time of tragedy and power struggle, and they’re going to showcase his weakness of not knowing his past. The question on my mind is just where Ezra came from. Was he born on Lothel? Is he the child of Jedi who ignored the rule of no attachments, which begs answers for who his parents were? Or is Ezra truly just an orphan child strong in the Force who has no reputable past?
While there are many different routes that the Star Wars Rebels crew could take in developing the relationship of Ezra and Kanan, I believe that they will follow the direction that brings both of the characters to their full potential. The show is exploring territory that has never been tackled on screen, and Star Wars Rebels will bridge the gaps between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Although Star Wars fans are skeptical of the characters that have been revealed so far, the show and the characters have the prospect to become fan favorites, and I’m eager to see which path Rebels takes when it premieres in this fall.
This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.
This article, titled Opinion: “Rebels” Character Development, was originally published February 16, 2014 on The Star Wars Underworld.