Review: Star Wars Rebels 2×21 ‘Twilight of the Apprentice’

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After a very successful second season of “Star Wars Rebels,” its finale “Twilight of the Apprentice” has a lot to live up to. The season one finale “Fire Across the Galaxy” set a ratings record and saw the return of Ahsoka Tano and debut of Darth Vader. With Ahsoka fighting alongside the rebels and Vader on the hunt for the rebels, it all leads up to the inevitable fight between Ahsoka and her former mentor and friend, Anakin Skywalker. But does “Twilight of the Apprentice” live up the hype or does it crumble under its massive expectations?

“Twilight of the Apprentice” is single-handedly the darkest episode of the season, and for any Star Wars animated series for that matter. Although the episode’s dark and ominous tone may or may not frighten your little ones, the episode brilliantly raises the stakes and keeps you on the edge of your couch the entire time.

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“Twilight of the Apprentice” follows Ezra, Kanan, Chopper, and Ahsoka as they travel to Malachor as instructed by Master Yoda. There to gain information about the Sith, the trio battle the Inquisitors with the help of a new ally.

Even though it was originally believed that the episode would primarily focus on the impending battle between Ahsoka and Vader, it is Darth Maul who steals the spotlight. Making his Rebels debut, Maul (voiced by Sam Witwer) is first introduced as a man shrouded in secrecy. Unless you’ve been following the news and know about Maul’s appearance, then you’re basically kept in the dark as to who this mysterious man is. It works wonderfully because it begins to set up some trust between the audience and this cloaked man. Even when Maul finally reveals himself, you somehow still think that he’s turned a new leaf and has actually turned good.

It’s this foreboding question of “is he or is he not a good guy” that lingers throughout the entire hour-long episode. The relationship between Maul and the Sith is rocky to say the least, and therefore he has a perfect reason to go against the Empire and the Sith. Yet this is still Maul we’re talking about, and he was a Sith Lord at one time. Yet once you realize his true intentions, his influence has major reprecussions to what will happen in the third season of “Rebels.”

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Yet the biggest draw to this episode is the battle between Ahsoka Tano (voiced by Ashley Eckstein) and Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones). This 7-minute battle is definitely epic as advertised but the emotional impact just isn’t there. After long being the apprentice to Anakin Skywalker, one would think that there would be more emotion to the discovery that Anakin is Darth Vader. Something more akin to Obi-Wan going against Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. Yet there isn’t any anger or sadness, just fighting. If that’s all you were looking for then you won’t be disappointed.

For those thinking that Ezra and Kanan are getting overshadowed by the “ghosts of Star Wars past,” fear not because you will most definitely care about what happens to them, too. Ezra’s dark side has been hinted at throughout both seasons, but this episode you begin to see the dark side nipping at Ezra more than ever. The title of the episode doesn’t necessarily mean Kanan and Ezra, it could also mean a Sith Lord and his apprentice. After all, Siths always come in two. However, Kanan is determined to save Ezra at all costs and prove to his force vision that Ezra can be good.

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Overall, “Twilight of the Apprentice” is the closest thing we get to a truly cinematic version of Star Wars on the small screen. The episode certainly answers some of this season’s questions, but its ending will have fans of the show talking until the long and impatient wait of the season three premiere. The episode was touted as a game-changer for the series, and it definitely is that. The ending leaves so many questions on the table and sets up plenty of interesting storylines for the third season. I can’t wait.

Rating: 5/5 atoms
NR 5 Atoms - A

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1471 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.