Tonight's epic episode of Star Wars Rebels has changed the landscape of Star Wars as we know it. That's a big statement, but with everything that happened, and was talked about, in this episode, Star Wars canon has been added to, more elements from the Legends universe that came before have been put into play, and some of the most epic moments in the episode may be even more epic than you think.
We take a look through the episode here to analyze some of those moments and see how Star Wars as a franchise has had its universe expanded significantly today.
There are SPOILERS going forward - please, watch the episode first; it's a great one and you'll want to witness it yourself. Once you have, read on for the fun.
Tar Vizsla, the Mandalorian Jedi
Behold, the Mandalorian Jedi, Tar Vizsla. Tar was a Jedi over 1,000 years ago, and designed the one-of-a-kind Darksaber himself. He was referred to in the episode as the "First Mandalorian Jedi," which seems to imply that there have been more since then. It's an exciting bit - as well as revealing the origin of the Darksaber and why it's so important to the Vizsla family.
Saber Forms on-screen in Canon!
When Sabine begins her training, she begins by learning the basic forms of lightsaber combat. It's something that's been mentioned slightly and off-hand in other things like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but seeing it in full force here was a lot of fun. Lightsaber forms were brought into the modern canon in the book Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, but having it called out on screen here was special.
The Jedi-Mandalorian Wars
A massive part of the Legends story took place an even longer time ago, in the time of the (very) Old Republic. Introduced in the expansive history of the Knights of the Old Republic timeframe, there was a war between the Jedi and the Mandalorians, spurred on by followers of Revan (a great Jedi - and terrifying Sith). Now, that war or some form of it, has officially become canon.
"History lesson: The Jedi won the war with Mandalore. These tricks will amount to something, maybe save you from time to time, but they won't keep you alive in the long run," Kanan said (in a bit of an angry moment). It's a one-liner, but some of the best lines in Star Wars are, and with all the other nods to the Legends timeline in the last season or two, it sure feels like it's a link to the Mandalorian Wars of old. It's the first sign of hope that the Knights of the Old Republic story, one that fans absolutely love, fits into the new canon.
Sabine and the Darksaber are Important to the Force
This is a big one, and you may not have completely noticed it. Showrunner Dave Filoni previously told Comicbook.com that the Convorees, the little "Force Owls" that we've seen throughout the alst two seasons of Star Wars Rebels, show up when something big or important is happening to or for the Force. There was a convor following around Ahsoka, and one sitting on the shoulder of the Bendu when he talked with Kanan. There is also a Convor painted onto the shoulder of Sabine's armor this season. Now, they were at the opening of her training to use the Darksaber, and that sets off the alarm bells. When Sabine goes off on her own, only to return ready to train - The Bendu is who she (unknowingly) kicks in frustration, and he turns to look at her as she walks away. Something huge is going on here, and the Force feels it.
Here's How a Lightsaber Works
When Kanan finally gives Sabine the Darksaber, he explains how the lightsaber works with the wielder - and the fact that it, through the Kyber crystal inside, is linked to the person holding it through the Force, even for someone who isn't necessarily "Force sensitive" in the traditional version of the term.
"Ignite the blade," he tells Sabine. She notes that it's heavier when turned on. "Energy constantly flows through the crystal. You're not fighting with a simple blade, as much as you're directing a current of power. Your thoughts, your actions, they become energy. They flow through the crystal as well, and become part of the blade."
This is by far the deepest explanation of lightsabers, and how they work with a user, that we've ever gotten in Star Wars canon. It's beautiful, as well (though the Kevin Kiner score during the explanation certainly helped there), and gives a real sense of just how this "elegant weapon of a more civilized age" really works.