When Star Wars Rebels Season 3 kicks off Saturday September 24, 2016, it has a lot to follow up on. With confrontations, revelations, deaths, injuries, and dark turns in the two-part season finale last spring, every single main character comes away drastically affected. None of the crew of the Ghost are as obviously and outwardly affected as Kanan, though, as the Jedi was blinded in battle with the former Sith lord Maul.
"I definitely think when you start the season he's feeling pretty lost," showrunner Dave Filoni told ComicBook.com in an interview. "I think that he has to grow into an understanding of what it means to be a Jedi, and that's a confusing thing for him. I think he wants to follow some rule book and think if he accomplishes this and accomplishes that, that he'll be a good person and a Jedi."
Being a Jedi isn't quite that easy, though, something Kanan has learned time and again, but still continues to discover. After all, he was a padawan when Order 66 was enacted, killing his master in front of his eyes alongside the vast majority of other Jedi. He's hidden his powers - and his sense of what's right - and just as he began to embrace them again and pass them along to his own padawan, Ezra, he has another drastic change with his new handicap.
"He's underestimating the lifelong commitment it's going to take to these ideas that he's practicing," Filoni said of Kanan in Season 3. "Sometimes when you're asked to give things up, you can say, 'Oh, I'm committed, and I give things up,' but are you really, or are you just saying that in practice because you believe that's what you're supposed to do?
"I think on one level after the events on Malachor that he's faced to really deal with what it means to be more selfless and give things up, as opposed to just saying, 'Okay, that's what I'm going to be.' These are the challenges for him. Is he really going to commit to those things, or is he just going to say it in name alone?"
Hopefully that doesn't spell doom to what many have perceived as a relationship that flies in the face of the strict Jedi rules against attachment: the deep, personal (maybe romantic) connection between Kanan and Twi'lek pilot Hera. For now, Kanan will once again become the student to the new Force-sensitive creature Bendu, a mysterious and aged being that can feel and manipulate all aspects of the Force seemingly with ease and without corruption.
"There's a lot up in the air for Kanan and how he's going to come through it," Filoni acknowledged. "What I also think is interesting is that to get him through it we needed to give him his own master, to show that you're never really done learning, that you're constantly going to be learning in life. You don't just become a Jedi Master and not learn, and even Yoda was learning in The Clone Wars. Those are some of the things that we're bringing into this."
With more to learn, changes within and without to deal with, and a new villain looming (a blue faced guy you may have heard of named Thrawn), Kanan's journey is far from over as Star Wars Rebels returns.