“It’s the deep breath before the plunge”
Gandalf in Return of the King
I’ll be totally blunt: there’s not much going on in this episode except for a bit of foreshadowing for next week’s finale. The Mystery of Chopper Base finds the Rebels setting up their new base on Atillon and running in to some old McQuarrie-inspired spider-crabs with impenetrable shells. Let’s just cut out the middle 20 minutes of this episode, shall we? The episode begins with Kanan and Ezra sparring in the Ghost’s cargo hold. The end result is a saw-off, which once again shows how equal the two have become. The “Ezra’s powers freight train” continues to run unchecked.
“Since when are you my enemy?” Ezra asks Kanan…foreshadowing as subtle as an anvil to the face. Moving right along through the episode until the final few moments….
We find Ezra relaxing and continuing to try to connect with the spider-crabs using his force abilities with no success, and he gets a little frustrated over it. It’s left ambiguous as to whether Ezra couldn’t do it, or if some creatures just can’t be connected to. A clever ruse I suppose, but for me it’s all part of the foreshadowing of what’s to come. Fast forward once again to Kanan and Ezra’s goodbye scene. In how many movies and TV shows has a promise to return ended in a broken promise? All episode long Hera displays an anxiety over Kanan’s upcoming mission that we’ve not really seen before, and it’s through Hera that we should be taking our cues, in my opinion of course.
Random observations: Predictions for season finale:
- We already know that Darth Maul is going to make his entrance, and that he’s going to try sinking his hooks in to Ezra. What’s his angle? He’s claimed to be an enemy of the Sith, and of the Inquisitors, but a leopard doesn’t change its spots, so I don’t think we can consider him to be an ally.
- Think back to “Shroud of Darkness”, where the episode’s closing line from Darth Vader is that the Jedi’s growing power will be their undoing. Yep, he’s probably right….
- Ezra, feeling frustrated at his lack of progress, (like Anakin) wants more power more quickly, and will succumb to Maul’s promises of ultimate power, leading to ruin for all.
- Kanan will not approve, obviously, and will step in, leading to a conflict between Ezra and Kanan, and maybe even Maul himself. Kanan ends up on the losing end, with fatal consequences.
- Maul goes after Vader, only to lose his spot in the dance to Ahsoka. Seeing an opportunity to flee with a new apprentice, and have his enemies wipe themselves out, Maul hightails it out of there and let’s Ahsoka do his dirty work. Ahsoka narrowly escapes only to return to the Rebels, alone, and defeated.
- With Ezra fallen to the dark side, and Kanan dead, there are truly no Jedi left. Ahsoka is a wild card in the sense that she renounced her membership as a Jedi, so whatever happens with her is up in the air. Her status would then align with Obi-Wan and Yoda’s “last of the Jedi / all but extinct / last hope” rhetoric.
Whatever happens in “Twilight of the Apprentice”, it’s going to be one for the ages. Check out a preview here. But for being so thin an episode with little to offer but hints at what’s to come, I give The Mystery of Chopper Base a Final Verdict of 5.5/10.