Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Story of Kanan and Anakin

Adult Ahsoka, shown on The Clone Wars
This week, my article 5 Things You Might Not Know About Darth Maul was published on Den of Geek, as well as my review of the latest Rebels episode, Vision of Hope.

Rebels is going strong, in part because of its Jedi. Vision of Hope is a good ensemble episode, but it got me thinking mostly about Kanan, Ezra, and the rumors that Ahsoka might appear on Rebels.

The more I get to know them, the more I think about the comparisons between Kanan and Ezra's Master-Padawan relationship and the one exhibited by Anakin and Ahsoka. Anakin had the framework of the Jedi around him, but he didn't often agree with it. Like Kanan, he had to learn to teach in his own way. It didn't always work.

The two Padawans have different flaws. Ahsoka wasn't tempted to the dark side, but instead inherited her Master's headstrong tendency to disobey. This may have been part of her personality before she met Anakin, too, but the Hero With No Fear didn't help. On the other hand, Ezra sometimes shows fear, especially in the upcoming "Call to Arms." He touches the dark side in other ways, though. He's strongly attached to Kanan, and summoned the giant fyrnock to help Kanan against the Inquisitor. The withering look that he leveled at Trayvis shows that betrayal might be a panic button for him too. Of course, Ezra's attachment to his parents also gets to the heart of his anger and fear.

We don't know how well the young Kanan internalized the Old Republic Jedi rules of non-attachment. What would he do if he were in a situation like Anakin and Ahsoka were, when Ahsoka was trapped in a cave-in? Luminara took the laissez-faire route and left Barriss to the will of the Force (never forget.) Anakin couldn't help but act on his attachment to Ahsoka, and I think Kanan would do the same for Ezra.

Ezra, stuck in some strange place between the Old Republic Jedi and whatever Jedi lineage Luke and Leia will create in the Sequel Trilogy, doesn't know what framework he's living in. He doesn't know that Jedi debated about attachment, or about using the dark side. (See Plo Koon and using Force lighting for good - yes, it's Legends.)

If Ezra had been raised in the Temple and encountered a situation like Ahsoka's, where she tried to clear her own name and her friend's after Barriss accused the Order of corruption, what would he do? What would Kanan do?

What advice would an older Ahsoka, never a formal Jedi Master either, give Kanan?

Rebels may or may not answer these questions. In the new canon, they may some day be addressed.

Darth Maul doesn't really fit into the equation, except that his story is also one of a Master and an apprentice. Sidious saw Maul as disposable, and trained him to be an assassin, but he was 21 years old as his death, only about five years older than Ahsoka in the time of The Clone Wars. Student-teacher stories are one of my favorite things about Star Wars, and this week, I'm thinking about them in droves. "Call to Arms" fed the first, and I'm sure the last few episodes of season one will bring even more food for thought.

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