Review: Star Wars Rebels, “Legacy”

Star Wars Rebels, "Legacy" Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus

A review by Elisa and Johnamarie. This review contains spoilers.

Ezra’s search for his parents comes to a heart-wrenching end in the final Star Wars Rebels episode of 2015. Unlike the Force sensitive children who were reunited with their loved ones in the previous episode (“The Future of the Force”), “Legacy” took a different turn for Ezra, who finally discovered the truth about his parents’ fate. While some found the episode to be underwhelming, I was moved by the reveal, and although the loss didn’t play out as intensely as Kanan losing Depa Billaba during Order 66, Anakin seeing his tortured mother die in his arms, Leia being forced to watch the destruction of her planet, or Luke witnessing Vader strike down Obi-Wan Kenobi, the emotional impact was just as profound.

As an audience, we were hoping and praying that Ezra’s parents would somehow turn up down the line, that Ezra would have the opportunity to make up for lost time, and that his parents would somehow continue to contribute to the rebel cause. However, Ezra is on a hero’s journey, and every hero experiences some sort of ordeal that will make or break them. Throughout the episode, he was tested emotionally, walking a fine line between light and dark. We saw Ezra’s great potential to let anger and fear consume him, but we also saw great maturity and awareness. And that’s what makes Ezra so fascinating to me as a character because he has so much potential, and as he continues to walk that fine line, we have absolutely no idea where his path will take him and where it will end.

What I found to be brilliant in terms of what the writers did in this episode (and what made it all the more depressing) was how they handled the situation regarding Ezra’s parents. The fact that they were alive all throughout the first season and the first half of the second season and were inspired by Ezra’s speech to rise up broke my heart, but not in a disappointed kind of way. That may have been obvious from the start, but this episode really put it into perspective. They were alive up until the very moment Ezra had that vision at night while he was sleeping! They were right there within reach, and just like that, they vanished. And just like Luminara Unduli was in an Imperial holding cell when she saw her executioner, Ezra saw the same thing with his parents. And what made it more powerful to me was the fact that he had sensed them through the Force. He didn’t see them die, like Anakin saw his mom’s life extinguish in front of him, but the reality of the situation was confirmed to him through the ripples in the Force. It’s that sort of heart sinking moment when you realize that your loved ones are in another plain of existence and that you’re never going to see them again. In my opinion, that’s great writing. Not only did it tug at the heartstrings of the hero, but most viewers identified with or had sympathy for him.

Now, the question is who killed Ezra’s parents? The fact that Luminara’s last breathing moments mirror those of Ezra’s parents is no coincidence. We know the Grand Inquisitor ended Luminara’s life, but who pulled the trigger when it came to his parents? There’s speculation going around that Ryder Azadi wasn’t telling the whole truth. Is he another Gall Trayvis? I don’t get that impression, but I also tend to be very gullible. Will these details resurface and drive Ezra away from where he’s meant to be? For the time being, the memory of his parents is guiding him, but it will be interesting to see how the scales may tip as he faces more hurtles in the second half of the second season.

The episode, whether you liked it or not, answered a burning question and paved the way for Ezra to move forward. It reminded us that the galaxy can be an unfair and dangerous place, dangling our hopes and dreams right in front of our faces and snatching them away in the cruelest of ways. But, not every corner of the galaxy is out to make lives miserable. There are sweet and heartfelt moments, like those projected through the Force, that give us the strength (and renewed hope) to move on. And because of that, I think this episode–in the time that they were allotted–accomplished the same kind of lessons and heartache that we’ve seen play out previously in the Star Wars story.

Elisa’s Thoughts

  • I am really going to miss Garel. I love the purple lighting of the planet and how great the city looks. I can only hope the new places the rebels may find themselves are equally pretty, even if it’s not a cityscape.
  • While Ezra is having his vision, we see a shot of Mira and Ephraim Bridger together much like how we saw Luminara in the episode “Rise of the Old Masters”.  And while we had a holo of her looking at whoever had entered the room, in Ezra’s parents’ case, we get a shadow before a close-up of them looking up at whoever is in the room with them. During these two shots, there is a soft and fading breath sound (that sounds individually unique when compared to the other air-like sounds that occur during the vision) that has made me wonder if it’s hinting towards Vader having been the one in the room. Going back to Luminara, I have also wondered if Ezra’s seeing a moment in time that took place just before his parents were executed. Due to Ryder not being there to see it first hand, the pair could have been captured again before they were ultimately killed.
  • The music in this episode, especially what plays when Ezra’s on screen is all so beautiful.
  • I had been worried since season one about how they were going to handle Hera and potentially Kanan knowing about Ezra’s parents without it seeming like they were jerks for not saying anything sooner. The way it was handled was very smooth and well done, in my opinion.
  • I adore how the Seventh Sister talks and sounds. She’s such an awesome character and I only want to see more of her. Or I do, up until she potentially maims or kills someone I really like.
  • It’s great seeing Ezra’s ever growing abilities. I’m excited to see where he will be at the end of the season.
  • Zeb and Chopper being called delinquents by Sabine is one of the best things.
  • The battle scenes are only getting stronger as the series goes on, and the shootout was a fantastic example of that. It also was a great time for the show to highlight more of Ezra’s growth and comfort in using the Force.
  • The facial animation that plays out while Kanan is talking to Ezra after he’s blasted the door shut is beautiful.
  • Kanan saying it’s too late for him in terms of his parents makes me wish that maybe down the line we did see someone who either could be or outright acknowledged as being one of his parents or a sibling.
  • Chopper’s grumbling is always great.
  • The fangirl in me is always happy to see more Rex. The other less fun, cynical part of me feels like we’re getting so much of him because he’s going to die at some point. Up until that hypothetical moment, though, I am going to enjoy every second of it.
  • Chopper waving bye to the Ghost is super cute.
  • I love the rock formations seen on Lothal.
  • While I hadn’t wanted Ezra’s parents to be dead necessarily, hearing that they had died comes as no surprise to me, since the inclusion of parents–especially in Ezra’s current situation–would probably entail more drama and talk spread out across other characters than is really wanted for this series. Saying that, I was surprised by hearing of how long they had been alive. Knowing that they had been alive all that time only to ultimately die due to the hope they’d been given at hearing Ezra’s message breaks my heart completely.
  • Again, the music is stunning, and I love the blue lighting for the final scenes of this episode.
  • Seeing how Lothal’s Capital City looks in Ezra’s mind was a surprise. I’m curious to know if this is how he felt the city was before the Empire’s arrival, so it’s more built up, glowing, and ethereal than what it was in reality, or if the Empire really did come in and pretty much tear down what had once been a beautiful city.
  • I really love the last scenes and lines of dialogue in this episode. For as sad as it was, and for how much worse it could have been, it ended on a positive note that speaks of good things for the future.
  • I am curious how this will affect Ezra in the long run, though. Specifically, if the acceptance he’s displaying is a by-product of shock or if it’s something he truly feels. Only time will tell, and I’m looking forward to every moment of it.

Star Wars Rebels returns in January 2016 on Disney XD.

4 comments on “Review: Star Wars Rebels, “Legacy”

  1. I forgot to mention that I found the ending really beautiful.

    The timing of the track so that its last part, the single flute (?) section, totally replaced the usual trumpet fanfare that accompanies the outro, letting the feels still linger…

    Also, the way FPJr said “Always” to Ezra. That always got me. It’s not overly mellow, it’s not overly dramatic, it’s just… full of warmth and care.

  2. This episode broke me. I, one of SWR Fandom’s greatest Sad Headcanons Maker, a drinker of fandom tears… got broken. *sniff*

    Okay, now that I have confessed, there is one important thing I don’t see reviewers highlight: Things are happening off-screen. This episode actually reminds us of that, although subtly.

    For example: (1) In “The Clones Return” 2-episode arc, we get a list of places for the next Rebel base. This episode implicitly said that the Phoenix Squadron had been sending away teams to survey the potential locations. Probably during those missions where Hera was off-screen. (2) The spaceparents’ effort to locate Ezra’s parents. How they had to pull in favors with smugglers, pirates, and even Senator Organa. And how Commander Sato was even participating by contacting someone (a spy?) in the Core Worlds. (3) Agent Kallus’ effort to verify existence of the Rebels on Garel. (4) Of course, the massive jailbreak. And all the preparations that The Bridgers did to carry that out.

    So, the fact that things *are* happening out of sight, that should shut up the naysayers who felt that the series was “slowing down” in Season 2. It’s not. It’s actually piling up all the gunpowder for a remarkable, unforgettable second half.

    • Yes! A lot of things happened off-screen, and although we don’t get to see them, there is very much an active and vast galaxy outside of our immediate group of protagonists. One of my favorite lines from the novel Lost Stars is when the main character hears Han Solo’s name and says, “Who the hell is Han Solo?” It’s believable because not everyone will know who this person is or would have had the opportunity to interact with that person. A lot of things are happening in the background that may never intersect and I love that!

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