Kanan Jarrus has had one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride ever since the implementation of Order 66, when he was forced to abandon his old life and embrace a new one removed from the Jedi path. Meeting Hera Syndulla changed that, bringing him back into the fight, and taking in a Padawan has helped him achieve goals he thought were long gone for him. In season two, Kanan came face to face with the ghosts of his past, recognized the importance of not fighting, and overcame an enemy who threatened his existence and the future of his Padawan, and in the process, became permanently scarred.
What are some other memorable moments from our favorite Jedi Knight in the second season?
Saving a Friend (“Stealth Strike”)
Kanan and Captain Rex didn’t start off on a good note. A handful of their interactions at the start of the second season involved arguments and one trying to best the other. Kanan’s wounds from his past hadn’t fully healed and Rex, being an ex-clone trooper, didn’t help the situation. The two just didn’t see eye to eye, especially when it came to Ezra’s training. When obligated to work together to save Ezra and others held captive by Imperial forces, however, things changed the moment Rex sacrificed himself to give the others enough time to escape. Unable to leave his newfound friend behind, Kanan went off to save him, mixing in with the rest of the stormtroopers and revealing himself at the perfect moment.
When Kanan felt/heard Rex’s pain from a distance, I like to think images of Commander Grey, Captain Styles, and Stance came rushing back to him. They were his closest friends, after all. Rex is a constant reminder of what he lost, and in that moment, Kanan couldn’t let it happen again.
Meeting Cham Syndulla (“Homecoming”)
There’s no denying the fact that Kanan loves Hera. He’s always had feelings for her, and although nothing concrete has developed between them (or at least, nothing that we know of), Kanan desperately wanted to make a good first impression when it came to meeting her father, Cham Syndulla. The result was pure comedic gold, especially when he switched the names of his crew members when introducing them to the legendary war hero. Ezra, Zeb, Sabine, and Chopper (who wasn’t even included in the introduction) were not pleased and the expressions for each character were spot on. Lucasfilm Animation Supervisor Keith Kellogg tweeted, “That shot took a while to get the right attitudes. But in the end I really think it works.” It really did!
Cham is not only Hera’s father, but he also fought alongside Mace Windu, Jedi Master to Depa Billaba. That, combined with the fact that Cham is a parental figure, put our favorite Jedi Knight in a very nerve-racking and identifiable position, since I’m sure most of us have been there before!
Slicing Action (“A Princess on Lothal”)
Like its predecessor, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels has given us some of the coolest action scenes and sequences. In this episode, the rebels needed to escape with the ships brought to them by Princess Leia, but the AT-ATs that stood guard presented a big issue. With one of them closing in, Kanan swept across the field in his stormtrooper disguise with his lightsaber ignited and ready to strike. He sliced right through its legs, immobilizing the AT-AT on the spot. It’s not only one of the most jaw-dropping actions performed by Kanan, but it’s also one of the most impressive scenes in all of Star Wars (at least, in my opinion). Why didn’t Luke do it? Well, Luke wasn’t anywhere near as skilled as Kanan. His primary responsibility in the rebellion was piloting, not parading out in the cold with a lightsaber he could barely use. Why didn’t Leia tell him? See the previous sentence.
Midair Extraction (“Protector of Concord Dawn”)
Kanan learned many lessons this season, including the ability to recognize when not to fight and when to exhibit self-restraint when confronting hostile people. Up until this point in the series, we’ve seen the rebels primarily fighting against the Empire’s forces. Now, there’s a third group at play: Mandalorians. Led by Fenn Rau, the Mandalorians under his command presented an opportunity. The more allies the rebellion could gather, the better it would be to grow and spread resources. After all, they wouldn’t want to make another enemy, especially with the Mandalorians. Hera saw this and both Kanan and Sabine carried through with it, but of course, it wasn’t a seamless operation. Fenn Rau had other things in mind, but upon Sabine’s suggestion, Kanan went after him. In a desperate attempt to capture Rau, Kanan hung onto the Mandalorian starfighter with his dear life. My favorite part was when he came face to face with Fenn and shouted, “Still think we can’t win?!” before igniting his lightsaber and piercing the ship’s controls.
Excited Face (“Mystery of Chopper Base”)
Without a doubt, Kanan has the best facial expressions–even throughout the Kanan comic book series, where we explore his youth during the Clone Wars. So it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite Kanan moments happened in the penultimate episode, where he turned to Hera and said, “This is my excited face!” What I love most about Kanan is that he knows when to relax and be funny. Granted, Hera didn’t find it humorous, but I did and I love him more for it!
Have a favorite Kanan moment from season two you’d like to share? Write it in the comments below.