[Review] Star Wars Rebels: Shroud of Darkness

Tonight was an intense episode with a lot of things happening. We had the return of Ahsoka Tano, Darth Vader and for the first time in Rebels, Anakin appearing with Matt Lanter returning to voice him, no need to say this was epic! The episode opened with a bang – lightsaber duel against the Inquisitors!

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The lightsaber duels we had in this episode had impressive choreography in the style of The Clone Wars and the Prequels which was fantastic but these fights were partly ruined by the bad visuals of the lightsabers – too thin, not glowing. Since the beginning of Star Wars Rebels, the team has chosen to do lightsabers in the style of 1977 Episode IV A New Hope theatrical version which like the year indicates is from 1977, since then the visuals of the lightsabers have improved so much even in ANH the visuals are not that bad with remasterised blu-ray versions. We’re in 2016 and making lightsabers look like 1977 was just an horrible choice and this choice affects the lightsaber duels in Rebels, they could be awesome like in the movies or The Clone Wars but they end up being disappointing visually despite having awesome choreography and it will continue to remain this way as long as the lightsabers won’t be like proper lightsabers.

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The visuals of Star Wars Rebels are one of the problems of the series, with The Clone Wars we were used to the best of animation, something that looked real but with Rebels it’s far far away from being on this level. We had Yoda and Anakin tonight but both didn’t look like their characters which was frustrating because the Anakin scenes were brilliant.

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Ahsoka having a vision of Anakin was definitely the best part of this episode, it was emotional and powerful, like Ahsoka I had tears in my eyes, it linked so well The Clone Wars and Rebels. Anakin’s first scene was impressive too, thanks to the holocron we saw Anakin’s training tactics and that Ahsoka still listened to his voice and his teachings, which was painful because after all these years, she still thought about her former master. So this scene too was emotional on some levels. That’s really when Rebels is at its best with these scenes. We learned also that Ahsoka saw again Anakin after leaving the Jedi Order in the season 5 finale of The Clone Wars, we know that in the untold story of TCW there were 12 more episodes of Ahsoka including the series finale being the Siege of Mandalore arc which was apparently set to happen at the same time as Episode III Revenge of the Sith and go behind it. And Ahsoka made a reference to it that she saw Anakin going to rescue the Chancellor making a reference to the opening of ROTS.

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Most of the episode happened on the Jedi Temple of Lothal with everyone having visions – Ahsoka having a vision of Anakin, Ezra being able to speak to Yoda and Kanan having a vision of the Jedi Temple Guards with the big reveal that the Grand Inquisitor from season 1 was a former jedi temple guard. I didn’t expect this so this was a big and interesting twist, it would be interesting to know more about this and how the Grand Inquisitor became an Inquisitor, why wasn’t he killed during Order 66? Many questions rose from this reveal. I really loved that scene with Kanan, the place he fought the Inquisitor was reminiscent of Samourai’s homes and felt very jedi like and seeing Jedi Temple Guards again was obviously great! Ezra also learned a big piece of information, they need to go to Malachor which is probably the Sith planet we saw in the trailer from the second half of the season, no need to say I can’t wait for this episode. The episode ended with Darth Vader arrival at the jedi temple just after Ahsoka, Ezra and Kanan escaped.

7/10 An intense and awesome episode, great story.

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