There are many mysteries in the Star Wars saga, vast reams of story left unexplained and just waiting for a book, or a TV show, or even another movie to explore these enigmas. In this new era of Disney/Lucasfilm canon, the execs are hard at work pulling all the story potential together. And at Star Wars Celebration last weekend, I was lucky enough to get the answer to one of the saga's most compelling mysteries, and what that means for the future of Star Wars: Rebels.
The animated show Star Wars: Rebels neatly ties into the films, following a small resistance cell as they help to form the wider Rebel Alliance. It's a fascinating, funny, and exciting series, providing a crucial connection to the previous animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars by reintroducing fan fave characters like Ahsoka Tano and Darth Maul.
In Star Wars: Rebels Season 2, this gang of scrappy rebels consistently had their efforts thwarted by the Inquisitors, who relentlessly pursued them throughout the galaxy. Fans were left wondering how the Inquisitors were always able to find our heroes, and many theorized that there was a spy in the Rebel Alliance. Yet as I discovered, the answer is much more simple — and it solves one of the major mysteries in the entire saga.
Lights In The Sky: How Force Users Find Each Other
I spoke to Sam Witwer at Celebration, the actor who has portrayed Darth Maul ever since his return in The Clone Wars, and I asked him how Maul knew Ezra and the others would be visiting Malachor in the Rebels finale. This was his reply:
According to Witwer, who did assure me that his explanation was part of the mythology-building he and Dave Filoni conducted when working on Rebels, it all comes down to how Force users sense each other's presence. Obviously this is something which is discussed frequently in the films, but we never knew exactly how it worked — until now.
Picture this: Everyone who uses the Force is a bright spot of light in a dark galaxy. The stronger they are in the Force, the brighter they shine. Back in the good old days of the Republic, the sky was filled with these stars, but thanks to Order 66 the Jedi light was swiftly snuffed out. In a dark and star-less sky, the few Force-users stand out, making it easy for Darth Vader or the Inquisitors to extinguish these last remaining stars.
Witwer used the example of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, explaining that this was the reason they were separated and never learned their heritage.
Had Luke and Leia been trained from birth, they would have shone brightly for years, making them a target for the Emperor and Darth Vader.
Witwer continued, explaining Yoda and Obi Wan's original strategy for the Skywalker twins.
"The plan was to wait until they were about twenty and train them as fast as possible, so that they were these shining lights immediately. Yoda and Obi Wan would train these twins and they would have four knights to face down the Emperor."
This is something fans have wondered about for years, and while it has been hinted at in previous extended canon materials, we've never had a definitive reason for the Skywalker twins' separation before. But of course, the Skywalkers aren't the only Force sensitive people in the galaxy.
Maul's Grand Plan For Ezra
Because he was just a child during Order 66, Kanan Jarrus never learned this element of Force lore. For all she taught him, Kanan's master didn't let him in on this method of eluding other Force users. And why would she — back in the Old Republic, the Jedi Order didn't know of the Sith menace until it was too late.
As Witwer explains, this means that Kanan and Ezra are "playing with fire" in Rebels Season 2. The more Kanan trains Ezra, the brighter his light shines, and the more obvious they both are to those who would hunt them down. It seems as though Maul was aware of Ezra long before he arrived on Malachor, and he used this method of tracking the budding Jedi to inform his grand plan. Because as we know, Maul is bent on turning Ezra to the Dark Side.
"The Sith are all about divining the future. They want to control things. And [Maul has] learned that from his master. He is able to anticipate that he needs to be in a specific location, and as soon as [Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka] arrived it was clear why he needed to be there."
This is something that will be explored in Season 3, as although our heroes have evaded Maul once, he's biding his time and building up his power, ready for the eventual reunion with Ezra. And of course, let's not forget the prophecy Kanan heard in the Jedi temple — that Ezra would fall to the Dark Side, and Kanan himself would die. Here's hoping that Kanan and Ezra finally work out that they need to lay low and use the Force less, or they'll be that much easier for Maul to find.