|"Path of the Jedi"|
| Episode chronology
- "What exactly am I looking for?"
"Nothing, and everything."
- ―Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus
"Path of the Jedi" is the eighth episode of the first season of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels. The episode was written by Charles Murray and directed by the show's executive producer, Dave Filoni. "Path of the Jedi" was released on WatchDisneyXD.com and the WatchDisneyXD app on December 29, 2014 and premiered on Disney XD on January 5, 2015.
In the episode, Kanan Jarrus and his Padawan, Ezra Bridger, travel to a Jedi Temple on Lothal, where Bridger can test his readiness to be trained as a Jedi. Bridger makes his way through the temple alone and confronts his fear of abandonment, manifested through visions of the Inquisitor killing his friends. Along the way, both Bridger and Jarrus—who must also confront his own fears of inadequacy as a teacher—are guided from afar by Jedi Master Yoda. In the end, Bridger passes the tests, receives a kyber crystal, and builds his own lightsaber.
Finding a templeEdit
- "Ezra, when we were on that asteroid, you made a dangerous connection through the Force. Now I have to know if you are ready."
"I am ready. Wait, ready for what?"
"For a test, a real challenge, one that could determine if you’re meant to be a Jedi...or not."
- ―Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger
In the aftermath of the confrontation with the Inquisitor on Fort Anaxes, Kanan Jarrus remains worried about his Padawan, Ezra Bridger, after the boy tapped into the dark side of the Force to escape from the Inquisitor. As the episode begins, Jarrus looks for Bridger on the Ghost, after Bridger misses a Jedi training session. He knocks on the door to the quarters that Bridger shares with Garazeb Orrelios, who tells Jarrus that Bridger is not there. Unknown to Jarrus, Bridger is running back towards the Ghost, after spending time with fellow crew member Sabine Wren. In the meantime, Jarrus returns to his own quarters where he opens his holocron, which contains a map of all Jedi temples throughout the galaxy.
Bridger arrives and enters his master's quarters and apologizes for missing training. Jarrus lectures him about how his tardiness and inattention are indicative of the issues in his training. Given that, and considering what happened on Fort Anaxes, Jarrus says that he needs to know whether Bridger is ready to face a test that can determine whether the boy is meant to become a Jedi. Bridger is surprised, as he believed he was a Jedi, but Jarrus reminds him that he only has the potential to become one. Jarrus explains that Bridger still lacks discipline and focus, something that Bridger does not disagree with, as he grew up as an orphan without rules or structure. Nonetheless, Bridger wants to become the Jedi that Jarrus believes that he can be. Jarrus tells him that his own master, Depa Billaba, never would have let Bridger get away with these sorts of mistakes. Regardless, Jarrus is ready to give him a second chance, and orders his apprentice to prep their shuttle, the Phantom, for departure. As Bridger heads for the Phantom, Jarrus confides in Hera Syndulla, saying he might regret what is about to happen. Nevertheless, Syndulla reminds him that he has to help Bridger after what happened on Fort Anaxes.
Shortly thereafter, the Phantom departs from the Ghost and flies above the grasslands of Lothal. Once away from the Ghost, Jarrus explains that Bridger will determine what their destination will be. The two sit in the back of the shuttle, where Jarrus tells Bridger of the final days of the Jedi Order, saying how when he was young there were ten thousand Jedi Knights in the galaxy—before the Clone Wars and the Galactic Empire killed most of them. During the final days of the Jedi, there were outposts and temples throughout the galaxy, most of which were destroyed by the Empire. Jarrus asks Bridger to meditate and to allow the Force to guide him to one of them. Bridger begins to meditate and asks whether Jarrus took the same test. He did, though he explains it was much different during the days of the Jedi Order. As Bridger begins to understand that only his connection to the Force can lead him to one of the temples, he sees a massive stone, a tunnel, and a bright star inside of it—and realizes that there is a Jedi Temple on Lothal. Although the boy does not have the coordinates, he can direct them to the temple.
Jarrus takes the pilot's seat and the Phantom makes its way to the Jedi Temple, which is in a cold, snowy region of the Lothal grasslands. Bridger recognizes the temple from his vision and Jarrus disengages the auto-pilot, prompting Bridger to realize that Jarrus had known about the temple the whole time and wanted to see if Bridger could find it on his own. Jarrus explains that he found the temple on the map within his holocron, and was also surprised to see a temple on Lothal. Despite his surprise, he tells Bridger that it makes sense the Force would guide the boy to this temple, as Lothal is Bridger's home planet. Once they depart the shuttle, Jarrus sends Bridger to find an entrance while he uses the time to meditate, but warns him to not take too long: the Empire has access to the old Jedi records, and he is wary that the area might be under surveillance. Bridger is unable to find one; asking Jarrus for a clue he is told to not look, but to use the Force to listen to the stone, at which point he finds it but discovers that the Force wants both master and apprentice to enter the temple. In order to do so, the two use the Force to open the temple, causing some of it to rise out of the ground and reveal what had been a hidden entrance.
- "In here you’ll have to face your worst fears and overcome them, and there's no guarantee of success."
- ―Kanan Jarrus, to Ezra Bridger
The two enter the temple, with Jarrus telling his apprentice to keep focused, or else the temple could crash down upon them. Once inside, however, Bridger quickly loses focuses after he finds the corpses of two Jedi sitting in the entry area. As a result of losing focus, the temple lowers back down again, closing off the entrance. Jarrus explains that the corpses are those of Jedi Masters whose Padawans also took tests within the temple, but who never returned from those tests. Unlike those Padawans, however, Bridger has faith that he will complete his tests and overcome his fears, which is what he will be tested on, as he knows that Jarrus will successfully guide him. However, Jarrus tells him that he will not be going with his apprentice, and that Bridger will need to take the tests on his own. Instead, Jarrus will remain behind, just as the fallen masters had done—meaning he is putting his life in his Padawan's hands. As Bridger begins to enter the rest of the temple, a door starts to close behind him and he asks what he is supposed to be looking for. Jarrus tells him he is looking for "nothing and everything," which he knows does not help but is what Master Billaba once told him.
Cut off from his master, Bridger begins to walk through the tunnels of the Jedi Temple. He encounters a fork in his path and randomly chooses another corridor to go down, when a vision of Jarrus appears behind him questioning his method in choosing which way to go; Bridger, however, does not know that Jarrus is a vision conjured by the Force as part of his test, but rather believes his master had second thoughts about letting him go ahead alone. Bridger follows the vision down one of the tunnels, where a vision of the Inquisitor appears and engages in lightsaber combat with Jarrus on the edge of a large ravine. The Inquisitor finds the upper hand in the duel and Bridger rushes to what he believes is his master's assistance, but the vision of the Inquisitor grabs Bridger in a Force choke. The vision of Jarrus resumes fighting against the Inquisitor before losing the duel; the Inquisitor stabs and kills Jarrus before kicking him off of the ravine. Bridger vows revenge and uses the Force to call Jarrus' lightsaber into his hands, but the weapon does not work. In trying to evade the Inquisitor, Bridger also falls off the side of the ravine into the abyss below.
Rather than fall to his death, Bridger lands inside his quarters on the Ghost, where overhears a vision of the other rebels talking about his test. The visions of Chopper and Syndulla say that they did not think Bridger was ready for the tests, and Syndulla does not believe they will ever see him again. Rather than expressing sentiment, however, the vision of Syndulla regrets losing him because of the skills he brought to the team. The vision of Orrelios laughs and notes he knew there was a reason she treated Bridger nicely, while he is just glad to not have to share quarters anymore. The vision of Wren says that she pities him, calling him a scared and abandoned kid. The visions soon spot Bridger, who realizes that what he is seeing is not real. Without warning, the vision of the Inquisitor returns and slaughters the crew of the Ghost. With the rebels lying dead, the Inquisitor approaches the boy, and Bridger backs up into a closed door; when it suddenly opens, he falls through the doorway into another abyss.
The vision next shifts to the halls of the Jedi Temple, where Bridger believes he is trapped and alone, unable to open the Jedi Temple again even if does manage to pass his tests. He expresses a feeling of abandonment, causing him to remember that this is not the first time he has been alone; he grew up by himself, without his parents. He quickly regains his confidence and believes he can find a way to survive again, and notes that Jarrus could be alive and only injured and require his help. As he begins to head towards another doorway, the door slides open and reveals the Inquisitor standing behind it. The vision of the Jedi hunter approaches him, but Bridger cannot be sure if the Inquisitor is an illusion or if he is the real Inquisitor. Bridger believes he can still find a way to escape if he follows his training, and the Inquisitor asks the Padawan if he is afraid to face death. In doing so, Bridger realizes that he is not afraid of death, and that his greatest fear, other than letting down his master, is being alone again. The Padawan affirms that he is not afraid to the Inquisitor's surprise and steps up to stand before him. As the hunter ignites his lightsaber and swings at him with a roar, the blade passes right through Bridger, revealing itself as an illusion. The vision of the Inquisitor disappears.
With the vision of the Inquisitor gone, Bridger hears the voice of Jedi Master Yoda, speaking to him from afar. Yoda tells Bridger that he has faced great fears and asks if the boy is ready for what is to come. Bridger says he is ready and asks who he is speaking to: Yoda does not identify himself, only saying that he is a guide. As he does so, lights appear that will help guide Bridger on the rest of his path through the Jedi Temple. Jarrus, meanwhile, remains in the entrance to the temple and grows concerned that Bridger has not returned. Yoda communes with Jarrus as well and tells him to be patient as his own training had taught him, to which Jarrus reacts with bewilderment as he had assumed Yoda died during the fall of the Jedi Order. Yoda explains that he is communing with him because Jarrus is in the Jedi Temple and to not worry about the how; Jarrus thanks him, but Yoda replies that he hasn't really done anything. The Grand Master says that he couldn't see Jarrus before, and notes that something has changed with him recently. Jarrus tells him that he now has an apprentice, and Yoda encourages him to be honest with himself about whether he is ready to be a master. Jarrus admits that he is unsure of his abilities as a teacher.
Bridger continues to follow the lights through the Jedi Temple when he again approaches the fork in his path. He asks which is the correct path, to which Yoda tells him he is asking the wrong question. Bridger admits he does not understand, nor does he understand why he is in the temple, which Yoda says is a better question. The Padawan is unsure as to what he is being tested on, and Yoda tells him that he must decide what path he is going to take. Bridger chooses the path ahead and continues his way through the temple. Back in the entryway, Yoda says that it is a dangerous time for both master and Padawan. Jarrus knows this and can sense it Jarrus feels as if his apprentice's abilities are growing faster than he can be taught, and admits how he himself lost his own way for many years. Jarrus believes that training Bridger will give himself a second chance, which Yoda tells him is his final chance. Jarrus vows not to let his Padawan lose his way like he once did.
Igniting a legacyEdit
- "Ahead of you, a difficult path there is, Padawan. A Jedi, you may yet be."
- ―Yoda, to Ezra Bridger
In the final area of the temple, Bridger finds a large hall with inscriptions throughout the walls. Yoda asks him why he should become a Jedi, and Bridger tells him that it is because Jarrus believes Bridger can become one. Yoda asks whether Bridger himself thinks he can become a Jedi, and Bridger says it will allow him to become powerful, which would allow him to no longer be helpless and to make the Empire suffer for everything it has done to him. Yoda wonders if Jarrus taught Bridger that revenge is the way of the Jedi, but Bridger tells the Jedi Master that Jarrus would never do that, as he believes Jarrus is a great master. Bridger swears he does not seek revenge, but Yoda can see that he has much anger and fear inside of him. This helps Bridger to realize that he wants to become a Jedi to protect not only his friends, but everyone in the galaxy, and he admits that he never cared about helping others until he met Jarrus and the other rebels. He sees how the good deeds of the rebels makes people feel, and he wants to be part of that. Yoda asks him how this makes him feel, and Bridger says it makes him feel alive. The hall disappears and is replaced by a vision of countless stars as Yoda explains that there is a difficult path ahead of Bridger, and that Bridger may yet become a Jedi. A bright shining star appears above Bridger, the one he saw in his vision, and descends toward him, revealed to be a small blue crystal that lands in Bridger's hands.
Having passed his test, Bridger returns to the entrance and finds Jarrus, alive and well, and shows him the crystal. Jarrus explains that it is a kyber crystal: the ones used for lightsabers. As the two leave the temple, he tells his apprentice that he did not expect Bridger to find a lightsaber crystal; the crystal represents a big step in the boy's Jedi training. As they leave, the Jedi Temple closes again, and, despite Bridger's suggestion that it be used as a base for the rebels, Jarrus says it will instead remain part of the past. The two return to the Ghost, where Bridger spends several weeks building his own lightsaber using the kyber crystal and spare parts donated from other crew members. When he is finished, he presents the weapon to Jarrus, who says it is different than the lightsabers of the Jedi Order, but that it suits Bridger well. With all of the rebels assembled, Bridger ignites his lightsaber for the first time.
On December 15, 2014, TV Guide revealed that "Path of the Jedi" would feature an appearance by Jedi Master Yoda, as a disembodied voice. The character's voice was provided by Frank Oz, who starred as Yoda—both in puppet and CGI forms—in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and all three films of the prequel trilogy. In bringing Yoda onto Star Wars Rebels, the show's executive producer, Dave Filoni, stated that maintaining continuity within the official Star Wars canon was an important consideration. Specifically, Yoda was in hiding on Dagobah during the time period in which the show was set, and having Yoda speak to characters from afar helped ensure that audiences did not "think that he had left Dagobah."
TV Guide also revealed that there would be homages to past Yoda stories, including The Empire Strikes Back and the final episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. One such homage was the lights of the Force that helped guide Bridger through the Jedi Temple; Yoda himself encountered similar lights on Dagobah in "Voices," the eleventh episode of the final season of the The Clone Wars. Additionally, Wren's and Bridger's mission at the start was cut for time, but will be revealed later in the season.
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