The animated series of shorts return with more to teach us about the ‘Star Wars’ universe.
We’re back with the next batch of appetizers of season two Star Wars: Forces of Destiny shorts on YouTube. With the Star Wars Resistance animated show on the horizon, Forces of Destiny serves up some animated quick bites derived from the movies and the animated television show. While they’re cute bits of incidental canon aimed at the children demographic, these shorts unravel some world-building and mythology of Jedi and culture.
For those who have not viewed Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels, spoilers abound.
Ahsoka Tano trained Ezra Bridger
In Rebels, fan favorite Ahsoka Tano, the former apprentice of Anakin Skywalker, had a mentorship presence in the Force education of young Ezra Bridger, the Padawan of post-Order 66 Jedi Kanan Jarrus. In the show, her mentorship to Erza is limited to dispensing pearls of wisdom for Ezra’s coming-of-age. But “A Disarming Lesson” denotes the first onscreen combat training between Ahsoka and Ezra.
With a trolling mischief that rivals Master Yoda, Ahsoka tosses away Ezra’s kyber crystal, a component of his lightsaber, and ambushes him with her saber (lit in training mode, of course), spurring him to evade her strikes. With no blade to parry her attacks, Ezra has to solve problems without his weapon. We know already that her teachings paid off in the Rebels finale where he casts off his lightsaber to win a decisive battle.
Considering that Ezra idolized Ahsoka upon first sight as if she was a cool new aunt, this interplay brings some warm fuzzies.
Leia is handy with a lightsaber
Leia fans rejoice. Set on the Endor grounds in Return of the Jedi, “Traps and Tribulation” features the much beloved Princess with a lightsaber in hand. Luke tosses Leia his green saber so she can deploy a trap on an Endor beast.
While she uses the Jedi weapon out of practicality rather than straight-on combat, Leia clutching an active saber is a big deal. For one, it calls back to her Legends counterpart who was a Jedi in training. Tie-in canon books From A Certain Point Of View and Bloodline acknowledged that while Leia already kicks butt in politics and non-Jedi combat, Jedihood was a possibility for Leia–even Master Yoda desired her as a Padawan. This involves fanficy speculation, but it has been discussed before that it appears that canon seeks to flesh out Leia’s Force-sensitivity beyond The Last Jedi.
A Mandalorian Jedi’s legacy preserved
The Mandalorian culture resonates with many fans due to its bountiful garden of cultural worldbuilding and warrior dynamics of epic Athens-esque proportions. During season three of Rebels, Mandalorian warrior Sabine departed from the Ghost crew to confront the cesspool of civil conflict on her home planet Mandalore.
“Art History” centers around Sabine’s impromptu side quest to rescue a relic of Mandalorian culture: a titan statue of Tarre Vizsla, an ancient ruler and the first recorded Mandalorian inducted into the Jedi order. Profoundly, Sabine is the keeper of the late Vizsla’s legendary Darksaber, a peculiar lightsaber with a paradoxical history of protecting and entrapping Mandalore in political and fiery battles. Fortunately, in the hands of a true Mandalorian Sabine, the Darksaber liberates the stone likeness of its forger Tarre Vizsla from the cuffs of the Imperial outposts. The statue may not be living and breathing, but Sabine’s new-generation spirit ensures that the statue can see spiritual justice.
“Art History” reinforces Rebels’ motif about the personal significance of art and the perversion of Imperial appropriation. Saving your homeworld means knowing that the objects of your culture are worth saving.
Forces of Destiny may seem like benign distractions, but they harbor a world of possibilities.