"The Future of the Force" is the tenth episode of the Star Wars Rebels animated television series' second season. It is the twenty-fifth episode of the series overall. The episode premiered on December 2, 2015 on Disney XD.
After the Empire's Inquisitors begin targeting select babies for abduction, Ahsoka Tano and the Ghost crew investigate. What they find is unsettling, and it all leads to a deadly confrontation with the children's fates hanging in the balance.
Departing from the planet Chandel, a passenger ship is captured by an Imperial-class Star Destroyer. Once docked with the ship, the Inquisitors board the transport searching for a child. They soon find the infant, known as Alora, with her grandmother, Darja, who tries to make a run for it but is eventually cornered. Darja warns them to stay away from her granddaughter, but the Seventh Sister approaches and coldly assures her they only wish to make friends with Alora – but first there is some business to attend to, as the Fifth Brother ignites his lightsaber and sets the blades spinning, throwing it down the corridor at the ship's passengers.
Tailing the Inquisitors
Meanwhile on Garel, Ahsoka Tano pays Kanan Jarrus a visit with Jedi business to discuss. They decide to have the discussion in private, and board the Ghost. Once aboard and alone in Jarrus' quarters, Tano briefs Jarrus on her recent investigation about the Sith Lord, and so far the information she seeks eludes her. She has also learned more about the Inquisitors, and reveals they have a secondary mission to make retrievals. Tano managed to decode two sets of coordinates, and while she investigates the first one, she wants Jarrus to investigate the second. Jarrus accepts the mission, and so does Ezra Bridger, who had been listening in on the conversation. Bridger, Jarrus, Garazeb Orrelios and Chopper depart from Garel and arrive on the planet Takobo, with a mission to find and retrieve whatever the Inquisitors are after before they do.
After landing in the city, the rebels take a look at the coordinates they were given, which turns out to be housing units. Jarrus orders Orrelios and Chopper to investigate the spaceports for any ship belonging to the Inquisitors, while he and Bridger check out the apartments. With everyone in agreement as to their assignments, the rebels head out in opposite directions. Meanwhile, Tano arrives at the other coordinates, and finds the ship the Inquisitors attacked earlier adrift in space. Once aboard, she finds the ship severely damaged and deserted. However, she does find Darja alive. Tano learns from her that the Inquisitors took her granddaughter, and Darja asks the ex-Jedi to find her. Tano helps the grandmother rest and promises to find Alora.
Back on Takobo, Orrelios and Chopper have spent hours searching the other spaceports, and so far have found no sign of any ship belonging to the Inquisitors. But their long search finally pays off after they find two Advance TIE fighters under guard by one of the Seventh Sister's probe droids. Orrelios shoots it down, and the two enter the bay intending to destroy the ships. However, before they can begin planting explosives they discover Alora in one of the cockpits. Meanwhile, Jarrus and Bridger arrive at the apartment they are looking for and find the place ransacked, and an injured female Ithorian known as Oora. She tells them the Inquisitors came looking for her child, Pypey, but she managed to send him away with a droid before they could get to him. Bridger and Jarrus promise Oora they will find Pypey before the Inquisitors do, and soon head out on their search. Jarrus tells Oora to go to the docking bay where the Phantom is as soon as she is able.
Orrelios and Chopper have returned to the Phantom with Alora in Chopper's care. Jarrus informs Orrelios about the other baby and instructs him to find it before the Inquisitors do. Orrelios leaves Chopper to look after Alora, and takes to the streets looking for the droid carrying Pypey. He soon crosses paths with the droid, and takes Pypey from him. He sends the droid to go a separate way to serve as a decoy for the Inquisitors, but Orrelios doesn't get very far. The Inquisitors show up and take out the droid, but don't find Pypey. However, they do sense his presence, and when they spot him with Orrelios he makes a run for it.
Orrelios informs Jarrus of the situation he is in and goes into hiding in a nearby apartment building. The Inquisitors lose sight of Orrelios, but the Fifth Brother senses Pypey's fear within the building they were hiding in. The Seventh Sister dispatches one of her probe droids to keep an eye outside while they search inside. Bridger and Jarrus soon reach the apartment building as well, but immediately hide themselves after Bridger spots the probe droid. The droid doesn't see them, and as soon as it's looking the other way, Jarrus and Bridger enter the building to find Orrelios and Pypey.
Once inside, Jarrus and Bridger search the corridors, being very careful where they step, as the Inquisitors were about. They soon find Orrelios, and he brings them to the apartment where he's keeping the baby. Pypey has calmed down, but when he sees Bridger he begins to cry in fear. Bridger tries to calm him down, but it is no use. Through the Force, the Inquisitors sense Pypey's fear, and find the apartment where the rebels were hiding him. They try to spike them out with their lightsabers, but Bridger and Jarrus cut an entrance to the next apartment above them. They escape and make a run for the stairs. Bridger still hasn't managed to calm Pypey down, mainly because he can sense his fear through the Force.
Jarrus finally understands why the Inquisitors are abducting these children, because they are Force-sensitive. Fearful of them becoming Jedi, the Inquisitors have been tasked to find them and prevent this from ever happening. The rebels decide to split up: Bridger escapes with Pypey through the ventilation shafts while Jarrus and Orrelios hold off the Inquisitors. Meanwhile, the Inquisitors are still roaming the corridors for the rebels. The Fifth Brother uses the Force to find them, and when he senses Pypey and Bridger in the ventilation, he uses his lightsaber to spike them. Pypey gets scared, but Bridger manages to connect with him through the Force and calm him down. Just then, Jarrus and Orrelios show up, ready to fight the Inquisitors.
Escaping the Inquisitors
The Seventh Sister engages Jarrus while Orrelios takes on the Fifth Brother hand to hand. Bridger makes it out of the building and heads back to the Phantom with Pypey, unaware that the Seventh Sister's probe droid spotted him. Meanwhile, both Inquisitors quickly overpower their opponents, forcing Jarrus and Orrelios to retreat. They jump out of a window and land on a passing speeder. The Inquisitors jump onto another speeder, throw out the driver, and pursue Jarrus and Orrelios through the city streets. Jarrus shoots at the Inquisitors and takes out their speeder. However, the Fifth Brother takes out their speeder as well when he throws his lightsaber at them like a boomerang, slicing off one of the jets. They crash into the streets, but continue on foot.
The rebels make it back to the spaceport, but the doors are sealed. Worst of all, the Inquisitors catch up with them and engage them in a fight for Pypey. The Inquisitors once again quickly overpower the rebels. Suddenly and unexpectedly, before the Inquisitors can take Pypey, Tano emerges from the spaceport, ready to fight the Inquisitors. She tells her fellow rebels to get on board the Phantom, as she engages the Inquisitors in a duel. Despite their best efforts, it is obvious that they cannot hope to compare to Ahsoka, who manages to easily overpower the both of them. She effortlessly takes out the Fifth Brother twice and then turns her attention to the Seventh Sister. Finished playing around with her, Ahsoka turns off her own lightsabers and takes a meditative stance. Seeing an opportunity, the Seventh Sister tries to attack her, but Ahsoka catches the Seventh Sister's lightsaber hilt with her bare hands and then uses the Force to turn the blades off, leaving the Seventh Sister in absolute disbelief. Ahsoka then Force pushes her into a pillar, defeating her. However, her victory is short-lived as Imperial reinforcements arrive and surround her. However, as the Phantom takes off, Tano smirks and then uses the Force to jump aboard the ship and escape capture. The Inquisitors are left staring after the escaping shuttle, fuming over their defeat.
As the Rebels depart from Takobo, Pypey is reunited with his grandmother. Tano is already aware that the Inquisitors are abducting Force-sensitive children and remembers a similar attempt made by a Sith Lord during the Clone Wars. The Jedi Order protected them, but since they died out the rebellion is now their only protection. Meanwhile, the Inquisitors return to where they landed their ships, only to find them destroyed. Just then, the Seventh Sister's probe droid shows up with some information that it caught when it spotted Ezra. Recorded in Ezra's own words, the Inquisitors learn that the Rebels are hiding on Garel.
The domes and steeples seen on many of the buildings in Takobo City, which is heavily featured in this episode of Star Wars Rebels, resemble that of real-life traditional Eastern Orthodox architecture found in Russia and some of its neighboring countries; likewise, the pattern seen several times on Takobo and used by some of its inhabitants (such as the one that Alora is swaddled in) bears a strong resemblance to the folkloristic designs often found on embroidery and regional costumes in Poland and Belarus. These facts, combined with the tower block laden landscape of Hammertown akin to the cities of Ukraine and other Eastern European countries, suggest that the planet of Takobo was heavily inspired by aesthetics of the Slavonic nations. Its climate also seems to resemble the Siberian tundra.
When Ahsoka Tano battles the Inquisitors, she knocks the Seventh Sister to the ground and says "You are beaten," while holding her lightsaber to the latter's face. This alludes to Ahsoka's training with Anakin Skywalker as the exact line was said by Darth Vader to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.
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Notes and references
- According to Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious, in the year 7973 C.R.C., Ketsu Onyo resigned from the Black Sun. It also dates the Battle of Scarif to 7977 C.R.C., four years after Onyo's resignation. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates Jyn Erso's mission to steal the plans of the first Death Star, which concluded with the Battle of Scarif, to 0 BBY. Therefore, it can be calculated that 7973 C.R.C. is equal to 4 BBY. Since Onyo states in Star Wars Rebels – "Blood Sisters" that she currently works for the Black Sun, the episode must occur by 4 BBY. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Siege of Lothal to 4 BBY. Since that conflict preceded the events of Star Wars Rebels – "Blood Sisters", it can be concluded that the episode took place in 4 BBY. According to , Star Wars Rebels – "A Princess on Lothal" is "set roughly three years before the events of A New Hope. Since Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of A New Hope to 0 BBY, Star Wars Rebels – "A Princess on Lothal" must occur in 3 BBY. Since Star Wars Rebels – "The Future of the Force" takes place between Star Wars Rebels – "Blood Sisters" and Star Wars Rebels – "A Princess on Lothal", it must occur around 3 BBY.
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- The Future of the Force on Disney XD's official schedule