- "Our long-awaited meeting has come at last."
- ―Darth Vader
"Twilight of the Apprentice" is the finale of the second season of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels. The episode, comprising of the nineteenth and twentieth episode of the season, was a special one-hour event that premiered on March 30, 2016 on Disney XD.
Journey to Malachor
The episode opens with CT-7567 ("Rex") corresponding with Ahsoka Tano aboard the Phantom. Rex offered to come to her aid within two parsecs but Tano declined his offer. When Tano commented that she outranked Rex, he remarked that experience always outranked everything. After ending their conversation, Ahsoka returned to the ship's hangar to rejoin Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger. When Ezra asked Kanan why Rex was so worried, Kanan explained that the planet Malachor was considered off-limits by the Jedi in the olden days. Tano then remarked that "there is always a bit of truth in legends." Ezra then asked why Master Yoda would send them to Malachor if it was "off-limits."
Shortly later, the Phantom exited hyperspace outside Malachor. Kanan suggested that Malachor had something that would help them to stop the Inquisitors. Tano then added they were searching for knowledge that would help them defeat the Sith. As the Phantom descended into Malachor's atmosphere, the astromech droid C1-10P ("Chopper") detected another ship. The Jedi and Tano then realized that they were not alone and that someone else was interested in Malachor's secrets. Kanan told Chopper to track the vessel. After passing through several clouds, Ezra spotted a large stonehenge of towering monoliths.
As the Phantom approached the structures, Kanan told Chopper to get a "fix" on the second ship's location while the Jedi and Tano inspected the site. Ahsoka found that the monoliths had inscriptions in an "ancient tongue." Despite Tano's orders, Ezra touched one of the monoliths; causing the three Jedi to slide down a cavern. Underground, the Jedi sight an ancient Sith temple. When Chopper contacted Ezra to warn them that they might fall through the surface, Ezra thanks the droid for his belated warning. Chopper also told Kanan that he had picked up the trail of the other ship.
As the Jedi approached the Sith temple, Ahsoka explained that they were there to seek forbidden knowledge that would enable them to defeat their Sith enemies. On the way, the Jedi and Tano stumbled upon an old battlefield that was littered with fallen lightsabers and the statue-like remains of long-dead combatants. Ahsoka recalled that thousands of years ago, there was a battle on Malachor where the Jedi attacked the Sith temple. When Ezra asked her about the outcome, Tano replied that nobody won that battle. Kanan then interrupted their "history lesson" to warn them to keep moving.
Ezra responded that their quest was a riddle and was about to make a joke about his master when he spotted one of the "statues" moving. The figure charged at them and Ezra ignited his lightsaber in self-defense. The armored figured then ignited his own red double-bladed lightsaber, revealing himself as an Inquisitor known as the Eighth Brother. The Inquisitor was surprised to encounter three Jedi and fired bolts from his lightsaber, causing the ground beneath Ezra to collapse. Ezra fell into an underground tunnel and was separated from his companions, who pursued the lone Inquisitor.
The Old Master
While trapped underground, Ezra heard a voice who told him that "you're with me." Ezra drew his lightsaber in self defense, prompting the stranger to tell the boy that he meant no harm. The stranger told Ezra that he had been stranded on Malachor for several years after his starship had crashed. When pressed, Ezra reluctantly told the stranger that he and his friends were on a quest. The stranger then responded that he was also seeking knowledge about the Sith and suggested that he could help Ezra and his companions. The stranger offered to lead him to the Sith temple but added that he was too old to enter the temple by himself. Alone and lost, Ezra agreed to accompany the stranger to the Sith temple. The stranger introduced himself as "Old Master" while Ezra claimed that he was Jabba.
Back on the surface, Ahsoka and Kanan pursued the Eighth Brother across Malachor's charred and barren surface. During the pursuit, Chopper contacted Kanan to tell him that he had found the Inquisitor's ship; which turned out to be a TIE Advanced v1 starfighter. Kanan told the droid not to let the Inquisitor get offworld and warned Chopper that disobeying him would be "dangerous." Meanwhile, Ezra and the Old Master continued their journey to the Sith temple. Ezra told him that he needed to get back to his friends. The Old Master understood their predicament since the Inquisitor was "powerful." He then assured Ezra that the Inquisitors and their Sith masters were his enemies.
When Ezra asked the Old Master whether he was a Jedi, the man replied that he was a Force-wielder a long time ago. After Ezra questioned if he was a Sith, the Old Master replied that the Sith were the enemies who had ripped him from his mother's arms, murdered his brother, used him as a weapon and then finally abandoned him. The Old Master also denounced the Sith for taking away his former power. Ezra was able to sympathize with the Old Master's predicament since the Empire had took away his home and his parents. When the Old Master asked Ezra whether he wanted revenge, the young apprentice replied that he wanted justice. The Old Master then claimed that the Sith temple contained the knowledge necessary to destroy the Sith.
On Malachor's surface, Chopper flew into the Eighth Brother's TIE fighter only to encounter the Inquisitor's red blades. Despite the Inquisitor's opposition, he managed to force himself into the cockpit. Shortly later, Kanan and Tano caught up with the Eighth Brother and Chopper managed to use the fighter's laser cannons to knock the Inquisitor to the ground. Kanan and Tano then disarm the Brother and take him prisoner. Kanan then praised the astromech droid for getting things right that time.
Meanwhile, Ezra and the Old Master approached the temple, which Maul described as a "place of worship for some and an engine of destruction for others." When Ezra asked how they could get in, the Old Master explained that two must lift the stones guarding the temple since that was the way of the Sith. After Ezra noted his knowledge of the Sith, the Old Master replied that "to defeat your enemy, you must know your enemy." When Ezra pointed out that his master disagreed with the Old Master's comment that one must practice their beliefs, the stranger responded that he was doomed to fail in that case.
As Ezra struggled to open the stone door, the Old Master exhorted him to give in to his anger and passions, something that was forbidden by the Jedi. Using their anger and passion, Ezra and the Old Master were able to open the temple's first door. However, they found that the temple had a row of stone doors. This process exerted a lot of energy from Ezra, who asked how many more doors they had to open. The Old Master also urged Ezra to seize the knowledge and power in order to succeed. Having gained each others' trust, Ezra told the stranger his real name. In response, the stranger told him that he was called "Maul."
The Sith temple
Back on the surface, Kanan and Ahsoka interrogated the captured Eighth Brother while Chopper watched. This was the fourth Inquisitor that Kanan and his companions had encountered. When Kanan asked the Inquisitor whether there were more like him, the Eighth Brother replied that there were more than enough to handle him, Ezra, and Ahsoka. The Inquisitor told Kanan and Ahsoka that he hunting a "shadow" on Malachor, which turned out to be the former Sith apprentice Darth Maul.
Meanwhile, Maul led Ezra to the centre of the temple where they saw a Sith holocron resting on an altar. Maul told Ezra that only someone willing to risk oblivion was worthy to take the holocron. Since the altar was separated by a deep chasm, Ezra told Maul to throw him to the altar and stressed that this was something his master had taught him. Taking Ezra's advice, Maul threw the young apprentice towards the altar. Ezra managed to reach the Sith holocron but the ground began to shake as the pyramidal temple started to open up.
Back on the surface, Kanan and Tano approached the temple with the captive Eighth Brother where they saw it opening. While his captors were not watching, the Inquisitor touched a button on his wrist. Kanan then sent Chopper away to prepare the Phantom for departure. Meanwhile at the Sith temple, the altar began to rise and Maul told Ezra to jump. As Kanan and Ahsoka entered the temple, Kanan sensed that Ezra was involved in the recent movements. Back at the alter, Maul used the Force to levitate Ezra to safety and took the Sith holocron.
Meanwhile, Kanan and Tano received warning from Chopper that they had company. Shortly later, the Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister arrived with their red-bladed spinning lightsabers and freed the Eighth Brother. Together, the three Inquisitors attacked Kanan and Ahsoka. Shortly later, Maul and Ezra arrived to find Kanan and Tano fighting the Inquisitors. Both Ahsoka and the Seventh Sister quickly recognized Maul and realized that he was still alive. Maul described himself as formerly Darth but stressed that he was now called Maul. Kanan then warned his apprentice to stay away from Maul.
Maul then activated his lightsaber and helped Kanan and Tano to drive away the Inquisitors. When Ahsoka questioned Maul's motives, he responded that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" and claimed that he was seeking the same knowledge. Maul also warned the Jedi that Darth Vader himself would be coming soon. While Kanan distrusted Maul, Ezra trusted him and told his master and Tano how they had work together to obtain the Sith holocron, which he believed contained the knowledge necessary to defeat the Sith.
An alliance of convenience
Maul told the Jedi and Tano to bring the Sith holocron to the top of the Sith temple in order to gain the knowledge needed to defeat the Sith. When Kanan and Tano expressed their distrust of Maul, the former Sith accused the Jedi of cowardice and offered to help them defeat Vader. In the end, Kanan and Tano agreed to help Maul with their quest. Kanan contacted Chopper to tell him that they were staying behind for a little longer. The astromech droid hooted it was a bad idea but complied with Kanan's instructions to keep the Phantom out of sight. After Maul reassured them that they were on the same side, the four travelers made their way to the top of the Sith temple. When Maul attempted to take Ezra to the top, Kanan didn't take kindly to this and pushed him aside leaving Ahsoka with Maul.
Unknown to the four travelers, they were being followed by one of the Seventh Sister's ID9 seeker droids, who relayed their conversation back to the Inquisitors. The Seventh Sister realized that Ezra had the Sith holocron while the Fifth Brother responded that they could not allow him to use it. The Eighth Brother vowed to reclaim the holocron and departed on his spinning lightsaber to the temple. Before the Fifth Brother could follow, the Seventh Sister advised the Fifth Brother to let the Eighth Brother fan them out so that they could retrieve Lord Vader's prize.
Inside the Sith temple, Ezra and Kanan argued. When Kanan warned Ezra that Maul could not be trusted, the younger Jedi accused his master of holding him back in his Jedi training. Ezra defended Maul and argued that Maul saw potential in him. Shortly later, the Eighth Brother caught up with them and attempted to recover the holocron from Ezra. However, Maul and the Jedi managed to drive him away. When Kanan told Maul that the Inquisitors had realized their plans, Maul advised them to split up in order to split the Inquisitors. Maul offered to take Ezra with him. Despite Kanan's objections, Ezra decided to follow Maul. After they had left, Ahsoka assured Kanan that Ezra would be fine because Kanan had taught him.
As Maul and Ezra made their way to the top of the Sith temple, Maul began to sow seeds of discord between Ezra and his master. He told Ezra to use his powers to his full potential. Along the way, they were ambushed by the Seventh Sister and her seeker droids. Elsewhere, Kanan and Tano were attacked by the Fifth and Eighth Brothers, who engaged them in a lightsaber duel. Maul and Era managed to destroy the seeker droids and defeat the Seventh Sister. Using the Force, Maul levitated the Sister and held her in a Force-choke. When Ezra failed to strike her down, Maul executed her with his lightsaber and admonished the young Jedi that indecision could cause him or his friends their lives.
Splitting up again, Maul told Ezra to plant the Sith holocron in the temple's obelisk while he went to the aid of Ahsoka and Kanan. Arriving at the scene, Maul impaled the Fifth Brother with his lightsaber. Together, Maul and the Jedi cornered the Eighth Brother and managed to damage his spinning lightsaber. Outnumbered, the Eighth Brother attempted to flee but instead plunged to his death in the chasm below. When Kanan demanded to know where Ezra was, Maul claimed Ezra as his apprentice and then struck Kanan with his lightsaber, blinding him. Before Maul could finish off the wounded Jedi, Ahsoka came to Kanan's aid and attacked the former Sith with her white lightsabers.
While dueling Tano, Maul told her that Ezra was activating the temple which he revealed was a battle station that he intended to use to destroy all his enemies. Meanwhile, at the top of the temple, Ezra managed to plant the Sith holocron in its obelisk. The young Jedi was then greeted by an entity known as the "Presence", who told him that knowledge was power. The Sith temple then began powering up. Elsewhere, Tano and Maul's lightsaber duel was interrupted by Kanan, who had managed to don a fallen Jedi Temple Guard's helmet. He told Ahsoka to find Ezra while he dealt with Maul. Despite being blinded, Kanan used his Force powers to fight against Maul and succeeded in pushing over a cliff into the chasm below.
A dark showdown
After driving Maul away, Kanan was contacted by Chopper, who told him that he had sighted another TIE fighter. The wounded Kanan also told the astromech droid to pick them up. Back at the top of the Sith temple, Presence revealed that the Temple contained the power to destroy all life. When Ezra protested that this was not what he was after, Presence told him that she would share the power with someone else more worthy. As Ezra attempted to flee, he was cornered by Darth Vader, who had arrived in his TIE Advanced x1 starfighter. Lord Vader and his master Darth Sidious wanted to use the temple's power for themselves.
When Vader asked Ezra how he figured out how to open the holocron, the young Jedi told the Sith Lord to figure it out himself. Vader quickly defeated Ezra and broke his lightsaber in half. Shortly later, Ahsoka arrived and Vader quickly recognized her as his former apprentice. He offered to spare Tano if she agreed to help the Sith hunt down the remaining Jedi. In response, Ahsoka expressed outrage that her former master was capable of such atrocities as murder. Vader responded that Anakin Skywalker was weak and that he had destroyed him. Tano then vowed to avenge Anakin's death. When Vader retorted that revenge was not the way of the Jedi, Ahsoka replied that she was no Jedi.
While Ahsoka engaged Vader in a lightsaber duel, Ezra decided to remove the holocron in order to keep it out of the Sith Lord's hands. Shortly later, he was joined by Kanan and Chopper, who had arrived with the Phantom. Ezra quickly noticed that Kanan was wearing a helmet and his master replied that he would talk about it later. Working together, Kanan managed to remove the Sith holocron from the obelisk, causing the Temple to collapse and implode on itself.
Ezra and Kanan then tried to make their way back to the Phantom but were held back by Vader through the Force. Ahsoka then attacked Vader and managed to damage his helmet. Beneath the marred helmet, Tano saw her master's scarred face and his yellowish-red glowing right eye. Torn by her feelings to Anakin, Ahsoka vowed not to leave him. Vader appeared to consider this for a few moments, then responded that she would die. Around them, the top of the temple was being sealed. As the temple closed in on itself, Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper managed to escape Malachor on the Phantom.
Aboard the Phantom, Kanan comforted a weeping Ezra as they dealt with the apparent loss of their ally and mentor Ahsoka Tano. The Phantom returned to Chopper Base on Atollon where they were greeted by Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, Garazeb Orrelios and Rex. While the others looked on in silence, Hera embraced Kanan, who wore a white blindfold around his eyes. When Ezra appeared, Rex looked on in sadness upon seeing that Ahsoka had not come with them. Meanwhile, Maul escaped Malachor on the Eight Brother's stolen TIE fighter.
On Malachor's surface, a lone and damaged Darth Vader emerged from a hole in the wrecked Sith temple without Ahsoka. His mask was sliced, his voice box was wheezing, and the Sith Lord was limping. While a convor flew over the top of the temple, an image of the back of Tano was seen walking back down into the temple. Back on the rebel ship Ghost, the Lothal rebels silently deal with Kanan's blindness and the loss of Ahsoka. In his darkened room, Ezra managed to access the Sith holocron while his eyes reflected the beaming red light.
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Notes and references
- Twilight of the Apprentice on Disney XD's official schedule
- Goldman, Eric (2016-03-30). Star Wars Rebels: Dave Filoni on Ahsoka's Fate, Maul's Return and Much More. IGN. Retrieved on March 31, 2016.
- Lussier, Germain (31-03-2016). The Producer of Star Wars Rebels Answers Your Burning Questions About That Epic Finale and Beyond. io9. Retrieved on April 1, 2016.