Wednesday night’s Episode of Star Wars Rebels, “Shroud of Darkness” brought back some greatness to the series. Rebels finally delivered what many fans have wanted. In one episode, we got to see Yoda (voiced by the great Frank Oz), see the Grand Inquisitor’s identity/origin, and get to see the Jedi Temple on Lothal again. Millions of fans cheered as a series that many had felt was dragging its feet finally brought something excellent. That was my reaction at least. Up until this point, I was a bit ho-hum on the series; I’m finally excited again about Rebels.
At the same time, we are left wondering how much of the episode was “real”. A lot of things happen in these Jedi Temples that are just hallucinations. As Ahsoka put it, “These temples can be tricky.” Her experience seeing Anakin turn into Vader was certainly a pure hallucination, but it was based in reality. We are led to believe that Ezra really did interact with Yoda on some ethereal plane. And Kanan…This one I’m not sure about. I believe that it is based in reality, in that the Grand Inquisitor was indeed a Jedi Temple guard. After all, people had this theory before the episode aired. It’s the only way that what Dave Filoni said about the Grand Inquisitor being in the Clone Wars cartoon would make sense. However, because the Grand Inquisitor clearly died, I don’t think that he was actually there. It was some sort of tactile Force-magic. The latest Rebels Recon suggests that the visions created in the temple were created by Yoda to instruct our Jedi heroes (thanks to @StarWarsVillain for the tip), but maybe the temple itself also has the power to create these images? After all, these kinds of things don’t happen just anywhere in the galaxy.
At the same time, this “Jedi Temple Guard” interacted with Kanan and fought with Kanan, and the other guards actually trapped the other Inquisitors. Could they do this if they were just hallucinations? Let’s recall that Luke fought Vader in the cave in ESB. Somehow the Force is able to create very real, tactile Force-visions that may blur the line between reality and imagery.
Dash Star (in the video linked above) takes this idea of the Temple Guards further, and speculates that all the Inquisitors are all former Jedi Guards. In fact, this theory would suggest that this is part of how the Emperor was able to take over the Jedi Temple on Coruscant in RotS. He may have already infiltrated the guards and had a few of them on his side already. Certainly not all of them though. Nevertheless, this idea is very intriguing. It also explains where the Knights of Ren could have originated. Could Snoke also be a former Temple Guard, or would that be too easy?
These Jedi guards were an elite part of the Jedi order that wore special robes and masks, and fought with yellow double-bladed lightsabers. These guys were super-dedicated to the Jedi order, and by concealing their faces they practiced extreme detatchment from everything and hence devotion to the order. From what I can glean about them, they were protecting The Jedi Temple (on Coruscant), but I don’t know if they were in every Jedi Temple. That said, once the Temple on Coruscant was taken over by the Empire and Darth Vader, it’s possible that some of them fled to other Temples throughout the galaxy.
In the Force Awakens, Han tells Rey and Finn that Luke went on a quest to find the First Jedi Temple. Indeed he did find it on Ahch-To, and presumably it is related to the stone structures that we see at the end of the movie.
Early in the concept stage, there were ideas bouncing around about Luke being trapped inside a temple, maybe even drowning in sand. In “The Art of The Force Awakens” book, we get a glimpse at some of this concept art:
So how far did they want to take this and how far will they take it? What are the chances that we’ll see a Temple Guard on Ahch-To in some underground tunnels connecting to the temple there in Episode VIII? After Obi Wan changed the code broadcasted from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to tell all the Jedi to flee (in RotS), wouldn’t it make sense for some of them to escape to temples like the ones on Ilum, Lothal and Ahch-To? I’m assuming they knew the way. If anyone would know the location of these other Temples, you’d think it would be an elite group of Jedi like the Temple Guards.
There’s even been suggestion that the title of Episode VIII will be “Tale of the Jedi Temple”. Film Hype, tweeted this image:
Star Wars Episode VIII rumored to be titled “Tale of the Jedi Temple” pic.twitter.com/idfkRk5nwC
— Film Hype (@FilmHyp) February 29, 2016
Although I don’t necessarily think this name is real, I don’t mind it. The fact that it is believable says more perhaps about where the stories are going lately. The Temples keep coming up again and again, and presumably there are a lot of mysteries in them waiting to be explored.
We’ve already speculated that maybe Rey will be trained on Ahch-To, and this could involve exploring some underground tunnels connected to the Temple there. I had speculated that this could involve some under-water cave-diving. After all, it’s on an island on a water planet.
The question is, will Rey and Luke encounter visions of Temple Guards that they will have to fight? Just imagine the design opportunities to have an ancient version of the Jedi Temple Guards (associated with the earliest days of the Jedi) emerge from the tunnels on Ahch-To. Or maybe they will encounter something else entirely. What is clear is that certain locations in the galaxy far far away are imbued with the Force, and can create powerful, interactive visions. Perhaps the Temple on Lothal created these guards somehow to protect it. We can only conclude that the same would be true of the first Jedi Temple, and Luke and Rey will have to prove their worth by facing such obstacles. Certainly fun to speculate about.
Follow me on twitter @davestrrr and stay tuned for updates MWF on SpoiledBlueMilk!