THE DARK TIMES
Ezra, Kanan, and Ahsoka Tano returned to the Jedi Temple seeking answers on how to defeat Vader and his Inquisitors. Ezra contacted Yoda; Kanan encountered a Temple guard later revealed to be the Grand Inquisitor, who knighted Kanan; and Ahsoka experienced a harrowing vision of Anakin Skywalker. They were found by the Inquisitors, however, and the Temple began to fall upon their intrusion. While the Jedi escaped, Darth Vader soon arrived, leaving the Temple in the hands of the dark side. “My Master will be most pleased with this discovery,” Vader said.
After the Empire seized control of the Temple, Veris Hydan led an excavation of the site. More than recovering artifacts, he and the Emperor believed that this Temple, and a painting of the Mortis gods on its exterior, were a gateway to untold power. Ezra Bridger, however, unlocked the portal first. Inside, he found doorways between time and space, and saved his friend Ahsoka Tano from death at the hands of Darth Vader. The Emperor, through dark arts, found Bridger and Tano in the Temple, and almost succeeded in using them to gain entrance. The Jedi escaped, however, and the Temple collapsed.
Growing up on his own during the age of the Empire, Ezra Bridger relied on his street smarts -- and subconscious Force abilities -- to survive. He became a con artist and small-time thief, doing what he needed to get by on his home planet Lothal. But this reality also hardened Ezra, who by the time he was 14 years old, had little trust for anyone. That would change with his introduction to the Ghost crew, a small band of rebels fighting back against the Empire. Ezra came to believe in their cause, and saw that he could help change the galaxy for the better. And with the help of Kanan Jarrus, he began to learn the ways of the Jedi.
Not every Jedi perished in Order 66. Kanan Jarrus survived the Emperor’s purge, going underground for years and hiding the truth about who he really was. To keep his past a secret, Kanan carried a blaster -- an uncommon practice for a Jedi -- and used a lightsaber that had to be assembled. He was a leader among the Ghost crew, a small group of rebels looking to strike back against the Empire, and with the emergence of the Force-sensitive Ezra, once again embraced his identity as a Jedi Knight.
Not much is known about the Empire’s Grand Inquisitor. A Pau’an male, he was tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down any surviving Jedi Knights. The Inquistor was an intimidating figure, dressed in all black and wielding a red, double-bladed lightsaber. After several encounters with Kanan Jarrus and his Padawan Ezra Bridger, the Inquisitor died in a lightsaber duel with Kanan – but warned the rogue Jedi that his victory had unleashed something terrible.
At the heart of every Jedi lightsaber is a kyber crystal found on several planets, most notably the icebound caves of Ilum. This crystal is attuned to the Force, and connected to a Jedi Knight on a deeply personal level. In this way, a lightsaber is an extension of a Jedi's Force awareness. Because Jedi let the Force guide their selection of the crystal, the vibration that the crystal creates in the lightsaber blade helps Jedi center themselves and find balance in the Force. In this way, a Jedi can center his or her attention beyond the distractions of combat. A lightsaber crystal is colorless until first attuned and connected to a Jedi -- at which times it glows either blue or green, or in some rare instances, another shade. From that point on, it retains that hue.
Lothal is a diverse planet, with both farmland and a city center. During the age of the Empire, it fell under Imperial occupation, as farmers were kicked off their land and enormous TIE fighter and weapons factories were built. While most of the population felt powerless in the face of Imperial rule, a select few dared to fight back.