Through a seismic shift in galactic storytelling, time and space took on a whole new meaning as Ezra Bridger went on an illuminating journey in the Star Wars Rebels Season Four episode, “A World Between Worlds.”
In this groundbreaking story arc, Ezra discovers the connectivity through the living Force, changes the destiny of Ahsoka Tano, and is tempted to alter the fate of his fallen master, Kanan Jarrus. As we prepare for a complete rewatch of the final season of Star Wars Rebels, coming home on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, let’s take a closer look at this episode in particular.
The space between spaces
Inside the Jedi Temple portal, Ezra finds himself in a surreal world of limitless paths. Veris Hydan refers to it as a pathway between all time and space and its design would seem to support this theory. Throughout this seemingly endless labyrinth, there are myriad options for Ezra to explore, but each choice he makes and portal he interacts with in the Temple will impact not only his own future, but the fate of his Jedi friends as well.
As he walks through this infinite world, he hears the voices of Yoda, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Kanan, and Ahsoka echoing all around him. Ezra is literally and figuratively walking a path toward becoming a Jedi Knight, with the wisdom of the past surrounding his present decisions. To further this metaphor, every step he takes leaves a temporary ripple of light, perhaps demonstrating the path to enlightenment he is walking.
Ahsoka Tano’s return
It is in this moment that he sees a convor perched atop a portal, a harbinger of one of the most jaw-dropping moments in recent Star Wars storytelling: Ahsoka Tano’s triumphant return. The last time we saw Ahsoka was in the Season Two finale, “Twilight of the Apprentice,” while she fought Darth Vader in a Sith Temple on Malachor. The ending of that duel was rather ambiguous, but it certainly seemed as if Ahsoka was in imminent danger. However, once Ezra discovers her here, he instinctively reaches through the portal to save her from Vader’s killing stroke.
Later, Anakin’s former Padawan returns to the portal to Malachor with a sense of renewal, promising to come and find Ezra. Through the Force, the possibilities truly are endless.
But first, in a particularly tense moment, Ezra faces perhaps his greatest temptation when he witnesses the imminent death of his mentor and dear friend, Kanan Jarrus. With a heavy heart, he listens to the advice of Ahsoka and lets go, honoring Kanan’s sacrifice. His choice here may help explain why Ezra has access to this Jedi Temple. He may not always like the way things happen, but he will not attempt to interfere with the ways of the Force.
Ironically, when Ezra looks out the door at Darth Vader earlier in the episode, it could be argued that the portal becomes a type of mirror for him. Rather than a reflection, this mirror shows how strongly the two characters are in opposition with one another. Had Anakin Skywalker been in a similar situation and had the chance to save Padmé, all of his previous actions suggest he would have done so. Unlike the Sith, Ezra proves that he will not try and cheat death or manipulate life.
Closing the portal
Once Ezra returns to the present, he has to close the Jedi Temple to prevent any further Imperial interference. To do so, he must activate the Mortis mural. Ezra opens his palm and inserts it into the door handle, which appears to be connected to the closed fist of the Son. The closed hand is a symbol of aggression or savagery, whereas Ezra’s open palm is one of harmony and pacifism. In other words, this could symbolize that peace closes the door to violence.
All of these moments foreshadow Ezra’s choices as the series comes to a close. He does not adhere to the myth of redemptive violence and instead shows great restraint and selflessness. Both he and Ahsoka exemplify the best of the Jedi philosophy, beautifully demonstrated in “A World Between Worlds.”
Dan Zehr is a high school English teacher with an MS in Teaching and Learning, and is the Host and co-creator of Coffee With Kenobi, a podcast that examines Star Wars’ mythology from a place of intelligence and humor.