In Review: Star Wars: Rebels, Episode 8 “Path of the Jedi”

I enjoyed it, but wasn't wowed by it.

Star Wars: Rebels, Episode 8 “Path of the Jedi” Broadcast January 5, 2014

Written by Charles Murray

Directed by Dave Filoni

Kanan is looking for Ezra on the Ghost but can’t find him. The youth is running back to the ship. He knows he’s late for training. While he’s en route, Kanan has opened the Jedi holocron and is looking at a massive map of something. Just before Ezra enters, he turns off the holocron. The boy tries to apologize to Kanan, but he’s having none of it because “back on that asteroid you made a dangerous connection.” The Jedi is ready to give Ezra a real challenge “to see if he’s meant to be a Jedi, or not.” This surprises Ezra and the opening title card appears and the first commercial break commences.

This felt like a Clone Wars episode because the focus is clearly on what it means to be a Jedi. The series is proceeding much quicker than I had expected in having Ezra move toward becoming one. However, even though things have changed in these Dark Times, Kanan is still teaching Ezra using the old ways. For example, there’s a lot of focus on the youth making his own decisions and using the Force to guide him. The pair go to a setting that was very surprising, considering it’s so close, and what is within in it echoes from The Empire Strikes Back.

Speaking of that film, this is the much hyped episode featuring Frank Oz as Yoda. Yes, Yoda is in this episode, but not in the way you would be expecting. It makes perfect sense for him to appear in the manner he does, and if anything it only excited me as where he would lead this series’ master and his padawan. If anyone is vaguely familiar with Star Wars, they’ll realize what is going on, and if someone is very familiar with Star Wars, they’ll know how this will all pan out. Does this make it unsurprising? Not really, but I didn’t feel much tension when the antagonist rears his head. I was glad to see that Murray has Ezra figure out quickly what’s going on.

The music in this episode was exceptional because it drew heavily from the John Williams scores. The opening shot in the episode immediately tells readers where they’ll be headed. When the episode briefly returns the Ghost the score was haunting in what was going on and giving a preview of what another Jedi in the future will face. The final scene’s score was a raise the roof moment and had me clamoring for the next installment.

The good: Yoda, the music, the fight scene, and the final scene.

Fun lines: “Trust yourself. Trust the Force,” “Dead guys are distracting,” and “A guide.”

The bad: Pretty predictable for long term fans. Why must Kanan continue to be so vague in his teachings when he knows/thinks that it’s one of the reasons for the Jedi’s downfall? There’s also a moment where all I could think of was the original Tron. The movie poster moment is now part of Star Wars.

The final line: I enjoyed it, but wasn’t wowed by it. Yoda was the wow, but I knew he couldn’t run the episode. Overall grade: B

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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