Star Wars Rebels: 4.13 A World Between Worlds
Well…that was most definitely not what I was expecting. Last episode left the idea of the Mortis Gods returning, which I couldn’t have been more excited about. Instead, A World Between Worlds offers fantastical visual and story elements that tantalise all emotions and makes the nerd in me act like a giddy schoolgirl. The whole team clearly put in a great deal of effort to bring this together. Not only is it visually one of the most spectacular episodes I’ve seen, but it builds a bridge linking the entirety of the Star Wars saga together, celebrating the movies, past and present TV shows, and of course the extended Universe.
We last saw Ezra stepping through a portal at Lothal’s Jedi Temple. He awakens in what can only be described as space, with pathways linking together moments in time both past, present and future in a breathtaking manner. As he attempts to decipher his whereabouts, we hear the voices from the entire Star Wars saga, from Yoda and Qui-Gon, to Rey and Kylo Ren. I simply can’t credit the visuals enough, the 3D rendered characters, and 2D pathways made the scene feel surreal.
Walking aimlessly through the maze of space, the Force draws Ezra to a portal, where he witnesses the fight between Ahsoka and Vader from the finale of season two. During the fight that Ezra appears to be witnessing, Ahsoka is about to be struck when Ezra reaches out, grabs her and draws her into the now. This opens the idea of time travel and is both intriguing and confusing for both Ezra and the Universe. Frankly could you imagine Rey having a chat with Hera, or having the ability to alter the past? This brings us to a very powerful sequence with an even more powerful message.
Ezra becomes a dog chasing a bone, trying to find the portal that shows the moment Kanan met his demise. Once found, Ezra becomes adamant that he can save Kanan, until Ahsoka explains why he can’t; “Kanan found the moment he was needed most and did what he had to do for everyone”. This whole sequence was so emotional, not just because it’s the return of Ahsoka, but because of what it symbolised. Ezra once again watched his master die, but this time realising he did it so that everyone else could live, and in order to move on, must once and for all expel his grief. I honestly didn’t know a space opera like Star Wars could be quite so powerful and moving.
Suddenly, Emperor Palpatine arrives and attempts to enter the temple. Knowing that Ezra is the key, he tries to capture him using some strange Force magic not seen before. Together Ezra and Ahsoka mange to escape; before returning to her own time, Ezra says to Ahsoka “when you get back, come find me!” Does this mean we’ll see her again? Personally I doubt it but still hold out hope.
While all this is happening the story outside the temple continues. Sabine had been captured and is being interrogated by Minister Hydan; they end up discussing the Mortis painting and its significance. Meanwhile Zeb, Hera and Chopper do what they can to rescue Sabine. Although this portion of the episode had its place and was by no means unentertaining, every time it came up I couldn’t help but feel annoyed and harbour a desire to return to Ezra.
What I find most astonishing about this episode wasn’t just the story that develops the lore and characters, but that it’s the return of Ahsoka Tano, something that has been highly anticipated for almost two seasons. And yet that fact that neither her return and an appearance by Emperor Palpatine was the biggest revelation, speaks volumes about the series.
The episode ends with Ezra and the team back together. With the help of Sabine, Ezra manages to destroy the gateway into the temple, causing an explosion that the team barely escape from. As the screen fades we hear Kanan speak, “the Force will be with you, always”, as a kind of final goodbye (one moment while I get the dust out of my eyes). There was a lovely moment too as Ezra and Hera finally let go of their grief.
Overall I can honestly say A World Between Worlds is in my top 5 Star Wars Rebels episodes. The story not only further expanded the Universe but took Ezra to a whole new level in a manner that I greatly enjoyed. I thought the time spent on all fantastical elements was just right; the time travel aspect wasn’t overplayed nor treated as a novelty. The return of Ahsoka, although one could argue was quick and lacked importance, felt perfect. She belongs in this series and the fact that she is alive pleases me more than ever. This episode will keep me thinking for a long time to come, remaining a powerful and heart-warming gift only Star Wars Rebels could have provided.