After the emotional beating that was “Jedi Night,” “DUME” shows how the characters of Star Wars Rebels deal with grief — on both the Rebel and Imperial sides. Governor Pryce is still alive, but her decision to destroy the fuel depot to stop the Jedi has brought Thrawn’s wrath down upon Lothal. Hera and Ezra descend into personal journeys to deal with their loss, while Sabine and Zeb take a more active tack and brawl with Thrawn’s enforcer, Rukh.Ezra and Hera both get room to breathe in this episode, and I’m glad it balanced action scenes with emotion to allow the audience to breathe a bit too. Ezra deals with his emotions like a Jedi — by meditating — but finds himself in a dreamlike version of Lothal populated by fierce and furious loth-wolves. Executive Producer Dave Filoni pulled out all the stops when it came to embracing the imagery of the wolves, which brings with it real-world ideas about folklore and conservation. It’s utterly effective, personifying the wilds of Lothal or the Force. The wolves are angry now. Just when one might expect the show to double down on the wolves as powerful, serene spirits, they become something more animalistic, more viscerally frightening, and more real.
They also add to Ezra’s grief. He’s a child mourning his father figure, and now he is confronted with these terrifying creatures and doesn’t know what he did wrong. The lights in the sky of Lothal are also particularly beautiful in this section, clueing the viewer in on the fact that Ezra isn’t quite in Kansas anymore while also soothing the emotions from “Jedi Night.” The Force goes on, those lights say. The planet goes on. And Ezra still has a mission to follow. I’m very curious to see what Rebels will do next with the Jedi Temple on Lothal.