- Fans are shocked as beloved Star Wars Rebels hero Kanan Jarrus is depicted as an Inquisitor for the Galactic Empire.
- The idea of Kanan turning to the dark side challenges viewers’ perception of the character’s purity and moral center.
- Without the positive influence of Hera Syndulla, Kanan may have been susceptible to corruption, highlighting the importance of her role in his life.
One Star Wars fan has introduced a frankly depressing new idea for what might have been if things were a little different. In this case, it involves a beloved hero from Star Wars Rebels in his darkest alternate timeline, and even other fans have powerful feelings about the idea.
Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus was a beacon of light in the animated series Star Wars Rebels. Despite his troubled past and open trauma, he remained a moral center for many other characters who may have strayed toward the dark side without guidance. Most notably, this included his young protege, Ezra Bridger, who, on numerous occasions, almost found himself corrupted by darkness. It provided for some valuable storytelling conflict among the rebel alliance in Star Wars, but it also helped prove just how steadfast Kanan was as a true hero.
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So when artist MSMarenco decided to post a piece depicting Kanan as an Inquisitor for the Galactic Empire, fellow fans on Reddit were shocked at the idea. The work shows a recognizable Kanan, complete with his trademark goatee and ponytail, standing over a dead subordinate as a distraught Hera Syndulla looks up at the man she loved in another lifetime. Including Hera, who herself recently boasted a starring role in the live-action series Ahsoka, was an inspired choice, as it tragically connects to how she was one of the main reasons Kanan was able to resist spiraling into despair after losing everything in the war.
For that reason and several others, fans quickly pointed out how they’d never considered the idea of Kanan turning to the dark side. Played by Freddie Prinze Jr. in Star Wars Rebels, Kanan changed his name from Caleb Dume after losing his master during the Jedi purge of Order 66 and finding himself without purpose in the galaxy. But despite all that, viewers perceived him as oddly “pure” in Rebels, largely thanks to Hera coming into his life and giving him something to not only live for but also to fight for. So from a certain point of view, it might be seen as a betrayal of the character to see him in this way.
However, other commenters soon realized that it would make a lot of sense if Kanan/Caleb had been captured after his master was killed on the planet Keller. The Inquisitors in Star Wars have proven adept at corrupting Jedi, particularly young ones, as shown by other tragic tales like Trilla in the video game Jedi: Fallen Order. Also, it’s worth repeating just how much of a positive influence Hera had on Kanan’s life, as he’d been directionless until he joined her as part of the fledgling rebellion. Without that guiding light, he would have been similarly vulnerable even as an adult.
If nothing else, this artwork demonstrates just how bad things could have gotten if Kanan had continued his downward spiral after the Clone Wars. He never would have been around to sacrifice himself for Ezra and the rest of the Star Wars Rebels Ghost crew, meaning Thrawn would have won that pivotal battle against the rebel alliance and possibly stamped them out entirely. That means even the original trilogy never would have happened. Even so, he looks darn sharp in black.
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Star Wars is a multimedia franchise created by George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd with the 1977 motion picture. The science fiction franchise follows the adventures of characters (both humanoid and alien) in outer space, including those who can wield a mystical power known as the Force. Since the release of the original trilogy movies, the franchise has expanded to include multiple films and branched out to other mediums like comics, video games, TV shows, theme park attractions, and more. The IP and Lucasfilm were sold to Disney in 2012.
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