‘Star Wars Rebels’ May Have Answered 1 of the Film Franchise’s Biggest Questions

Many Star Wars fans don’t really bother with the animated shows, dismissing them as being for kids and not particularly important to the overall canon. But this season of Star Wars Rebels has proven that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The past few episodes have been just as much of a game changer as The Last JediRebels has now introduced something that changes the saga forever, and the implications of it are monumental. In fact, there’s a theory going around that the latest episode may have actually answered one of our biggest lingering questions from the movies. Here’s how.

In the latest episode, Ezra Bridger visits a “world between worlds”

Ezra stands and stares outward into a black starry sky.

Ezra visits a mysterious world. | Disney

In the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels, the main character, Ezra Bridger, travels to the Jedi Temple on a planet called Lothal. The Empire is interested in uncovering something at this temple, but we aren’t sure what that is as the episode begins.

When Ezra arrives at the temple, he discovers a portal, which transports him to a mysterious dimension. The show refers to this as a “world between worlds.” Once he begins exploring inside, it becomes clear just how significant this dimension is.

Next: The world between worlds introduces something huge into Star Wars canon.

The world is described as being outside of space and time

Ezra discovers a triangle shaped portal.

Ezra discovers a portal. | Disney

This mysterious Force plane introduces something to Star Wars we never expected: time travel. As it turns out, the plane that Ezra goes to exists outside of space and time. Once he’s in there, he starts hearing lines of dialogue from all of the Star Wars movies, including The Force Awakens. 

But Rebels takes place decades before the events of those movies, meaning the plane Ezra is in clearly reaches into the future. It also reaches into the past, since we hear lines from Attack of the Clones as well.

All throughout the world, Ezra notices a variety of portals. And when he looks into one, he discovers something incredible.

Next: What Ezra finds when he looks into the portal changes everything.

Ezra is able to reach through time and change the past

Ezra stands in a dark room with two other Star Wars Rebels characters.

Ezra looks into the past. | Lucasfilm

When Ezra looks into one of the portals located in this mysterious plane, he discovers his friend Ahsoka Tano. Two seasons ago, Ahsoka fought Darth Vader on Malachor, and Ezra and his friends left her there, presuming she had been killed. So when Ezra sees into this portal, he’s actually looking two years into the past.

But Ezra doesn’t have to just look. He discovers that he can actually interact with the past, too. Ezra reaches into the portal, grabs Ahsoka, and pulls her into the world between worlds. He has, therefore, just altered time and saved someone from dying.

Later in the scene, Ezra toys with the idea of saving his mentor Kanan, who died a few episodes ago. But he ultimately decides against it, as Kanan had sacrificed himself to save everyone, and going back to save him might change history so that they all die.

Next: The sequence becomes even more important once this character from the movies gets involved.

Emperor Palpatine knows about this world and wants to access it

Emperor Palpatine looking into a portal.

Emperor Palpatine looks into the world between worlds. | Disney

The scene reaches a new level of importance when none other than Emperor Sheev Palpatine himself makes an appearance. Palpatine does not actually enter the world between worlds, but he starts talking to Ezra through one of the portals.

Presumably, he knows about the dimension but is not actually able to enter it himself; that’s why he sent Imperials to Lothal to gain access to the portal that Ezra went into. Palpatine is able to interact with the world, though, as he shoots fire into it.

By the end of the episode, Ezra has closed the Lothal portal, and the Jedi Temple is destroyed.

Next: The big unanswered question from the movies that this world between worlds could explain.

Could this be how Darth Plagueis saved others from death?

Palpatine looks over at Anakin.

Palpatine tells Anakin the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise. | Lucasfilm

The whole focus of this particular Rebels episode is that Ezra wants to be able to save people from death. And although he doesn’t do so, it’s implied that he would have been able to by using this world between worlds.

So who else do we know who could save people from death? Darth Plagueis, of course. One of the greatest scenes in the prequels came in Revenge of the Sith, when Palpatine explains the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise, who “could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.”

This opened up so many questions that fans spent years debating. Who is Darth Plagueis? How did he save people from death, exactly? The old expanded universe went into detail on that, but that’s no longer canon. However, Rebels might have just offered a new explanation: Plagueis had access to the world between worlds, and he used that to rewrite history. This would explain why he could save others from death, but not himself.

Next: How Darth Vader comes into play here.

Might Palpatine have used this to manipulate Anakin?

Sheev Palpatine smiling slightly while wearing red clothing,

Sheev Palpatine | Lucasfilm

In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin turns to the Dark Side primarily because he’s afraid that his wife, Padmé, is about to die, and Palpatine promises that he can keep her alive. But the turn is a bit strange because Palpatine offers absolutely no evidence that he can do so, and Anakin has no real reason to believe this evil old space wizard can save her.

But if Anakin knew about this world between worlds — which would theoretically allow him to go back in time and save Padmé — but only Palpatine knew how to access it, his turn would make more sense; he would have every reason to believe he could save Padmé if he joined Palpatine.

Future Star Wars canon material could theoretically add in scenes during the events of Revenge of the Sith or after in which Palpatine tells Anakin about the Force dimension, with this being a retcon justifying his turn to the Dark Side more than Revenge of the Sith originally did.

Next: Another aspect of the movies that this could help explain.

This could help explain why Vader remained loyal to Palpatine for so long

Darth Vader siting on a silver throne.

Anakin might find out about Padmé. | Lucasfilm

After Revenge of the Sith, fans debated why Vader remained loyal to Palpatine for so long. After all, Palpatine gets him to turn to the Dark Side with a specific promise that he can save Padmé. When Padmé dies — and after decades of Palpatine showing no sign that he’s actually able to save people from death like he said — wouldn’t Vader turn on him?

Well, this Rebels reveal could explain why. Maybe it was only after Padmé died that Vader found out about the world between worlds. Palpatine told him the truth: that he knew about a Force dimension that could be used to save people from death, but he was still searching for a portal into it. So Vader could have stuck with Palpatine for decades waiting for a way to save Padmé. Rebels would have therefore answered one of our biggest questions and helped enrich Revenge of the Sith all in one 22-minute episode.

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