This review contains spoilers.
What happens when a creator becomes too attached to their creation? It’s something of a cliché, but there’s truth to the notion that writing stories is more akin to archaeology than architecture. It’s not construction, it’s unearthing something buried, and the more you dig, the more clear the picture becomes. But what if in the process of digging, you find that the story is leading to a conclusion you don’t want? What if, for instance, a character you’ve been writing for years, a character who has become beloved by not only the fans, but by you yourself, needs to die for the story to work; do you have the fortitude to allow the story to go where it needs to, or do you fight against it and try to graft an ill-fitting conclusion onto the story?
Star Wars Rebels’ second season finale comes so close to working. All the elements are there: its atmosphere is dripping with ominous mystery and a sense of dread; it dips its toe into the weirder, darker corners of Star Wars lore without lingering on any of it too long to become a distraction; it reintroduces a terrible, hateful character in a way that is genuinely smart and interesting; and it puts our characters in interesting positions heading into the final conflict… but then it stumbles and all the pieces come crashing to the floor