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Star Wars: The Untold Truth Of Ezra Bridger

"Star Wars Rebels" follows Ezra Bridger as he joins the crew of the Ghost and starts his journey as both a Jedi and a soldier of the Rebellion. Fans were not always enamored of the young rebel: Between his childish tendencies and the fact that "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" had seemingly been canceled in favor of "Star Wars Rebels" (which was announced just two months later), many found Ezra less than likeable.

As both the show and the character grew, however, fans fell in love with Ezra. It's easy to see why. Ezra grows up alone on the streets of the capital city of Lothal before finding a family in the Rebellion. Receiving training from Jedi and Sith alike, he's a powerful Force user who can connect to strange beasts throughout the galaxy. He's a friend, a fighter, a leader, and above all, a hero. Ezra Bridger has left many untold truths behind in his wake — and we're here to uncover them.

Ezra was born on the same day as the Empire

19 years before Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star, Emperor Palpatine ordains Anakin Skywalker as Darth Vader, issues Order 66, destroys the Jedi Order, and holds an emergency session of the Republic Senate, transforming it into the First Galactic Empire. Meanwhile, on a faraway planet in the Outer Rim called Lothal, Ephraim and Mira Bridger welcome their newborn son, Ezra.

It's not just that Ezra has no memories of the Old Republic — he's never even existed alongside it. Instead, young Ezra Bridger grows up in a world damaged by the Empire's dictatorial regime. Perhaps most insultingly, the loud, boisterous parades of Empire Day haunt every birthday of his childhood. Ezra Bridger's origin and that of Palpatine's Empire are inextricably linked — it's only fitting, then, that Ezra goes on to play a key role in the Empire's eventual end. 

Ezra's parents are Rebel broadcasters

Ezra Bridger's parents, Ephraim and Mira, oppose the Empire from the day of their son's birth and do everything they can to resist it. First, they provide refuge for those fleeing the Empire's wrath, with the help of Lothal's planetary governor, Ryder Azadi. Eventually, Mira and Ephraim discover a new way to challenge Imperial rule: broadcasting.

Worried about the Empire's increasing totalitarianism, Mira and Ephraim begin speaking out via underground broadcasts, denouncing Imperial lies and arguing against their ideology. As these messages grow in popularity, however, the Empire becomes more and more determined to eliminate their source. Eventually, they find Mira, Ephraim, and Ryder. Imperial Stormtroopers arrest the trio and imprison them off-world, leaving a 7-year-old Ezra to look after himself on the streets of the planet's capital. 

When Ezra sends out his own rebellious, anti-Imperial broadcast nearly a decade later in Season 1's "Call to Action," Ephraim and Mira hear it. They're inspired to stage a prison break that frees almost all of their fellow rebels, including Ryder, which allows them to continue the fight against the Empire. Sadly, they give their lives in the effort — but they die knowing their son will continue their mission. 

Ezra is basically Star Wars' answer to Aladdin

Ezra Bridger's parents fight to create a better world for their son, but their heroism forces Ezra to raise himself as an orphan. By picking pockets and stealing from stores, Ezra manages to do pretty well for himself. Even when he's caught stealing, he's clever and quick enough to escape his pursuers. It brings to mind another famous Disney character he might just be inspired by: Aladdin. 

The basic similarities are obvious, and only go deeper the further one looks. Both characters are orphans labeled "street rat" (or "Lothal rat" in Ezra's case) who are introduced as they steal food. They both "gotta eat," after all. Both thieves proceed to escape using complicated parkour-esque acrobatics.

If that's not enough Disney synergy for you, consider this: Ezra goes on to become good friends with space pirate Hondo Ohnaka, who's basically Captain Jack Sparrow of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. Furthermore, Hondo is voiced by the legendary Jim Cummings, who provided the voice for Razoul, the main guard who chases Aladdin through the city streets in the "One Jump Ahead" sequence.

Ezra Bridger, unlikely Karate Kid

DK Publishing's 2015 reference book, "Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know," reveals that Ezra's character was partially inspired by Ralph Macchio's Daniel LaRusso, hero of the "Karate Kid" movies. Like Ezra, he's a teenager who absorbs moral lessons from a mysterious teacher while learning martial arts. Both characters come to trust others and think beyond themselves as they train in their respective disciplines.

Ezra's name has interesting roots as well. "Rebels" creators Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni have confirmed that they used Biblical and mythological names for characters in order to connect them to the gravitas of the "Star Wars" story. Ezra's name links him to Ezra of the Hebrew Bible's Book of Ezra, a scribe and priest who helped his people return to Jerusalem. Moreover, many Biblical names are still in common use: Plenty of real-world Ezras have surely watched Ezra Bridger on TV. In tapping into this bond, Kinberg and Filoni have connected fans to the "Star Wars" mythos in a whole new way.

Ezra's home planet broke new ground in the Star Wars universe

Ezra Bridger hails from the peaceful Outer Rim world of Lothal. This planet ultimately proves to be one of the most important settings in "Star Wars Rebels." A tranquil place covered in lush prairies, rolling grasslands, and vast savannas, Lothal's many landscapes are dotted with exotic rock formations. Most of Lothal is used as farmland, but it does have one city of substance: the simply-named Capital City. Capital City houses the planet's factories, administrative centers, and communications and trading hubs. Taken as a whole, Lothal is a beautiful place that happens to be largely unimportant to the galaxy as a whole. This makes it the ideal place to conceal a Jedi Temple, which is hidden in its northern hemisphere.

As the first planet introduced in "Star Wars Rebels," which is itself the first piece of "Star Wars" media Disney released after acquiring Lucasfilm, Lothal holds the honor of being the first new planet of the Disney era. Though famous locales like Exegol, Scarif, and Batuu followed it, Lothal paved the way.

Ezra Bridger is the first main character of a Star Wars TV show

Before "Star Wars Rebels" came along, the only "Star Wars" television series of note (we're ignoring the 1980s' "Droids" and "Ewoks") were the 2D animated "Star Wars: Clone Wars" and the CGI animated "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Both shows feature a large cast of characters across the course of their runs. Though certain figures like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano are certainly more prominent than others, it's not really accurate to say that either show has a true main character.

When "Star Wars Rebels" premiered in 2014, the franchise finally got its first leading television character in Ezra Bridger. Because "Rebels" features an ensemble cast, it might seem strange to label Ezra, or any other character for that matter, as the main character. Unlike most ensemble shows, however, nearly every episode of "Rebels" places Ezra squarely in the middle of things. Even episodes that focus on a different member of the crew, like Season 3's "Imperial Supercommandos," prominently feature Ezra and emphasize the relationship between him and his crewmates. Moreover, the show as a whole begins with Ezra's involvement in the titular Rebellion, and ends with the conclusion of his service. This is, in every sense, Ezra's story.

Ezra's first lightsaber is one of the most unique in the franchise

Many fans were initially skeptical as they watched Ezra build his first lightsaber in Season 1's "Path of the Jedi." The weapon is a hybrid creation, incorporating Ezra's non-lethal energy slingshot, which is itself a unique item. This innovative nature allows Ezra to switch between firing shots and swinging a blade. Though some feel it's too childish, the weapon works remarkably well for the character. Ezra needs to train in the ways of the Force and survive the Empire at the same time. He doesn't have the luxury of waiting to fight until he masters his saber — he needs to be effective immediately. It's simply more practical to combine two weapons into one creation, rather than force him to use two.

Even now, years after its introduction, Ezra's first lightsaber remains one of the most unique examples of the classic Jedi weapon fans have ever seen. It's earned a spot beside Darth Maul's double-bladed lightsaber and the intricate and stylistic crossguard sabers of "The High Republic" as one of the franchise's most innovative inventions.

Ezra manages to meet a ton of important characters

Though Ezra Bridger doesn't appear in any of the "Star Wars" franchise's live-action series or movie trilogies, he does manage to meet a staggering number of incredibly popular and important "Star Wars" characters.

In Season 1 of "Star Wars Rebels," Ezra meets Yoda in "Path of the Jedi," Lando Calrissian in "Idiot's Array," and Ahsoka Tano in "Fire Across the Galaxy." In Season 2, he ups the ante by meeting, Darth Vader, Princess Leia Organa, and the former Sith Lord Maul in "The Siege of Lothal," "A Princess on Lothal," and "Twilight of the Apprentice," respectively. This growing list of connections is expanded in Season 3 when he meets Grand Admiral Thrawn in "Hera's Heroes" and old Ben Kenobi in "Twin Suns." Season 4 continues the trend: He meets Bo-Katan Kryze in "Heroes of Mandalore," faces Darth Sidious in "A World Between Worlds," and officially meets Emperor Palpatine in "Family Reunion — and Farewell."

Ezra's connections even extend into other media. The kid from Lothal meets the infamous bounty hunter Bossk of "Empire Strikes Back" fame in Ryder Windham's 2014 junior novel, "Ezra's Gamble." Though Ezra is only active as a Jedi and a Rebel for a few short years, he makes his way around the galaxy and influences many of the characters fans have known and loved for decades.

Ezra Bridger is trained by Darth Maul

Ezra earns a distinction very few Jedi ever achieve: He's trained by both a Jedi and a Sith. Throughout the series, Ezra learns from his master Kanan Jarrus, a Jedi Knight. Though the two share a powerful bond, it isn't enough to keep Ezra from another master: The former Sith Lord once known as Darth Maul.

The two meet in the Season 2 finale, "Twilight of the Apprentice." Maul uses Ezra to breach the defenses of an ancient Sith temple on the ruined planet of Malachor so he can steal a powerful Sith holocron. Because the temple is designed to only be accessible to the Sith, its many barriers require two people to overcome. As Yoda explains in "The Phantom Menace," with the Sith, "Always two, there are. No more. No less. A master and an apprentice."

To retrieve the holocron, Ezra acts as Maul's apprentice. The old master teaches Ezra their ways, so that he might pull his weight on their journey. Ezra learns about the Sith Code and how to draw extra strength from his anger, and proceeds to use the Sith holocron to continue learning about the dark side in Season 3. Maul enjoys having an "apprentice" of his own, and is always quick to refer to Ezra as such in order to rattle Kanan.

Ezra Bridger is the reason the Darksaber can appear in The Mandalorian

Ezra and Maul's twisted partnership continues throughout Season 3 and ultimately leads to the reclamation of the Darksaber in "Visions and Voices." Troubled by visions of Maul, Ezra follows the former Sith Lord to Dathomir, where Maul uses Ezra in an ancient ritual to find the location of Obi-Wan Kenobi. When Sabine Wren and Kanan Jarrus interrupt the ritual, spirits rise up to punish them for it, forcing Ezra to free them.

In the midst of this, Ezra stumbles upon Maul's home and accidentally discovers one of the Sith's most prized possessions: the Darksaber. The Darksaber is one of the most important symbols in Mandalorian culture: Its owner, who is decided by ritual combat, is "Mandalore," ruler of the Mandalorian people. The weapon and its attendant position have been held hostage by Maul ever since he killed its previous owner, Pre Vizsla, and claimed the weapon for himself in the Season 5 "Clone Wars" episode "Shades of Reason."

Ezra leads Maul to his death

Ezra Bridger ultimately leads Darth Maul to his death at the hands of his long-hated enemy, Obi-Wan Kenobi. From the moment they meet in the Season 2 finale, Maul teaches and manipulates the young Rebel in order to achieve his goals. As a result, the pair uses the combined power of a Jedi and a Sith holocron to peer into the future in Season 3's "The Holocrons of Fate." They proceed to use ancient Dathomirian magic to understand the vision in "Visions and Voices." The pair soon learns that Obi-Wan Kenobi is alive and hiding on the desert planet, Tatooine.

Fearing for Obi-Wan's life, Ezra travels to the planet and searches the desert for him until he collapses from the heat. Unwilling to let the boy die, Obi-Wan reveals himself to save Ezra, allowing Maul to finally confront his old enemy. Maul is only able to find Obi-Wan because Ezra leads the former Sith right to him — but what Maul doesn't know is that Ezra has also led him to his death. Kenobi kills Maul in their subsequent duel, protecting Luke Skywalker from the villain once and for all.

Ezra Bridger is the only Jedi to travel through time

Guided by the Force, Ezra returns to the Jedi temple on Lothal in Season 4. With the help of Sabine and a pack of Loth-wolves, he solves the puzzle of the temple's gateway, opens a portal, and enters another dimension that has come to be known as the World Between Worlds.

A strange dimension of abstract white lines suspended in deep space, the World Between Worlds contains a series of pathways that lead to portals connecting all of time and space. The dimension links every single moment in history and every single location of the galaxy together into a universal convergence.

From this dimension, Ezra sees the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano's final fight with Darth Vader on Malachor. He reaches across time and space to pull her to safety before her old master can deal a fatal blow. In traveling to this dimension and saving Ahsoka, Ezra steps into the history books as the only Jedi to travel through time.

Ezra becomes a Jedi beastmaster

Though there are many powerful Jedi, Ezra Bridger's deep connection to the galaxy's creatures makes him unique. Ezra's affinity with animals gets off to a rocky start in Season 1's "Empire Day" when Ezra tries to use the Force to calm down a Loth-cat and ends up spurring it to attack him instead. Fortunately, he gets a chance to try again in the following episode, "Gathering Forces." Cornered by the Empire on an asteroid base, Ezra summons a massive beast known as a fyrnock to drive them away. 

Ezra's bond with animals grows throughout the show. In Season 1's "Call to Action," he convinces one Loth-cat to destroy an Imperial probe droid and meets another that acts as a guide on several occasion. In Season 2's "The Call," he bonds with space whales known as purrgil. Finally, in Season 4, Ezra's link to animals saves the Rebellion and frees Lothal once and for all. In "A Fool's Hope," Ezra saves his rebel squadron from certain defeat by summoning a pack of Loth-wolves. With their help, Ezra reaches Grand Admiral Thrawn's flagship and summons the purrgil, who take Thrawn's fleet to unknown regions of space. With Thrawn gone, the Rebellion actually stands a chance against the Empire. This couldn't have happened if Ezra hadn't become a Jedi beastmaster.

Ezra Bridger is lost, but he's never forgotten

In the "Star Wars Rebels" series finale, Season 4's "Family Reunion — and Farewell," Ezra sacrifices himself to take Grand Admiral Thrawn off the galactic stage. Drawing upon his affinity with animals, Ezra summons the purrgil and convinces them to latch onto Thrawn's fleet, then launch themselves into hyperspace, thus sending Thrawn's forces into unknown reaches of the galaxy. Both the Grand Admiral and the Jedi are lost in space as a result, but Ezra Bridger is far from forgotten. 

Ezra's crew keeps his memory alive in a number of ways. First off, they make sure Lothal remains free through the rest of the Rebellion's war against the Empire. Then, after the Emperor is finally defeated at the Battle of Endor, Sabine Wren reunites with the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano to find Ezra and bring him home. Fans of "The Mandalorian" see Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka on this quest in Season 2's "Chapter 13: The Jedi," and will likely see her journey continue in the upcoming "Ahsoka" series