Kanan Jarrus

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Kanan Jarrus
Caleb Dume
Star Wars character
Kanan Jarrus.jpeg
Kanan as depicted in the first two seasons of Star Wars Rebels
First appearanceStar Wars Rebels
– "The Machine in the Ghost" (2014)
Last appearanceStar Wars: The Bad Batch
– "Aftermath" (2021)
Created byDave Filoni
Voiced by
In-universe information
Full nameCaleb Dume
AliasKanan Jarrus
SpeciesHuman
GenderMale
Occupation
Affiliation
Significant otherHera Syndulla
ChildrenJacen Syndulla
MasterDepa Billaba
ApprenticeEzra Bridger
HomeworldCoruscant

Kanan Jarrus (born Caleb Dume) is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise, voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr. He is featured as one of the main characters in the animated series Star Wars Rebels (2014–2018) and related works. Kanan also appears as a disembodied voice in the film The Rise of Skywalker (2019), while a young Caleb Dume makes appearances in the seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars (released in 2020) and Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021).

In the Star Wars universe, Kanan is a Jedi Padawan who survived the Great Jedi Purge after his master, Depa Billaba, sacrificed herself to save him. From that point onwards, Kanan lived most of his life on the run, hiding from the Galactic Empire, before eventually meeting Hera Syndulla and joining the Ghost crew as its de facto leader. Although he initially keeps his Force abilities hidden from his comrades, he re-embraces his Jedi role after meeting Ezra Bridger, whom he begins training in the Jedi arts, while also attempting to complete his own training and become a Jedi Knight. Later, Kanan and his crew join the Rebel Alliance to assist them in their fight against the Empire. While Kanan ultimately sacrifices himself to save his friends, his legacy lives on through their memories of him, as well as his and Hera's son, Jacen Syndulla.

Kanan's character was received positively by fans and critics, and has been highlighted as one of the better aspects of Rebels.

Creation and development[edit]

Concept[edit]

Executive producer Dave Filoni describes the character as a "cowboy Jedi". Animation supervisor Keith Kellogg said: "He is a Jedi but he's not a Jedi in the traditional sense that we've had before on the show. He's a little more rough around the edges. He's kept his lightsaber locked away, so he hasn't used it in a long time."[1] After being blinded, Kanan has been compared to the Star Wars Legends character Rahm Kota from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, another blinded Jedi,[2] which led Pablo Hidalgo from the Lucasfilm story group to say on Twitter that both characters were inspired by Zatoichi.[3] Filoni compared Kanan to Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.

Prior to auditioning, Prinze was unaware that he was about to audition for a Star Wars series; he only learned of this immediately beforehand in the studio parking lot, when a unknown "legendary voice actor" informed him what he was actually auditioning for. Although Disney originally did not want Prinze in the role, Filoni disagreed. Prinze was officially hired later that day.[4]

During the development of the second season, the character was originally slated to be killed by Maul in the episode "Twilight of the Apprentice." However, Disney objected to the idea, as they thought that the character should be in "every episode" of the series.[4] In regards to the character's eventual death in the episode "Jedi Night" of the fourth season of Star Wars Rebels, Filoni felt this was a natural end to Kanan promising he will see Hera again before being blinded and said: "In that moment he's not bound as this material thing that the physicality of sight would be a limitation to him." While sketching storyboards for Kanan's death, Filoni became reluctant to kill the character, but Prinze, who "was resolute about the fact that his character needed to die" since the beginning of the series, encouraged him to write the scene.[5]

Voice acting[edit]

Kanan is voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr. in Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker, and the episode "Aftermath" of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, and by Michael Benyaer in the micro-series Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales.

Appearances[edit]

Animated series[edit]

The Clone Wars[edit]

A young Caleb Dume makes a cameo appearance in the episode "Old Friends Not Forgotten" of the final season of The Clone Wars, where he is shown as a hologram alongside his master, Depa Billaba, during a meeting with other Jedi.[6]

The Bad Batch[edit]

A young Caleb appears alongside Depa Billaba in the premiere episode of The Bad Batch, "Aftermath". While on a misson with the Bad Batch on Kaller, Order 66 is activated and Billaba is killed by clone troopers while Hunter, the leader of the Bad Batch, lets Caleb escape. The events depicted here directly contradict Kanan's backstory shown in his self-titled comic book series.

Rebels[edit]

Kanan first appears in a short film released prior to the series, "The Machine in the Ghost", and his voice is heard in another one, "Entanglement". In the two-part series premiere "Spark of Rebellion", Kanan is introduced as the de facto leader of the crew of the Ghost, a Rebel starship, who mostly operate on their own and try to survive. Although he never finished his own Jedi training, Kanan sees great potential in young Ezra Bridger of Lothal, and decides to train him as his own Padawan. In the season 1 finale "Fire Across the Galaxy", Kanan, who was captured by the Empire, is rescued by Ezra. Kanan then fights and defeats the Grand Inquisitor, before he and the rest of the Ghost crew are invited into the Rebel Alliance, now that the Empire has become aware of the threat they represent. In "The Siege of Lothal", the two-part premiere of season 2, Kanan survives an encounter with Darth Vader,[7] while in "The Lost Commanders", he initially finds it difficult to trust the clone trooper Captain Rex, because clones had murdered his master, Depa Bilaba, as well as most other Jedi, in obedience to Order 66.[8] In "Shroud of Darkness", Kanan is promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight following a series of adventures in the Jedi Temple on Lothal. In "Twilight of the Apprentice", the two-part finale of season 2, Kanan travels with Ezra, Ahsoka Tano, and the astromech droid Chopper to the Sith world of Malachor in hopes of finding the knowledge they need to defeat the Sith. There, they encounter the former Sith Lord Maul, posing as a frail hermit, who has been left stranded on the planet for years. Though seemingly friendly at first, as he helps the three Jedi defeat a trio of Imperial Inquisitors, Maul ultimately betrays them and escapes after blinding Kanan with his lightsaber.[9]

In season 3, a Force-sensitive creature called the Bendu mentors Kanan in the ways of Force-sight. Kanan still participates in Rebel missions, with his mastery of the Force compensating for his blindness, but he takes a less active role in leadership. In the two-part episode "Ghosts of Geonosis", Kanan meets Saw Gerrera, the leader of an independent Rebel group, much like the Ghost crew prior to joining the Rebel Alliance.[10] In "Trials of the Darksaber", Kanan trains Sabine Wren in lightsaber combat.[11] Season 4 portrays Kanan and Hera as being in a relationship, and at some point they conceive a child together.[12] However, Kanan soon dies in the episode "Jedi Night" while rescuing Hera from Imperial captivity. He regains his eyesight moments before being consumed in an explosion, after containing the blast long enough for Hera and the rest of their group to escape harm.

Despite his death, Kanan makes minor appearances in most of the remaining episodes. In "Wolves and A Door", while passing through the hyper tunnel on Loth-wolves, the remaining Spectres see several illusions of Kanan and hear his voice, like many others, such as the Grand Inquisitor, Hera, Ezra, Ahsoka and Zeb. He appears later on in the same episode in Hera's imagination. She imagines him as a Force ghost comforting her. In the following episode, "A World Between Worlds", Kanan's voice is heard in the World Between Worlds by both Ezra and Ahsoka multiple times, until he finally appears through a portal. Ezra makes up his mind to save him and goes to the portal that depicts Kanan's final moments. Ahsoka stops Ezra from saving Kanan, because then they would all die and because he had found the moment when he was needed most and did what he had to do for everyone. Though reluctant to do so, Ezra ultimately lets the blast consume Kanan. The ending of the series finale "Family Reunion and Farewell", set after the Battle of Endor, shows both Kanan and Hera's young son Jacen Syndulla, and a mural on Lothal painted by Sabine, which depicts the Ghost crew, including Kanan.

Forces of Destiny[edit]

Kanan is briefly mentioned by Ezra in the episode "A Disarming Lesson".

Film[edit]

The Rise of Skywalker[edit]

Kanan is heard in The Rise of Skywalker as one of the Jedi spirits who help Rey defeat Palpatine. He tells Rey that "In the heart of a Jedi lies her strength."

Novels[edit]

On September 2, 2014, Del Rey Books published Star Wars: A New Dawn, a prequel novel telling the story of how Kanan and Hera met.[13][14]

Comics[edit]

The comic-book Kanan ran for 12 issues and was published by Marvel Comics, the series is set during the events of the first season of Star Wars Rebels and focuses on Kanan Jarrus having flashbacks to his time as a Jedi Padawan (when he was known by his real name Caleb Dume).[15] Two story arcs were produced each ran for six issues, the first arc, The Last Padawan, focused on flashbacks which occur around the same time as Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, showing where Kanan was during Order 66. The flashbacks of the second arc, First Blood, focused on how Kanan was assigned under Depa Billaba's mentorship, as well as his first battle alongside clone troopers during the Clone Wars. It features an appearance from Rae Sloane, a character from the novel Star Wars: A New Dawn,[16] as well as one from Fenn Rau, a Mandalorian character who would later appear in Rebels.[17]

Lego [edit]

Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales[edit]

Kanan appears in the Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales episode "Mission to Mos Eisley", which adapts his role in the Rebels first season episode "Droids in Distress".

Video games[edit]

Kanan also appears as a playable character in several Star Wars video games, as described below:

First half of the series[edit]

The following games depict Kanan as he appeared during the first two seasons of Rebels.

Second half of the series[edit]

The following games depict Kanan as he appeared at the start of the third season, in which he is coping with the loss of his sight.

  • Kanan appears in the mobile MOBA Star Wars: Force Arena as a summonable unique assistant for any Light Side squad led by Ezra Bridger, and was available on the game's initial launch in early 2017.
  • Kanan is a collectible, playable character added to the mobile turn-based role-playing game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes in a special Rebels-themed update during the game's second year of operation. He is classified as a tank that disrupts enemy offense, taunts and grants protection to allies.

Relationships[edit]

Mentorship tree[edit]

Jedi Order master-apprentice relationship
Yoda
YounglingsCount DookuMace Windu
Qui-Gon JinnDepa Billaba
Obi-Wan KenobiKanan Jarrus
Anakin SkywalkerLuke SkywalkerEzra Bridger
Ahsoka TanoGroguLeia Organa
Ben SoloRey

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hibberd, James (February 11, 2014). "'Star Wars Rebels' first human character revealed". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  2. ^ Keane, Sean (2016-03-30). "Star Wars Rebels S2 finale: Twilight of the Apprentice". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  3. ^ "See Ya Next Year! on Twitter: "Is Kanan now a reference to Rahm Kota? No, but they both owe a debt to Zatoichi, a character every SW fan should know about. #StarWarsRebels"". Twitter. 2016-03-30. Retrieved 2016-12-19.
  4. ^ a b Radish, Christina (March 11, 2021). "Freddie Prinze Jr. on Coming Out of Retirement for 'Punky Brewster', Reflecting on 'Star Wars Rebels', and Hacky Sack". Collider. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  5. ^ Ratcliffe, Amy (February 19, 2018). "Dave Filoni on That STAR WARS REBELS Death". The Nerdist. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  6. ^ Anderson, Kyle (24 April 2020). "Did You Catch This STAR WARS Villain Cameo in CLONE WARS?". Nerdist. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  7. ^ Johnson, Kevin (June 20, 2015). "Star Wars Rebels: 'The Siege of Lothal'". The A.V. Club. Los Angeles, California: j2 Global.
  8. ^ "Star Wars Rebels: 'The Lost Commanders' Review". IGN. October 14, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  9. ^ Goldman, Eric (March 30, 2016). "Star Wars Rebels: 'Twilight of the Apprentice' Review". IGN. Los Angeles, California: j2 Global.
  10. ^ Goldman, Eric (7 January 2017). "Star Wars Rebels: 'Ghosts of Geonosis' Review". IGN. Los Angeles, California: j2 Global.
  11. ^ Johnson, Kevin. "Sabine's darksaber training opens up old familial wounds in an emotionally rich Star Wars Rebels". The A.V. Club. Los Angeles, California: j2 Global.
  12. ^ "Star Wars Rebels Has Heartbreak On The Horizon". 7 November 2017.
  13. ^ Goldman, Eric (August 30, 2014). "Star Wars: A New Dawn Review". IGN. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  14. ^ "Disney and Random House announce relaunch of Star Wars Adult Fiction line". StarWars.com. April 25, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  15. ^ "SWCA: Star Wars Comes Home to Marvel Panel Liveblog". StarWars.com. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  16. ^ Crouse, Megan (April 26, 2016). "5 of Rae Sloane's Greatest Moments". StarWars.com. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  17. ^ "Star Wars Rebels not only provides a great episode, but also finally gives Sabine her due". The A.V. Club. 28 January 2016.

External links[edit]