Caleb Dume made an appearance in the premiere of The Bad Batch, but most Star Wars fans — particularly fans of the animated series — knew straight away who the young Padawan was. While he may have been known as Caleb Dume during his childhood, he is better known for the man that he grew into: Kanan Jarrus.
The animated series Rebels premiered on Disney XD in 2014 and ran until 2018, though it has perhaps gained an even more of a loyal fan base once it became widely available on Disney+ in 2019. The first introduction to Rebels came in the form of a forty-four-minute two-part animated television movie entitled Star Wars Rebels: Sparks of Rebellion, which premiered on WatchDisneyXD.com.
Kanan Jarrus is voiced by the beloved actor, Freddie Prinze Jr., who also voiced Caleb Dume during his cameo in “Aftermath.”
Caleb Dume was one of the few Jedi who managed to escape the purge of Order 66. Other notable Jedi who survived Order 66 include Ahsoka Tano, Cal Kestis, Yoda, Grogu, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, whose post-Order 66 adventures will be explored in the upcoming Kenobi series on Disney+.
Following the death of his master Depa Bilaba, Caleb Dume fell into a life of thievery and smuggling alongside Janus Kasmir. It was after this time with Kasmir that Caleb Dume adopted the name of Kanan Jarrus and came into his own as a man. The Empire’s rule over the galaxy forced him to hide his past as a Jedi, and it is clear that Kanan struggled as he drifted from port to port.
When audiences first meet Kanan in Rebels he is jaded, but everything changes for him when he becomes the leader of the Ghost crew. He has a purpose, waging a war against the Empire, and he has a family in Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, Zeb Orrelios, Chopper, and Ezra Bridger, who becomes his Padawan.
When Kanan and Ezra first met, Ezra stole Kanan’s lightsaber. After tracking him down again, Kanan gives Ezra two options: keep the lightsaber or become his Padawan. Ezra chooses widely and is taken in by the Ghost crew. Like the Jedi who trained him when he was Caleb Dume, Kanan trains Ezra and puts him through the trials of becoming a Jedi. He has Ezra track down the Jedi temple on Lothal, in order to retrieve the kyber crystals necessary to construct a lightsaber.
While Kanan Jarrus’ lightsaber is not yet available at Galaxy’s Edge, Disney does appear to be considering it as one of the next legacy sabers available at the parks.
A pivotal moment in Kanan’s story arrived in the season two finale when the Maul blinded Kanan during a mission to Malachor. Without his sight, the Jedi finds himself forced to see things differently through the Force, making him learn to rely on his other senses.
In a now-deleted tweet, a member of the Lucasfilm Storygroup stated that the decision to make Kanan blind was inspired by the Zatoichi samurai films, which makes sense considering much of Star Wars is inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s samurai films.
Tragically, Kanan Jarrus sacrifices his life in the tenth episode of the finale season of Rebels. After his death, it is revealed to audiences that he and Hera had a son together named Jacen. The name choice is an obvious ode to Jacen Solo, one of the Solo twins in the Expanded Universe.
Following his death, Kanan became one with the Force, as all Force users do, but he also manifested as a loth-wolf named Dume, which appeared to Ezra several times during the final season of the series.
Want to learn more about Kanan Jarrus (and Caleb Dume)?
Check out these supplemental materials:
- The 12-issue Star Wars: Kanan comic book series (Buy Now)
- Star Wars Adventures: Tales from Vader’s Castle (Issue #1)
- A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller (Buy Now)
- The Rebellion Begins by Michael Kogge (Buy Now)
- He is mentioned in the Star Wars: Thrawn trilogy (Buy Now)
- He is indirectly mentioned in the Alphabet Squadron trilogy (Buy Now)