era: rise of the empire Essay Media: Animation

Kanan & Ezra, evolving together

Aspiringwarriorlibrarian asked on tumblr:

After reading your analysis on streamlining in costuming with Kanan, I was immediately reminded of Ezra’s season 3 outfit change. Any thoughts on that, or should we wait until the season comes out?

I have thoughts! I have a number of thoughts. A lot of thoughts, really, but I’m going to hang onto a lot of them as they kind of hinge on, well, the entirety of the season premiere, so I don’t want to spoil that.

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I think that with Ezra’s new look, there are a couple of things going on. Some do echo in a way Kanan’s evolution from Caleb – a stripping back and streamlining, defensiveness in self. He’s lost his layers, the random assemblage of stuff, his raggedy asymmetry. His s1-2 costume was what he had cobbled together on the street, what took his fancy, what he needed to protect himself and survive. (I kind of thought that weird armour thing was maybe a leg brace, which i thought was interesting. Still possible – there’s always the space that he finally had access to medical care and had it seen to, but unlikely.) He’s wearing clothes – jacket and trousers like Kanan – not some jumpsuit he nicked. He’s now more balanced, more purposeful and utilitarian, his silhouette with a clear central line as he’s more sure of himself and of his abilities. This… may not be the best thing, o Ezra.

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These new season shifts in Ezra and Kanan are relatively in sync as their finding their force-wielder feet – the same essential shapes are there in the shoulders, in the detail lines. Their symmetry is parallel, but also.. different. Kanan is opening himself up to the Force, embracing his Jedi Knight status so he is now more exposed – lower collar, no armour, shorter sleeves and short gloves, soft shoulders. His blindness. He’s embracing his vulnerabilities (this could also be read as surrendering to them.) Ezra, however, is harsher. He’s going down a darker path, he’s frustrated with Kanan, with his training, with everything that happened last season. He already had a lot of frustrations, so it’s all compounding and fracturing as he’s turning inwards. The shoulder piece of his jacket look armoured to me given they are up-turned, a different colour, then the lines… stop. Where Kanan has that flow from his shoulders to his waist, Ezra’s lines are blocky and truncated starting and stopping in different forms before ending in a band of ribbing (i mean, kid’s on trend for this year.)

Off the top of my head as well, Ezra’s going for the double-layered glove thing meaning he has no skin exposed below his neck. For a kid that’s all about reaching out and connecting, he’s physically blocked himself off. Kanan is exposing his wrists, his fingers, the back of his hands. There’s a lot of subtle shifting in roles going on here.

I think there’s also a lot to be said about the changes in hair, as Kanan’s ponytail is longer and shaggier and he has, of course, grown the trauma!beard, Ezra has shorn his hair. An act of defiance? Of differentiation? Or just a desperate grab at maturity and independence?

I may return to this after the season premieres.

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