“What did you mean, about Mustafar?”
The question comes out of nowhere, jarring Kanan out of his meditation. He opens his eyes slowly before turning his gaze on his Padawan, who manages to look both sheepish and curious at the same time. “What are you talking about?”
“You told Hera that Mustafar was the place… where Jedi go to die,” Ezra elaborates. “What did you mean?”
Kanan winces at the description, and doesn’t answer at first. He doesn’t remember much about that conversation, due to being rip-roaring drunk at the time. It had occurred after a particularly rough mission, before any of the others had joined them in their fight against the Empire. He knows the others have seen some of the depravity that the Empire is capable of, but he sincerely hopes that Sabine, Zeb, and particularly Ezra never see what he and Hera saw on that mission.
“How much do you know about the end of the Clone Wars, Ezra?” he finally asks.
The kid shrugs. “The basics, I guess. The Emperor turned the Republic into the Empire, declared the Jedi traitors. They were hunted down and killed.” He doesn’t turn his sharp blue gaze away. “What does that have to do with Mustafar?”
Kanan sighs, runs his hand over his head. He won’t be meditating any time soon, it seems. He shifts out of his meditation pose and stands up. Zeb, Sabine, and Hera are all off with Fulcrum - holy kriff it’s Ahsoka Tano - making friends with the other rebel cells or whatever, something he’s grateful for. He’d rather not have to talk about this in front of Tano.
“Those days were mass chaos,” he explains. “The Jedi were being hunted down like wild animals, and no one seemed to care. They were all too grateful that the war was just finally over.” He struggles to suppress the bitterness in his voice. Holding a grudge over how easily the Jedi were thrown away by the people they’d defended for a millennium will do no one any good. He needs to save his ire for those who really deserve it.
“Vader’s hunting of the Jedi was brutal, even back then,” Kanan continues. “He slaughtered any Jedi he came across.” He closes his eyes, not having to think very hard to imagine the terror and the pain of his fellow Jedi were murdered.
Ezra doesn’t say anything for once, just waits with an unusual patience. Kanan is grateful for that. Mustafar, to be honest, is a more a quivering mass of misery than an actual planet within the Force. It’s been over a decade since the Republic’s fall and whatever confrontation happened down there on the surface, but it still reverberates through the Force, a series of keening wails of pain and lightsabers clashing in a deadly dance. In the rare moments the Inquisitor had left off torturing him, Kanan had actually been able to discern the horror that still lingered there.
“Vader came to Mustafar on that first day,” Kanan finally says. “It’s believed he killed the Separatist leaders that were hiding there… and a Jedi who went there to stop him.”
Ezra cocks his head. “Who?”
Kanan takes a deep breath, and then slowly lets it slide out between teeth that want so badly to clench. “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
To the boy’s credit, it only takes him a second to recognize the name and his eyes grow wide. “He… the Jedi on the holocron…”
Kanan nods. “Kenobi… he was considered the greatest Jedi of his generation.” He crosses the room and settles down in the chair. “He and his former Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, were practically the poster boys for the Order throughout the war. They were… brilliant. Together or apart, they seemed to accomplish things that… defied imagination. They were brothers.”
Kanan doesn’t add that they were closer to one another than most Jedi ever were. He remembers Master Depa talking about it with her own master once, when they thought he wasn’t there to overhear, remembers Master Windu’s mouth being tight with disapproval and Master Depa’s eyes being shadowed with worry.
“It’s not… entirely certain how or where Skywalker died,” Kanan goes on as Ezra follows his example in seating himself. “My master and I weren’t on Coruscant when Order Sixty-Six came down, and most of what I heard was speculation and rumor…”
“What was it?”
At least he isn’t asking what all this had to do with Mustafar anymore. “It’s thought that Skywalker died during the Temple Massacre. Kenobi was on Utapau at the time, taking out General Grievous. He survived Order Sixty-Six and his troops turning on him. He somehow got back to Coruscant and into the Temple to send out the message to warn any other survivors away.”
For several moments, neither Kanan nor Ezra says anything, each lost in their thoughts. Then, slowly, Ezra asks, “So… you think Kenobi saw Skywalker’s body in the Temple and ran off to Mustafar to avenge him?” Before Kanan can utter any kind of denial, Ezra shakes his head. “No, that can’t be right. Jedi don’t seek revenge…”
The corner of Kanan’s mouth twitches faintly and he nods. “You’re learning.” He then sighs. “I don’t know how or why Kenobi ended up on Mustafar, but during my time as Tarkin’s… guest, I had a vision or two, and I’m certain Kenobi was down there. He confronted Vader.”
“… and here we are, years later, and Vader is still terrorizing the galaxy,” Ezra finishes.
He looks at the boy. “One of the greatest of the Jedi met his end down there, kid. Something like that leaves a mark.”
There’s really nothing to say after that.