“Instant classic” is an overused term, but “Rise of the Old Masters” is the first episode of Star Wars: Rebels to reach its full potential. Ezra has started his Jedi training in earnest, but his instructor is having serious doubts. Kanan isn’t doubting Ezra–he is doubting himself. Kanan never had the chance to complete his own training, and until recently he kept his Force abilities under wraps. Now that the Loth-cat is out of the bag, everything has changed. When Senator-in-exile Gall Trayvis made a pirate broadcast stating that Jedi Master Luminara Unduli is alive and being held captive by the Empire, Kanan thought he had found the answer to his problems.
Of course it was a trap. But it wasn’t the trap Kanan was expecting. Luminara is dead, and has been for some time. The Grand Inquisitor shows up, and he and Kanan get to have the lightsaber fight we have been waiting for. Of course this was just the first round of who knows how many to come.
Kanan got his butt handed to him–it coundn’t happen any other way. It’s not like when Qui-Gon battled Darth Maul to a draw on Tattooine, because both of them were at the peak of their powers. It’s one thing to take out a flock of stormtroopers with Force-pulls and martial arts, it’s another to go against someone with serious lasersword skills. The upshot of all this is that it strengthened Kanan’s resolve to train Ezra. I hope he has better luck than Obi-Wan did with Anakin.