Who Is Caleb Dume in Star Wars? 

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 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 a forty-four-minute two-part animated television movie entitled Star Wars Rebels: Sparks of Rebellion, which premiered on WatchDisneyXD.com.

Caleb Dume
Caleb Dume in The Bad Batch | Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm

Kanan Jarrus is voiced by the beloved actor Freddie Prinze Jr., who also voiced Caleb Dume during his cameo in “Aftermath.â€

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. After this time with Kasmir, 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.

Kanan Jarrus and the Ghost Crew
Kanan Jarrus and the crew of The Ghost in Rebels | Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm

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 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 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.

In Kanan’s story, a pivotal moment 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.

Ezra and Kanan
Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus after Maul blinded him in Rebels | Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm

In a now-deleted tweet, a Lucasfilm Story group member 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.

Jacen Syndulla
Jacen Syndulla, Chopper, and Hera Syndulla in Rebels | Courtesy of Disney/Lucasfilm

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.

Who Is the Jedi Padawan in the Bad Batch Premiere?

In the moments before Order 66 turns the clone troopers against the Jedi, we see Jedi Master Depa Billaba and her Padawan Caleb Dume, as they await reinforcements in their fight against legions of battle droids on Kaller. Their reinforcements come in the form of Clone Force 99, a unit of highly advanced clones who easily wipe out the remaining battle droids.

We have previously seen Depa Billaba and her Padawan Caleb Dume in a hologram last year in “Old Friends Not Forgotten†during the final season of The Clone Wars, in a scene that leads up to the moments witnessed during the premiere of The Bad Batch. We’ve heard about Depa Billaba’s sacrifice to ensure Caleb’s survival, but now we get to see that Hunter had a pivotal part in ensuring that Caleb Dume survived Order 66.

What we don’t see in The Bad Batch, is what we already know about Caleb’s life after Order 66. He remains on the run and teams up with Janus Kasmir as he tries to avoid being found by the Empire, and eventually, he cuts off his Padawan braid, destroys his Jedi comlink, and changes his name to Kanan Jarrus.

Kanan Jarrus’ past is something that we have learned a lot about in Star Wars: Rebels and in the comic series Kanan: The Last Padawan, but for fans of the character this appearance in The Bad Batch premiere fills in missing moments in his story and it only strengthens what we already know.

It’s fun to see how Star Wars is able to connect all of its series together, reintroducing familiar faces as a means of introducing us to new characters. While we’ve met Hunter and the Bad Batch before in the arc of The Clone Wars, seeing them interact with a character like Kanan Jarrus opens up exciting new avenues for the series to explore.

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)

Maggie Lovitt is a writer at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery.

In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.