Here’s Who Was Kanan Jarrus’ Master: Depa Billaba’s History Explained

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Kanan Jarrus is an important person in the life of Ahsoka Tano. However, we don’t expect the character to appear in the new ‘Ahsoka’ TV series – ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ fans will know why. Many fans that missed ‘Rebels’ may wonder how and when Kanan Jarrus became a Jedi Knight and who was his Master during his training?

Kanan Jarrus’ real name is Caleb Dume, and he was a Padawan of Jedi Master Depa Billaba. Depa was a member of the Jedi Council during the final days of the Jedi Order. When Order 66 came, and we witnessed the Great Jedi Purge, Billaba sacrificed her life to help Caleb escape. He then lived in hiding under the alias Kanan Jarrus.

Since his training wasn’t completed – he was still a Padawan himself – you might wonder how Jarrus became a Jedi Knight then. He even had his own apprentice, Ezra Bridger, who sacrificed their lives to protect others and ultimately defeated General Thrawn’s fleet. If you’re eager to learn more about Kanan and his master, Depa Billaba, keep reading this article.

Who is Caleb Dume?

Caleb Dume was a young, Force-sensitive human from Coruscant who was recognized and recruited by the Jedi Order. He was a Padawan of Jedi Master Depa Billaba, a member of the Jedi Council who learned under the tutelage of Mace Windu as her Master. We’ll get to Billaba a bit later.

Dume was great in his Jedi training, but it was unfortunately cut short when Order 66 was given, and the Great Jedi Purge occurred. Caleb’s Master sacrificed her life so that Caleb could escape and survive the Purge.

After his escape, Dume lived underground, assuming the secret identity of Kanan Jarrus. He never finished his Jedi training but continued practicing himself while using a blaster gun to stay hidden.

A while later, Kanan became a member of the Ghost crew, which included Ahsoka Tano, Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla, and Kanan. He also found a Force-sensitive kid named Ezra Bridger, who eventually became his Jedi apprentice.

Although Jarrus wasn’t a Jedi Knight yet, as his training was not completed, he took Ezra under his wing, and the young apprentice became a member of the Ghost crew. While on a mission, Kanan was blinded by the former Sith Lord, Maul.

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After that, it took Jarrus a long time to return, and after talking to a mysterious being who taught him how to see through the use of the Force. He became a prolific Jedi and was trusted by the Force to be considered a true Jedi Knight.

Eventually, Kanan sacrificed his life to save Ezra, just like his master sacrificed her own life to save him back when he was a Padawan.


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Who was Depa Billaba?

Depa Billaba was an incredibly important person in Caleb Dume’s life. She was a Jedi Master who took Caleb under her wing and made him her Padawan, teaching him the ways of the Jedi.

Before that, however, Depa was the Padawan of Mace Windu, originally from the planet of Chalacta. She eventually became a Master and a member of the Jedi High Council right up until the end of the Jedi Order in 19 BBY.

As Mace Windu’s student, Depa was very skilled in numerous lightsaber forms, including Vapaad – Windu’s preferred style. However, Billaba actually preferred Form III, or Soresu, which is more of a defensive stance with sharp, precise, tight, and efficient movement instead of an aggressive, acrobatic form like Vapaad.

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Naturally, Depa taught Caleb Form I, or Shii-Cho, first – as most Jedi learn this form initially to grasp basic movements and forms. However, he became the most prolific in Soresu, capable of deflecting both lightsaber and blaster attacks without an issue. He does show signs of Makashi (Form II) and Shien (Form V) throughout ‘Rebels,’ but it wasn’t Depa who taught him all of that.

Not because she couldn’t but because she simply didn’t get a chance. After Order 66 was given and the Jedi Order was wiped out, Depa sacrificed her own life to allow the young Caleb Dume to escape after being attacked by a battalion of clone troopers.


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Billaba was always remembered by Kanan fondly, even decades after he took the alias and lived in hiding. He’d never forget his Master’s sacrifice, which is likely why he sacrificed himself for his own apprentice without hesitation.

How did Kanan Jarrus become Depa Billaba’s Padawan?

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Not much is known about Caleb or Kanan’s life before joining the Jedi Order. Knowing that he was found very young, Kanan never really knew his parents and grew up in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. As soon as he was ready to start training, Depa Billaba took Caleb under her wing and made him her Padawan.

When he was about 11 years old, Dume was with his master at the Jedi Temple when the Padawan Ahsoka Tano conducted her own training test. He was absolutely blown away when he saw her destroy a battle droit remote by deflecting a blaster bolt into him and then slicing up the two remaining remotes with her lightsaber.


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It’s funny how destiny later brought them together in the same group, working as friends and Ghost crew rebels. Hearing that, you might ask – will we see Kanan Jarrus appear in ‘Ahsoka’?

Unfortunately, there’s no way we’ll see Kanan in the show’s main timeline because this point already passes him away. However, much like Anakin Skywalker, perhaps we’ll see Kanan appear in a smaller cameo role, most likely in a flashback or in the World Beyond Worlds.

The next ‘Ahsoka’ episode drops on August 29, 2023, only on Disney+.

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