“It was a simple story about a boy who was lost and a girl who was broken. They fought alongside a survivor, a war veteran and a fallen knight. I led them into battle against an evil so terrible it tried to black out the stars. We fought for each other, we fought for those who could not. But we never imagined it would end like this.” – Hera Syndulla
An official trailer for Star Wars Rebels Season 4 was released at the Star Wars Celebration and it handed the limelight over to the more animated side of a galaxy far, far away with the panel for Star Wars Rebels. Watch it now:
Hera’s voiceover in the trailer for Star Wars Rebels Season 4 takes on even more poignancy following the announcement that the upcoming fourth season will be the last for the beloved animated series.
Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Trailer – The end begins
Season 3 of the animated series only wrapped up a few weeks ago, but Lucasfilm Animation is already hard at work on the show’s fourth and – as we sadly also learned during today’s panel – final season. Not wanting to end their celebratory panel on such a sad note, Dave Filoni also shared the first trailer for Rebels Season 4.
The announcement that Season 4 of Rebels will be its last isn’t entirely surprising. From the outset, the show has been working on a restricted timeline and, as the the events of Rogue One (which actually featured some Rebels easter eggs) and A New Hope get ever closer, the adventures of the Ghost crew need to wrap up. This new look is keenly aware of that, making each characters’ respective endpoints the focus.
In the trailer, Sabine is shown rallying more Mandalorian troops with Ezra at her side; he even has his own Mandalorian armor. She seems to have also chosen who it is that should wield the Darksaber – Bo Katan, the late Duchess Satine’s sister and former Death Watch lieutenant.
We also see a dear moment between Hera and Kanan, followed with scenes of Hera continuing to rise in the ranks of the Rebellion and Kanan committing himself and Ezra to make a last stand to protect Lothal. Saw Gerrera makes another appearance, as does Mon Mothma, who narrates a section of the trailer. There’s also a brief glimpse of Thrawn’s personal bodyguard Rukh, the old canon character voiced by Warwick Davis. There’s even a quick glimpse at Kallus, now looking very much like a Rebel.
Ahsoka lives in Star Wars Rebels Season 4
Fans of Ahsoka Tano have been left wondering what her fate is after her clash with her former master, Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader, and it has now been confirmed she is alive and well in Star Wars Rebels Season 4. Ahsoka has been a fan-favorite character since the early days of her introduction in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and has had a remarkable journey from young padawan to a leader within the Rebels.
She is no Jedi anymore but remains a very powerful and capable Force wielder. However, the Season 2 finale for Rebels left her fate as a big question within the Star Wars community after a duel with Darth Vader. Season 3 did nothing to address what happened to her or where she has been, but – following on from recent rumors – her creator Dave Filoni has just subtly confirmed she is back.
After showing the first trailer for season four of Rebels at Star Wars Celebration, Filoni walked back on stage with a small, but significant change to his attire. While he had previously been wearing a T-shirt reading “Ahsoka lives?”, once the lights came back up, it had changed to “Ahsoka lives!” The quick change from a question mark to an exclamation point has finally confirmed that she will be back in some capacity in the fourth and final season of Rebels.
Now that Ahsoka’s return has been confirmed, it will be a major topic of speculation to determine how this will happen. The last time audiences saw her was in the aftermath of her fight with Vader, where she was seen walking away from the destruction of the Sith temple on Malachor. However, it was unclear at that time whether Vader stayed true to his word and killed her or if she managed to find a way to live. That will more than likely be the case if she truly is alive as Filoni’s shirt suggests, but a Force ghost appearance may not be entirely out of the question either.
There’s also the question of how big of a role she will have. The Ghost crew and the Rebels are growing as the show heads into Season 4, so they may not necessarily need Ahsoka in a position of power. Plus, they still have to address where she has been for all this time. If she was in hiding, it must take some major event to draw her back to her friends. That said, as these events get closer to the original trilogy where the Force was almost the stuff of legends, the galaxy and the Rebellion already may have too many Force wielders – specifically Jedi – at the moment. With months of speculation ahead, fans of Ahsoka can now at least rejoice in her return.
What we know about Star Wars Rebels Season 4
Star Wars Celebration in Orlando has been a massive source of news for Star Wars fans, from major reveals, from the first look at The Last Jedi to more fun news. Obviously, this means Star Wars Rebels also got some attention, including some big news about the show’s fourth season. While it’s hard to match the hype coming off of last year’s panel and the announcement that Thrawn would be coming to the show, there were still a few huge announcements and teases about what we can expect. Here’s everything we learned about Rebels season 4.
Going back to her introduction in the novel A New Dawn, Hera was a bit of a loner, conducting her own personal war against the Empire. It isn’t until she comes across Kanan that the crew of her ship, The Ghost, really starts to grow into the family we know and love from the first few seasons of Rebels. Over that time, the Ghost Crew joins up with a Rebel cell, Phoenix Squadron, where Hera becomes a captain and is eventually promoted to Phoenix Leader.
During the Rebels panel at Star Wars Celebration, Vanessa Marshall, the voice of Hera, teased a little of what can be expected from her in season 4, where Hera has been “really impacted by the losses the group experienced in season 3,” making her “more focused and committed than ever to get the job done.” As we know from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Hera eventually becomes a General in the Rebellion, so it’s likely that her leadership and drive to “really get it done” will be more evident than ever.
Zeb didn’t get as much attention as many other characters at the start of the show, playing the role of a sort of cantankerous uncle, but that saw a major change in season 2 with the episode ‘Legends of the Lasat’, where he helps his exiled people find a new home, and ‘The Honorable Ones’, where he finds common ground with the man he thought was his biggest enemy, the Imperial Security Bureau’s Agent Kallus. This shift not only introduced the seeds of a Zeb and Kallus season 4 “bromance” teased during the Rebels panel, but also started a shift in Zeb’s character. While he was still cranky, he became far less aloof and was shown bonding more with crew mates, including Ezra, who he’d previously treated more like an annoying child.
That shift is set to proceed into season 4, where Zeb’s voice actor, Steve Blum says Zeb is becoming “an uncle more than a brother. He’s becoming more of a responsible citizen instead of a tough musclehead.” After seeing him work with Chopper and AP-5 to defend Chopper Base from an Infiltrator Droid in season 3, it’ll definitely be exciting to see him progress more down that path in season 4.
Sabine may have seen some of the biggest steps forward as a character in Rebels season 3. Between inheriting the darksaber and coming to face her family and own up to her Mandalorian heritage, a lot has changed from her early days of graffiti and explosions (not that she’s left all that behind).
Going into season 4, Sabine’s story will open a door into a side of Star Wars we’ve only briefly glimpsed in The Clone Wars: Mandalorians. After the death of Gar Saxon, the Mandalorians are on the verge of civil war, and Sabine is in the middle of it with the darksaber, a symbol of Mandalorian authority.
Sabine voice actor, Tiya Sircar, teased more of Sabine’s arc in season 4, saying that it took until part way through season 3 for Sabine to finally address her trust issues and find her place with her “family” on The Ghost, but now she has to go do the same with her real family, where the stakes are much higher. She also teased “Some familiar faces, some new faces, all Mandalorian”, which sounds like something all fans can look forward to.
Chopper is different from the rest of the characters in Rebels in the fact that he doesn’t have an apparent character arc. He seems to be just a grumpy droid that wants to pick fights and cause trouble, but Dave Filoni calls that into question. The Rebels executive producer talked about Chopper’s emotion, saying “he has a bigger heart than you realize because when the chips are really down he likes these guys”, saying that’s something we’ll see more of in season 4 as well.
Kanan has been a huge mystery since his introduction. Does he die before A New Hope? Why haven’t we heard of him before? We’ve seen him slowly transition from someone that wanted to hide his Jedi past to a thoughtful master, more in tune with the Force than many Jedi we’ve seen before. As Kanan’s voice actor, Freddie Prinze Jr., says “He’s still blind, but he sees more than he has ever seen before.”
Freddie says that ‘Trials of the Darksaber’ is the episode that can be pinpointed as a pivotal moment in Kanan’s arc “because that sort of defined for me a lot of who Kanan was and who he needs to be.” What Kanan has learned from the beginning is the virtue of patience. The Bendu also taught him how he can see, literally and figuratively, the road in front of him if he’s just patient and quiets his mind.
In season 4, Prinze Jr. says “he knows what path these Rebels need to be on” and “the stuff Kanan goes through is very adult” because he has to learn that “the good guys don’t always win.” That’s a lesson Star Wars fans may have already learned from other stories, but in the context of this particular crew of Rebels, it has an obviously ominous tone, and will likely be the cause of a lot of speculation until we know the ultimate fate of these characters.
Over the last 3 seasons of Rebels, we’ve seen Ezra Bridger evolve into a young Jedi who’s power could even rival his master’s at this point. Freddie Prinze Jr. talked about Ezra for a moment, describing the Padawan’s journey to adulthood: “he sort of steps out of that Jedi Padawan relationship and says ‘I’m not talking about the Force, I’m talking about family, I have so much more to learn from you’ so in that regard he’s still a young man, he’ll still deal with issues of anger the way young men deal with them, but he has a good teacher”
Adding to Freddie’s comments, Taylor Gray, the voice of Ezra, said Ezra’s arc puts him on a quest to discover “what kind of Jedi, and transcending that, what kind of person he wants to be”. After seeing him struggle with the dark side in seasons 2 and 3, it’ll definitely be interesting to see how he progresses now that he’s met both Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi and moved beyond Maul.
One of the biggest moments of last season was when Mon Mothma finally showed up, signaling the beginning of the formation of the larger Rebel Alliance. Unfortunately, this change wasn’t everything the Ghost Crew may have expected when Mon denied Phoenix Squadron any support during Thrawn’s attack of Chopper Base on Atollon. While it may have been the most strategically sound decision – preventing Thrawn from tracking them to other Rebel bases – it was definitely a tough call.
Mon Mothma, who will be voiced once again by Genevieve O’Reilly (who also played the character in Rogue One and in a deleted scene for Revenge of the Sith) is going to continue that trend to show just what she’s capable of as the head of the Rebel Alliance. As Dave Filoni says: “you might see Mon Mothma get a little firy for once. She’s a leader for a reason.”
It was a huge treat for Star Wars fans to not only see Saw Gerrera make the jump from The Clone Wars to Rogue One but then also to Star Wars Rebels, where he was also voiced by Forrest Whitaker. Last season we saw the more extremist side of Saw, who wasn’t concerned with any collateral damage or innocent death so long as it helped bring down the Empire, and, while he was ultimately talked down by the Ghost crew, we know he’s not done with his extreme measures, due to his appearance in Rogue One, so we can expect his season 2 inclusion to send him farther down that path that eventually leads to the Rebel Alliance choosing to alienate itself from his efforts.
SEASON 4 WILL “BRIDGE THE GAP” TO ROGUE ONE
One of the main criticisms against the Star Wars prequels was the divergence from the well-worn aesthetic of the original trilogy. In the prequels, everything seemed new and shiny, but the original trilogy had this worn down, lived in, second-hand feel. Thanks to the work being done outside the movies, particularly in animation, that gap is closing as story details have established a changing galaxy and the different levels of technology across different civilizations and cultures.
Dave Filoni promised that season 4 would continue to “bridge the gap,” leading up to Rogue One, and likewise, A New Hope. One of the biggest ways this will happen is by the Rebels finally going to Yavin 4, where the old Massassi temples are obviously far more fitting of that classic aesthetic than the shield protected landing pads on Atollon. Obviously, this will also serve to connect the story to Rogue One, where we see the Ghost sitting outside Rebel base on Yavin 4.
Between the Ghost, Chopper, and “General Syndulla”, there were already a number of other Rebels Easter eggs in Rogue One, but season 4 is set to make even more connections, with U-Wings, Saw’s soldier, Edrio Two Tubes, and more Saw and Mon Mothma. It sounds like fans will want to watch Rogue One all over again just to see if they can find even more newly revealed Rebels easter eggs when it’s all said and done.
Last year’s announcement that Thrawn would be joining Rebels season 3 drew a huge reaction from fans at Celebration – and nearly broke the internet for those that weren’t – and the character really paid off, playing out in animation as if he had stepped directly off the pages of Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire. While Thrawn was initially the only character to be lifted from non-canonical Star Wars Legends content, that’s about to change with the introduction of Thrawn’s Noghri bodyguard, Rukh, played by none other than the Star Wars great, Warwick Davis.
This name has huge implications for a number of reasons, the most primary of which is the fact that in the books, Rukh is the one that actually assassinates Thrawn in the end in the Legends material. Obviously, that doesn’t have to play out the same way here, but that detail will definitely loom over all of season 4 as a potential conclusion to Thrawn’s story.
Fans were thrilled when it was revealed that Ahsoka Tano had survived the Clone Wars and would be appearing regularly in the second season of Star Wars Rebels. It was a sweet reunion until she inevitably had to confront Darth Vader, resulting in a somewhat cryptic resolution prompting the hashtag #AhsokaLives.
Dave Filoni has a history of playing coy on panels and interviews, so it should hardly be a surprise when he showed up wearing a black shirt bearing the words “Ahsoka Lives?” In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trick, when the lights came up after the screening of the season 4 trailer, the text on the shirt had been changed to “Ahsoka Lives!” (notice the punctuation change), prompting rampant speculation about her likely return in season 4.
REBELS IS ENDING WITH SEASON 4
Despite 3 amazing seasons, season 4 will be that end of Rebels. It makes sense, though – the show was always meant to fill in a narrow gap in the Star Wars timeline. Now that they’re running out of road, the stories of these characters will all be wrapped up as Lucasfilm Animation moves on to an as yet unnamed project.
In his announcement that Rebels would end with season 4, Dave Filoni pointed out that he much prefers to end a show on his terms, unlike The Clone Wars, which was canceled in mid-production at the height of its quality, leaving many great stories untold. By bringing Rebels to its ultimate conclusion at this point, we can have confidence that the show will exist as a complete story, looking forward to whatever Lucasfilm Animation is planning next.
Updated: Star Wars Rebels Season 4 won’t include battles of Jedha & Scarif
Viewers won’t see recreations of Jedha and Scarif when Star Wars Rebels returns for its fourth and final season this fall. There was a lot of news about the show at Star Wars Celebration Orlando this past weekend. We learned of new characters showing up on the series and old favorites popping up again, including Ahsoka Tano – who was last seen battling Darth Vader in the season two finale. Series creator Dave Filoni also announced that the fourth season will be the final one.
Since the series began there’s been some question as to how long the series would go on for with most fans suspecting that the series would wrap up by the time Star Wars: A New Hope takes place. The Ghost made a cameo appearance during Rogue One which has opened the door for the series finale to take place at the same time as that film.
In an interview with /Film, however, Dave Filoni has stated that its not in the cards. Here’s what he told the outlet: “I don’t think that would be right. It would be to hinge this series end on a battle we’ve already seen the outcome of in a feature film. It would be a little bit repetitious, anticlimactic. I think as an initial impulse it sounds great. But the more you think about it, you go hmmmm I don’t know, it would kind of taper your expectations and the tension would be cut quite a bit. I like our ending. And I love that battle. I think it would be neat to see that battle one day from the Ghost’s perspective because we know the Ghost is there, but we don’t know who is in the Ghost. So that’s kind of a good question that needs to be answered.”
Its safe to assume then that the series finale for Star Wars Rebels will take place just short of the battle of Scarif. While we won’t be seeing that tropical world on the animated series, Filoni was asked if it was possible that Jedha would show up: “Anything’s possible in Star Wars storytelling, I’ve learned that lesson. Ever since we brought Darth Maul back, I learned that lesson. I think we have a certain specific task ahead of us and with respect to that film, we wanted things like Jedha to be very special for that movie when it came out. It’s a wonderful sandbox they’ve created over there but you know, it’s not something I could really play with in this series at this point. We have our own Jedi mysteries that we’ve been wrapping our head around on this show.”
That doesn’t preclude Jedha showing up at all. We know that Forest Whitaker will be reprising his role as Saw Gerrera once more for the animated series and seeing as he ends up on that world, we can expect at least a mention if not a brief cameo of Jedha.
At least two characters from Star Wars Rebels are alive during the events of Rogue One: Hera Syndulla and Chopper, with the former mentioned on a loud speaker and the latter glimpsed on screen. Even if the television series doesn’t cover the Ghost taking part of the battle of Scarif you can bet that a book will reveal those events from the perspectives of whichever Star Wars Rebels characters survive by the end of the series.
Updated: How should Star Wars Rebels end?
At Star Wars Celebration 2017, creator/producer Dave Filoni made the surprise announcement that Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels will be the show’s final season. As sad as it is to see it go away, there’s an extraordinary satisfaction in knowing that this story has a definitive ending, and fans are going to get to see it.
There’s an awful lot of story left to wrap up in just one season, but most important to fans is how the story of the Ghost crew will end. It’s long been assumed by many fans that Kanan and Ezra can’t possibly survive because Luke Skywalker is referred to as “the last of the Jedi” by Yoda – who knew of Kanan and Ezra – in Return of the Jedi. But Dave Filoni has proven many times how much he loves to throw a good curveball, and how effective the payoff of that curveball can be.
So how should Star Wars Rebels end?
The show has always been anchored to the planet Lothal, and ultimately, that’s where its ending would be most appropriate. Lothal is under Imperial control these days, so a big battle for Lothal’s freedom is definitely in the cards. Scenes glimpsed in the Season 4 trailer confirmed this, with imagery of Grand Admiral Thrawn, his new lackey Rukh (voiced by Warwick Davis), and loads of explosions happening on Lothal.
But there’s much more to the show than that one planet. We know for sure that the Rebellion will be based on Yavin in Season 4, which brings things closer than ever to the time of Rogue One and A New Hope. A quick look in the trailer at the white hair of Saw Gerrera and Kallus’ longer hair indicate that there will be a time-jump at some point, either before Season 4 begins, or somewhere within the season itself. With the third season set only two years before the battles of Scarif and Yavin, this means the final season will occur much closer to the original trilogy’s starting point.
Filoni has suggested in the past that he has a plan for the Battle of Scarif — and the Ghost was visible both on Yavin and in the big space battle in Rogue One — as seen from the Ghost crew’s point of view, so it seems likely that will happen at some point, but according to Filoni, it won’t be in season 4. Additional animated projects, comics, or books may very well one day tackle that story from the perspective of the characters we know and love from Rebels, but it’s a story that won’t be told as a part of Rebels‘ 4 season arc.
Elsewhere, things have been left very unresolved where Mandalore is concerned, and the trailer confirmed that this war-torn world will be a big part of Season 4. Sabine and her allies have been on the hunt for a leader worthy of wielding the Darksaber and uniting Mandalore against the Empire; the trailer showed the long-awaited arrival of The Clone Wars‘ Bo-Katan Kryze (voiced by Katee Sackhoff) with the Darksaber in hand, so it’s pretty clear where that storyline is headed. A good guess is that Sabine might install Bo-Katan as leader just in time for Mandalore to show up as reinforcements in the final battle for Lothal.
Another dangling plot thread fans are positively dying to see wrapped up is the fate of Ahsoka Tano. Did she bite the big one on Malachor, or did she somehow survive? Since Dave Filoni has promised to reveal what happened to her at some point (and has already teased the answer to some extent), there are two possibilities for when and how that will happen.
The first and most obvious is to have Ahsoka’s fate revealed before the end of Rebels. Whether that means she shows up at a key moment, alive and well, or Kanan and Ezra find evidence of her demise, it has to be a definitive answer for fans to buy it.
The second option is found in something Filoni stated at the Season 4 Rebels panel at Star Wars Celebration: “The end of Rebels in no way represents the end of what we’re doing at Lucasfilm Animation.” It’s been rumored that a third animated series is already underway at Lucasfilm, and some reports have that mysterious new show set in the 30-year gap between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. When Filoni promised to reveal Ahsoka’s fate, might he have been sneakily referring to events from this new animated series? Only time will tell, but until then, Filoni may be the only person in the entire world that actually knows the answer.
So that leaves us with how and where our favorite characters will end in Rebels‘ story. Aside from the main five, there are side characters that the Rebellion has picked up along the way like Rex, Kallus, Fenn Rau, Ketsu Onyo, Ryder Azadi, and more. It’s all but confirmed at this point that Rex will survive to become one of the soldiers on Endor in Return of the Jedi. As for the rest, it’s anybody’s guess. And what about Thrawn? Now that he’s been canonized, it’s hard to imagine that Lucasfilm would ditch him so quickly, so he could live to tell another story – or even make the jump to live-action!
For the shippers out there, there’s still hope that the unspoken feelings between Kanan and Hera will finally come to fruition. A tender moment in the trailer suggests as much. There was a possibility for romance between Ezra and Sabine at the show’s beginning, but considering the sibling-like relationship they’ve formed over the years, that feels wrong now. And don’t worry, the Kallus/Zeb “bromance” is already confirmed for season 4.
As for who lives and who dies, Star Wars has never killed off characters lightly, so don’t assume that death is the only logical end for Rebels‘ cast. Don’t forget that most fans assumed Ahsoka would die at the end of The Clone Wars to explain her absence from the films, but Filoni and his crew came up with a more creative solution that allowed her to survive in a way that made sense.
Then again, Rebels is a very different show than Clone Wars, so death could be in the offing for our heroes. But the smart move is to assume nothing. From a purely cynical point of view, killing off major characters is bad for business. It limits the opportunities for how those characters might be utilized in future productions. Filoni seems to have full creative freedom to do what he wants on Rebels, but it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t want at least some of these characters to show up in his next animated series.
Will Rebels end at the battle for Lothal, or some other major defeat? While that might work out for the larger context of Star Wars, Rebels is ultimately a kids show on Disney XD, so something that dark might not be in the cards. But what if the characters live and the Ghost goes on to participate on the sidelines of other major events? Seeing their role diminished that way would be less than satisfying, so probably not. Regardless, knowing that there is a plan and it’s in very capable hands is a reassuring thought.
Star Wars Rebels returns to Disney XD in the fall.
All animated gifs made by me with Adobe Photoshop CS6 from the Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Trailer.