Tag: star wars rebels

Star Wars Rebels to return for 4th Season

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Source: StarWars.Com

Despite the best efforts of the Grand Inquisitor, Darth Vader, and Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Ghost crew will be back. Production is already underway on the fourth season of the hit animated series Star Wars Rebels and will premiere in Fall of 2017 on Disney XD.

Marc Buhaj, senior vice president, programming and general manager, Disney XD said, “The team behind Star Wars Rebels delivers epic storytelling that has captivated fans of all ages across the globe. We’re excited to continue sharing the journey of these fan-favorite rebels with our audience in the fall.”

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Star Wars Rebels, set between the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope, features a cast of new heroes and has included Star Wars icons like Darth Vader, Yoda, and Princess Leia, along with fan favorites such as Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series.

The show is currently in the midst of a thrilling third season, which has seen the introduction of the threatening villain Grand Admiral Thrawn, a direct connection to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with an appearance by Saw Gerrera, and the legendary Maul on a journey for his ultimate revenge.

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The gifted cast includes Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan, Vanessa Marshall as Hera, Steve Blum as Zeb, Tiya Sircar as Sabine, Taylor Gray as Ezra, Dee Bradley Baker as Captain Rex, David Oyelowo as Agent Kallus, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera, Sam Witwer as Maul, Tom Baker as Bendu, and Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn. 

Fans can look forward to more details and an announcement about the fourth season of Star Wars Rebels during Star Wars Celebration in Orlando this April.

A guide to the journey of Saw Gerrera

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Source: StarWars.Com and StarWars.Wikia

If you watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and if you’re not a die-hard fan of the saga and only watched the previous Star Wars movies, maybe you’re not familiarized with some characters or situations shown in Rogue One. One of those characters is the former Rebel leader Saw Gerrera (played by actor Forest Whitaker), whose until now had appeared only in Star Wars novels and animation series. Well, if you want to know more about Saw Gerrera, the official Star Wars site has made a playlist of all Saw Gerrera’s appearances until his final part in Rogue One.

Who is Saw Gerrera?

I’m not a terrorist. I’m a patriot. And resistance is not terrorism.― Saw Gerrera

onderonian_steela_sawSaw Gerrera was a human male resistance fighter who, as a leading member of the Onderon rebels, fought against the Confederacy of Independent Systems on Onderon during the Clone Wars. He and his sister, Steela Gerrera, were instrumental in the rebel liberation of their homeworld during the Onderonian Civil War. He later became a key member in the fight against the Galactic Empire and the formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. His tactics against the Empire led him to be seen as an extremist, one whose notoriety was recognized by the Empire and, many years later, the New Republic.

In the early resistance against the Separatist Alliance on Onderon, Gerrera and his fellow soldiers were outnumbered and out-fought by the Separatist Droid Army. They requested help from the Jedi High Council, which led the Grand Army of the Republic in its fight against the Separatists, but the Jedi Order chose not to become actively involved in the fighting on Onderon. Instead, they sent a team of advisors—GeneralsAnakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Commander Ahsoka Tano, and Clone Captain CT-7567 (“Rex”)—to train the Onderonian fighters. The Jedi and Captain Rex taught them proper techniques and strategies for taking on the battle droid army, and, through their efforts, the rebels began to turn the tide. Gerrera came to resent that the rebels chose Steela as their leader, and he was soon captured in an ill-concocted solo effort to rescue the deposed King Ramsis Dendup from the Separatists. They were both rescued by the rebels, who eventually mounted a final battle against the Separatists. Through their efforts, the rebels liberated their world and returned Dendup to the throne. The fight, however, came at a personal cost: Steela was killed during the final battle, and Gerrera was left to mourn his sister—feeling responsible for her death.

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Saw Gerrera played by Forest Whitaker in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

At the end of the Clone Wars, the Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire. Later, Saw brought Galen Erso, Lyra Erso, and Jyn Erso to the uninhabited planet of Lah’mu. When Orson Krennic took Jyn’s parents away from her, Saw found her and raised her until she was a young adult. Gerrera fought against the Imperial Military and led a resistance group known as the Partisans. His resistance cell, a continuation of his Onderonian resistance, was one of the first in the group of cells that formed the Rebel Alliance. He was later involved in the early campaigns of the Rebel Alliance, by which time his more-extreme tactics had come to stand in stark contrast with those of Alliance leaders Bail Organa and Mon Mothma. He eventually based his group on Jedha, where he met Jyn again. When Jedha City was destroyed by the Death Star, Saw told Jyn he was done running and stayed on Jedha, and was killed by the aftermath of the blast.

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Save the Rebellion! Save the Dream!― Saw Gerrera

Saw Gerrera has fast become one of the most important characters in the Star Wars saga. He fought in the Clone Wars alongside Anakin Skywalker and Ashoka Tano and himself became more machine than man to confront the might of the Empire and Darth Vader. He would do anything he could to resist the Empire and sometimes that got him in trouble with the Rebellion.

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1. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (The Onderon Arc – “A War on Two Fronts,” Season 5, Episode 2; “Front Runners,” Season 5, Episode 3; “The Soft War,” Season 5, Episode 4; “Tipping Points,” Season 5, Episode 4) Saw’s first appearance in the Star Wars mythos was during the Clone War. He was a freedom fighter on his home planet of Onderon and trained by the Jedi in guerrilla tactics. He would later turn those tactics to use against the Empire.

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2. Rogue One: Catalyst by James Luceno – After the onset of the Empire in the wake of the Clone Wars, the galaxy is in turmoil. Though Saw plays the smallest of parts in this story, it’s an important one to understand the trajectory of his future and his destiny.

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3. Rebel Rising by Beth Revis – Saw Gerrera takes Jyn Erso under his wing and this book tells a tale of their time together, fighting the Empire in every way they can.

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4. Star Wars Rebels (“The Honorable Ones,” Season 2 Episode 17 ) – Though Saw doesn’t appear in this episode personally, it offers a shocking window into the sort of treatment Imperials received at his hands.

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5. Star Wars Rebels (“Ghosts of Geonosis,” Season 3, Episode 12 and 13) Long after Jyn and Saw parted ways, Saw was still a force to be reckoned with in the galaxy. In these episodes, he’s sent to investigate the aftermath of what might be the Imperial genocide of Geonosis.

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6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – This final installment of Saw Gerrera’s playlist shows us some of the connective tissue between Catalyst and Rebel Rising, but it also shows us what ultimately becomes of Saw and how the Rebel Alliance sees him.

Star Wars: Grand Admiral Thrawn explained

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Source: ScreenRant.Com and MoviePilot.Com

The big news coming out of this past summer’s Star Wars Celebration was the announcement that a certain legendary character from the original iteration of the Expanded Universe (that overflowing collection of novels, comic books, short stories, and video games) would be popping up in the new Disney-owned Star Wars saga: Grand Admiral Thrawn, the villain originally introduced to take the place of the fallen Dark Lords of the Sith, Darths Sidious (Ian McDiarmid) and Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones).

The only alien that Emperor Palpatine trusted to climb the Imperial ranks, the good admiral will first be popping up in the season 3 premiere of Star Wars Rebels (where he’ll be voiced by Lars Mikkelsen) before arriving once again in book form, in the appropriately titled Star Wars: Thrawn. The latter is scheduled to be released on April 11, 2017 and will act as a prequel to Thrawn’s television run, covering his first encounter with the Empire and ending just before Rebels‘ third season.

Newer viewers and readers can be forgiven for not being familiar with Thrawn, and even those battle-hardened story veterans may need a bit of a refresher, given just how many decades it’s been since the character was initially established – and given some of the continuity problems that the reintroduction of the character can cause. It may be necessary all around, therefore, to ask one simple question: Who Is Grand Admiral Thrawn?

SO, WHO IS THRAWN?

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“To defeat an enemy you must know them. Not simply their battle tactics, but their history, philosophy, art.” – Grand Admiral Thrawn

When publisher Bantam Spectra and Lucasfilm agreed in the late 1980s that a trilogy of novels set in the immediate years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi would be a tremendous financial success, Timothy Zahn was selected to be its author. Zahn, in turn, realized that he would need a villain not only to propel the books’ plot, but to also stand up to the legacy of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader (who, at the time, were unknown to both be Sith Lords, a revelation which wouldn’t come to light until nearly a decade later, in Episode I: The Phantom Menace).

Zahn’s accurate instinct was to create an antagonist who would represent a wholly different approach to Imperial hegemony; one who valued strategy over brute force, creative contributions from subordinates instead of simple blind obedience, and who possessed an unshakably calm demeanor as opposed to the rage-filled outbursts from Lord Vader (and, later on, Kylo Ren [Adam Driver]). Thrawn is an individual who prizes art above all else, both for its external beauty and for its intrinsic ability to carry an entire people’s psychological disposition within it. By studying a civilization’s art, along with dabs of its culture and history, he could deduce the strategies they would deploy on the battlefield, allowing him to always be three steps ahead of whatever opponent he was currently facing. When combined with his very alien appearance – blue skin, jet-black hair, glowing red eyes – the resultant effect is a character who is wholly unique in all of Star Wars, from the movies to the rest of the old EU to, most recently, the television outings.

In short, it’s absolutely no surprise that Lucasfilm would bring him back into the new Star Wars canon status quo.

Fans finally got their wish when Thrawn’s appearance was revealed in the latest Star Wars Rebels Season 3 trailer. The reveal of Thrawn comes in around the 1:55 mark.

THRAWN’S ORIGINAL ROLE IN THE FIRST EXPANDED UNIVERSE

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In the years before Episode IV: A New Hope, Thrawn is able to do the impossible: work his way up the Imperial ranks in a largely human-only club, where he eventually reaches the dizzying rank of grand admiral (another invention by Timothy Zahn) and is eventually made the commanding officer in charge of exploring the Unknown Regions, those uncharted territories beyond the galactic rim.

He returns from his mission four years after the Galactic Empire’s defeat at the Battle of Endor to fill the Emperor’s larger-than-life shoes (robes?), attempting to shore up the shrinking Imperial numbers, topple the still-fledgling New Republic, and reassert Palpatine’s New Order once and for all. This campaign, which comes so narrowly close to being successful, forms the basis of Timothy Zahn’s inaugural trilogy of books: Heir to the Empire (1991), Dark Force Rising (1992), and The Last Command (1993) (which, collectively, have since come to be known as the Thrawn trilogy, for obvious reasons).

trilogyDie-hard fans know that Thrawn was a character who was introduced by author Timothy Zahn in his first novel Star Wars: Heir to the Empire. That novel eventually turned into a trilogy (Dark Force Rising and Last Command were the other two) and was the first set of stories to follow the conclusion of Return of the Jedi.

As the final volume in this series comes to a close and as the grand admiral’s immaculate plans start to miraculously unravel, the unexpected happens: Thrawn is betrayed by one of his most loyal servants, being stabbed in the back while sitting in his command chair aboard his flagship, the Star Destroyer Chimera (even here, with the double shock of betrayal and death ravaging him, Thrawn never loses his trademark calm, wryly noting “But… it was so artistically done”). Just like that, the gravest threat that the New Republic has yet faced dissipates, allowing the government time to stabilize and granting Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) the chance to, at long last, create that New Jedi Order he has long been burdened with initiating.

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That would, obviously, seem to be the end of Thrawn, but he is resurrected, both literally and figuratively, five years later, for Zahn’s next big Star Wars outing: Specter of the Past (1998) and Vision of the Future (1999), which together comprise the Hand of Thrawn duology. With the still-existing Empire on its last legs (yes, once again) and with the New Republic on the verge of disintegration and civil war (again), Grand Admiral Thrawn’s clone rises to take his progenitor’s place, and the sheer announcement of his “return” is enough to place nearly the entire galaxy into a state of panic.

In an interesting, if somewhat cliché, move, Zahn offers two twists almost back-to-back, which serve to end The Hand of Thrawn, starting with the revelation that the man presumed to be the admiral’s clone is actually an imposter, and ending with Master Luke discovering the real clone, who was created immediately after the real Thrawn’s death a decade earlier but has yet to be awoken. After a debate over the morality of killing the genetic offspring (since he technically has committed no crimes and all), the clone dies, anyway, when Luke and his compatriot are forced to blast their way out of the cloning facility.

PREQUELS, RETCONNING, AND THE FUTURE

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Timothy Zahn ultimately couldn’t resist playing with his most famous creation one final time, doing so across the novels Survivor’s Quest (2004) and Outbound Flight (2006), with the former having more to do with Thrawn’s legacy than anything else and the latter being a prequel, delivering a full story based off of an off-hand reference made in the Thrawn trilogy about a key episode in the grand admiral’s secretive past. Interestingly enough, it is in these final Thrawn outings that we glimpse some of the continuity difficulty that Dave Filoni, the showrunner of Rebels, and Zahn himself will now be facing in their attempts to assimilate the iconic character in this new iteration of the Expanded Universe.

To explain, let’s back up for a moment. As part of his efforts to furnish the story for his initial trilogy of books, Zahn had nearly free reign in providing his own explanations for a number of mysterious plotlines that were left over from the movies (such as what, exactly, the Clone Wars were, or how Palpatine could have been a Force wielder without having been a former Jedi Knight). But once the prequel trilogy started to arrive on the scene, bringing along with it the official answers to these riddles, Zahn needed to attempt to reconcile the two continuities. Hence, none other than Darth Sidious himself makes an appearance in Outbound Flight – which is now inserted in between The Phantom Menace and Episode II: Attack of the Clones – striking a bargain with the newly-discovered Thrawn out in the Unknown Regions to help him start to pick off Jedi, some 10 years before the Purge. (An effort was also made to place the episode – and all of Thrawn’s backstory, more generally – in the context of preparing for the eventual war against an extra-galactic alien race known as the Yuuzhan Vong, whose arrival formed the basis of the “New Jedi Order” publishing program that lasted from 1999 to 2003 and which consisted of no less than 19 books.) It was a fine narrative needle to try and thread, but Zahn plugged away at it dutifully, fudging the details in order to make a general fit.

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Such a messy integration is seemingly needed once again, as both the author and the Rebels writing staff have indicated that references to the character’s past (and now-invalidated) adventures will be included in both the television episodes and the new novel, a move which can potentially open a Pandora’s box of continuity chaos. Will the character’s earlier alliance with the once-and-future Emperor Palpatine be carried over, and, if so, will extra moves be taken to scrub all the old-EU-specific detritus away from the narrative core? Will the brilliant battlefield strategies that older readers were originally delighted by 25 years ago in Heir to the Empire be dusted off and repurposed for Rebels – something which could bore the long-time fans? And, finally, will the more out-there scenarios, such as having several Thrawn clones waiting to run around the galaxy once their genetic antecedent bites the dust, be invoked – possibly in Episode VIII or IX? (It’s a possibility which, actually, isn’t that far-fetched, given that Rebels and its predecessor, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, have already brought Darth Maul [Ray Park] back to life, robotic spider legs and all.)

And all of this doesn’t even address the fundamental issue underlying the entire enterprise – should the new Expanded Universe stories address, or otherwise reinforce, their older, non-canon versions? If left unchecked, such a move would ultimately and inexorably lead to the boundary between the two versions being erased entirely, resulting in an even bigger, inchoate mess than what the original EU was during its more awkward early days (after the Thrawn trilogy and before Del Rey imposed a strict top-down game plan on the narrative proceedings).

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Just when you thought the news couldn’t get any better, Timothy Zahn himself revealed to the mass audience that a new Star Wars novel will be released in April 2017 simply titled Star Wars: Thrawn. The novel will look to shed some light on this fan-favorite character.

But all of those are future concerns best left to a different day. For now, all that Star Wars fans should concentrate on is the fact that one of the most brilliant additions to that galaxy far, far away is set to become, at long last, a canon resident – and that he’s probably here to stay.

Star Wars Rebels Season 3: First 6 episode titles revealed

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Source: ScreenRant.Com. Read more on Star Wars Wikia.

As Star Wars fans get ready to embrace spinoff film Rogue One, releasing this December, and continue to listen out for news about next year’s Episode VIII, a new season of animated series Star Wars Rebels is on the horizon. In just a couple weeks, the hit Disney XD show will return to the airwaves with possibly its most important and strongest season yet, leading into an all out war between the Rebels and the Empire.

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Set around the time of Rogue One, not too long before Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars Rebels follows the ragtag crew of starship Ghost as they fight against the growing, evil Galactic Empire. Ezra Bridger is a young orphan from Lothal who can use the Force, and after season 2 he’s now stronger than ever. Last we saw him, Ezra had managed to escape Sith Lord Darth Vader and recover and unlock the Sith holocron using the dark side of the Force. Now in season 3, the Ghost crew are preparing for the biggest mission yet: a direct attack on the Empire.

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Having established a secret base on Atollon with new resources and recruits, Ezra and weapons expert Sabine are ready to face off against their newest enemy, Grand Admiral Thrawn, whose strategic, tactical and cultural insights make him a threat unlike any they have faced before. Not much else is known about the upcoming episodes, beyond some returning characters like Wedge Antilles, but new episode titles give us a few hints. The first six titles for season 3 of Star Wars Rebels will be “Steps into Shadow, Parts 1 & 2”, “The Holocrons of Fate”, “The Antilles Extraction”, “Hera’s Heroes” and “The Last Battle”.

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The one-hour television movie “Steps into Shadow”, which is comprised of the first two episodes and kicks off season 3, exclusively debuted this summer at Celebration Europe. Spoilers for the premiere can be found online, but the gist is that Ezra being in possession of the Sith holocron will have a lot of ramifications on not just the Star Wars Rebels world – but the character himself. Ezra will have to decide between the light and dark sides of the Force, while new baddies and impartial characters try to sway him in different ways.

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Next it seems “The Holocrons of Fate” will further test the power of these ancient artifacts and possibly feature the merging of the Jedi and Sith Holocrons we saw in the first trailer. From there, “The Antilles Extraction” will introduce Wedge Antilles, the legendary X-Wing pilot – who, in Star Wars Rebels, is just a young Imperial pilot ready to defect from the Empire. Then “Hera’s Heroes” and “The Last Battle” round out the first batch of episodes taking us through the end of October. With Katee Sackhoff also reprising her role as Bo-Katan, there are sure to be a lot more surprises coming up.

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Star Wars Rebels season 3 will premiere Saturday, September 24 at 8:30 p.m. EST on Disney XD.

Star Wars Rebels Season 3 may connect with future Star Wars films

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Source text: ScreenRant.Com. All  animated gifs were made by me with Adobe Photoshop CS6.

After Disney bought Lucasfilm and with it the Star Wars multi-media franchise, the studios announced the formation of the Lucasfilm Story Group: a collection of writers whose job is to make sure that story continuity is maintained between the various Star Wars movies, TV shows, video games, and comic books released under the Disney/Lucasfilm banner (save, that is, for the Star Wars LEGO video games). As a result, all events that transpire in Star Wars-related content outside the realm of live-action film is considered “canon” – whether it be the plot beats from the novel “Bloodline” (set six years before the events of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) or the events that unfold in the Disney XD cartoon TV series Star Wars Rebels (set a few years before Episode IV – A New Hope).

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maulWe will see in Star Wars Rebels Season 3 many familiar faces to the Star Wars “shared universe”, as Wedge Antilles, Grand Moff Tarkin, Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Maul.

Rebels first included appearances by famous players from the Star Wars live-action movies early on during its first season; then, in season 2, the series began to incorporate certain key players from the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars TV series, while featuring even more beloved characters from the original Star Wars film trilogy (Episodes IV-VI). Now that season 3 is on the horizon, it seems the series may start to include direct connections to as-yet unreleased Star Wars films too.

Simon Kinberg, a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group and Star Wars Rebels‘ co-creator, is no stranger to the “shared universe” model now being embraced by the Star Wars franchise – as he’s also serving as a writer and producer on 20th Century Fox’s X-Men/Marvel movie franchise. Speaking with Moviefone, Kinberg expressed his excitement about the fact that Star Wars is now embracing the “shared universe” approach long utilized in the world of comic books:

“I’m very excited. I think part of the fun of the way they’re building the universe is that it is interconnected between the different movies and even beyond the movies… It’s something that was true in comic books going back, the way that you’d have interconnections between characters and stories. Even sometimes from DC to Marvel. I like the way that those stories are told in the larger tapestry. And, also, getting to work with other artists and filmmakers and writers, and use their talents — I like not being by myself in a room when I work. I like having other collaborators. You’re with some of the world’s best.”

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The “larger tapestry” of the Star Wars franchise (as Kinberg puts it) is one that has become increasingly tight-knit in its construction – what with novels such as “Bloodline” introducing plot points that will likely feed directly into the events of Star Wars: Episode VIII, and Clone Wars character Saw Gererra now being confirmed to appear in this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (where he’s played by Forest Whitaker). Kinberg indicated to Moviefone that Rebels season 3 will include plot points and/or characters that may directly connect with as-yet unreleased Star Wars movies, in keeping with that trend.

“What’s lovely is, obviously, we’ve brought in characters from ‘Clone Wars’ in the second season, and we keep sort of bringing characters from the original movies and sort of deepening the relationships between our core characters, the Ghost crew. So it’s trying to balance the two different things, like the original cast from the first season with ‘Clone Wars,’ with characters from the original movies, and maybe even feeding into future movies.”

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It’s plausible that Rebels season 3 will explore story material that leads into the upcoming young Han Solo movie in particular, given that there should be some overlap between them in the Star Wars timeline – not to mention, the main characters on Rebels frequently deal with members of the larger Star Wars universe’s criminal underworld that young Han Solo could have (plausibly) worked for at some point too. On top of that, Rebels season 3 will also bring the TV series ever closer to Episode IV – A New Hope in the Star Wars timeline and begins airing on Disney XD a few months before Rogue One (also set just before the events of Episode IV) hits theaters, as it just-so-happens.

In other words: it may yet turn out that Clone Wars isn’t the only animated Star Wars TV show with a direct connection to the first Star Wars anthology/spinoff film, as Rebels season 3 will be arriving at the perfect time for it to “cross-over” with Rogue One. If not, then there’s still the young Han Solo movie and the mystery 2020 Star Wars anthology film that Rebels season 3 could help to pave the way for – especially if that 2020 Star Wars spinoff film takes place somewhere between Episode IV – A New Hope and Episode VII – The Force Awakens (e.g. in the aftermath of Star Wars Rebels).

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Star Wars Rebels season 3 will air on Disney XD in fall 2016.

Star Wars Rebels Season 3 trailer shot by shot

Disney revealed at the Star Wars Celebration a new trailer, clips and details for Star Wars Rebels season 3, set to return in the fall of this year. If you have not watched the trailer yet, here’s another chance:

Now, grab your lightsaber and let’s take a look shot by shot at the Star Wars Rebels Season 3 official trailer.

Source: Chris Miller from StarWarsReport.Com

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Over the Lucasfilm logo we hear lightsabers ignite, Darth Vader breathing, and Ezra yelling Ahsoka’s name, immediately evoking the end of Season 2 and the mysterious fate of Ahsoka.

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“Battles leave scars. Some you can’t see.”

Kanan meditating… while levitating Loth-cats? Note the design on his mask. It is the same design as Captain Rex’s helmet. Dave Filoni said this represents Kanan’s growth in accepting Rex as an ally since Season 2.

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“I will never let my friends get hurt again!” – Ezra

Ezra is still in pain from leaving Ahsoka behind and it is having a dangerous effect on him. Note that the red eyes of the center mask begin to glow (that is where he keeps the Sith holocron and perhaps it is reacting to his dark thoughts).

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“I’m afraid it’s changing him.” – Kanan

Ezra with the Sith holocron from the end of Season 2. Like Anakin, Ezra is being tempted to the dark side through the desire to save the ones he cares for.

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“What if there are secrets we can learn from it that will help us destroy the Sith?” – Ezra

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“Ezra, the secrets in that thing almost destroyed you.” – Kanan

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“There are Imperial cadets at the Skystrike Academy who wish to defect to the rebels.” – Fulcrum

It looks like a new “Fulcrum” (still using Ahsoka’s symbol) is contacting the rebels. I’m guessing Filoni will do more to hide the voice this time.

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The Skystrike Academy.

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“This is TIE SS25. You can call me Wedge.”

Wedge Antilles is introduced in the Rebels universe and given a new backstory. In Legends he was never a TIE pilot, but joined the Rebellion when his girlfriend was killed.

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The guy on the right could be Tycho Celchu, a character created by author Michael A. Stackpole for his X-Wing series of novels. This theory was suggested by Mark Hurliman in his recent recap article.

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“Still can’t believe we’re here to break this guy out of prison.” – Sabine

In a lighter moment, the Ghost crew frees Hondo Ohnaka, presumably to get some vital information from him.

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“My friends! My friends!” – Hondo Ohnaka

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“I give to you, Reclam Station.” – Hondo

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“If we could steal a squadrons worth….” – Hera

Hondo gives them information on where they can find Y-wings.

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“…They would be key to building a strike fleet.” – Jun

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“Let’s go get em!” –Ezra

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“Everybody ready?”  Kanan, Ezra and Rex prepare for battle.

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The return of the battle droids. I wonder if this place is a holdover from the Clone Wars.

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Cham Syndulla fighting alongside Hera, Zeb, and Sabine.

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“One last glorious day in the Grand Army of the Republic.” — Captain Rex

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Captain Rex preparing for what he believes could be his last battle?

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A mysterious pilot hammering through a TIE fighter in a YT-2400 light freighter. Dave Filoni clarified during Celebration that this isn’t Legend favorite Dash Rendar or his ship, the Outrider,just the same ship type.

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Kanan and Ezra working together, jumping from a roof (back on Lothal?), and in disguise, punching out stormtroopers.

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A return to Concord Dawn.

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“Flying stormtroopers?” – Ezra

Dave Filoni said that the white armor is a reference to the original design of Boba Fett’s armor, initially a design for special forces stormtroopers. The line “flying stormtroopers” is probably a reference to this as well.

Note the triangle symbol on their helmets. There is also a triangle design on Kanan’s chest. I don’t know if this is a known design or what possible connection they have.

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“Worse. Mandalorians who serve the Empire.” – Fenn Rau

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Sabine and Ezra taking on the Imperial Mandalorians. They seem to be alone on this mission. Is Sabine doing this unsanctioned?

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“You haven’t forgotten our ways. That has earned my respect.” – Fenn Rau

Fenn, a former enemy of the Rebels, seems to have changed his attitude on the Empire and Sabine.

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Ezra and Zeb fighting Dark trooper inspired droids?

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Lothal’s Governor Pryce, seen here for the first time.

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“Governor Pryce, these rebels have proven particularly stubborn. How do you intend to solve this problem?” – Tarkin

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“I need someone who sees a bigger picture.” – Governor Pryce

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“The Empire is getting better at anticipating our moves. I underestimated the commander.”

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“This attack was swift… precise.” – Cham

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“To defeat an enemy, you must know them. Not simply their battle tactics… but their history, philosophy, art.” – Thrawn

In arguably the biggest announcement to come out of Celebration, Grand Admiral Thrawn is now canon. We see Thrawn studying the Ghost crew. As Thrawn fans know, he infamously learns how to defeat his enemies not only by studying their battle tactics, but by studying the art of their cultures. Note what looks to be the mask of a Jedi Temple Guard on Thrawn’s desk. There is also a nod to the ysalamiri lizards with the two figures behind Thrawn.

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In Legends, the ysalamiri were Force negating creatures used by Thrawn against Force users.

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Dave Filoni confirmed that this is just a nod to Thrawn’s origins and that the Force negating creatures will not be canon. He and George Lucas had already determined during the making ofThe Clone Wars that they did not really fit Lucas’s universe. Lucas told Filoni that since the Force is within all life, no natural creature would negate it.

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“Grand Admiral Thrawn!” – Hera

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Though blind, Kanan diverts a missile with the Force.

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“Embrace your destiny.” Maul tempting his “pupil.”

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Ezra being drawn to the power of the Sith holocron.

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Several ghostly entities emerge from an alter before Ezra.

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Maul and Ezra combine the Jedi and Sith holocrons. What will this do, and what is the purpose?

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52“Jedi and Sith… The light and the dark… I’m the one in the middle. The Bendu.”

The Bendu is a being said to represent the middle way of the Force, between the light and the dark. How Kanan came to him, whether it is a vision or reality, and what the purpose of the visit is remains a mystery (except to those who have seen the season premiere at Celebration).

The word “Bendu” was part of the original name George Lucas gave to the Jedi in his original drafts: the Jedi Bendu.

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“Once a secret is known… it cannot be unknown.” – The Bendu

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“Your anger gives you strength.” – Unidentified female voice

Ezra drawn deeper towards the dark side.

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“I will pull the rebels apart, piece by piece.” – Thrawn

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I believe this is Nightsister “magick” that is possessing Kanan. The green mist certainly matches.

Could this be Mother Talzin herself? She was supposedly killed in the Son of Dathomir comics, but she also possessed Count Dooku before that in the same comic. If you look closely, Talzin’s hood and shoulder pads seem to match this entity. And that looks to be an unconscious Sabine in front of Kanan!

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Pics from The Clone Wars.

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Maul using the Force on Hera.

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“I must become more powerful.” – Ezra

Ezra fighting Maul. And more of that Anakin vibe coming through in Ezra’s dialogue.

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“They’ll be the architects of their own destruction.” –  Thrawn

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Kanan possessed by the green mist from the alter. Did Ezra unleash this by messing with the holocrons, or did Kanan choose this? Is he the one ultimately drawn to the dark side?

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Sabine holding the darksaber, an ancient Jedi weapon that was stolen by Manalorians centuries before the Clone Wars. The saber was then handed down to members of House Vizsla. Darth Maul killed Pre Vizsla, then leader of the terrorist group Death Watch. Maul took the saber and became leader of Death Watch for a time. Sabine is a member of House Vizsla, so she may be reclaiming the blade for her family. Is this a dark turn for Sabine?

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Hera in the clutches of Thrawn?

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“Ezra, turn away before it’s too late!” – Kanan

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The combining of the Sith and Jedi holocrons has an explosive effect.

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Star Wars Rebels season 3 will air on Disney XD in fall 2016.

Star Wars Rebels Season 3: The Force will be challenged

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Source: ScreenRant.Com

The Star Wars Rebels season 2 finale found Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus and Ahsoka Tano visiting a Sith temple in Malachor for knowledge. The finale featured the return of Darth Maul, a major Ahsoka-Darth Vader fight and Ezra’s temptation towards the dark side getting deeper. However, the episode ended with the collapse of the Sith temple with Ahsoka still inside, while Kanan, who was blinded by Darth Maul, managed to escape with Ezra. The fate of Ahsoka and Darth Maul was left hanging as season 2 came to an end.

Well, Star Wars Celebration revealed a new trailer, clips and details for Star Wars Rebels season 3, set to return in the fall of this year. As fans were left wondering if Ezra was being swayed by the power of the Dark Side, the trailer for Star Wars Rebels also confirms the debut of Grand Admiral Thrawn and highlights Ezra’s ongoing struggles with the Sith Holocron (which is beginning to turn him mad). Darth Maul also tries to make Ezra his apprentice, as the Sith Lord notices how much Ezra is being pulled towards the Dark Side of the Force.

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In season three of Star Wars Rebels, the Force will be explored in completely new ways. The Force itself is the energy that flows through all living things, connecting and binding the universe, but it can also be manipulated by those who are strongly connected to it. Rebels season 3 will introduce a new ancient being, The Bendu (who lives with both the light and dark side present), and explore how different sides of the Force either clash or combine through main characters like Ezra, Darth Maul, and Kanan.

In a recent interview with Comic Book at Star Wars Celebration, showrunner Dave Filoni explained how the Force will affect Star Wars Rebels:

“I’ve gone as far as to say, when you’re a great pilot [in the Star Wars galaxy], are you using the Force? Probably! You’re in the moment. You can’t push and pull things to you – you don’t have that discipline – but you’re kinetically dodging a bunch of asteroids, which the odds of doing according to Threepio are almost impossible. What does that mean, when Han has this lack of faith, that he’s doing things [like that]?”

“Having the Force doesn’t mean you’re a superhero. It’s not that at all; it’s just being in the moment and being very true and flowing through the Force to do great things. Athletes talk about being ‘In the zone.’ They’ll say they’ve only been ‘in the zone’ twice in their entire sports professional career. Jedi are in the zone way more often than that, but they’re exceptional.”

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He went on to explain that just because one has a connection with the Force, doesn’t mean they need special training:

“It takes training and discipline. Without these things, it’s dangerous. When don’t you need training and discipline? When you’re gifted; it comes easy, like Anakin, thus if it comes to you easy, you might not value it as much as somebody who has fought hard to win that skill, to earn that skill. When that happens, you can unfortunately become corrupted. You see gifted people become arrogant, they think they’re special and better than anyone else because they’re powerful and gifted – Anakin. These are the things I just relate it to real life, and I’m always interested in the Force.”

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And as far as Bendu is concerned, he refers to himself as “the middle” in the trailer:

“He’s one of those guys who is outside the realm of that ‘clash of light and dark.’

I like to think of Bendu as just being very tired. You heard him in the episode yesterday say ‘You woke me up from a deep slumber,’ and part of Bendu’s thing is he’d like to go back to sleep, but the Rebels keep making all this noise, there’s all this torment over there. They’re young compared to him, and they’re like babies crying in the background. He respects their use of the Force, and respects that they have their own discipline, but he could get tired of it and curl back up and say ‘don’t bother me!”

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Star Wars Rebels, the acclaimed animated series, takes place during an era when the Galactic Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy. Imperial forces are hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights while a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking form. The storyline follows crew of the Ghost (including a couple that are force-sensitives) as they fight against the Empire. After The Clone Wars was cancelled, Rebels picks up fourteen years after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and five years before Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Since the shocking finale of Star Wars Rebels season 2, fans have been eagerly awaiting these details concerning season 3.

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Star Wars Rebels season 3 will air on Disney XD in fall 2016.

Star Wars Celebration 2016 highlights

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Well, the Star Wars Celebration 2016 it’s over, but there are many videos on Internet when you can view or review some of its best moments. I’m sharing some of them. All videos from Disney Experience Channel on YouTube.

Rogue One A Star Wars Story Panel (hosted by Gwendoline Christie)

An Hour with Mark Hamill Panel

Carrie Fisher: The Princess Diaries Panel

Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Panel (hosted by Warwick Davis)

Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Trailer Grand Admiral Thrawn Reveal

Star Wars Rebels Season 3 trailer to feature Grand Admiral Thrawn

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Source: ScreenRant

The trailer for Star Wars Rebels season 3 premiered at the ongoing Star Wars Celebration in Europe, with Rebels show-runner Dave Filoni (who also worked on the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars TV show) there to present the preview. Longtime Star Wars fan-favorite actor Warwick Davis (Wicket from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi) hosted the panel, as Filoni and the Rebels voice actors Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren) and Sam Witwer (Darth Maul and Emperor Palpatine) discussed what lies ahead for characters such as Sabine, Darth Maul, Ezra, and more in season 3.

Said Rebels season 3 trailer is now online and starts off by recapping events from the Rebels season 2 finale – including, Ezra’s (Taylor Gray) close encounter with Darth Maul and the Sith Holocron. The rest of the trailer contains many an exciting reveal about the episodes ahead on the Disney XD animated series, including an action scene that involves Mandalorians (one screened as an extended clip during the Rebels panel at Celebration). However, none of those reveals are quite as exciting as the confirmation that Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) will make his debut on Rebels during season 3.

You can watch the full-length trailer for Star Wars Rebels season 3 above – and then check out the new poster, below.

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The Rebels season 3 trailer confirms that Thrawn will serve as the primary antagonist for the Ghost and its crew this season, as far as the Imperial side of things is concerned. However, as the above Rebels poster suggests, Ezra and Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) – the latter now blind from his encounter with Darth Maul in the Rebels season 2 finale – will do battle with Maul in one way or another throughout Rebels season 3.

In the trailer, we see the Sith Lord attempting to make Ezra his “apprentice”, recognizing that Ezra (who looks noticeably older and more mature with his new haircut) is already being pulled towards the Dark Side. During the Star Wars Rebels panel at Star Wars Celebration, a clip was shown featuring another encounter between the show’s heroes and Maul… one that ended on a cliff-hanger where Kanan was placed in mortal danger, much to the Celebration crowd’s frustration. Filoni indicated that Kanan will become something akin to a blind samurai warrior during Rebels season 3. The trailer supports that idea, showing that Ezra’s mentor has now grown a beard and must rely on his connection to The Force (as well as his still-functioning senses) more than ever before.

There are other fun teases in the Rebels season 3 trailer, including a brief appearance by Wedge Antilles: the legendary X-Wing pilot and Rogue Squadron member, who here is shown as just a young Imperial pilot ready to defect from the Galactic Empire. Suffice it to say, Rebels season 3 is already making good on the show’s promise to continue expanding the Star Wars universe – while at the same time, bringing in other characters and connecting to key events from other Star Wars movies, TV shows, and novels alike.

Meet Grand Admiral Thrawn

Source: ScreenRant

The Rebels season 3 trailer revealed several intriguing tidbits about the episodes that lie ahead. However, the most exciting reveal in the footage was that of season 3’s main antagonist: beloved Star Wars Expanded Universe (now Star Wars Legends) villain, Grand Admiral Thrawn. In addition, Thrawn’s creator, Timothy Zahn, is confirmed to be writing a new canon novel featuring the character that will be published in 2017.

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Zahn appeared during the Rebels panel at Star Wars Celebration by way of a pre-recorded video message, saying it was an “incredible honor” for him to work with Filoni and the rest of the Rebels crew to adapt Thrawn for the animated TV show. You can check out the official cover artwork for Zahn’s upcoming Star Wars: Thrawn book, below:

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Thrawn, a blue-skinned alien (who belongs to the race known as the Chiss) and tactical genius who serves the Galactic Empire, was introduced in Zahn’s Heir to the Empire book trilogy (set five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi). The character took command of the Empire’s forces following the death of Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars Legends continuity, but will presumably serve a different role in the newly-established Star Wars canon. Thrawn’s addition to the Star Wars Rebels ensemble in season 3 has been rumored for some time now, based on the idea that “this time he will be using his evil brand of genius against the heroes of the starship Ghost.”

Here is what Filoni had to offer the crowd at Star Wars Celebration, with regard to Thrawn’s legacy as part of the Star Wars EU (prior to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012):

“You couldn’t have grown up a Star Wars fan without encountering Thrawn in Heir to the Empire. It was a dark time when there weren’t any more movies, and it blew our minds that there could be more.”

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Grand Admiral Thrawn will be voiced on Star Wars Rebels by Lars Mikkelsen (House of Cards), the older brother of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story costar Mads Mikkelsen. You can check out screenshots of Thrawn from the upcoming Rebels season 3 above. That includes an image of Thrawn alongside the Planetary Governor of Lothal, Arihnda Pryce, who’s also making her Rebels debut in season 3 (after only being mentioned by name during the seasons past).

Star Wars Rebels season 3 premieres on Disney XD in fall 2016. Star Wars: Thrawn will be published in 2017.