Analyzing the Star Wars Rebels season four trailers

We are nearing the end of Star Wars Rebels!

The fourth and final season of the show premieres on Monday, October 16, and will seek to tie up the story of the Ghost crew that it has been exploring for the past few years.  The final season will likely center on Ezra and Sabine, just like the first three seasons have, but we’ll also learn more about the rest of the crew and their fates.  The heroes will once again be opposed by Grand Admiral Thrawn, who will be the primary antagonist for a second straight season (something Rebels has not had before).  It figures to be a very interesting, entertaining, and emotional season, and so far we’ve had two trailers released: one that came out during Star Wars Celebration in April, and the other that was released yesterday.  Here they are:

Let’s take a look at what those trailers revealed about season four and what we might expect to see:

Kanan and Hera!

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Both trailers for Rebels have had ominous tones.  The first trailer began with Hera saying,  “It was a simple story about a boy who was lost [Ezra] and a girl who was broken [Sabine].  They fought alongside a survivor [Zeb], a war veteran [Chopper], and a fallen knight [Kanan].  I led them into battle against an evil so terrible it tried to black out the stars [Thrawn].  We fought for each other, we fought for those who could not, but we never imagined it would end like this.”  So the first trailer was ominous, but the second trailer zeroed in on that even more, especially as it pertains to one character in particular: Kanan.

We know that Hera survives the events of Rebels because she is present at the Battle of Scariff (and survives past then, to the time of the Battle of Endor as well).  But we don’t know about the fate of the others (well, besides Chopper, who also survives), and there is quite a bit of foreshadowing about Kanan’s fate going on.  The trailer shows a lot of Kanan, especially in his relationship to Hera.  It’s no secret that Kanan and Hera are a thing, though the show has never explicitly confirmed it.  They may have a DTR in season four, however, and we may see more of their relationship played out.  In the trailer, Kanan asks Hera, “when are you going to feel you’ve done enough for this rebellion?” to which she responds, “I guess I never really thought about it.”  Kanan answers, “So I guess you never really thought about us.”  Later on, Kanan tells Hera, “I wish I could see you,” and she responds, “you could always see me.”  They’re playing up the Kanan/Hera relationship, but in doing so they’re also seemingly foreshadowing Kanan’s death.

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Rukh!

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At Star Wars Celebration earlier this year, we learned that Star Wars veteran Warwick Davis will be voicing a character who has never before appeared on screen but who fans certainly know of: Rukh.  He is now the second character from the EU to be brought back into Canon, as he was Thrawn’s assassin bodyguard in Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy.  Now we’ll get to see Rukh in Rebels, working for Thrawn.  In the latest trailer, we actually get to hear him talk for the first time, as Thrawn commands Rukh to “Capture Captain Syndulla,” to which he responds “it will be done.”  We’ve seen shots of Rukh fighting Hera, Ezra on a speeder bike, and apparently stalking Kanan and Ezra as well.  It seems we’ll get to see the Noghri in action, but hopefully it’s not a foreshadowing of Thrawn’s fate in Rebels.  A recent interview that StarWars.com did with Dave Filoni seems to indicate that it won’t be, as he said that, “[Lars Mikkelsen’s] character outlived his brother’s [Mads Mikkelsen], who’s in Rogue One, which is a hilarious inside joke for us.”  Mads played Galen Erso in Rogue One, whereas Lars plays Thrawn; if Lars’ character outlived Mads’ character, it would mean that Thrawn outlived Galen Erso, which would mean that Thrawn is still alive at the end of season four of Rebels.  So there’s hope that Lucasfilm will do the right thing and not kill off one of the Star Wars universe’s best characters.

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Sabine, Bo-Katan, and the Mandalorians!

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Bo-Katan is back!  The fan-favorite Mandalorian who first appeared in The Clone Wars and was revealed to be Satine’s sister will make her return to the screen in season four of Rebels, and she figures to play a major part in the Mandalorian episodes.  Sabine has left to try to help save her family and unite her people, and we also know that Ezra and Kanan will fight alongside her to help the cause.  Sabine is wielding the Darksaber and is very skilled at doing so, but in season three she made it clear that while she doesn’t feel comfortable leading Mandalore, she would find the right person to do so.  The expectation is that Bo-Katan is that person, and in the first trailer we saw her raising the Darksaber as Mandalorians bowed to her and it.  I’m especially excited for the Mandalorian stuff this season, in which Sabine and Bo-Katan will likely take center stage.

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X-Wings!

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Season four of Rebels will also introduce one of the most famous ships in the Star Wars universe: X-Wings.  These ships are the most prominent ship in the Rebellion and the Resistance, appearing in Rogue One, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens.  So far, however, we haven’t seen them in Rebels, though that will soon change.  We’ll likely hear more backstory as to how the Rebellion acquired the ships, and we’ll get to see them in action – with Hera piloting one of them.  Seeing these ships introduced to the Rebellion and in action will be really cool.

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Additionally, we’ll see U-Wings introduced for the first time in Rebels.  The ship that was featured heavily in Rogue One wasn’t used by the Rebellion in the original trilogy, but it will be in Rebels.

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Krennic and Stardust!

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In a really cool nod that helps tie things together and make Rebels seem close to the time of Rogue One, the second trailer featured Grand Moff Tarkin telling Grand Admiral Thrawn that, “your TIE Defender is at risk… Krennic has been quite persuasive about his own project: Stardust.”  Of course, fans will remember that it was Director Krennic who oversaw the construction of the Death Star project, which was codenamed “Stardust.”  We won’t be seeing Krennic appear in season four, however, as Dave Filoni told Entertainment Weekly that it’s just “name-dropping,” saying that he imagined a scene with Vader and the Emperor and Krennic and Tarkin and Thrawn, but that it probably wouldn’t have worked.

There seemingly will be even more conflict shown between Imperial High Command, as Thrawn’s TIE Defender is at risk because Krennic’s project takes priority.  This scene is enhanced by Zahn’s Thrawn novel, however, as we know that Thrawn deduced what the resources were going toward and ultimately found out about the top-secret Death Star project – though it’s unclear whether Tarkin realizes that Thrawn knows about it or not.

“Thrawn sees value in building better fighter craft, especially to fight the more equipped Rebel ships like X-wings,” Filoni told EW.  “Not everybody shares that point of view, though.  As in all things, there’s competition for funding and power.  We’ll see a little of that politicking in the Empire.”  That will be quite interesting to see, though we know that Krennic’s “Stardust” project was eventually completed and unleashed on the galaxy, if only for a short period of time.  It was taken down by X-Wings, however, so perhaps if the Empire had listened to Thrawn that could have been prevented.

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More of the Rebellion!

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Season three of Rebels showed us the incredibly crucial moment of the official formation of the Rebellion, and we’ll be shown a lot more of the Rebellion in season four.  The Ghost crew makes their way to Yavin 4, home of the Rebel base seen in Rogue One and A New Hope.  They’ll meet up with Mon Mothma again, as well as interact with General Dodonna and Bail Organa, and maybe others too.  The second trailer shows Mothma telling Ezra that, “we are not ready for open war,” though we’ll also find out more about Saw Gerrera and his band of Rebels that is breaking (or has broken) with the Rebellion.  We see Saw telling Mothma that “If you continue to allow this war to be fought on the Empire’s terms, you are going to lose,” and he also is heard saying (presumably to the Ghost crew), “you can run Mon Mothma’s errands, or do something that might actually matter.”  We likely will see quite a bit more about the dynamics of the Rebellion, with Mon Mothama and the Rebel leadership but also with Saw Gerrera and his radical tactics (as well as an appearance from Two Tubes!).

Oh, and one other person on Yavin?  Kallus!

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Trandoshan Slavers!

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The second trailer for season four also showed us a glimpse of a Trandoshan slaver with a lightwhip capturing Kanan.  We saw these slavers during the Clone Wars, and they’ll be making a return in Rebels and apparently imprisoning Kanan.  One other thing to note is that in the background as Kanan is being captured is a familiar face: Vizago, who has previously appeared in Rebels.

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Lothal!

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Rebels has long been building up to the attack on Lothal, and we’ll likely get to see that in season four – though how it happens and what the outcome is has yet to be revealed.  The second trailer for season four began with a shot of Lothal burning, and while it seems it was a dream Ezra was having, it could indeed have significance.  With how closely connected Lothal is with Rebels – including Ezra, the Ghost Crew, and Pryce – it seems that we’re likely to get at least some sort of resolution to the planet’s saga with the Empire.  Though, as the trailer hinted at, it might not be the best case scenario.  At the end, Ezra says, “all the paths are coming together, right?” to which Kanan responds, “I’m just not sure if we’re going to like where they head” as it shows Kanan, Ezra, Zeb, and Sabine looking on at Lothal at what appears to be a Mandalorian attack.

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Loth-wolves!

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Loth-wolves featured heavily in the trailer, with several shots of the wolves and Kanan and Ezra interacting with them.  The show has previously examined Ezra’s connection with creatures and animals, and it could give Rebels an opportunity to further explore the living force.  What we know is this: Dave Filoni loves wolves, and it’s no surprise to see them featured heavily.  Here’s what we don’t know, however: what the significance is to the wolves.  After the first trailer featured a wolf, many wondered if it was actually Ahsoka, but Filoni seemingly disputed that speculation with a Tweet in June:

So the wolf might not be Ahsoka, but there still might be some significance to them.  Or, perhaps, they’re just in there a lot because Filoni likes wolves and wants to show the native creatures of Lothal.  We’ll have to wait and see.

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Sabine’s weapon?

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We know that a big part of Sabine’s backstory with Mandalore is that she created weapons that were used against her people by the Empire, and I doubt we’ve heard the last of those weapons.  If Sabine is to go back to Mandalore and fight and try to unite her people (which she is), then she’ll have to confront her past, and that means she’ll likely have to confront this weapon.  We don’t know what that weapon is, but I wonder if it’s that walker-type weapon seen in the season four trailer that shocks and seemingly disintegrates Mandalorian soldiers.

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