Star Wars Rebels will be wrapping up in the coming months with the final seven episodes of the fourth and final season, meaning that we’re in for some very interesting and exciting moments as the show concludes.
There are lots of questions still to be answered, and we’ll have to see how Dave Filoni and the crew decide to wrap up the story of the Ghost crew. All will be revealed soon enough, as Rebels returns on February 19 for a short three-week run, culminating with a 90-minute long finale on March 5.
Today, it was announced that Rebels will return next month, and the heavily-anticipated midseason trailer dropped. The first half of it was a recap of where we’ve been in the previous three seasons, showing Ezra’s progression and helping give the gravitas needed as the ending looms near. Then the trailer jumped to a number of new shots, including some very, very interesting ones. Let’s dive in to what was revealed, but first, here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it:
When we last left Rebels, Hera had been captured by the Empire and Kanan was getting ready to launch a rescue attempt. In the midseason trailer, we see Ezra standing behind Kanan and saying, “we can do this together,” to which he responds, “Let’s go get Hera.” He cuts his hair, donning a new look, and sets out to save his love.
He does just that, and we see a captive Hera telling two stormtroopers, “you’re in terrible trouble” right before Kanan cuts the floor out from under one of them, causing him to fall to his death. On the other, Kanan freezes him with the force and throws him out the window, leading to a reunion with Hera. What does she say to him? “I have to tell you something… I hate your hair.”
We’re introduced to Kanan’s brand new and very different look, but it also comes across very clear that he’s pissed and not messing around. He’s going to do whatever it takes to save Hera, and that involves fighting more than just stormtroopers. We also see a shot of Kanan standing in front of Hera with his lightsaber ignited, battling Rukh. There’s a shot later on of Rukh charging Kanan and the Jedi force pushing the assassin back.
One thing not in the trailer, however, are shots of Kanan with the rest of the Ghost crew. When the others are shown, Kanan isn’t there. Of course, that doesn’t really confirm anything, but it certainly lends credence to the popular belief that Kanan isn’t going to survive much longer. And if the trailer is any indication, perhaps he dies at Rukh’s hand while saving Hera.
Speaking of Rukh, it looks like we’ll get much more of Thrawn’s assassin bodyguard in the final episodes, as we see at least four different scenes with him. There’s a shot of him at night, but more significant are three battle sequences – at separate times, Rukh takes on Kanan, Zeb, and Ezra, respectively. His fight against Kanan appears to happen during the rescue of Hera (as Hera is still in her prisoner outfit behind Kanan during the duel); the fight against Zeb seems to happen on an Imperial catwalk; and the fight against Ezra looks to happen somewhere on Lothal. I’m really excited to see more of Rukh, especially since he will seemingly play a pivotal role and confront the heroes.
SHEEV IN THE FLESH
The big reveal of the trailer was obviously the appearance of Emperor Palpatine, along with the return of Ian McDiarmid to voice the iconic character. We see Palpatine surrounded by blue flames saying, “Ezra Bridger. Mine at last.” It’s unclear whether this is actually Palpatine face-to-face with Ezra or whether it’s some sort of dark side force vision that Palpatine is manipulating, but either way the two will encounter each other. But that doesn’t look to be the only shot of the two in the trailer: near the end there’s a shot of Ezra standing talking to a cloaked holographic figure that sure looks like Palpatine (others have speculated that it’s Obi-Wan, but it looks more like Palpatine to me). It sounds like the Emperor has more reasons for getting involved than just Ezra, but no matter what those reasons are, the baddest dude in the galaxy confronting Ezra and Pheonix Squadron certainly isn’t good news for the heroes’ chances.
RETURN TO MORTIS
In what is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing and exciting shots of the trailer, we see that there will be a return to the mythology of the Mortis gods, whom we were introduced to during the three-episode Mortis arc in The Clone Wars. Of course, last we saw of them the Father, the Daughter, and the Son were all killed while Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano were on Mortis, so it’s unlikely that we’ll actually see them since they’re dead. However, in this shot we see Ezra (wearing his scout trooper armor) looking at a mural of the three as it lights up.
It seems like we’ll be revisiting some of that mythology with Ezra, which has plenty of fans excited to see what depths of the force Rebels takes us to before its all said and done. Another thing that has piqued excitement has been the return of the convor…
In a strange force passageway, Ezra encounters this light green convor, which we’ve seen before a couple of times in Rebels – most recently seen in Twilight of the Apprentice, watching Darth Vader leave Malachor before flying away and cutting to Ahsoka walking into a temple-like structure. Speaking with IGN following the conclusion of season two, Dave Filoni said of the convor’s appearance:
I love the idea of it being an avatar! I would tell you, though, that it is absolutely not an avatar of the Dark Side. Absolutely not. But, you know, we’ll have to see. You’re going down the rabbit hole now. You know me by now – it’s not accidental that this thing is flying around. It’s not accidental that it’s there, and it’s not accidental that it’s bizarrely on this completely different world at the end of that episode. It definitely has a meaning for me, as the storyteller. It’s a subtle thing that if you know what the owl represents, then it deepens the lore of the whole thing and you go, “Okay, there are things at work here that are beyond our reckoning.” In some ways, I could say that it’s a messenger, it’s an observer. It is definitely something. And I would suggest – I would rather have fans debate – but I would suggest to say that whatever that thing is an avatar of has actually appeared in the animated Star Wars universe before. So decrypt from there… Have a fun summer!
So it was there intentionally for a purpose, and Filoni says it’s appeared in Star Wars animation before. What does that mean? Well, here goes one popular theory: the convor is Ahsoka. It’s been teased that we might get some resolution to the Ahsoka mystery in Rebels, and Ezra in the trailer says, “Hey, I’ve seen you before!” to the convor. Additionally, if you look at the image of the Mortis mural in the above section, you’ll see that the convor is sitting on the Daughter’s shoulder. Fans of The Clone Wars will remember that Ahsoka was resurrected by the daughter’s last bit of life, so it’s possible that now Ahsoka shares some kind of force connection with the daughter and with the convor. So at this point, it’s probably safest to guess that the convor is either the Daughter or Ahsoka.
Fans have another popular theory for who Ahsoka is, however: a wolf. And in the trailer, Ezra encounters a larger wolf with blue eyes who greets him with a smile – certainly interesting and intriguing, suggesting that there’s something about that wolf…
It has long been rumored that Dave Filoni would make the bearded old guy on the Endor strike team in Return of the Jedi (known as Nik Sant in the EU) to actually be Captain Rex, a hero of the Clone Wars who captained the 501st under General Anakin Skywalker and who later joined the Rebellion with Phoenix Squadron. Though it still hasn’t been officially confirmed, Rex’s new outfit for the final episodes of Rebels is either a clear indication or a deliberate misdirection, as its too close to be accidental. We get a shot of Rex in his new gear in the trailer, and it’s hard to miss the similarities. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:
Again, that’s too close to be accidental. It looks like we’re getting even closer to Rex being that guy in ROTJ.
OLD FRIENDS REUNITED
The rebels have plenty of friends whom they’ve met over the course of the show’s four year run, and it looks like they’re going to call in all of the favors as they launch a rescue attempt of Hera and an attempt to liberate Lothal.
In the trailer, we see a number of those familiar faces. First off, the clones are back. Rex has been with the rebels all the while, but Gregor and Wolffe return to aid the cause and fight for the Rebellion. We also see the space pirate Hondo Ohnaka fighting alongside them, too. And then there’s Mart, the pilot who crash landed with Hera. There’s Kallus, the Imperial defector turned Rebel agent who will join the fight on Lothal. And of course, Ryder is a part of the fighting on Lothal, as he has been all along. So many of the faces we’ve been introduced to will be on Lothal, fighting alongside the Spectres for the liberation of the planet. And also, let’s not forget the wolves, who are seen running alongside the Ghost in what looks to be an assault on the Empire, and who are shown carrying the Spectres (minus Kanan) across the Lothal plains.
In the above picture (the same one from the previous section), amidst all the rebels you can also see Governor Arihnda Pryce of Lothal, who has been taken captive (note the binders on her hands, which seems to dispel the theory some have had that she defects). She hasn’t exactly proven herself capable, and so it will be interesting to see the dynamic between her and Thrawn moving forward, especially if she manages to get captured by the rebels.
SABINE WITH A LIGHTSABER
There’s a brief shot in the trailer of Sabine holding Ezra’s green lightsaber and paving the way for the rebels, with Hondo close behind. Sabine no longer has the darksaber, but she’s still trained in lightsaber combat and is still trusted by Ezra. It’s not the first time we’ve seen her use Ezra’s saber, as the Jedi threw his saber to Sabine so that she could face Gar Saxon in season three. It looks like we’ll get more Sabine lightsaber action before Rebels is over, which is a good thing.
LOTHAL’S IN TROUBLE
Grand Admiral Thrawn isn’t messing around. In the trailer, our only glimpse of Thrawn is him aboard his Star Destroyer saying, “Full-scale bombardment of the city.” Then we see the Chimaera reigning fire down upon Lothal and people running for cover. Thrawn isn’t messing around, and that’s not good news for Lothal at all.
We also see an interesting thing about the city: the Imperial Complex can fly.
We see the Imperial Complex taking off with thrusters beneath it, which is even worse news for Lothal: if the Imperial Complex is leaving, it might be becasue Thrawn is preparing to Base Delta Zero the planet, or something similar (since the Empire would presumably want to get their people out of there before something like that happened). And, of course, since the Rebellion’s first major victory came at Scarif, Lothal can’t be truly liberated by the rebels. All of this adds up to paint a pretty bleak picture for the planet.
EZRA’S LAST LESSON
During the shot we see of Ezra standing confronting a holographic figure that seems to be Palpatine, we hear him say, “I know what we have to do now.” Thent it cuts to a shot of Ezra in the dark, with the eyes of a wolf behind him, and he says “One last lesson” before igniting his lightsaber (while holding his blaster in the other hand), revealing several wolves behind him. Ezra has learned plenty of lessons throughout the show, but what could his final lesson be? Is it influenced by Palpatine? Does it have to do with the wolves? It will be very interesting to find out.