SPOILER WARNING: MINOR DETAILS FROM SEASON 4 WILL BE DISCUSSED!!!
Star Wars Rebels Season 4 begins October 16th on Disney XD
It is with great joy and sadness that I write this preview for the fourth season of Star Wars Rebels. Joy in that we get another season full of adventure and magic, sadness because this upcoming season will be the series’ last.
That’s right, the fourth season of Rebels will be the final season of the show as Creator/Executive Producer David Filoni announced way back in the spring at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. That means joining the Ghost crew on one last adventure before saying goodbye for good. What will this season bring as far as closure for these characters that have become like family? We don’t know entirely, but we do know a few things thanks to some screenings of early episodes and oddly enough Rogue One: A Star Wars Story…
Did you catch that? If you didn’t, over the paging system your hear, “General Syndulla, please report to the briefing room”. That’s right, not only does our Captain Hera Syndulla appear to survive whatever may happen in Season 4 but she rises to the rank of General! Filoni himself said publicly in Orlando that she will achieve that rank by the end of the season so there’s that to look forward to.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at the excellent Season 4 trailer released a couple of weeks ago…
There’s a lot to digest there for sure. Some things are clear and some are not and if you’ve seen the early episodes then you’ll know how to decipher some of the images shown in this trailer. This final season reportedly leads right up to the events of Rogue One so you if you’ve seen that film then you can connect the dots in some instances, especially with the politico within the rebel alliance itself.
But rather than speculate on overall plot and how it connects to the bigger picture, let’s take a look at the Ghost team individually and see where they may end up by season’s end…
We when last we saw Ezra Bridger he had just recruited Sabine and the Mandalorians to help the Ghost crew narrowly escape Thrawn’s assault at Atollon. After an early season setback, he was able to redeem himself in the finale. As the series has gone on Ezra has slowly developed his Force abilities and is getting more and more comfortable using them. He frustrates easily and feels doubt about the slightest setback, two things which have a history of leading to the dark side. In fact, in the trailer there’s a moment where he says, “maybe we’re choosing the wrong way” indicating he’s growing increasingly unsatisfied with the Jedi ways. His flirtation with the dark side was quelled by the Bendu initially but his impatience with the Jedi way could indicate a Grey path for him.
It’s hard to know what his fate will be this season as all references to him outside of Rebels are past tense. Still, impossible to think that Ezra doesn’t survive but where would they place him that makes sense in the larger picture? Obviously he’s not mentioned or seen in Rogue One or any film after that so he’s either hiding in the outer rim or dead.
Filoni has promised Ezra’s journey comes full circle and I’m hard pressed to believe the first character written for Star Wars Rebels doesn’t leave on a positive note…unless you believe the Snoke theory that is.
One of the more exciting images we’ve seen from the trailer(s) and a brief clip shown to us lucky few at FanExpo was that of Hera Syndulla wearing the familiar orange flight suit and flying her very own X-Wing! That’s right, Season 4 will give us our earliest, official canon appearance of an X-Wing and Syndulla will be leading that squadron. Like we said, we know Hera achieves the rank of General by seasons’ end so could it be the battle on Lothal that merits this honor? I imagine that rank won’t sit well with her at first usually being the first to enter the fray so odds are it will happen closer to the end of the season if not the very end.
With her family issues resolved a while ago, the rebellion is all she knows but there is the matter of her and Kanan to resolve. Their moments of intimacy have been few and far between but usually get interrupted in true Filoni style. In another clip shown to us they are having a quiet moment discussing their future when just before they kiss they are interrupted yet again, this time by Ryder Azadi.
Hera’s loyalty resides with the Rebel Alliance but her Ghost family, and Kanan, are very important to her so expect the closing moments of the season to reflect how important they are to her and touch an emotional nerve.
Kanan Jarrus, along with Hera, is one of series’ co-parents to Sabine and Ezra. In particular he’s been Ezra’s Jedi Master since they met on Lothal. Kanan’s had an interesting run starting out as a Padawan himself who had lost his master, Depa Bilaba, during Order 66 to clones. This led to his general distrust of them and his initial uneasiness with Captain Rex. When he met Ezra, although weary at first, sensed in him the makings of a great Jedi so he took on the role of “master” although not one himself yet. That would happen later in Season 2.
During a trip to Malachor he is permanently blinded by Darth Maul in battle which indirectly leads to a meeting The Bendu who teaches Kanan the ways of the Force-sight. This leads Kanan to take a less active role in leadership allowing Ezra to fill that role. Kanan was vital in convincing Sabine to take up the dark saber and learn to wield it, again taking on more of a mentorship role in the group. This is likely the role for Kanan going forward as his Ghost crew grow beyond his teaching capabilities he’s seemingly ramping up for retirement.
This may complicate things as his “love interest”, Hera, continues on with the Rebel Alliance as General so is it possible Kanan doesn’t make it through to the end of the season? It would be probably unrealistic expectations to enter into these massive battles and not have a fatality. Plus with no mention of Jedi Masters in future film installments does this mean the end of Kanan?
One character that has had arguably the most growth has been Mandalorian Sabine Wren. Season 3 in particular for Sabine was huge as she was able to finally return home and make peace with her mother Ursa and the Wren clan. On Dathomir she discovered the darksaber, the first and only lightsaber made by a Mandalorian, and while very reluctant at first, eventually let Kanan train her in the ways of swordplay. By the end of the season things with Sabine were looking good. Her family ties repaired, getting more and more comfortable wielding the darksaber and starting to accept that she may be the leader Mandalore needs right now. In an incredibly bold decision, Sabine chooses to stay behind on Mandalore, breaking from the Ghost crew, and help repair the damage caused by years of rebellion and strife. In fact she isn’t seen for four and a half episodes at one point and reappears in the series finale.
In that finale, the remaining Rebel fleet has rendezvoused with the rest of the Rebellion at Yavin IV. Thanks to Sabine and the Mandalorians help, Hera promises to help Sabine and the Mandalorians on an upcoming mission to return the favor. That mission as we find out in the beginning of Season 4, is the rescue of Sabine’s father who’s been held captive on Mandalore for quite some time. There’s a surprise appearance as well from Bo-Katan Kryze and a daring but successful rescue attempt that you’ll have to see to believe.
In the end, with old wounds mended Sabine places the darksaber is the trusted hands of Kryze and with the support of the clans, Kryze looks to be the new life guard of Mandalore. But where does Sabine go from here?
Fan favorite Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, having lost most of his home world Lasan to the Empire, found a family in the Ghost crew and is the team’s muscle. He particularly looked to Hera for guidance and leadership and respected her authority above all else. Zeb is such a loyalist it’d be hard to imagine him leaving the crew and trying to rebuild his once proud heritage. Following Hera’s path and staying on with the Rebel Alliance seems likely but knowing Zeb’s fool hearty antics, a hero’s death could be in the cards for him. For him, dying in the midst of saving his surrogate family would be a good death, an honorable one.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, but with little information to go on we’re left to our own devices on his future. Zeb has been comic relief for the most part in this series with little development so it’d be nice to see him get something he could chew on other than meiloorun fruit.
And as for Chopper? Well, we know how he makes out…
Filoni has said that Season 4 is the most complete season to date and wraps everything up nicely. What does that mean for other characters such as Captain Rex or Agent Kallus? Or how about baddies Admiral Thrawn or Arihnda Pryce? Some of these characters we know the fate of overall thanks to canon material but will that be reflected in this season of Rebels?
And of course, there’s still the matter of the Bendu and fan favorite Ahsoka Tano. Filoni let it be known that Tano is coming back in one form or another and we know he loves Tom Baker’s work with The Bendu so expect his return.
All this and it doesn’t even include the saga legends we know so very well such as Mon Mothma, Saw Gerrera, Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader? We know their fate but how much will we see of them?
Will we see any tie-ins to Rogue One? Perhaps director Orson Krennic will make an appearance?
I’m going to miss this group of rebels big time. Even though it’s only been 3 seasons so far I’ve gotten attached to certain characters and I can only hope that the next animated series pays them homage in some fashion. Time will tell.
So, it is with great sadness I say…
…till next time…MTFBWY.