Star Wars: Rebels wrapped up its four season run last night, and for the most part it was pretty satisfying.
Just look at our own Aaron Virola’s reaction to it:
— Aaron Virola (@A_A_RonSpeaks) March 6, 2018
Aaron summed it up quite nicely. We were able to get a satisfying arc for all of our favorite characters, and yet it teased the future in the best way possible. From this point on, there will be SPOILERS for the finale.
The series’ main character was always Ezra Bridger. It makes sense then, that the story ends on something very personal for him. Him and his team finally liberated his home planet, destroying the Empire’s presence there, and removing Thrawn from the equation.
That doesn’t mean Thrawn is gone forever though. He went through the same hyperspace trip that Ezra did – and Sabine is still looking for Ezra.
In fact, we see Sabine (and Ahsoka) go to look for Ezra again, post Return of the Jedi while giving us updates on everyone else. The updates given in the final moments were as satisfying as the whole rest of the episode put together. General Syndulla had a child, and she fought in the Battle of Endor. The father of the child is none other than Kanan Jarrus, which means Hera Syndulla was pregnant during the events of the finale.
Sabine mentioned that Captain Rex fought in the Battle of Endor too, and that moment has seemed to be retconned into canon, so that he actually appears in Return of the Jedi. What used to be just a random Rebel soldier, is now Rex, on Han Solo’s strike team.
The resemblance is certainly there! So for those clamoring for a live action crossover of the Rebels or Clone Wars characters, you’ve got one! It just wasn’t in the way you expected.
The biggest thing that these last few episodes of Rebels have given us though is time travel. Well, kind of. I interpreted it more as the Force impacting certain moments non-linearly. Dave Filoni seems to agree, and his opinion is way more important than mine. He summed it up best to CinemaBlend:
I don’t really think of it as time travel. It’s not really a thing where you go through one door and out another in a different time. The world between worlds is really about knowledge and gaining knowledge. As the Dume wolf says, what’s in there is knowledge and destruction. You can gain knowledge of the future or futures that may happen, and you can see things that happened in the past. You can at times choose to alter them, but it’s perilous to do so and when you alter something you don’t know if that’s not the way it always happened. So destruction is the other half of what’s in there. When you go through these doorways, you’re in peril of destruction because you’re missing all sorts of things that would have happened or things would’ve happened otherwise, you know, so it’s a dangerous game but it’s not something we’re here going in and out of different doors. It’s an extension of the Jedi’s ability to perceive the future and the past, as described in Empire Strikes Back.
This is a good thing. Time travel would lessen the impact of a lot of what happens throughout the saga. I’m sure some fans would like it be able to go fix some things. (Chewbacca needs to get a medal at the ceremony on Yavin!) But overall, sticking to the “whatever happened, happened” rule for this universe is a good one.
Perfect example: Time travel was introduced in the Harry Potter series in book 3. It was used to perfection, and was just the right amount. In order to stop the time travel method from being used all the time, it was written into book 5 that they “stock” was destroyed, like how the doorway was destroyed by Ezra. But then Harry Potter and The Cursed Child took time travel to the extreme and it (in my opinion, of course) diminished the events of the Potter series. I don’t want to see that happen to Star Wars so I am glad it was a one and done. What it did do well, was expand the definition of what the Force can do, and it pairs nicely with what the Force did in The Last Jedi too.
Ending a television series is hard to do. Rebels did it about as well as could be. I doubt we’ve seen the last of these characters. Whether it’s in another animated TV show, live action show, or a film, – they will pop up again.
Thinking about that gave me an idea. There have been rumors of a Kenobi movie coming for some time. Rebels left us with Sabine and Ahsoka preparing to go look for Ezra. What if the movie was Ahsoka enlisting her old friend to help? What if Thrawn survived with Ezra, and the greatest mind the Empire has ever seen discovered Kenobi was alive. I’d love to see a Logan-esque Kenobi movie, with him coming out of hiding to help Ahsoka find an old friend at great personal risk to him. A mind smarter than mine could make it work.
For as many story lines as Rebels wrapped up, they opened just as many doors for new and exciting storytelling throughout many different mediums. The journey was a blast, and I am looking forward to seeing what the old crew of the Ghost is up to now, and what Dave Filoni is going to do next.
I have a feeling we’ll find out soon.
If you missed it, you can watch old episodes of Star Wars: Rebels on Disney XD. If you are Star Wars fan, it is very much worth your time.