Admittedly, I haven’t really been paying attention to my “Star Wars” challenge for this year recently, but I think I’m ready to get back into the thick of things as the season finale for the third season of “Star Wars: Rebels” finally aired over here, and as so many Star Wars stuff happened over the weekend during Star Wars Celebration. There, they also dropped the trailer for the fourth and final season of “Star Wars: Rebels”, and gave us some hints and clues as to what we might expect in the coming season.
The third season of “Star Wars: Rebels” was a really solid season in which viewers were able to see character growth, awesome fight sequences, and episodes and cameo appearances that made the story weave in even better within the “Star Wars” canon, while allowing it to begin to start leading into the events of “Rogue One”. Based on this, it was no surprise at all to me when they announced that the fourth season would be the show’s final season, as the show’s trajectory is also almost at that point in the Star Wars canon timeline. This also means that we can look forward to more cameos of prominent figures in the Rebel Alliance in the fourth season, and that the season will be tighter in terms of narrative, and more action sequences that might even be reminiscent of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”.
The elements that they added to the third season were great, such as Old Man Kenobi (Stephen Stanton), Darth Maul (Sam Witwer), the Force wielding Bendu (Tom Baker), Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen), Mandalore, the return of the Twi’lek named Numa, Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), Wedge Antilles (Nathan Kress) and Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly), just to name a few.
Adding the Bendu gave us an interesting new look at the Force, and I like how, this season, our main villain, Thrawn, was more of a slow burn, because I have a feeling that this is very much consistent with his character. Admittedly, I’ve never really read any of the Thrawn novels, but his actions and decisions did make sense based on the descriptions I’ve heard and seen of him.
I also liked how they were able to balance things out more evenly this season with the story arcs, character arcs, while still concentrating on birthing pains of the beginning of the formation of the Rebel Alliance.
Of course, there were some character points and story arcs that I wanted them to get into more, but hopefully, these things will all be addressed in the coming season.
Of course, I am lucky that right after I watched the third season finale, the trailer of the fourth season was dropped, which made me even more eager to delve into more “Star Wars” while waiting for fall to arrive.
Based on that trailer, things are going to get pretty exciting, and we will begin to get some closure to these characters we have invested in for the past few years.
All in all, season three was a solid season that allowed it to deepen “Star Wars” lore and make it tighter within the fabric of “Star Wars” canon. It had good character arcs for some, and for some, the pay offs for those will be in the coming season. Aside from this, this season had great animation, great fight sequences and music, and had stand out episodes that showed us that an animated show like this can be cinematic and artsy at times.
(Also, with “Star Wars: Rebels”, with “Clone Wars” waiting for me to finish it and my new obsession with “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”, it looks like I’m quite on an animated bent as of the moment. Aside from “Samurai Jack”, which I actually didn’t warm up to, are there any other animated shows that you want me to talk about in the future? Let me know in the comments below!)
Now, before anything else, turn away right now if you don’t want to be spoiled.
With regards to characters, I believe that Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall) and Zeb Orrelios (Steve Blum) always get the short end of the stick, even though we did have a Hera-centric episode that delved more into her backstory this season. However, the flip side is that we were able to get a whole lot out of Sabine Wren (Tiya Sicar), as her character arc came full circle this season; and a little bit more out of Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray).
For Kanan and Ezra, we were able to see how the events of the second season finale affected them, with Kanan withdrawing into himself and with Ezra flirting a little bit more with the Dark Side. Even though I am a little bit disappointed that Ezra didn’t show off more of his powers channeling the Dark Side of the Force anymore after the first episode of the season, we can see how much stronger Ezra has gotten since day one; and just how well these two work with each other.
I think at this point, even though Ezra still has a lot to learn, I think these two have come full circle in a way, and I think that their dynamic in this season is almost like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui Gon Jinn in “Episode I-The Phantom Menace”. This makes me feel that them Master and Padawan, in the fourth season will be akin to Obi-Wan and Anakin during “Clone Wars”. Kanan is still the Master and the more experienced one out of the two, but their dynamic will be more like brothers in arms instead of Master and Padawan. These parallels are also very interesting, especially as a Sith did try to get these young men to turn to the Dark Side, but with different results. This is because I can see Ezra be as dark as Luke in “Return of the Jedi” when he entered Jabba the Hutt’s palace, but was still more on the Light Side at that point.
Sabine’s story arc definitely came full circle in this season. Not only did she have some AWESOME fight sequences, her episodes informed us more about her past and her motivations for joining the Rebel Alliance, and it also allowed her to realize where her place in all of this is- on Mandalore, with her family, the Clan Wren, who, at this point, are beginning their own rebellion against the Imperial forces on their planet.
“Trials of the Darksaber” was a brilliantly and well done episode that had emotion, and was cinematic in its own way. “Legacy of Mandalore” was a great follow up to that episode, as it allowed us to go back to Mandalore, and see Sabine come full circle and return home to her family.
“Twin Suns” was another amazing episode as it allowed “Star Wars” fans to FINALLY see the Obi-Wan and Darth Maul rematch, and it was brilliantly done. I love how it showed us the Obi-Wan we know in the original trilogy. Old Man Kenobi (Stephen Stanton), on his time on Tatooine has become more measured, more wise, and more calculating when it comes to his moves. So it makes sense that it only took three strikes to finish Darth Maul, whom I feel was coming at him, not in anger or in revenge anymore, but as a tired warrior knowing that this will be his last battle, and a fitting end. I also love how he asked Obi-Wan if Luke was the Chosen One, and that deathbed conversion thing in which he said that Luke wouold avenge them. And that ending, with young Luke running home to Beru gave me chills.
Also, aside from that, I like how they were able to find real closure with Maul, especially as we also got to see his home planet and the caves of the Night Sisters (from “Clone Wars”) in “Visions and Voices”.
I also love how they managed to fit in some “Clone Wars” stuff into this season without drawing it out too much, such as “The Last Battle” and “Ghosts of Geonosis Parts I and II”. While “Ghosts” had better fight scenes, “The Last Battle”, for me, was more impressive, and gave me a sense of closure for both that droid and for Rex (Dee Bradley Baker).
I also loved that Agent Kallus (David Oyewolo) became the new Fulcrum, and “Through Imperial Eyes”, actually had me on the edge of my seat; and Thrawn was just as cold, intimidating and calculating as I imagined him to be.
The Bendu also gave us an interesting and different side of the Force that isn’t as trippy as Father, Sister and Son in “Clone Wars”, and Tom Baker was definitely the best one to lend his voice to a character like this.
Senator Mon Mothma’s call during “Secret Cargo” gave me chills, as I could see that the Rebellion was really going to start forming; and “Zero Hour Parts I and II” was a fitting season finale for this season, while allowing us to see where they are heading to into season four and into “Rogue One”.
“Zero Hour”, for me, was great, because it really gave us the first ACTUAL “Star Wars” like space battle that our splinter Rebel cells had to face. For me, the stakes were high, although it was predictable that they would fail, and that Ezra would seek help from the Mandalorians.
For the next season, we know that there’s going to be more Mandalore, more Thrawn, and more fight sequences than before as we are headed to Yavin, and I’m predicting that the last half of the season will be action sequence after another, and that we will end it with some big character losses, and that it will be at least a month or a few months before the events of “Rogue One”.
I cannot wait to see what will happen next and I cannot wait to see how everything will tie up to “Rogue One” in the next season. Aside from this, I am genuinely hoping for more satisfying story arcs for Ezra, Kanan, Zeb and Hera, so that when we say goodbye to them, there will be nothing left hanging.
- Sabine’s fight sequences, especially against Mandalorians.
- Sabine’s emotional journey in “Trials of the Darksaber”.
- Ezra going dark in the first episode, and every time he ends up next to Darth Maul so that he could open up the holocrons and find his answers.
- Kanan meeting the Bendu and angering it in the end.
- Kallus becoming the new Fulcrum.
- Hera calling Kanan “my love” in “Zero Hour”.
- The way that Ezra and Kanan fight well as a team together.
- Wedge Antilles!
- All the Mandalore stuff.
- Everything about “Twin Suns”.
- Episode 1, 5, 10, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21
Season 4 Predictions, Theories & Speculations:
- Is that Bo Katan wielding the Darksaber?
- AHSOKA LIVES! YES! (As confirmed during Star Wars Celebration).
- Looks like Hera is Red Leader?
- I think we might be seeing the Mandalorian Civil War, which I’m excited about.
- Kallus and his hair!
- I really hope that we can see more of Old Man Kenobi, the Bendu, Darth Vader and the Emperor this season.
- I want to see Ezra really reaching full potential here, and I think that we might be getting more story with Hera’s character. Glad that there will be some Hera and Kanan stuff in this season!
- More Force stuff please!
- I’d also like to get more story for Zeb.
- I have a feeling that out of all the main cast, the ones that may not come out alive are Kanan, Ezra, and Zeb.
- We’ll probably be less than a year away from “Rogue One”, and it will end right before or at least a month before “Rogue One”.