TV Review: Star Wars: Rebels S4 + Final Thoughts (Spoilers!)

After three years of it gracing the small screen on Disney XD, “Star Wars: Rebels” officially said goodbye last Monday, March 5, 2018, with an exciting three episode finale that also served as the series finale. This is the second animated spin-off show to have come out of the “Star Wars” franchise, with the first being “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, which “Rebels” creator Dave Filoni was a part off. With this, we say goodbye to another era of “Star Wars” animation, and we fans are looking forward to what the rumored new animated show has to offer. However, before we move on, it is safe to say that “Star Wars: Rebels” was a definite success that didn’t have to rely too heavily on the main saga; and that the final season of the show was tightly crafted story with wonderful character moments, and that had an ending that was satisfying, yet left the door open for more stories in the future.

The Ghost Crew
(L-R) Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray), Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall), Zeb Orrelios (Steven Blum), Sabine Wren (Tiya Sicar) and Chopper Image Source: Official Star Wars Rebels Facebook Page

The final season starred Taylor Gray as the young Jedi Ezra Bridger; Freddie Prinze, Jr. as his master, Kanan Jarrus; Vanessa Marshall as General Hera Syndulla; Steven Blum as the Lasat Zeb Orellios; and  Tiya Sicar as the Mandalorian Sabine Wren. Aside from the Ghost crew that we have been following since the show first aired in 2014, it also featured Ian McDiarmand as Emperor Palpatine; Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano; Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn; Jim Cummings as Hondo Ohnaka; Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera; and Genevieve O’Reilly as Senator Mon Mothma; and Dee Bradley Baker as Commanders Rex, Wollfe and Gregor, among others.

The final season of “Star Wars: Rebels” ran for sixteen episodes, and picked off not long after the season finale of the third season. Because of its shorter episode count, it allowed Filoni and the crew to come up with a really tight season, that was able to tell all the stories that it needed to tell, without leaving any regrets behind.

While “Star Wars: Rebels” managed to be its own thing without having to rely too much on the main saga films, they were also able to make things fit seamlessly into the existing canon of the “Star Wars” universe, and were able to do things in a way that made sense in the most natural and organic way possible.

Among all of the seasons, this season felt a little bit bigger and definitely darker, as we see the Empire really stepping up their game, which makes sense, as the Rebellion is beginning to grow bigger almost every day, and as the series gets closer and closer to the events of “Rogue One” and “A New Hope”.

Aside from epic battle sequences and flights and fights; there was a lot of discussion on the differing opinions on how different people’s ideologies can be even when fighting for the same goal; and there was a lot of character development that was done here as well, especially for Kanan and Ezra, as they are both at the heart of the show.

Grand Admiral Thrawn
Lars Mikkelsen as Grand Admiral Thrawn Image Source: Official Star Wars Rebels Facebook

The show managed to pay tribute to old favorites from both the main films and “The Clone Wars”; added new characters such as Grand Admiral Thrawn, who was taken from the “Star Wars Legacy” canon; and added new things about the Force that we didn’t know about yet.

The final season of “Rebels” was also able to pay off everything in a satisfying way, and it also still left some room open for the future.

As a whole, Filoni really gave us “Star Wars” fans a wonderful treat with “Rebels”, and as a fan, I am definitely looking forward to what they will be giving us next with a new upcoming animated “Star Wars” show. Filoni does run a tight ship, and I trust him and his team to tell the next bunch of “Star Wars” stories, as I know that he will not let us down, and that he will definitely be telling new stories that explores the “Star Wars” universe, regardless of whether its tied to the main saga or not.

Now, you know the drill, from here on out, there will be spoilers!

warning-spoilers-final

As mentioned earlier, I noticed that this season was definitely darker, as it showed the Empire upping their game as the Rebellion was getting bigger and bigger every day. It also gave a sense of more urgency as to the nefarious schemes of the Empire, what with mentions of the beginning of the construction of the Death Star, and as there were moments in which the Ghost crew and the Rebellion just kept on getting hits and very few wins. However, it was also heartening to see that the big space battles within the series had more epic battle sequences, especially as there were more fighters that flew with our titular band of Rebels when they participated in big missions themselves.

When it came to the Rebellion parts, I liked the fact that we got to see Mon Mothma and Saw Gerrera, and we saw exactly how different their ideologies were from each other, although they wanted the same goal, to get rid of the Empire once and for all.

I liked that we also got to see more of Mandalore, and that Sabine rejoined the Ghost crew after everything, and after Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) took her birthright to lead the Mandalorian people against the Empire.

I also liked the fact that even though the Ghost crew did a lot of missions with the main Rebellion, they still returned to Lothal to help save them, as it felt like that was also their home, despite it being Ezra’s actual home world.

Kanan Jarrus
Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Kanan Jarrus Image Source: Official Star Wars Rebels Facebook

I had a very strong feeling that Kanan was going to die in this season, and I was right. However, I loved that he died in a heroic and romantic way, but at the same time, while fulfilling his role as a Jedi Knight.. He definitely knew that rescuing Hera from the Imperial forces in Lothal was where he was going to meet his fate, but he did so anyway, knowing that his actions will not only save Hera and the others, but Lothal and the rest of the universe as well.

Kanan has really come a long way, from being a cowboy rogue Jedi, to an actual Jedi Master and Knight, as well as a lover to Hera. I am very glad that they finally got to kiss onscreen, something that I’ve been waiting for ever since the first season. Interestingly enough, according to the last five minutes of the series, some time before that, Kanan and Hera had gotten busy, and now, Hera, who has survived both Scariff and Endor, has a green haired little boy who loves to fly. I have to wonder also if he is Force sensitive as well.

I loved how they handled his death, and it was amazing that they made him be able to see at the last minute before dying, and how they paid tribute to the character by having the end credits roll to no end credit music.

Better Hera
Vanessa Marshall as Hera Syndulla Image Source: Official Star Wars Rebels Facebook

Hera had a lot of great scenes this season. We saw her struggle between her loyalty to the Rebellion versus her loyalty to her crew, we saw her fight on the ground in hand to hand combat scenes, and her great piloting skills which came to the forefront more. Her torture scenes were actually quite hard to watch, even though I thought I would be used to seeing that kind of thing thanks to the “Clone Wars”.

I like the fact that she and Rex went on to join all the Rebellion’s major battles, and lived to tell the tale.

Zeb’s and Kallus’ bromance is really one for the ages in “Star Wars” history, and I love that in the end, Zeb showed Kallus that he didn’t really commit genocide and was accepted by Zeb’s people as well. I’m pretty sure those two ended up going on some pretty amazing adventures!

Sabine Again
Tiya Sicar as Sabine Wren Image Source: Official Star Wars Rebels Facebook

Sabine has also come a long way, and she blossomed into a wonderful young leader, who ended up coming to terms what she did in the past when she was still part of the Empire, and who also accepts her own heritage as a Mandalorian as well.

Ezra and Loth Wol
Taylor Gray as Ezra Bridger Image Source: Official Star Wars Rebels Facebook

Ezra had the biggest character arc all throughout the show, and it was wonderful to see that even though he faltered along the way, he stayed true to the Jedi way, and ended up becoming the hero that he was meant to be. I loved how he was tempted to change things so that he wouldn’t have to let go of Kanan or his parents, but in the end, he made all the right choices. I also like the fact that we have no idea if he is still alive or not, and that definitely leaves up room for stories in the future. I also love that everything Ezra went through really boiled down to him letting go if his own attachments to serve the greater good, and because of that, even though he still has a lot to learn in the ways of the Force, I think that he has earned the right to be a Jedi.

They also added a lot of new things regarding the Force, such as the Jedi Temple on Lothal, which has gateways to different time periods, which also explained what happened to Ahsoka. It turns out that Ezra pulled her out just as Vader was going to kill her, and she ended up returning to that same place after her encounter with Ezra. However, she had to lay low until after the events of “Episode VI” to be able to fulfill her promise to Ezra.

I also like the fact that most of them survived, which defiitely subverted all our expectations, as we thought that since they weren’t in the main films, they might be dead. Apparently, we forgot that it is a big galaxy, and there are different explanations to support the fact why they weren’t really mentioned in the main films.

Ahsoka definitely had to lay low, and by the time “Episode IV” came around, the Emperor was no longer interested in Lothal, where Sabine stayed in memory of Ezra.This also explains why Yoda and Obi-Wan said that there were no more Jedi to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil). Because Kanan was dead, Ezra had disappeared, and Ahsoka had to lie low until after the Empire was destroyed.

Ahsoka’s appearance at the end,  however, was powerful, with her fulfilling her promise to look for Ezra and because she honestly did look like a Jedi version of Gandalf. Honestly, I  really do hope that the next animated series does involve Sabine and Ahsoka looking for Ezra. I think that  the time is ripe for a “Star Wars” female led show, and  I think that it will allow us to explore the political situation in between “Jedi” and “Force Awakens” while allowing us to explore other regions in the “Star Wars” galaxy. And who knows, it’s not impossible that if this is the case, we could still have some cameo appearances by Chopper, Hera, Zeb and Kallus.

The visuals and battle sequences were all top notch this season, all the way from the epic space battles, to the Mandalorian fights. I also love what they did with the Loth wolves, and everything that had to do with the Lothal Jedi Temple, including the mural of the Daughter, Father and Son, was just stunning. I also love the fact that inside the space-time thing of the temple, they used actual sound clips from the prequels, “The Clone Wars” series, the main trilogy, “Rebels”, and the currently ongoing trilogy. That was a neat way of tying everything together.

In the end, Filoni broke barriers by giving us everything that we love about “Star Wars” and adding welcome surprises to the lore all the time. He also proved that there are really many stories that can be told about the “Star Wars” universe without having to rely on the main saga. And with that, I officially say goodbye as well to these wonderful characters that have been added, and will be remembered fondly within the “Star Wars” canon.

What did you think of the final season of “Star Wars: Rebels”? What did you think of “Star Wars: Rebels” as a whole? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Image Source: Official Star Wars Rebels Facebook Page

 

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