With Star Wars Celebration officially on the books, fans have been privy to an emotional roller coaster. From the opening retrospective moments to the final moments in a moving tribute to the beloved Princess Leia, Carrie Fischer, who sadly left us too soon. The panel was filled with more incredible moments that fans across the world could have expected, but considering that this years festivities were in celebration of 40 years of #StarWars it was worth every moment.
It seemed that actors from nearly generation of the Star Wars franchise were a part of the festivities with appearances from George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Hayden Christensen and many more. With the event in full swing, fans were overjoyed to witness the reveal of the trailer for the final season of Star Wars Rebels, and it's going to be absolutely glorious.
The ominous narration playing over the Ghost crew felt almost as a retrospective over what has already happened while also preparing viewers for all the pieces moving in the grand scheme of the series and ultimately the future of Star Wars animation completely.
As part of SWCO2017, Dave Filoni, the shows creator had this to say about how Star Wars Rebels has been more than just a story for him:
Seeing the evolution of this family, these kids, and watching them get older, as a creator of a story I think of these things. I think about where we are going, and what the characters need to go through. This is where I have to tell you that Season 3 is the final season of 'Star Wars Rebels.'
So the sad news was that Rebels would be seeing the end of the series, but there is still hope on the horizon.
Now, unless you're deeply entrenched in the creative teams behind the Star Wars Universe, Dave Filoni may not be a name that stands out, but considering that he joined George Lucas as a director for Star Wars: The Clone Wars before becoming the producer of Star Wars Rebels, he's gained a great deal of attention. Enough so that Disney/Lucasfilm has put a great deal of faith and hope in him and his team for the future of their animation.
What can we look forward to in 'Star Wars Rebels'?
The most exciting part about the final season of Rebels is that it will give us a few additional ties to Rogue One. Considering that Saw Gerrera is returning to Star Wars Rebels, it's a safe assumption to make to think that there is something big on the horizon for the characters.
The reveal trailer highlighted Ezra's journey and gave us a glimpse of Yavin IV as well as several elements from both Rogue One and The Clone Wars, meaning that Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels will likely tie all the final pieces together to interconnect all the pieces that haven't been seen on the big screen between the main trilogies and the standalone films.
Filoni also gave hints at the fate of fan-favorite character Ahsoka, who seemingly was left for dead after her last battle with Darth Vader. We know that she is indeed still alive, and could potentially turn up in the final season.
Yet even with the anticipation building for the final confrontation, the ending is as much a mystery to the crew as it is to us. Filoni is purposely keeping cast/crew in the dark to amplify the excitement.
I think everybody was excited for the same reason I was to do this complete story. A lot of these people I’ve worked with a long time. I think we all feel really good about this – that we’ve got to make this whole story but the funny thing is that many of them do not know how it ends at all.
What's next for the Star Wars animated universe?
Well, we already know that ultimately #Disney is going to ride their vast universe of characters for as long as possible, and with the success of the animated side of Star Wars it seems as though there are great things lining up.
There's not a lot of information out there on what's next, but we do know that Disney/Lucasfilm is launching Star Wars Forces of Destiny on the Disney Youtube channel. This short series of animation will focus on the female characters in Star Wars, and the characters will be voiced by their respective actors: Daisy Ridley as Rey, Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata.
There are also rumors of a new animated series, to be set somewhere in the current trilogy of films set as an offshoot of the story with Rey, Luke and Ren. It would be a story in the same universe, set some 30 years or so after Return of the Jedi and could further push the Star Wars legacy for several more years.
The expansion of the Star Wars mythology has a nearly limitless potential, and it seems as though Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels is only the beginning considering that Disney and Lucasfilm have proven to be a safe haven for creative ventures in their vast multitude of cinematic universes.