Most of the Star Wars fanbase can agree on very few things, but they all agree that Dave Filoni is no phony baloney. With Obi-Wan Kenobi set to come out May 27th, The Bad Batch who knows when, and Ahsoka not too far off in the future, there is only one show in the franchise that scratches all those itches. That show is Star Wars: Rebels. We see the Ghost crew develop from a band of misfits into a family for four seasons. We also see both Ahsoka Tano and Obi-Wan Kenobi; actually, Ahsoka has a pretty significant role. In this article, we would like to give you a few reasons why Rebels is worth your attention or reexamination if you've seen it. As a fair warning, there will be some major spoilers for Rebels ahead.
Throughout the show's four-season run, we grew very attached to Ezra, Kanan, Zeb, Sabine, Chopper, and Hera, Captain of The Ghost. We first see the crew of the Ghost on Lothal as a ragtag band of rebels operating by themselves with little to no resources. By the end of the series, they have joined with the Rebel Alliance on Yavin 4, and most of them are in leadership positions helping to build the rebellion and its resources. The characters each add a unique perspective and fully realized story arcs. Even the villains get a bit of development during the show's run.
During the first season of Rebels, the main antagonist is the Grand Inquisitor. We see him go to extreme lengths throughout the season to eradicate the rebel cell on Lothal, even torturing the groups Jedi Knight and co-leader Kanan. This was the first appearance of the Inquisitor on screen, and now that we know, he will have fought Obi-Wan before meeting Kanan and Ezra. During the show's run, We find out that the Grand Inquisitor was even a former Jedi Temple Guard prior to Order 66. Rebels proves that the character is complex with a troubled past and even his own fall to the dark side with just over a season of development.
Many fans were disappointed when it was confirmed that Darth Maul would not be playing a part in Obi-Wan Kenobi. After all, Maul and Obi-Wan have been long-time adversaries since the final moments of The Phantom Menace. It wouldn't make sense for Maul to appear anyway since he doesn't even know Kenobi is on Tatooine at the time of the Kenobi series. In the show, Maul makes a grand entrance in the two-part finale of season 2, Twilight of the Apprentice. Taking place on Malachor, he is seen biding his time underground on the planet outside of a Sith temple, the site of a major conflict thousands of years ago.
When Ezra meets Maul, he presents himself as an old man and takes Ezra into the temple to take the knowledge of the Holocron stored inside. However, in Maul's usual fashion, it was all a trick leading Ezra to activate the temple's superweapon as Vader arrives. Maul makes a quick exit and leaves Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra to fend for themselves. This culminates in arguably the best fight in the series, where Ahsoka learns that the Sith Lord is her former master Anakin Skywalker.
In the show's later seasons, Maul is driven back to hunting his old nemesis, Obi-Wan, by using the Force to manipulate Ezra's thoughts. When Ezra leads Maul to Tatooine, he tracks Ezra through the desert until Ezra delivers him to Kenobi. The Jedi Master reluctantly engages Maul in the sand dunes. Unfortunately, the fight doesn't last for very long as Obi-Wan baits Maul to attack him using the same stance Qui-Gon had all those years ago on Naboo. Maul attempts the same coup de grace we see him use then, and Obi-Wan springs into action, settling the score once and for all. But in a moment of growth for the characters, Obi-Wan takes Maul in his arms, explaining what he has been doing for all these years on Tatooine, giving Maul a small amount of peace as he slips away.
While Maul is playing tricks on Ezra, there is an extensive cast of Imperials seeking to impede the Rebels' progress. First and foremost is Grand Admiral Thrawn, a Chiss Imperial Officer, and brilliant tactician. Thrawn believes in the power of knowing your enemy and takes a great amount of pleasure studying the art and culture of planets he brings to heel under The Empire. Through the show's final three seasons, a ruthless tactician routing the rebels several times, even capturing Phoenix Squadrons' first base on the mysterious world Atollon.
However, Thrawn's pride in his military might be his undoing when he is taken out of the war by Ezra Bridger and the help of the Purgill, creatures living in the vacuum of space that can traverse hyperspace. After the liberation of Lothal, neither of the two are seen or heard from again. With Ahsoka slated to release in 2023, it is also an excellent time to familiarize yourself with him. Rumor has it he will be making an appearance on the show as a foil to the titular Jedi. His cruel tactics and cold, calculating personality will make for a nuanced antagonist for Ahsoka, given her lighthearted and empathetic nature.
We mentioned Ahsoka above but not in great detail as we were saving the best for last. Ahsoka was created by Dave Filoni for The Clone Wars, So it is no surprise he brought his favorite Torgruta into Rebels. When we first meet Ahsoka, she uses her codename Fulcrum as a codename for the rebellion. At the end of the first season, during Kanan's rescue over Mustafar, Ahsoka finally reveals herself. During the first episode of season 2, Vader finds that Ahsoka is alive, close to ten years after believing her dead after Order 66.
Throughout the second season, we see a lot of Ahsoka and Vader onscreen though rarely in the same place at the same time, until the season finale. After Ahsoka is believed dead, we find ourselves back at the Jedi Temple on Lothal after some time. Where Ezra discovers the world between worlds, a bridge through time and space using the Force. In this mythical place, Ezra can undo what he feels to be his biggest mistake and save Ahsoka from death even though he couldn't turn back his own master's fate.
Given all of the shows we are seeing released in the near future that neatly tie into Rebels, now seems to be the perfect time to revisit the series, or if you haven't seen it yet, give it a try. The show's charming cast of characters and strong writing make for an enjoyable time. Even the art style itself is something special, seeing as it is the closest Lucasfilm has gotten to depicting the original concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. Over four seasons, Rebels never fails to delight the viewer with everything we love about Star Wars.
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Written by James E. Cockrum
Syndicated from Culture Slate