A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
The story of the Rebellion against the Empire was just beginning, but for the intrepid heroes of The Ghost it was coming to an end. At least this chapter. It was announced at Star Wars Celebration 2017 that Star Wars Rebels would end after season 4. It seems the perfect time to wrap things up. We’ve gone from a rogue band of rebels to a full-fledged Rebel Alliance. Ezra went from being an Aladdin-like street rat to being a Jedi Padawan. Kanan began as a Jedi cowboy and is now a Jedi Master. Sabine grew from a rebellious kid to the leader of a clan and perhaps of an entire planet. Hera went from being the captain of a ship to a high-ranking leader in the Rebellion. Zeb found out he wasn’t alone in the universe and Chopper turned out to be more than just a scrappy hunk of metal to being a vital team member and resistance droid. If you’re new to the Rebels Universe, this guide will help catch you up. If you’re a long time fan, hopefully this will bring back some fond memories.
Ezra went from being an Aladdin-like street rat to a Jedi Padawan. Starting out as an orphan he ended up finding a family with Hera and the crew of The Ghost. But it was his ability to open the Jedi Holocron without any training that convinced Hera and Kanan that Ezra had the potential for more. Initially, Ezra had a crush on fellow teammate Sabine, but somewhere along the way they became more like brother and sister. Zeb was the older brother he never had; Hera and Kanan his new parents. During Season 2, Ezra was tested severely by Darth Vader…and was found lacking. If not for Ahsoka Tano, both Ezra and Kanan might be dead. But in the end, Ezra came up with a Sith Holocron. He came under the tutelage of Maul and couldn’t quite shake the weird connection they seemed to have. By the middle of Season 3, Ezra found his way back to the light and stayed there. His trials have made him stronger in the Force, more attuned to it and he is now considered to be a Jedi in his own right.
Kanan was billed as a Jedi cowboy and indeed with his unusual light saber he seemed to be. He began the series aware of his Jedi roots but not fully embracing them and certainly not feeling up to the task of training a Padawan. But if Ezra grew from being an orphan to being a Jedi, Kanan grew from being a reluctant teacher to embracing Ezra as a father figure. Kanan had a lot of doubt at the beginning and although he overcame that, those doubts rose again and again; first with Vader and how easily he handled the pair, then with Maul undercutting Ezra’s training. But the strangest thing happened at the end of Season 2. Despite the fact that he lost his sight in the battle with Vader and the Inquisitors, he ended up with more clarity than ever before. Now a Jedi Master, Kanan has found himself.
Hera’s journey has been different. She hasn’t been infused with self-doubt at all. Instead she has been the steady rock in this little family. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t grown. She has gone from leading a small group of Rebels to being one of the best leaders in the Rebellion. Her advice is counted on by those higher up, and she has been entrusted with some of the most dangerous missions for the Alliance like meeting up with Senator Leia Organa and escorting Senator Mon Mothma. We know from Rogue One that she becomes a general in the Rebellion and it could be she lives a very long life. Almost certainly she will survive the series finale – but who else will?
The Mandalorian of the group is certainly a fierce warrior, but Sabine is also an artist. At the beginning, we didn’t know much about this young woman who liked to make things explode, but then we found out she was estranged from her family when she was labeled a traitor by her own mother! Up until the third season, Sabine avoided talking about her history on Mandalore but she was brought into the limelight when the Rebellion decided to try and recruit Mandalore to their side. Sabine went back and first had to resolve the idea of being a traitor with her family, and then accepted her role with her clan as the wielder of the near-mythical Darksaber – from the first Jedi from Mandalore. At the end of Season 3, she leaves the crew of The Ghost to try to make things right on her home planet. But worry not. From everything we’ve seen so far, Sabine will play a prominent role in Season 4.
Zeb is a Lasat who thought himself to be the last one of his species. During the first season, Zeb was a humorous foil for Ezra, often teasing him and riding his case, but their relationship became close and with Chopper they were like brothers. Zeb later found that there was a small group who had survived the Empire’s attack of his planet and he wasn’t the only survivor. After going through some deep soul-searching, Zeb was able to come to terms with his feelings about the slaughter of the Lasat people and helped to lead the survivors to a new home on the legendary planet of Lira San. It was there that Zeb found out this was the actual homeworld of his species and was still fully populated. Zeb chose to leave with The Ghost realizing this was his family now. He was also featured in a meaningful episode with Agent Kallus where the two men gained a mutual respect for one another. In fact, the encounter affected Kallus so deeply, he became the new Fulcrum after Ahsoka Tano was presumed dead.
Although not an organic being, C1-10P (better known as “Chopper”) is as much a member of the crew as anyone else. Chopper was found by Hera after a crash-landing in a “Y”-wing fighter. Hera loved the little droid and spent a lot of time working on him and when Hera joined the fledgling Rebellion, Chopper came along. Chopper is extremely temperamental, at times difficult, saucy, and rebellious – so he fits right in. Older than most droids in operation, Chopper is extremely useful and has even been known to go undercover. His relationship with AP-5 is hilarious! They are funnier and more full of personality than R2-D2 and C3PO. It’s nice for Chopper to have a buddy. Going into Season 4, Chopper is not likely to undergo any major transformations (although leave it to Executive Producer Dave Filoni to do the unexpected). We do know from Rogue One that Chopper survives.
Season 1 featured the Grand Inquisitor, a fearsome and ruthless opponent who was commissioned by Darth Vader to hunt down and destroy any remaining Jedi. When the Inquisitor finds out about Kanan, he seeks him out, and although initially shown to have the upper hand in battle, Kanan develops greater skill throughout the season and defeats him. Rather than surrender, the Inquisitor decides to fall to his death, promising he is not their greatest enemy. Season 2 featured none other than Darth Vader who, along with a series of lesser Inquisitors, continue to hunt down this cell of the still fledgling rebellion. Vader himself confronts both Kanan and Ezra at the same time and easily defeats them. If not for help from the rest of The Ghost crew, they would not have survived. Vader later confronts Ezra at the Sith Temple and again easily defeats him. But Ahsoka Tano, Vader’s old apprentice, intervenes and saves both Kanan and Ezra while battling Vader to her seeming death. Season 3 featured Grand Admiral Thrawn who comes to deal with the growing Rebellion. Vader isn’t mentioned in Season 3 but the battle with Ahsoka Tano and dealing with having to battle his former apprentice may have forced Vader into an extended recovery period. Thrawn, however, is a formidable adversary. He nearly defeats the entire Rebellion in the battle at Chopper Base as the third season ended.
Throughout the first three seasons, key figures from both the past and the future of Star Wars have made their presence felt in this show. We find out what happened to Ahsoka Tano after The Clone Wars as well as Captain Rex. Hondo makes a return to the Star Wars Universe as does Saw Gerrera, Yoda, R2, and C3PO. And character from future Star Wars films make some of their first appearances here – Princess Leia, Mon Mothma, Lando Calrissian, and even Wedge Antilles! Lest we think only prominent figures from the Rebellion have made appearances, Darth Vader is very prominent in the show, but so is Governor Tarkin and a mention of Director Krennic is even mentioned. Grand Admiral Thrawn – a fan favorite – is brought into modern Star Wars canon with his Season 3 (and 4) role. We even get to see a glimpse of young Luke Skywalker in the show although that will likely be the extent of what we see of him.
That should catch you up on everything Rebels as we head into Season 4. I hope you’ll join in watching this spectacular show as it enters it’s final run! May the Force be with you.