While my mind is whirring with the return of Star Trek to television, my heart is big enough to hold prestige for two space-faring franchises and so I set my sights on the return of Star Wars Rebels. It is a bittersweet return because this season will be the series’ final one and feature just 16 episodes but this also means we won’t get a ‘Clone Wars’ style ending with no finality and multiple plots and characters left unaccounted for. Rebels has done a fantastic job of slowly introducing characters and plots over the last three seasons and it will be interesting to discover how they get wrapped up and find out what the ultimate fate of the crew of the Ghost will be. Below are my five predictions for the final season.
Thrawn is too beloved, and just too good, of a character to be killed off in his second season of Rebels. Many think that what Bendu says to Thrawn in the season 3 finale is about Thrawn dying but I think it is just a prediction of defeat not death. I think Thrawn will be defeated by the Rebels in the final episode, be presumed dead, but then be revealed to be alive and is sent on a secret mission by the Emperor himself. This year featured the release of a new canon Thrawn novel by Timothy Zahn which introduced multiple unresolved plots involving Thrawn and the Chiss Ascendancy and just this past week it was revealed a sequel will be released next year in which Thrawn teams up with Vader. The thing is that the first Thrawn book took place from Thrawn joining the Empire until the very start of Rebels so either the sequel will have to take place concurrently with Rebels (very unlikely) or afterwards confirming he survives (likely). I actually believe he goes on to be the first leader of the First Order before Snoke takes over but that’s a theory for another time.
Kanan and Zeb Die
The interconnectedness of the Star Wars canon is both a blessing and a curse. While it aids storytelling and breeds fandom it can also reveal the wrong things at the wrong times. Due to other canon sources we know that both Hera and Rex survive until the events of Return of the Jedi and Chopper to the events of Rogue One which will go some way in removing tension in the final season because we know they will be fine. So, what about the fates of the other crew members of the Ghost? I think Sabine will survive and continue to be involved with Mandalore (more on that later) and I think there is a bigger plan with Ezra; I’m not sure what but I would be very surprised if he was to die. That leaves Kanan and Zeb and I’m almost certain of their deaths. Zeb’s ongoing storylines have now concluded with the episode ‘Legends of the Lasat’ in season 2 and with Kallus switching sides last season so the lovable tough guy is undoubtedly toast. Kanan’s whole story in Rebels has had a sense of finality to it with him resolving internal scars from Order 66 and physical ones from Maul to find peace and move on with Ezra being his legacy.
Ahsoka’s Fate is ‘complicated’
My answer to the ‘Ahsoka Lives?’ debate is ‘kinda’. I think she, for all intents and purposes, died fighting Vader in the season 2 finale and became one with the Force, just not a Force Ghost. Due to either prior training/knowledge or something special about Malachor, she survived in a very metaphysical and complicated way. Something similar to the way the Force is expanded on in the Mortis-arc from The Clone Wars Season 3 or Yoda’s journey in the final episodes of The Clone Wars. Maybe she is the wolf from the trailers or something else entirely. Either way I have a feeling it’s going to get weird.
It’s no secret that Dave Filoni and the Lucasfilm animation team have been working on another show for some time now with it no doubt due to be announced after Rebels has finished airing. The smart thing to do would be to set up this new show with a ‘backdoor pilot’ of sorts in Rebels and I think that is what the show has already done. The Mandalorian culture and storyline is too big to be properly explored as a subplot in Rebels and so I think the next animated series will be focused on Sabine and her quest to unite Mandalore against the Empire and would take place concurrently with the original trilogy. If this isn’t the case (I’m just a lowly blogger taking a guess) then the backdoor pilot idea would still be a smart call unless the new show takes place in a completely different time period.
Battle of Scarif
As seen in Rogue One, the battle of Scarif was the first victory of the Rebel Alliance and with Rebels being (kinda) about the founding of the Alliance with the bringing together of multiple cells it makes sense that Scarif will feature in the show, maybe even as the backdrop of the final few episodes. In Rogue One we see that Chopper is at the base on Yavin IV and the Ghost, presumably piloted by Hera who is mentioned in the film, is seen flying in the space battle above the Imperial controlled planet. While the series could end before Scarif I think it would be fitting to feature the battle from the viewpoint of our beloved characters, or at least from those there/alive at the time. Cryptic comments by Dave Filoni (the only sort of comments he makes) indicate that Scarif may appear. I can’t wait to find out when Star Wars Rebels Season 4 starts on October 16th in the US and October 28th in the UK.
What are your predictions for the final season of Rebels? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about TV, movies and videogames on Twitter @kylebrrtt.