Last weekend was an amazing time to be a Star Wars fan. In fact it’s always a great time to be a Star Wars fan but Star Wars Celebration is the pinnacle of that fandom we hold so dear. Going into the jam-packed weekend many of us guessed that Rogue One would steal the show, releasing a trailer that would be just as huge as the one we got for The Force Awakens last celebration. In fact the Rogue One panel was a little disappointing and the true star of the show turned out to be Star Wars Rebels, a show with a dedicated following but has yet to capture the eye of the general public… until now. The character of Thrawn from Timothy Zahn’s classic trilogy of books “Heir to the Empire” is now canon and will appear in the third season of the show and from what we can see in the awesome trailer Thrawn fans won’t be disappointed. This news has propelled Rebels into the consciousness of more Star Wars fans than ever before and has gotten me thinking about which characters could appear in the enjoyable animated show, not just from books labelled ‘legends’ but from the movies, canon novels and The Clone Wars television show. In this article I’ll be detailing my choices for characters who are members of the Rebellion but expect Imperials, bounty hunters and more in future articles.
Rebels is all about the founding of the Rebel Alliance and so it makes perfect sense for Mon Mothma to pop up as a recurring character as the show moves towards Rogue One and the Original Trilogy. Both Bail and Leia Organa have appeared in the show, not for gratuitous fan service but because it makes sense for the time period and it would be weird if they weren’t in it. Mothma is in the same boat, she’s one of the founding members of the rebellion as we know it and the leader at the time of the Original Trilogy; it’s less of a question of will she show up in Rebels and more of a question of when. Rebels only has a fairly small time frame in which to tell its story with a couple a years to go until the events of A New Hope and as we get closer the rebels that we see in the show who lack any strong leadership and are nothing but a ragtag fleet and cells spread through the galaxy need to come together and we have to presume Mothma is a part of that. Season 3 would make a lot of sense for her debut because Dave Filoni and the other creative talents behind the show could tie it into her appearance in Rogue One which will premiere during season 3 in December and can be used as promotion for the show.
Speaking of Rogue One another character from the highly anticipated upcoming film could, and should, appear in a future season of the show: Cassian Andor. Andor is to be portrayed Diego Luna in the movie and when asked about his character at the Rogue One panel at Celebration he described Andor as the captain charged with leading and keeping an eye on the eclectic mix of rebels tasked to steal the Death Star plans. Having such an important job and rank within the relatively new alliance must mean that Andor has proven himself in the past and isn’t a new addition like Jyn. Therefore it makes sense for him to appear in Rebels as the timeframe of the show rapidly approaches Rogue One and, like Mon Mothma, his appearance can be used to promote the show. Even more than that his appearance can be used to develop his character allowing fans to get to know the character before jumping into Rogue One which as far as we know features very few characters we are familiar with.
That’s right, I went there. Who doesn’t love Porkins? Everyone’s fifth or sixth favourite X-Wing pilot debuted in A New Hope and then not ten minutes later was shot by a TIE fighter and crashed into the surface of the Death Star. His size and lack of noticable flying ability has now lead to Porkins being nothing more than the butt of a few cheap jokes and I want Rebels to restore his reputation. We know from the trailer for Season 3 that Wedge Antilles will appear and so why not Porkins? The show should allow him to be a hero instead of just being ‘the fat one’ when we try to list all the pilots that lead the assault on the Death Star. He could be a recurring character protecting the Battlestar Galactica-esque fleet we have come to know from the show and allowing some character development because that’s what Rebels is supposed to do: flesh out the world and characters we know from the films as well as telling its own story.
Forrest Whitaker’s character from Rogue One, Saw Gerrera is a rebel with a difference. Unlike his more diplomatic peers such as Mon Mothma he doesn’t hold back in his fight against the Empire taking him to some very dark places. This contrast in ideology would be fascinating to place in Rebels allowing us to see which of the Rebels cast agree and which disagree with his extreme guerrilla warfare techniques. Once more it ties in to Rogue One allowing for fans to get to know the character a little better before we see him on the big screen and for that juicy cross-platform promotion of the movie and series. Fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars like myself will know the character of Saw anyway because he debuted in the opening arc of season 5 in which he was trained by Jedi and suffered the personal tragedy that would set him on his dark and violent path. Therefore including him in Rebels will enforce the cross continuity of characters and make more sense than adding movie characters because people are used to seeing him in the animated world.
That’s it for this time but keep your eye on the site for more characters I feel should appear on Rebels including a certain bounty hunter, a Sith Lord and some characters from the recently released novel Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt. Which characters do you want to see pop up in Rebels? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about Star Wars on Twitter @kylebrrtt.