The following article contains spoilers for the recent Star Wars novel Aftermath: Life Debt.
To hold off our great and feverish hunger for Star Wars content until Rogue One and Episode 8 we have Star Wars Rebels season 3. Actually that assessment doesn’t do the show justice, Rebels isn’t just a cool but irrelevant slice of Star Wars but in fact provides essential backstory and world building to the Star Wars galaxy as well as telling its own fantastic story with a myriad of cool original characters. However to do both things at the same time means the show is open to including characters that have appeared in other content before, whether it be classic – or future classic – movie characters or people from recently released canon materials. Continuing on from where I left off last time let’s look at some more Imperial characters who should appear at some point in the future of Star Wars Rebels to enhance the show’s connections to the wider galaxy without being mindless cameos for fan service.
With Rogue One being released mid Rebels season 3 it makes sense to include characters from the film in the television show. Not only to promote the film – and the film to promote the show – but because the show can offer precious backstory and set-up for characters and events that occur in Rogue One especially now that Rebels is getting very close to the Rogue One/ A New Hope time period. In a previous article I mentioned how Forrest Whitaker’s character Saw Gerrera should appear on the animated show (a character who first appeared in The Clone Wars) but I also think it would be wise to feature Orson Krennic, the primary antagonist of Rogue One set to be played by Ben Mendelsohn. Seeing Krennic interact with Thrawn would be fantastic with maybe Krennic being one of the very few imperials that Thrawn respects and sees as a peer setting up just how powerful and devious Krennic is as a character before we experience him chasing down the rag-tag rebels in Rogue One. And I want to see an animated version of his awesome cape.
You’re probably thinking “Who?” Well let me tell you about Rax. Created by Chuck Wendig for the Aftermath trilogy of books, Gallius Rax was the ultimate puppet master after Palpatine’s death running the largest remnant of the Empire from behind the scenes. We know very little about Rax other than he started life on Jakku before escaping on Emperor Palpatine’s space craft. Palpatine soon found the stowaway and began some sort of friendship with Rax who was sent back to Jakku to guard something buried in the sand on Jakku. Some years later (during the Rebels time period) Rax, having seemingly completed his Jakku mission, became a leading and mysterious Imperial agent taking orders directly from Palpatine. That’s as much as we know and it would be cool to see him pop up in Rebels to offer more hints to his wider role in the galaxy and Palpatine’s ‘adoption’ of him; some have been theorising he is Snoke from The Force Awakens. Whatever Rax’s plan/mission is including him in Rebels would bring different mediums of canon together and tie into the third and final Aftermath book due for release next year which will no doubt answer many questions. He’s a great antagonist in the Aftermath books and could also be one in Rebels, carrying out the Emperor’s personal missions that even Vader doesn’t know about.
Seen briefly with no dialogue in A New Hope, Wulff Yularen was a character greatly expanded on in The Clone Wars animated series as an admiral from the Republic fighting alongside Jedi and clones before working for the Imperial Security Bureau after Order 66. He was a very high ranking Imperial and to our knowledge the only one privy to the Emperor and Gallius Rax’s special relationship. The main reason to include him in Rebels is to give the character closure, he appeared frequently in The Clone Wars as a hero and so getting to know him more in his later life before his death on the aptly-named Death Star when he was one of the ‘bad guys’. Does he believe the lies spread around the Empire about the Jedi when he personally knew them? Does he fully accept the Empire’s ideals when he fought so hard for the Republic? Getting these answers would give closure to the many fans of the character from his time in The Clone Wars and seeing him now as a straight up villain or a conflicted Imperial during a run in with the rebels would then make his unseen death more meaningful.
Sinjir Rath Velus
Another character from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, Sinjir has the sharpest and most sardonic wit in the galaxy as he captures rogue Imperials with a group of New Republic fighters after the battle of Endor. However this modern fan favourite character has a dark past and was actually an interrogator and torturer from the Empire before growing a conscience and turning sides during the battle of Endor. Loveable and yet quite disturbing Sinjir is one of the best characters in the new canon and while watching him make amends for his sins by fighting for the good guys his inner demons and struggles would be much more meaningful if we actually saw him be the monster we hear about in the books. During the time period of Rebels Sinjir would be an Imperial interrogator and seeing him in that role, especially if his victim is a member of the Rebels we are greatly attached to, would expand our understanding of the character with the audience feeling the same conflict about how to feel about Sinjir as Sinjir does himself.
That’s it for now but keep your eye on the site for a final instalment in this series as I look at more characters I feel should appear on Rebels including a certain armoured bounty hunter and a proprietor of a certain castle. 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.