We're counting down the days until the return of Star Wars Rebels, although it's a bittersweet anticipation knowing this season will be the last.
For months we've mined the trailer for hints and considered how Dave Filoni and crew might live up to his Star Wars Celebration promise to create a series finish that's a little different, a little dark, and a bit of fun. Then the Blu-ray release of Season 3, pre-ordered and eagerly anticipated, provided some unexpected insights into the stories to come.
Here are a few favorite tidbits from the bonus features:
• The Ghost over Scarif? – Showrunners stopped shorting of spilling the final decision as to whether or not Star Wars Rebels will intersect with the Rogue One timeline on-screen. But in filling the gap years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and dropping the Ghost and Chopper in as Rogue One Easter eggs, it's certainly possible that the two worlds will collide during Season 4. Even if the story doesn't go so far as to cross over completely into territory already covered by Rogue One, at least we can rest assured that Chopper, General Syndulla and their beloved ship make it out alive.
And Season 4 can and will implement Death Troopers, the Yavin base, and Saw Gerrera into the mix and delve into the role the Ghost crew plays within the larger rebellion with a glorious shot of Hera leading her own squad of X-wing fighters!
• Rebels rebelling against the rebellion. – By showing the connectivity of characters from other films, The Clone Wars animates series, and other media (including resurrecting characters from the defunct Expanded Universe), Rebels has continued a long tradition of enriching the galaxy and adding new depth to the characters and battles that came before it. In this fine tradition, however, Saw Gerrera is a unique case. We first met the young Saw on Onderon in The Clone Wars, when he was one of a handful of original rebels, trained by Jedi to become more effective fighters to combat oppression in parts of the galaxy where the peace-keeping Jedi may not always be on hand. By Rogue One, Saw was a grizzled guerrilla veteran, who had become so extreme in his methods that the Rebel Alliance had distanced itself from his tactics. During the next season of Rebels, Filoni has hinted at an exploration of that fracturing relationship, pitting the wild-eyed Saw against the even-tempered former Senator Mon Mothma.
• A return to Mandalore. – In Season 3, Sabine Wren returned to her embattled home world wielding the Darksaber and attempting to rally her family to the rebel cause. In Season 4, producer Carrie Beck says Sabine will get to explore who she is, and how she relates to her family and her people, including some familiar inhabitants like Bo-Katan Kryze, in a way that helps her heal past wounds and find greater purpose.
• Thrawn and friends. – Well, does the Grand Admiral with the terrifying monotone have friends? Earlier seasons had developed a habit of (spoiler alert) killing off the main villains in each finale. But Thrawn would not go quietly into that good night at the end of Season 3, and now he's bringing company in the form of Rukh, his assassin bodyguard voiced by Warwick Davis. Thrawn has always been in it for the long game, and Filoni and crew have promised a lot more Thrawn before Rebels takes its final bow.Powered by Sidelines