One of the things that I often struggle with in genre entertainment is the finale of a beloved series. There is so much hype, both internally and externally. As a result, I sometimes find myself struggling to balance myriad expectations. It's part of the reason I try to avoid speculation; I don't want to stoke the fire of the proverbial hype train cruising through my subconscious. It's even more challenging to do for the series finale of Star Wars Rebels, a fantastic series that demands an equally fantastic finale.
Possible spoilers to follow: Be sure to watch “A Fool's Hope” and “Family Reunion-And Farewell” before continuing ….
If you've ever seen anything Dave Filoni has done, then you know the story will not disappoint. I'll save my review for Rebels Reactions and Coffee With Kenobi, but in the meantime, here are some Star Wars Rebels Talking Points to look for in the series finale.
Nature and Connectivity
One major theme throughout this series is Ezra's connection to nature, specifically, the animals introduced in this series. He has always empathized with different creatures and this has served him well. But, it's much more than a bond with animals. It really is about establishing a community with the creatures in the galaxy, specifically dignity and respect. It's hard not to think of Yoda telling Luke that he would know when he was calm and at peace. Every single time Ezra would channel this unique Force ability, he did so from a place of peace and inner strength. It's a lovely metaphor.
The Nature of Evil
Whether it's Thrawn, Pryce, or Palpatine, evil is evident throughout these episodes. No quarter is given, and neither is compassion. The selfish, predictable nature of this is also what helps to defeat evil. Pride, arrogance, and underestimating your opponent are all here; it's kind of a greatest hits of archetypes for the baddies in this universe.
Another beautiful theme in Rebels (all of Star Wars, really) is familial bonds and the legitimacy of surrogate families. Every one of these characters came from a much different place but still managed to find commonality amongst themselves, thereby forging a strong network built on compassion, respect, and acceptance. Perhaps this is at the core of why so many of us love Star Wars. We are more alike than we are different, despite the Imperial philosophy to the contrary. Ezra's dialogue towards the end brings this home in a poignant way.
Tying it all Together
The reasons Dave Filoni is a master storyteller are many, but the one most prevalent in “Family Reunion-And Farewell” is how Filoni takes aspects from the history of the series and ties it all together. Whether that is character-driven or involves exotic creatures from all across the galaxy, it comes to a head here. Most importantly, none of it is a gimmick or a manipulative event. It all comes organically through the story, giving it more weight and meaning. Truly, a masterstroke from the talent at Lucasfilm.
Honorable mention: Chopper
Be sure to watch the credits closely, as we finally get to see who the voice of Chopper is!
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