How will Star Wars Rebels play into the Sequel Trilogy?

Empire day. On that day seen in Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine reorganized the Republic into the first Galactic Empire. That day also saw the birth of Ezra Bridger, causing him to hate that day for many years after. The crazy thing is, Luke and Leia were born just days after Ezra in another scene of RotS. According to Pablo Hidalgo (who is the next best thing to canon: canyon) in Rebels Recon going back to June 2015, Luke and Leia were born a mere two days after Ezra. So in a span of two days, we have the birth of the Empire, and the birth of Ezra, Luke and Leia. It’s as if this span of time represents a temporal nexus point in the Galaxy far far away…

The Emperor may have even sensed this. In the extended introductory episode to season 1 for Rebels, we have Darth Vader talk about the Emperor foreseeing the “Children of the Force” that would be a threat to him. Here is the scene in 1080p. Go on, you know you want to watch it again ’cause it’s only 54 seconds:

I don’t know about you, but when I saw this scene it made me think about the fact that Ezra, Luke, and Leia were all born around the same couple days. It’s almost as if the Force created them to combat the changes in the galaxy that threw it into darkness.

It also looks like Ezra is as powerful as Luke. Ezra’s specialty seems to be some sort of telepathic mind control that enables him to manipulate animals. This goes back to the Fyrnocks, and now again with the Purrgil:

image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

So what will he do with this kind of power? For that matter, will Ezra stay on the light path? The language is clear from the Season 2 mid-season trailer suggests that he could stray from the light path. We have some dialogue from a Jedi guard saying to Kanan:

The Dark side…it pulls at him. It calls to him.

And this is right before we see Ezra pick up a Sith Holocron in this shot:

image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

Perhaps it is no coincidence that Anakin was brought up and discussed with some old  Jedi training footage featuring him. Anakin had the whole mind-control thing down too, just like Ezra, and he demonstrated it when controlling the Reek beast with his Force-powers:

image credit: Lucasfilm

We didn’t really see much of this in other films. For example, Luke didn’t try to subdue the Rancor with telepathy. He just crushed it with a door. Anakin is brought up in the end of Season 2, not just because of his connection to Ahsoka, but might also be to set up some parallels with Ezra.

Next, we see Ezra bowing down to presumably Maul, who now goes by the name of “Old Master”. It’s pretty clear that they are at least teasing us with the idea of Ezra turning to the dark side. He’s already slipped into the dark side a bit in that Fyrnock episode. Why build this up? What is it leading to? The suggestion is certainly that Ezra will become sort of dark side user in Season 3. We’ll have to wait a while before we get any more evidence of this. Would they really turn such a main character to the dark side in a cartoon?

Many people have wondered if this is true, could it end up playing into the Sequel Trilogy? After all, as Yoda said, Luke was the last of the Jedi, so they’ll either have to kill off the Jedi we’ve seen in Rebels, or some of them will have to become non-Jedi and could stay around for much longer. For example, it’s been suggested that Benicio del Toro is playing a bad guy in Episode VIII, so could he have been pulled in to play an older Ezra? I’m not the first to point out this possibility. The ages would work out quite nicely with del Toro’s. The connection isn’t bad, considering Ezra is the same age as Luke. It would be cool if Luke’s nemesis in Episode VIII ended up being almost his exact same age. It would make for an interesting battle, and I would assume quite a fight in terms of power. Almost like two sides of the same coin fighting, because they are both grown up “Children of the Force” of the same age.

Taking this further, other people are wondering if Ezra is in fact Snoke. Among many people out there on the ‘net, reddit user inkari posted this image pointing out the visual similarities between some concept art for Snoke and Ezra:


I gotta admit the resemblance of the nose is pretty strong for these images. But we also have to admit that this isn’t the final design of Snoke. The final version has a much different nose that doesn’t match as well. Nevertheless, to me this does raise the possibility that the concept phase may have considered this idea.

The thing that makes all this very intriguing is some old news during the early concept stages of Rebels. Remember when the Inquisitor was presented? At the time, we found out that Simon Kinberg was working on both Rebels and Episode VII concurrently. Might the story group have seen an opportunity there? This may be a stretch that they would base such an important character for the movies on a cartoon. That said, this is a brave new era in Star Wars, and even Boba Fett was introduced in a cartoon–in the Holiday Special no less…What makes it perhaps more doubtful is a quote from Snoke in the TFA novelization:

“Kylo Ren, I watched the Galactic Empire rise, and then fall.” -Snoke

So this wouldn’t really apply to Ezra as he didn’t see the Empire rise, he was born after it has risen. This would suggest that Snoke is much older than Ezra.

Others have suggested that the introduction of the green lightsaber with cross-guards that Ezra was holding in the trailer suggests that it was Ezra that taught Kylo Ren how to make this ancient lightsaber design. While it’s an interesting idea, this is an ancient design and there are many opportunities for Kylo to learn it from someone else.

Then there is the height issue…Ezra is way too short. However, he is still young enough to be overdue for a growth spurt. If he comes back at the beginning of season 3 another foot taller, then we’ll definitely keep our eyes at this theory…

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