Now that we have the second season of Rebels in the bag we have to ask ourselves what happens next. Where will our intrepid heroes end up? To answer those questions we need to first review what happened in the finale. I must admit I was ultimately disappointed in the finale.
Let me start off with why I was disappointed in the final episode. While Kanan was blinded and Ezra lost his lightsaber the stakes feel as though they will never be that high for teh crew of the Ghost. Second Vader not finishing Ahsoka makes him look weak and hurts his character. Third Maul and Ahsoka both surviving when this should have been their swan songs hurts the show and to me shows a real weakness in Filoni’s writing. Then again I always felt bringing Maul back was a huge weakness anyway. Finally the disposable inquisitors hurts the show, losing the Grand Inquisitor in Season one was a shock but good, losing the two we’ve met plus a new one just introduced in this finale seems cheap. There are a few more, Kanan can’t beat inquisitors all season but holds his own blind against Maul? Helicopter lightsabers… Overall these problems left holes and feel like every punch will be pulled instead of giving us a gut punch when the story really has earned it.
With that out of the way lets look at where we have ended up after the season. The bright sides: The rebels have a new base of operations to conduct their war against the Empire, Kanan has grown as Jedi tremendously, Ezra is starting to understand his power, Sabine has matured, and Zeb has taken on a Big Brother role with Ezra. The ominous: Vader is aware of Kanan and Ezra and I doubt he’s done with them, there are more inquisitors out there, Darth Maul is still alive and apparently has been monitoring the galactic situation, Kanan is blinded, and Ezra has been drawn to the darkside multiple times.
Both the bright sides and the ominous set up some great opportunities for the coming season and in fact we do have SOME official word of what to expect. In an interview with io9.com Filoni has said that we can expect to see Sabine’s role increase to more of a main character instead of supporting. So we should see her pulling about the same weight as Ezra. In an expanded interview with them Filoni also reveals that Maul will be the main Darkside foil for season three and we will be less likely to see an inquisitor as often if at all. We will also see the Rebellion shoring up into a larger and more organized opposition to the Empire. Filoni also lets us know in an interview with IGN that its likely that Ahsoka is unlikely to show up on Rebels again any time soon. Ezra will have to build or obtain an new lightsaber also. And finally in regards to Kanan we have this tweet from Pablo Hidalgo, that lets us know can expect Kanan to be out there fighting with his lightsaber and righting wrongs.
Is Kanan now a reference to Rahm Kota? No, but they both owe a debt to Zatoichi, a character every SW fan should know about. #StarWarsRebels
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) March 31, 2016
What else can we expect based on what happened this season? Well I think we can expect to see Ezra and Sabine to be front and center, especially in the fighting done on the show. I suspect that the rest of the crew will continue to or in Kanan’s case become supporting characters, with one episode arcs focused on them much like this season. Maul will end up being both their foil and some cases their ally as he obviously has it out for both sides in the Rebels vs Empire fight. Plus I suspect he wants to try to seduce Ezra to the darkside. Sabine will be Ezra’s Hera, a leader and partner and one of the anchors that holds him to the light side. Vader will show up again but in no more than two or three episodes including of course the season three finale. We may also get Thrawn added to the series as the official Empire threat instead of the Inquisitors and Agent Kallus, who may have had a small change of heart after his time with Zeb. Of course Billy Dee is confirmed so more Lando also perhaps the battle of Tenab? Finally I don’t expect to see Ahsoka at all, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if she is suspected dead and never shows up again in the series.
There is one final thing to think about concerning the upcoming season. It may be the last. According to Jordan at Cinelinx the plan is to end Rebels after the third season. This doesn’t mean it will be the last we see of the characters but they will no longer be around every Wednesday, instead they will live on in comics, books and TV movies. I suspect that Jordan’s sources are correct however that doesn’t mean it will happen. If Disney decides to keep Rebels going then from what I understand Filoni and co. have a plan in place to take it to 5 seasons.