For most people there are two Star Wars: the big trilogy movies and everything else. In the old Lucasfilm, that was pretty much true; anything in the EU could and would be ignored by Lucas himself. Nothing they did mattered to Universe in which the Trilogy films were created. Under the new Lucasfilm this has changed and that means Rebels is much more important than just a kids cartoon. Let’s look at what that can tell us about what we can expect from Rebels this year.
Before we get into it I want to preface that I don’t like everything with Rebels, specifically Filoni’s choices regarding fan service, Maul, Ahsoka not dying, Thrawn, etc. Why then do I tend to write the Rebels articles? Mainly because I love just about everything else they do and think the show would be stronger without the fan service and pulled punches. My favorite is the lore they are adding to the Star Wars lexicon and how it helps us understand the Force and the movies.
Like we’ve discussed before, history and lore are big part of the post-Lucas mantra, especially for the EU, and we expect this to continue in Rebels. Our first episode has already opened the door with the Bendu and his new insight into the force. We also have the two holocrons, one Sith and one Jedi, that have and will play a part in explaining more of the Force. Ezra has looked to the Sith holocron for guidance while we’ve been away mainly because Kanan had retreated after his loss of sight. The Sith holocron in particular has much to teach not only the characters, but also us. It’s from a Sith going back before the Rule of two (in Legends at least) and definitely before the Sith were thought destroyed. This may give us insight into other orders of Force users, perhaps even where Snoke comes from.
There is a reason Maul wants the holocron, and I suspect it’s part of his search for more power. It is likely he knows that Darth Sidious believed the source of the Dark Side power came from the Unknown Regions, and that more information could be found in older holocrons. I believe this is what Maul wants, it fits with the overall theme of history and searching out the past for clues that the novels, Rebels, and films have shown us so far. Maul is searching the past to secure his future.
Speaking of Maul the past and the future, Sabine is going to be stepping into more of a leading role in this season by all accounts. We will learn more of the Mandalorians, she will redeem her clan for whatever it is they have done wrong, and at some point she gets her hands on the Darksaber. Last we saw it Maul had it in his possession, however we don’t know how or when he lost it… or even if he has. He may still have it with him and Sabine of House Vizsla takes it from him or he lost earlier. No matter how he lost it it will most likely be used against him. There is little need for Sabine to use it unless he presents a threat to her. Before I speculated at Sabine would be a part of Maul’s destruction but no longer… Maul will survive, his exit from Rebels and the Galaxy at large will have him leaving for the Unknown Regions. Sabine’s main story will be the restoration of her family’s honor on Mandalore and perhaps even the restoration of Mandalore’s honor in general.
Ezra will continue his flirtation with the Darkside in his desire to help his friends. In this he is more like Anakin than Kylo(who went dark due to betrayal/lies in his mind) and I suppose a little like Luke. Anakin and Luke hold the key to understanding Ezra and the biggest difference is connections and how they are fostered. In the PT Anakin was continually warned against the connections whereas Ezra is allowed to develop them. This is what will make the difference and how Luke’s story helps us understand Ezra. Despite what theories are around Ezra won’t be going dark and by the end of this season that will be clear.
The rest of the crew is going to be moving into the background. They will have their moments but I expect less of the story to be about them. I do expect to learn more of Hera and Kanan’s relationship and Kanan will be a strong member of the team but he’ll do more mentoring than fighting this season. Zeb will have his moment when he figures out who the new Fulcrum is, an old friend as it were. The real purpose of the rest of the crew is the integration of the rest of the Rebellion. Their job will be to sync up with what we will see in Rogue One, through both tone and character. Rebels is growing up this season and that is a good thing.
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