[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Star Wars Rebels ahead!]
The trailer for Star Wars Rebels season 3 premiered at the ongoing Star Wars Celebration in Europe, with Rebels show-runner Dave Filoni (who also worked on the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars TV show) there to present the preview. Longtime Star Wars fan-favorite actor Warwick Davis (Wicket from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi) hosted the panel, as Filoni and the Rebels voice actors Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren) and Sam Witwer (Darth Maul and Emperor Palpatine) discussed what lies ahead for characters such as Sabine, Darth Maul, Ezra, and more in season 3.
Said Rebels season 3 trailer is now online and starts off by recapping events from the Rebels season 2 finale – including, Ezra’s (Taylor Gray) close encounter with Darth Maul and the Sith Holocron. The rest of the trailer contains many an exciting reveal about the episodes ahead on the Disney XD animated series, including an action scene that involves Mandalorians (one screened as an extended clip during the Rebels panel at Celebration). However, none of those reveals are quite as exciting as the confirmation that Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) will make his debut on Rebels during season 3.
You can watch the full-length trailer for Star Wars Rebels season 3 above – and then check out the new poster, below.
The Rebels season 3 trailer confirms that Thrawn will serve as the primary antagonist for the Ghost and its crew this season, as far as the Imperial side of things is concerned. However, as the above Rebels poster suggests, Ezra and Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) – the latter now blind from his encounter with Darth Maul in the Rebels season 2 finale – will do battle with Maul in one way or another throughout Rebels season 3.
In the trailer, we see the Sith Lord attempting to make Ezra his “apprentice”, recognizing that Ezra (who looks noticeably older and more mature with his new haircut) is already being pulled towards the Dark Side. During the Star Wars Rebels panel at Star Wars Celebration, a clip was shown featuring another encounter between the show’s heroes and Maul… one that ended on a cliff-hanger where Kanan was placed in mortal danger, much to the Celebration crowd’s frustration. Filoni indicated that Kanan will become something akin to a blind samurai warrior during Rebels season 3. The trailer supports that idea, showing that Ezra’s mentor has now grown a beard and must rely on his connection to The Force (as well as his still-functioning senses) more than ever before.
There are other fun teases in the Rebels season 3 trailer, including a brief appearance by Wedge Antilles: the legendary X-Wing pilot and Rogue Squadron member, who here is shown as just a young Imperial pilot ready to defect from the Galactic Empire. Suffice it to say, Rebels season 3 is already making good on the show’s promise to continue expanding the Star Wars universe – while at the same time, bringing in other characters and connecting to key events from other Star Wars movies, TV shows, and novels alike.
Star Wars Rebels season 3 premieres on Disney XD in fall 2016. Star Wars: Thrawn will be published in 2017.