Since day one, Star Wars Rebels has been approaching the inevitable. Eventually, the timeline will arrive at the events of the original trilogy, and the show will have to account for how everything comes together. While some characters and plot elements are easier to clarify than others, Rebels has introduced a lot of new content that can’t simply continue through the events of Rogue One or A New Hope without some serious explaining.
Rebels has chronicled the Rebellion's development as it slowly grows into a true threat to the Empire, and it’s been a great story, but along the way, they’ve introduced characters and events that just don’t jibe with the previously held perspective many fans had about events that took place in the years before the original trilogy. With Rogue One on the way and only a few years of the timeline left to explore, here are 15 Loose Ends Rebels Needs to Resolve.
15 What Happens to Phoenix Squadron?
The various flight groups in the Rebel Alliance have always been iconic: Red Group, Gold Group, Rogue Squadron. And now, newer canon has introduced the likes of Corona and Blade Squadrons. But it’s not one of these groups that the Ghost crew joins up with in Rebels. Instead, they become a part of Phoenix squadron, a group previously unheard of with no apparent relevance in later stories. Phoenix Squadron isn’t present at the Battle of Yavin, Hoth, Endor, or any of the other major battles mentioned in books or comics. So where are they?
The most obvious option is that they probably get wiped out. It’s wholly possible that they’re around and just not very relevant later on in the timeline, but more than likely they fall Victim to an Imperial victory, probably lead by Grand Admiral Thrawn. It’s no surprise that the early days of the Rebellion are marked by some devastating losses -- especially with Thrawn on the prowl -- but the end of Phoenix squadron is a fairly major development. It could happen during the events of Rogue One, but it’s more likely going to be a component of Rebels.
14 What About Captain Rex?
One of the greatest facets of The Clone Wars was how it gave names and faces to the clone army, making the eventuality of Order 66 all the more tragic. Chief among the clone personas developed in that series was Captain Rex, who served under Anakin and Ahsoka. Rex’s story was assumed to have ended along with that of all the other clones sometime after the events of Revenge of the Sith, but many fans were glad to have him back again in season 2 of Star Wars Rebels.
While bringing him back has been great fun, there’s still a question of justification. Does Rex have some purpose to serve in this story, or will he just play the part of the old soldier and fade away? A popular fan theory actually places Rex at the battle of Endor as the white bearded Rebel commando traditionally known as Nik Sant. If Rex is actually alive that long, does that mean he rubs shoulders with Luke or has the opportunity to tell him about what Anakin Skywalker was like during the Clone Wars? That might be a long shot, but it’s still an enticing prospect that would bring two eras of Star Wars together in a huge way.
13 When Does the Alliance Move to Yavin IV?
One of the main plot point of season 2 was the search for a new Rebel base for Phoenix Squadron and the Ghost crew. They eventually settled on a planet discovered by Chopper -- Atollon -- dubbing their new home “chopper base.” The thing is, as we’ve known for 40 years now, the Rebel base will soon be on Yavin IV, with a brief stop on Dantooine somewhere in the mix.
General Dodonna has already been name dropped once, so it’s possible that there’s already a cell operating there and the cell we see in the show doesn’t hook up with them (other than to deliver the Y-Wings and Wedge Antilles). The Rebel Force that attacks the Death Star at the battle of Yavin is obviously quite small, but the two cells definitely cross paths at some point. There’s still a few years in the timeline before Rogue One, but getting to see the Rebels first populate Yavin IV could be a real special Star Wars moment.
12 How Do the Rebels Get X-Wings and U-Wings?
The Battle of Yavin instantly made X-Wings one of the most iconic ships in sci-fi history, yet they have yet to make an appearance in Star Wars Rebels. Despite being shown as the workhorse of the Alliance navy in the original trilogy, the Rebel cells depicted in the show have so far only relied on the A-Wing (previously thought to be a later development, since it’s first seen in Return of the Jedi), a prototype B-Wing, and, more recently, Y-Wings.
The Rebellion is a lot bigger than just what we see on screen, so it’s most certainly a possibility that X-Wings are already in use, but the Rebellion is resource strapped and the recent Y-Wing heist suggests that they may not have access to many fighters yet. We know that by the time of Rogue One, X-Wings and the new U-Wing are in active use, so it’s likely the Rebellion will find a way to get their hands on those before Rebels is through.
11 When Do The Various Rebel Cells Unite?
One of the ways Rebels has been able to tell so many stories without threatening continuity is by establishing that the Rebellion actually started as numerous small independent cells. It wasn’t until closer to the events of Rogue One that they actually all come together to form a single group. So, while all the main characters have bumped into major players like Bail Organa or Princess Leia, they spend the vast majority of their time in their own little corner of space taking on the Empire alone.
As Rebels moves down the timeline, there has to be some sort of inciting event that causes the cells to unify under a common banner and start fighting back in a bigger way, thereby leading to their first major victory in Rogue One. Will this event be shown in Rebels, or is that too close to any of the movies for it to involve any of the main characters? Whatever happens, it’s the capstone that bridges the divide between the animated series and the original trilogy. It could even be the culmination of everything The Clone Wars and Rebels have been building to.
10 Inquisitors - Are They All Gone?
Another new revelation Rebels brought to Star Wars continuity is the presence of the Inquisitors, dark side wielding agents of the Empire tasked with preventing another rise of the Jedi -- namely by tracking down and abducting Force-sensitive children. When Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka begin to reveal themselves to the Empire, the Inquisitors are tasked with hunting them down and taking them out. Their efforts to eliminate the competition isn't even strictly focused on the elimination of light side Force users, as Darth Maul is also in their sights.
So far, the good guys have killed the Grand Inquisitor, the Fifth Brother, the Sixth Brother, the Seventh Sister, and the Eighth Brother. Was the Grand Inquisitor the First Brother? Where are the Second, Third, and Fourth Brothers/Sisters? Are there any Inquisitors above the Eighth Brother? There’s a lot that has yet to be revealed about this program, but the odds are there’s still Inquisitors out there, and they all need to be taken out before A New Hope.
9 What Happens to Hera And The Ghost Crew?
Seeing the Rebel Alliance grow out of small Rebel cells like the crew of the Ghost has been one of the highlights of Rebels. Hera and her ship have been revealed to be a key component of the initial sparks that have set ablaze a larger fire of rebellion across the galaxy, and they’ve been mixed up in some big events, from working with Bail Organa and Princess Leia to recruiting Wedge Antilles or facing off against Darth Vader himself. They’ve become such integral figures in the fledgling days of the Rebellion Against the Empire that it’d be hard for them to fly under the radar if they maintain this level of involvement through the events of the original trilogy -- especially the Battle of Endor.
Thanks to an abundance of new canon content that takes place during the original trilogy, we know that the Alliance is way bigger than previously shown, and characters like Nein Nunb were also heavily involved behind the scenes, despite only showing up briefly in Return of the Jedi. It’s plausible that Hera, Chopper, Zeb, and the Ghost could be in a similar boat, but it will require some fancy feet on the part of the storytellers.
8 Where Does Agent Kallus Side?
Many Star Wars fans are the most familiar with the Galactic Civil War as depicted in the original trilogy -- the Rebel Alliance vs the Galactic Empire. Rebels takes a slightly more intimate look at the seeds of this conflict, showing the Rebel cells facing off mainly against the Imperial Security Bureau, long before the Alliance was big enough to merit a full-scale response by the Empire. In fact, with the spotlight on Ben Mendelsohn’s Orson Krennic, the director of the ISB, in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it looks like the bureau may have a big role to play in the events leading up to A New Hope.
In Rebels, Agent Kallus has been tasked with eliminating the resistance cells, but a few encounters with Zeb Orrelios have shown him that there is in fact honor in their ranks, an honor he respects. At the same time, the cold and unprincipled atmosphere of the Empire is slowly eating away at him. Kallus may not have defected yet, but he did provide aid to the Rebels on at least one occasion, leaving many to wonder if he’s the new Fulcrum . Whatever the case, an ally in the Imperial ranks is a major boon for the Rebellion, and will likely lead to some bigger event down the road.
7 Does Kanan Meet His End?
When most of the existing Star Wars Expanded Universe was designated as “Legends”, many fans were anxious to see where Lucasfilm would go with the new canon. The very first book, A New Dawn, introduced Kanan Jarrus prior to his appearance in Star Wars Rebels. Since that time, Kanan has gotten a lot of attention with his own comic series and some major character development in Rebels. The thing is, he’s a surviving Jedi and Rebel only a few years before A New Hope -- why isn’t he relevant in later stories?
Obviously, Kanan isn’t in the original trilogy movies, but he’s also not mentioned in any of the new books that take place during that time, even the Luke-focused stories like Heir to the Jedi, Weapon of a Jedi, and the Star Wars comics. His story needs to wrap up his current arc in a way that justifies the amount of attention his character has gotten, but not in such a dramatic fashion that it causes any ripples that disturb existing continuity in that time period. Accomplishing such a feat would be like threading a narrative needle, but the prospect of seeing what happens to Kanan as we approach Rogue One is definitely something to look forward to.
6 What’s the Resolution to Ahsoka’s Story?
Since The Clone Wars first hit the screen, Ahsoka Tano's fate has been seemingly written in stone, yet season after season, she remained. She left the Jedi order at the end of the fifth season, right before the show was canceled, leaving fans to wonder just what happens to her, with many assuming she died during Order 66. It turns out that Ahsoka’s role is even bigger, and she’s also a major member of the early days of the Rebellion against the Empire.
She would finally come face to face with her former master in the Rebels season 2 finale, apparently meeting her death, only for a last second tease to suggest she might still be around. With Rebels currently channeling a high level of Lord of the Rings, where Ahsoka’s fight with Vader plays a similar role to Gandalf’s fight with the Balrog in The Fellowship of the Ring, the question is hardly “will we see Ahsoka again?” but “when?” There’s still a lot of mystery to her character, and things like the ultimate impact of her being resurrected with the Sister’s power on Mortis during The Clone Wars, and the convor (owls) that keep on popping up around her still need an explanation. Ahsoka’s become such a popular character that it’s hard to look forward to her story being completed, but her last chapter is shaping up to be the best yet.
5 What Role Does Maul Have to Play?
After the death of Darth Maul at the end of The Phantom Menace, many people began to refer to him as one of the most wasted villains of all time. Anyone that has followed The Clone Wars and Rebels knows differently now. Not only was Maul not wasted, but he could even end up having one of the most compelling arcs in all of Star Wars, in a story that plays out almost like an inverted version of Ahsoka’s.
The biggest question that needs to be resolved for Maul is his endgame. He hates the Jedi and the Sith and feels deprived of his destiny, so, does he want to bring down the Emperor and Vader? Does he want to rule the Empire, or bring the whole thing crashing to the ground? Whatever his goal is, he’s paving new ground in the Star Wars universe, and he just might be a part of the extremely exclusive club that actually knows what’s going on in the galaxy. His one-man quest for vengeance could lead to an encounter with Obi-Wan on Tatooine, or even instigate a confrontation with Darth Vader. With the proximity to the events of the original trilogy, it’s very likely that however this plays out will make people see the events of A New Hope through a slightly different light.
4 Does Thrawn Persevere Beyond The Original Trilogy?
Star Wars Celebration nearly broke the internet earlier this year when it was announced that a major Star Wars legends character was not only coming to Rebels, but he was getting his own book penned by his original creator, Timothy Zahn: Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fans had been asking for him since the creation of the new Star Wars canon, and he’s finally hit the screen.
So far, he’s everything fans could have wanted, but his presence does pose a few questions. Namely, is this it? He’s not a factor during the original trilogy, and -- unless Lucasfilm is keeping a major secret up their sleeve -- he won’t be showing up in Rogue One. So will his appearances be restricted to animation and his novel, presumably an origin story? That would mean he probably dies before Rebels has run its course, unless they pull even more of his story from Legends and have him retreat into the Unknown Regions. The latter option would melt the brain of almost any Star Wars fanboy, because that development suggests he could perhaps be a major force in building the First Order, possibly even making the jump to the big screen at some point.
3 Where Do The Holocrons End Up?
Holocrons weren’t a part of Star Wars mythology until they were introduced in the Expanded Universe , now Star Wars Legends. They never ended up in any live-action Star Wars movie, although a few props were made for Attack of the Clones. Nevertheless, these devices have become a major part of continuity and played a large part in The Clone Wars, several new canon comics, and now Rebels, where both a Sith and Jedi holocron were combined to grant potentially unlimited knowledge to Maul and Ezra. It’s not clear where the holocrons are now, but it would appear they were both left in the hands of Kanan and Ezra.
Kanan has already given the Sith holocron to Bendu once, so will they return it to him, or are they going to need to use them again to reveal additional secrets about the universe? If so, anything is possible. They could learn about Luke and Leia, the location of Obi-Wan Kenobi, discover Yoda is on Dagobah, find Maz Kanata, and other (near limitless) potentialities. It’s doubtful that they'll be used to any crazy effect, but those Holocrons need to be accounted for, and they very well may shape the direction of the galaxy from behind the scenes.
2 What’s Up With Mandalore, Mandalorians, and Sabine?
The only reason most people ever knew of Mandalorians was because of Boba Fett’s armor. The people and culture of Mandalore was explored in Legends content, although that’s now been mostly rewritten by The Clone Wars. The big question that’s been hinted at repeatedly is the fate of Mandalore itself. The Clone Wars shows them enter into a civil war and get taken over by Darth Maul’s shadow collective, then the Ahsoka novel hints at what happened when the Republic took Mandalore back, saying the planet “burned” anyway. What truly happened to Mandalore, though, can only be inferred by the fallout.
Sabine and the Mandalorians in Rebels are a partial answer to this. Many Mandalorians have allied themselves with the Empire, and Sabine even partially attended an Imperial academy before defecting. Other than that, Mandalorians are scattered, seemingly in exile. So, what happened to Mandalore? Sabine’s story seems to be closely tied to that, and hints of her mother (Bo-Katan Kryze?) suggest a lot of these answers are coming. Considering the Alliance to Restore the Republic eventually unites under a banner modeled after Sabine's phoenix art, it would appear she still has a major part to play.
1 What is Ezra Bridger’s Significance?
Ezra Bridger was introduced in the first episode of Star Wars Rebels and immediately drew criticism from some fans for being too much like Disney's Aladdin. While the basic similarities are undeniable, Ezra’s character has quickly become something else entirely. He’s grown into more of a Force wielder every episode, and by the 3rd season he’s built 2 lightsabers, received training directly from Yoda and Darth Maul, been in possession of a Sith and a Jedi holocron, and has seen things that not many other people in the Star Wars universe know when those holocrons were combined.
Ezra’s story has become anything but inconsequential. Finding a way to avoid intruding on the events of the original trilogy will be even harder for him as he grows more and more powerful and continuously flirts with the dark side. While many people assume most of the new characters will have to be killed off, that ending feels out of place for the young padawan. He definitely needs to get out of the picture, and death will certainly accomplish that, but his presence is starting to feel more special than that -- despite its potential threats to continuity.
Any theories on how any of these will be resolved? What have you seen in Rebels that needs to be wrapped up before the show is completed? Let us hear about it in the comments!
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