In just a couple of days (as of this writing), the third season of Star Wars Rebels will premiere on Disney XD. The show is hoping to build on a well-received second year, taking the characters and story in exciting new directions. Promotional materials released so far have hinted at protagonist Ezra Bridger flirting with the Dark Side and Kanan further exploring the mythology of the Force. Ezra's continuing Jedi training would be more than enough to get hyped for Rebels' return, but the arrival of a "new" villain is arguably the bigger deal.
During Star Wars Celebration 2016, there was a bombshell announcement regarding the popular show. Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the standout antagonists in the now defunct Legends line, has officially been made canon and will appear on Rebels. Unsurprisingly, Thrawn has been a key part of the marketing campaign, and that continues with the release of another clip. You can watch it above.
In it, Ezra and Hera are in disguise, sneaking around an Imperial occupied building on an unknown mission. Chopper provides the two with a diversion by distracting the two stormtroopers on duty. As Hera is about to walk through the door the soliders were guarding, she bumps into Thrawn and another officer. The Ghost captain tries to pass herself off as a servant and attempts to leave, but the Grand Admiral insists that Hera accompanies him to his office. Based on the dialogue, it sounds like the Empire has a strong presence on Hera's home world of Ryloth and the Rebels are looking to help its people.
While the clip isn't the most revealing piece of Rebels advertising, it serves as another showcase for Thrawn by teasing what kind of foil he will be for the main team. Just by showing up on-screen, the villain establishes an uneasy tone and his intentions aren't exactly clear when he takes Hera away. Sometimes, the baddies that remain cool and calm under any circumstance can be the most menacing, and Thrawn certainly fits that bill. Coupled with the publishing of Timothy Zahn's new novel (the aptly titled Thrawn), the character is going to have a big role to play in the Star Wars galaxy and fans can't wait to see him in control.
In addition to the clip, Disney XD also unveiled a new promo for season three, showing a collection of out-of-context shots set to a catchy little tune. It hints at the scale of the upcoming episodes, with images of battle droids, space battles, numerous characters in action, and even a possessed Ezra and Sabine. Check it out below:
— Disney XD (@DisneyXD) September 21, 2016
Obviously, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the biggest draw in a galaxy far, far away this year, but Rebels will definitely be worth checking out. Dave Filoni and company seem to be exploring some interesting concepts and story lines, fleshing out the universe and demonstrating the full potential of a multimedia canon. Rebels has proven it's far more than just a kids' show and fans of all ages can't wait to see what happens next.
Star Wars Rebels season 3 premieres on Disney XD September 24, 2016 at 8:30 p.m. EST.
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