Star Wars Rebels is about to enter its 4th and final season, and based on what can be seen in the two trailers released so far, the show isn’t only going to continue to resolve most (if not all) of the many dangling plot threads of both Rebels and a few from the incomplete The Clone Wars, but also lead into the events of Rogue One. This means the Rebels’ war against the Empire on Lothal, the conflict with Thrawn, Sabine’s return to the Mandalorians, and more are all on the table. As we draw closer and closer to the events of Rogue One (and by association, A New Hope). The show has never been shy about tying in with other Star Wars properties, as we saw in the second season with nods to The Force Awakens.
So as the two timeframes converge, what else can you expect to see on Star Wars Rebels tying in directly to Rogue One?
The trailer includes a number of very over ties to Rogue One, including the return of Saw Gerrera (once more voiced by Forrest Whitaker), who we already saw last season. Saw looks worse for wear compared to his appearance last season and a lot wirse than he did in Rogue One. Considering his deteriorated health when we find him on Jedha. Executive producer Dave Filoni has said that Season 4 will show exactly how the schism between Saw and Mon Mothma happens. Naturally, this means we’ll be seeing plenty more of Mon Mothma and Yavin IV, which finally serves as the Rebels’ home base for all of Season 4.
The Ghost and Chopper were both visible in Rogue One and “General Syndulla” — that’s quite a promotion for our favorite Captain — was mentioned over an intercom system on Yavin IV. So it’s a certainty that if Rebels ends before the events of Rogue One, Hera and the Ghost will both survive the show.
In the trailers, glimpses are visible of many Rogue One elements, including black-armored Death Troopers, U-Wing gunships, a squadron of Rebellion X-Wings, and Combat Assault Tanks like those used by the Empire on Jedha. Perhaps most intriguingly, Tarkin appears and makes a passing reference to Rogue One‘s Director Krennic, and his “Project Stardust,” which, as anyone who saw Rogue One will remember, refers to the Death Star project.
So the table is set, we’ll finally have X-Wings, Yavin IV, and we’ll see a number of other major Rogue One tie-ins, but is that it? Will Rebels simply set the table for for Rogue One, or will we get to see what The Ghost is doing during the Battle of Scarif and why they’re apparently no longer around for the Battle of Yavin taking place (what appears to be) mere days later? In many ways it seems logical that the Battle of Scarif could be seen, at least in part. It’s a big moment that involves at least a few of the show’s heroes and the Rebel Hammerhead Corvette that saves the day was even acquired by the Ghost crew, but Filoni has already suggested that Scarif won’t appear on Rebels; however, in a separate instance, he also revealed that he knows exactly how he would depict the Battle of Scarif, showing the events from the point-of-view of the Ghost.
On the other hand, the immediate thread is Grand Admiral Thrawn, who doesn’t appear to be a factor during Rogue One. The ultimate conclusion to his part in the Rebels story will very likely also be a part of the show’s climax, meaning the Ghost’s involvement in the battle of Scarif just might be story saved for another show or a book or comic in the future.
Meanwhile, much more immediate and personal struggles like Lothal, Mandalore, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and the growth of Ezra’s Jedi powers all need some sort of resolution. Resolving the conflict for Lothal, in particular, feels like the right place to end Rebels, because it brings the show full-circle.
The long-awaited answer about Ahsoka Tano’s fate is likely to be revealed by the end of the series. This may not seem like a tie-in to Rogue One, but the very fact that she’s not in Rogue One or A New Hope or any of the other movies is the bridge that spans her (lack of) involvement in the movie and the TV show. It would appear that she plays no further part in the Rebellion after Star Wars Rebels concludes. Is this a clue to her fate?
The same goes for Grand Admiral Thrawn. Does his absence from the movies suggest that he won’t survive Rebels, or does Lucasfilm have something else in store for him?
Other Rogue One bits and pieces that we’d love to see or at least hear mentioned on Rebels include the planet Jedha, Galen Erso, Cassian Andor (he’d already be working for the Rebellion at this point), and maybe Admiral Raddus. And while it’s not likely fan-favorite K-2SO will appear, not incorporating his class of droid would feel like a wasted opportunity.
Another thing we’d love to see: some small nods or references to things that will appear in the Han Solo movie. As a prequel, that film also takes place during the timeframe of the Rebellion’s formation. So why not throw in a little wink or two?
We’ll find out what Lucasfilm has planned for the conclusion of the Ghost crew’s story when Season 4 arrives. The final season of Star Wars Rebels, which kicks off with a two-part episode focusing on the Imperial occupation of Mandalore, debuts on October 16th.
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