This post contains spoilery content and thoughts by Elisa and Johnamarie.
Even if it was only 3.5 minutes, the Star Wars Rebels trailer felt long and filled with so much content that our heads were on the verge of exploding. We’ve seen action-packed trailers before, but never quite like this, especially for an animated television series. It even rivals the Rebels trailers that came before and even those from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
From start to finish, we were alternating between grinning from ear to ear and having our jaws dropped in silent horror. To say the least, it is one hell of a trailer. Now, let’s get to it and see what we’ve gleaned from it and which portions have left us most excited.
EA: Right off the bat, the music in this trailer is already phenomenal, and having re-watched it again (for the million and first time), the music right when the Lucasfilm logo fades in still gives me chills.
JM: When I saw the classic logo, I remember telling myself, “Lucasfilm is going to crush my heart.” They did, but in a glorious way. There’s something about the Lucasfilm logo that makes you go, “These people know what they’re doing,” and that alone gives you goosebumps because they have a strong body of creatives on board and this trailer is proof of that.
JM: Star Wars Rebels kicks off with an all-new episode on January 20, 2016, featuring Princess Leia Organa. I’ve always loved the idea of Leia and Ezra meeting. He knows Bail Organa and she’s the daughter of Bail, so their paths were bound to cross somehow. What I love most, though, is that Leia isn’t a full-on rebel at this point, according to Dave Filoni’s recent comments in an EW interview. Maybe after spending a few hours in a tumultuous situation with the Ghost crew, she becomes inspired to be something more. Also, is that Ketsu Onyo’s ship in the bottom left corner? It looks a lot like her ship. I’m not saying that she’ll show up in this episode, since I grouped these images based on likeness, but it could be that we may see her again down the line.
JM: We know that one of the upcoming episodes, called “The Protector of Concord Dawn”, will feature a closer look at Sabine’s Mandalorian background. Concord Dawn, for those not familiar, was first mentioned in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “The Box” and it was the homeworld of Jango Fett and Rako Hardeen. The new Mandalorian character, Fenn Rau, (who is holding the blaster at Kanan in the Mandalorian starfighter ship) will be voiced by actor Kevin McKidd, and based on prior previews, he appears to be leader of this Mandalorian clan/base. If you take a look back at the NYCC trailer, Sabine discovers the base (that somehow goes up in flames, as seen above with Kanan dodging blaster bolts) and she also challenges Fenn Rau. Given her extremely awesome pose just before the Mandalorian starfighter blows up, I’m willing to bet she rigs explosives everywhere to get the upper hand, but we won’t know for sure until the episode airs on January 27, 2016.
Zeb and Lasat Survivors
EA: Somehow, in my subsequent viewings, I continually missed the later shot of the other Lasats, but I did notice them when Zeb was running up the ramp. I have such heaping amounts of hope that the one Zeb was carrying was his grandmother. Since she was mentioned in Rise of the Rebels, I have been hoping to see her, and I think I may just get my wish.
In the bottom scenes, at first I thought Zeb was having a dream, but the “dream haze” is actually snow, and Zeb is yelling in pain as if something is trapping him down. In the trailer as a whole, there seems to be no other context for this scene or anything that hints about where it could fit in with any other snippets we’ve been given. So taking it as its own, with the two shots we’re given, I can say that I’m very worried. Saying that, unlike the last time they fought, Kallus isn’t looking extremely happy. He actually looks focused, which is terrible and could spell out trouble for Zeb.
JM: I like that Zeb is going to have more story in this second half of the season. He’s often relegated to the background, so I’m glad he’ll be the focus of attention in this upcoming episode. Kallus appears to be very much part of that story in an arch-nemesis sort of way, given how he played a significant role in eradicating the Lasats. Zeb’s also holding a glowing staff or weapon, and I’m curious to learn more about that and its relation to his people. The bottom two screenshots brought this thought to mind–are we going back to Lasan? It looks like Zeb is pinned down by a rock of some kind and the setting appears to be very dreary and cold.
EA: I know Yoda’s design was a little jarring to people this time around, but with Dave Filoni’s added comment about his appearance being influenced by Yoda’s old Kenner action figure and also being a result of Ezra’s imagination, who has never seen Yoda, I hope people take those details into consideration when that particular episode rolls around.
JM: I’ve come to accept that the Rebels style is different, so the characters we’ve seen before are going to look different based on that fact and whatever other influences were taken during the design process. As a result, I didn’t mind the appearance of Yoda, and I’m glad there was a legitimate reason behind it. (After all, when it comes to Lucasfilm, there’s always a reason and things are done with a purpose in mind). It doesn’t change who Yoda is for me, and I understand that it’s an artistic choice. Moving on from that, my main questions are why was it so important for Ezra to see Yoda in the first place? And does Yoda communicate with other Force sensitives in the same manner? He’s sitting on a branch, so we know he’s on Dagobah extending himself out through the Force. Actually, in writing this, I just answered my own question. Yoda’s been undergoing his own training on Dagobah, learning and practicing how to retain his identity after death. So maybe the reason we see him instead of bright lights (like in “Path of the Jedi”) is a result of him advancing in his training? I’m not exactly sure, but I am curious to find out what sort of advice he’ll pass down to Ezra and whether this experience will change Ezra in any way.
EA: Seeing Cham Syndulla again is exciting. He looks a fair bit different from when we last saw him, but I don’t mind that, especially when I’ve been too busy screaming mentally over the awesomeness that is Numa. Given the bits of clone armour she was wearing and the tooka doll emblem on her chest, if it is somehow not her, I will actually feel very upset.
JM: Ever since Cham Syndulla was revealed to be the father of Hera, I’ve been wanting to see a reunion. Hera briefly spoke of her past before, sharing with the audience the fact that she’s always wanted to be up in the sky and fight the bigger fight. That clearly took her away from fighting the fight closer to home on Ryloth, so I wonder if this will be a bitter meeting between father and daughter. It’s also wonderful to see Numa! It makes sense that she’d grow up to be part of the resistance, especially given her past. I desperately hope that Rex is in this episode because even though she and Rex hadn’t met before, he’s still a clone and I’d love for her to call him “nerra”.
JM: Chopper’s karate action obviously had to be featured in the trailer. Everyone else is fighting in the intense, action-packed scenes, so why not him? Back in a Los Angeles season two press conference, Dave Filoni said that Chopper would be getting a friend this season and that we would be exploring Chopper’s origins in some way. Could this be Chopper’s new friend? And maybe the two of them are getting off to a rocky start?
EA: Another thing I’ll be dreading is Sabine yelling out Rex’s name. I have had great fears that the reason we’ve been seeing so much of him is because he will ultimately die this season. Potentially saving Ahsoka’s life from Vader. I do not want this to happen. I don’t want anything to happen to Rex. Even if he would probably be happy dying in the line of duty, doing something good.
JM: We didn’t see much of him in the trailer, and because of that, he was the farthest thing from my mind. I know that sounds weird coming from me, but I was so focused on Ezra’s well-being and future that I didn’t pay much attention to my favorite Star Wars character of all time and I’m ashamed! There was, however, one impressive scene of him jumping up to kick something down, and he also appeared in the background of a group shot, where they appeared to be in a cavern of sorts and holding a defensive position. All that said, I am very scared for Rex because he’s right in the thick of it. I know his expiration date is near, but we just got him! I’m not ready to see his inevitable fate come to pass just yet.
JM: Unlike everyone else, I actually missed Lothal! I know I said it’d be great to explore the rest of the galaxy, but it felt so satisfying to see the group go back home. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much longer that will last, especially given the Imperial activity taking place around the Jedi Temple Kanan and Ezra had discovered in season one. What sort of answers were Kanan and Ezra (and maybe Ahsoka?) looking for here? Is this where Ezra sees Yoda again? Also, it looks like the entrance has been caved in? I’m not exactly sure, but I bet that episode will be just as great as the rest.
JM: I don’t know what’s happening here–I just know that it’s absolutely beautiful. I wonder if the inspiration came from Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” because that’s the vibe I’m getting from these two images.
Free Falling with Space Whales
EA: The shot of the group diving towards the planet is spectacular. And not only that, but I have gotten the very thing I have been wanting and hoping to see in Rebels–or in any sci-fi series–and that is space whales! Also, I love how the helmet Kanan is wearing has been painted up to resemble a Loth-cat. The first shot of it from the side made me think it was extreme charring from battle damage, but you can see it in greater detail in a later shot.
JM: Space whales! It looks like the team are attacking a factory of some sort and the space whales happen to be the creatures that live on this far out planet/asteroid chain. The free fall is beyond awesome! It reminded me of Star Trek (2009). I can’t wait to hear what kind of music Kevin Kiner composed for this part! Also, Kanan’s riding the top of the Ghost. Can this episode be more awesome?
EA: Seeing the recording of Anakin made my heart hurt, as did hearing Ahsoka speak to Ezra about her former Master. Her saying “You should have seen him in person” is doubly sad because Ezra has done that and he barely escaped with his life due to it.
I was not at all prepared to hear Anakin’s voice, and when I did, it took my breath away. Even as rushed cut clips, the scene with Ahsoka was powerful. On one hand, I can’t wait to see it, but at the same time, I’m dreading it. Is this moment linked to her kneeling in the Temple with Ezra and Kanan? Could that be why Kanan’s meeting with that lone Jedi Temple Guard makes him look anguished? And Ezra seeing Maul? I don’t know.
JM: Despite the emotional throwback to Anakin’s past, it’s super exciting to have Matt Lanter return and voice the character he had originally voiced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It’s also interesting that Ezra and Kanan’s holocron had this information all along and it makes me wonder what else could be locked up in there that could be of use to them.
Jedi Temple Guards
EA: I cannot wait to see more of Kanan’s interactions with the Jedi Temple Guards. In the shot of him standing before the kneeling stranger, Kanan’s expression betrays any calmness one may think is happening. Kanan looks panicked and tortured. This is not a happy encounter, and given how the rest of the trailer goes, I wonder if these episodes will appear towards the end of the season.
JM: I recently watched the Netflix series Marco Polo (a show I highly recommend). The main character, Marco Polo, learns and trains from a monk called Hundred Eyes. So when I saw this dojo-like room, I immediately thought Kanan is going to be learning and training with these Jedi Temple Guards. The question is how? Where is this place? The setting is also very bright with light colors, so it also makes me wonder if Kanan is under some trance, dreaming, or meditating. Freddie Prinze, Jr., has appeared on some podcasts to talk about his character and the series, and he did say that Kanan will be facing some difficult and emotional obstacles. Could this be what he’s talking about? Is this where Kanan breaks down and is forced to rise up to be the man–Jedi–he’s meant to be?
EA: Initially, I was wondering if this new person was potentially a Theelin, given their feet and accounting for stylization of the series. With another look, however, I found that they’re most likely not. A better look at the hands, with their three fingers and claws, also made me think a very skinny Trandoshan, a species I would love to see in this series. Again, the feet countered that theory. I wonder if this species is simply another new one, just like the Fifth Brother. I’m looking forward to finding out who they are and why they’ve ended up joining the two Inquisitors we’ve had up to this point.
JM: As Elisa pointed out, the third Inquisitor is a different species. It’s so interesting that all of the Inquisitors we’ve seen are not human, so far. The Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother did kidnap a human baby girl, however. Assuming that she would have been taken into this Inquisitorial organization, I wonder if there any Inquisitors that are humans. So when I initially saw the trailer, at first glance, I thought this Inquisitor was a human. Since they are not, I wonder if the helmet was kept down for budget purposes or because the individual may be important in the future.
Fighting the Inquisitors
JM: There’s a reason why I grouped these images together, even though it looks like they’re two different battles. One battle looks like it’s above ground. Notice that there’s green lightning in the background. That could be a natural trait to the planet and not just some random thunderstorm. And the second battle appears to happen outside of that pyramid-like Temple, as seen with Ezra taking cover behind one of those stone statues. Also, our three main protagonists are sitting and meditating in the center of the circle. It also happens to resemble the area where the two Inquisitors get attacked by these random Jedi Temple Guards. Are they an illusion? After the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother “fight off” these individuals or after their heated encounter with Ezra, Kanan, and Ahsoka, it looks like they made a mess–just in time for Darth Vader to arrive.
EA: We’ve had vistas before in Rebels, and beautiful ones at that, but this one took my breath away. It’s so different from what we’ve seen before, and somehow, even more ominous than when we see the same Temple later all lit up in red.
JM: This Temple could be located on numerous places, but I’ve seen fans point out similarities to Moraband. However, given the fact that Ezra (as we’ll see later on) holds a saber that looks a lot like Kylo Ren’s lightsaber, which was based on an ancient design dating back to the Great Scourge of Malachor, this place could actually be Malachor thousands of years later. Plus, there are remains of people solidified in ancient ash as if an ancient battle took place there. Dave Filoni had also compared it to Pompeii. Malachor was first mentioned in canon in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “Missing in Action”. According to the episode guide’s trivia section, Colonel Meebur Gascon had used it as an expletive, “There’s no way in Malachor…” He’s using the name in place of Hell, so this is already a hellish place and our main characters decide to poke around. No good can come from this! Also, it’s interesting that the stone Ezra touched reacted to him. Would it have reacted the same way had Ahsoka touched it? Is this some sort of sign that Ezra will go down a different path? Am I going to be crying my eyes out because Ezra might make the wrong choices? Only time will tell.
JM: The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this was Tron. The Grid-like room and the beam of light shooting up into the sky? The artists had to have been inspired by Tron. At least, I’m hoping that’s the case because that would be an awesome tribute. Anyway, Ezra clearly has a fascination in touching things that ought not to be touched! And of course, he touches a Sith Holocron. In The Secret Jedi: The Adventures of Kanan Jarrus: Rebel Leader, the online site briefly talks about these objects, “There are also Sith Holocrons that work in similar ways to Jedi Holocrons. These dark Holocrons contain ancient secrets of the dark side and the Sith Order.” This is the first time the item is mentioned in canon, and I’m terrified of the fact that Ezra found one. Neither Kanan nor Ahsoka are in the area. Where are they? Why is Ezra by himself? Someone hold me!
EA: Is Maul somehow tied to the Temple that Ezra has seemingly woken up? Or is the scene of him speaking to Ezra from somewhere else and another point in time? The background in the shot of when Ezra’s kneeling has similar red markings, but when we see Maul telling Ezra to call him old master, the background is dark. Could this be part of the Temple’s doing? Similar to how the Inquisitor was part of Ezra’s vision during his trial? Or has Ezra managed to stumble upon a very dangerous and still living man? Given that this character is even back for yet another round, I’m sure it’s the latter, and I truly fear for Ezra if he is, in fact, kneeling and pledging allegiance in front of him.
JM: Don’t do it, Ezra! I will admit that I cried after the trailer was done. I was so scared for Ezra that I broke down, especially once I started seeing people tweet about Ezra being Snoke. I know it’s a silly theory and the chances of that happening are very slim, but since I was emotionally compromised, my world started to crumble. I love Ezra. People think I say that lightly, but I really do love Ezra. Next to Rex and Ahsoka, he’s also my favorite Star Wars character. I say this all the time, but I’m heavily invested in his story, and the idea of him turning to the dark side makes my stomach turn. He’s a good kid. And what made me cry even more was that his parents wanted better for him. We never got to meet them fully, but they were genuinely good people, and it tears me apart when bad things happen to good people. So when I saw Maul, I was both surprised and mad. Surprised because he’s the last person I thought would have made a cameo in this show and mad because I still don’t understand his purpose for being there. Dave Filoni said that they bring these characters in for a reason, and since I refuse to believe that Ezra would go down that path willingly, I need to know why Maul is really there and what he intends to do with Ezra. I hope that whatever happens, Ezra triumphs over this. He needs to, for my own sanity!
EA: I have been a fan of Dave Filoni’s work since The Clone Wars, and saying that, seeing Ezra with that green lightsaber gives me pause. Not because it’s a direct call to Kylo Ren’s weapon, because that’s cool in and of itself, but because I do not at all trust that this weapon is actually green. I fear that it is, in fact, red. Saber colors being swapped has happened before, and call me paranoid, but until that scene plays out and I see it green in front of me, I will have fear of that weapon being red. I also fear that this scene might be near or before the one where Ezra is found by Maul.
Visions of Vader
JM: Ahsoka is meditating on her own, and even though I don’t know where this goes in relation to everything else, I feel like this is the point in time that Ahsoka comes to accept Anakin’s true fate. He’s in a misty-like vision behind her and the realization makes her slash at the air behind her–only to find no one there. And coming to terms with the truth, she goes off and finds Ezra, just in time to battle it out with Vader. At least, that’s how I think it’s going to play out.
Darth Vader vs. Ahsoka
EA: I have been a fan of Ahsoka since we first met her, and seeing her having survived to appear in Rebels has been a great relief. However, with that relief came the underlying fear of her dying by Vader’s hand. I do not want that to happen. I love Ahsoka and Rex, but I can’t help but be afraid for what is going to happen to these characters and how this confrontation will ultimately end.
JM: The moment everyone’s been waiting to see! I’m actually really glad that they showed us a taste of the Ahsoka and Vader duel because that will stop the press from asking the same dull question, “Will Ahsoka and Vader face off at the end of season two?” I don’t know what the outcome of this will be, and I know everyone thinks Ahsoka should die because what else are they going to do with her. Honestly, I think it’s too soon. We JUST got her back. I feel like she has more story to tell. Could she lose a limb instead of her life? I can see that happening. It is, after all, the way of Star Wars for someone to lose a limb. I just think the time is not right for her to die.
EA: For some reason, Ezra, Kanan, and Ahsoka go to a Temple to meditate and look within themselves. Ahsoka finds the truth about Vader that she’s been avoiding, and that’s when she yells, “No!” Kanan, in his search, is met with this masked stranger, who points out his faults, who tells him that the dark side is calling to Ezra, who is pretty much telling him that he’s failing as a Master. And lastly, we have Ezra seeing Yoda again, but what if after Yoda, Ezra also sees Maul, as if he’s seeing the other path he could go on. A path where he might end up being told how to get that Sith Holocron we see him with later in the trailer. What if it’s not so much a mistake that Ezra touches the stone to wake the Sith Temple, but he’s doing it because he was told to do it and nobody else knows. What if he needs that Holocron to pass a test, and that leads to us seeing him kneeling on the floor in front of Maul in the cloak? We’ve heard that Kanan is going to become a more regimented Jedi, and we’ve also heard that at the end of this season things are going to change and never be the same. So what if Kanan does become more of what the old Order would have expected of him, to try to ensure that nothing will happen to his Padawan, but what if he’s already too late?
JM: They’re all going to die and I’m going to be seeking out professional help for when the depression takes over. Sincerely, though, there’s going to be some serious stuff going down towards the end of this season. The way the actors have been talking about it, it sounds like things are going to change for the worse. Let’s not forget that this season started out mirroring The Empire Strikes Back. Chances are it’s going to end the same way. Our heroes are going to be on totally different paths from where they started and things won’t be the same ever again.
Which part of the trailer was your favorite? What are you predictions? Do you have any other thoughts to share? Write them in the comments section below!