We’ve all been craving new Star Wars Rebels content, so when a clip from season three appeared in the latest Star Wars Show, it was like seeing an oasis in the middle of the desert. Executive producer and supervising director Dave Filoni helped unveil a sneak peek at what’s to come in the next season days before fans at Star Wars Celebration Europe get the first official look at the first two episodes in season three.
The clip comes from the season three premiere, written by Steven Melching, who also wrote “The Mystery of Chopper Base”, “Twilight of the Apprentice”, and much more. There are several things happening in this three minute clip, from the new designs to the rescue of our favorite pirate, Hondo Ohnaka. And if all that happened in three minutes, I can only imagine what the rest of the episode has in store.
Without a doubt, Ezra is the character that showed the most growth in the clip. When my younger brother first chopped off his hair, it resulted in him looking significantly older. A lot of fans also pointed out that the new hairstyle is very similar to Legends character Galen Marek (Starkiller), and there are definitely other parallels present between Star Wars Rebels and The Force Unleashed, since Kanan Jarrus and Rahm Kota are both blind mentors. One thing is certain, though, and that is that Ezra looks more fierce and dangerous.
A Tumblr user pulled up this quote from a past episode of Rebels Recon: “Ezra’s on that path of using aggression and being powerful—not with being more passive with the Force,” said Dave Filoni. “So he’s very active as a fighter. So he’s getting more confident and strong.” The same fan also pointed out that he showed lenience in the episode “Stealth Strike” when he told the stormtrooper that he wasn’t going to harm him. Ezra’s definitely changed his method of operation, but unlike Anakin, I hope he’ll eventually step back and realize that he should approach things with more thought and care instead of aggression.
Compared to his season one and two design, he looks more cleaned up and put together. I love that he continues to wear orange and yellow in his outfit, since those are the colors he primarily wore in the previous two seasons. TWG contributor Elisa Ardell also pointed out that there was a subtle similarity between Ezra’s new design and Anakin’s season one armor from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. People in general have stated that he gives off an Anakin vibe in this clip, but Elisa also pointed out that Ezra does have access to Kanan’s holocron, which contains tutorials sessions instructed by Anakin.
That, along with whatever other training he’s undergoing with Kanan, has really improved his skills with the lightsaber. He was already doing impressive moves in the second season and what he pulled off in this clip shows that his skills have significantly grown. We don’t know the story behind his new lightsaber, but with his blaster saber having been destroyed by Darth Vader in the season two finale, it’s a shame that it doesn’t appear to have any unique features. That’s what made his blaster saber so amazing—it was a weapon for both long and short range combat. Now, he carries a blaster similar to the DL-44, so we’re visually getting closer to A New Hope. It’s also interesting that his saber now displays a green color. There’s really no canon description as to what each color signifies, and although most people think of Luke’s lightsaber, I always think of Qui-Gon Jinn’s lightsaber. He was an unorthodox Jedi with his own rebellious views and principles, and I like to think Ezra is walking along the same steps and carving out his own path.
His overall demeanor is also completely different. You have characters like Sabine who have a set behavior in how they react to things, but Ezra is at that point where you don’t know what to expect from him. For the first few seconds, he was his old self, happy to see Hondo again. Once the stormtroopers show up, however, it’s like a different Ezra took over. It goes along with what Sabine later says to Hondo when he asks if the person handling the lightsaber with great skill is Ezra. She says, “Most of the time.” Meaning that most of the time he’s Ezra, and other times, he’s someone completely different.
Great things are coming for Sabine’s character in season three. It’s been stated time and again that Sabine will play a bigger role in the next season and that she will hold the same level of importance (in terms of what happens in the future) as Ezra. It’s interesting that some people thought Ezra was leading the mission (and he probably was the leader for this particular mission), but I got the impression that they were working with each other. Ezra took Sabine’s cue and held his ground to shoot back at the troopers and Sabine and the others waited for him to sense their nearest exist.
She also underwent a few minor changes. Her helmet has more purple, she now wears fingerless gloves, and her left shoulder plate has a new design. From certain angles, if you look really carefully, it looks as if Sabine has the drawing of a convor on her shoulder plate. If that’s the case, then it’s definitely something done in remembrance of Ahsoka. How Sabine made the connection between Ahsoka and the convor is another question, since we didn’t see them interact in the previous season. (They did have a mission together, however, in the Star Wars Rebels Magazine. And if you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend reading up on those stories by subscribing to the magazine.)
Zeb also sports a new look! Going into the third season, I wanted to see Zeb in deeper and darker colors. I love that he’s naturally purple, so I wanted to see that highlighted more, since the yellow suit he wore before took some focus away from that. He still wears some yellow, but the upper part of his armor is darker, so it’s more balanced, in my opinion. His shoulder plates are also gone, and with that, Sabine’s design. It’s sad that he doesn’t wear some of her original art anymore, but I wonder if that’s a sign of where things are going, since things are not as innocent as they used to be. When Ezra’s old lightsaber fell broken on the floor in the season finale, my theory was that relationships within the Ghost crew would take a sharp turn. After all, various parts of Ezra’s saber came from what the group had offered to him, and when it broke, I got the impression that the Ghost crew would also experience some turbulence heading into season three.
All three characters look battle-hardened. Although we don’t know how much time has passed, I want to say it’s only been a few months or a year at most. Last time we saw Hondo Ohnaka, he was on the bridge of Agent Kallus’ ship in “Legends of the Lasat”. Kallus had let the Ghost crew enter the space anomaly, thinking that they would get crushed in the process. Hondo was also present during those events because he was being held captive by the Empire. He’s a resourceful individual, but I highly doubt Hondo escaped their custody, and given the fact that Ezra and the others were breaking Hondo out of prison, I assume this episode follows those events.
The prison is also very familiar. We saw those halls and elevators in “Rise of the Old Masters” when the crew infiltrated Stygeon Prime to rescue Luminara Unduli. Although sets tend to be reused for budgetary reasons, it would be interesting if Hondo had been locked up on Stygeon Prime. There’s one moment when Ezra looks down a hall to figure out which way to go next, but that moment also gave me the feeling that he was remembering what had happened there and how he and Kanan first encountered the Grand Inquisitor. I know that’s probably not the case, but it’s always fun to jump into the mind of a character and try to determine what they’re thinking about at that moment.
Although we didn’t see her, we did hear Hera’s voice when Ezra contacted her and said that they’d need to do a 44 scoop. Ezra using code like that reminded me of Kanan when he suggested they do a “22 pickup” in Spark of Rebellion. With Kanan having experienced such a traumatic change in “Twilight of the Apprentice”, I can imagine him having a design that’s just as impactful as Ezra’s new look. Hera, like the others, would probably have minor changes. That said, since Ezra has short hair, I wonder if they took the opposite route with Kanan and gave him long hair. Perhaps, a half ponytail?
Finally, Hondo and Tarba have vital information that the rebels need. If Hondo is in prison because of what happened in “Legends of the Lasat”, I wonder how he got in communication with the Ghost crew in the first place. Also, what information does he have that could be of use to them? I can’t wait to discover more details when the season three premiere for audiences at home takes place later this year!
For those of you attending Star Wars Celebration Europe and lucky enough to watch the special screening of the first two episodes, please keep spoilers to yourself and be considerate of others who are eagerly waiting to experience those episodes when they eventually air on television.
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