SWCE 2016: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Season 3 Trailer and Thoughts

Hundreds of fans showed up to watch the Star Wars Rebels season three panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe in London, and thousands more tuned into the live stream. Many even slept overnight to make sure that they were the first ones to receive the wristband into the highly anticipated panel.

We’ve all been desperate to learn more about what happened to Ahsoka and the Ghost crew following the traumatic events from the mind blowing season two finale back in March.

Star Wars Rebels executive producer and supervising director Dave Filoni didn’t provide all of the answers, but he and special guests Sam Witwer (Darth Maul) and Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren) gave fans sneak peeks at what’s to come in season three as well as a full trailer edited by the amazing Kevin Yost!

Maul returns, Mandalorians attack, and Ezra falls closer to the dark side, but what else is happening in this amazing new trailer?


Ahsoka’s markings and identity as Fulcrum continue to be used in the rebellion in order to transmit vital information. Although one significant member of the growing rebellion has fallen, operations must continue in order to keep the resistance strong against the Empire. That includes recruiting new members and acquiring new resources. It’s never that easy, though, especially when the Empire has effective leaders, like a certain Grand Admiral.

One of the missions the Ghost crew takes on involves extracting Imperial cadets that are looking to defect to the rebels. Wedge Antilles is one of them. I’m not all that familiar with Wedge, since I haven’t read any of the Legends books, but I look forward to seeing him in action as an animated character. As for the person talking as Fulcrum, TWG contributor Elisa Ardell suggested that it could be Agent Kallus. We did see him start to question his actions in season two, so would he take this opportunity to amend his ways and provide vital information to the rebels?

Sabine has a new hairstyle as well as new gadgets! During the panel, fans got to see a clip featuring Sabine, her jetpack, and her Mandalorian cousins who serve the Empire. We also see the return of Fenn Rau (voiced by Kevin McKidd). Given her background and knowledge in Mandalorian culture, she manages to earn his respect. Not only that, but Sabine somehow gets ahold of a darksaber, an ancient weapon that was later used by Maul in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

We finally meet Governor Arihnda Pryce! She was missing in the previous two seasons and was only mentioned by name. Many of us were beginning to think that she had died or was captured by the Empire and being held against her will. Turns out, that’s not the case. After all, on Empire Day, she was said to be on Coruscant celebrating alongside the Emperor. Still, I wonder what kept her from Lothal for so long that she didn’t personally handle the rebel problem herself.

And of course, Grand Admiral Thrawn joins the third season, a fan-favorite from Star Wars Legends voiced by Lars Mikkelsen (House of Cards).


So far, the main thing that I find interesting about Thrawn (since I’m not familiar with his character) is that he studies the entire picture. He’s making the effort to research and learn more about the rebels and what motivates them. Here, we see the wolf markings that were at Lothal’s Jedi Temple, an old image of Hera and her family, Ezra as an Imperial cadet, and Sabine’s starbird.


Cham Syndulla and his freedom fighters return! Given his line of dialogue in the trailer, it looks like Cham has had some personal experience dealing with Thrawn and his forces.

Battle droids! This was the moment in the trailer that stood out to me the most. We haven’t seen battle droids in action since the Clone War. It doesn’t seem like a tactic the Empire would use, since they clearly have more effective and deadly Imperial droids. I wonder if the battle droids have been reprogrammed by the rebellion or the freedom fighters, since they have been known to repurpose technologies from the Clone War.

With the show touching on more serious themes, there has to be a bit of humor here and there, so that’s where Hondo Ohnaka comes in! In the clip previously seen in the Star Wars Show, we saw Ezra and the team infiltrate a prison to break Hondo free. The pirate has vital information for them, and lucky for the rebellion, he actually comes through. The location he provides has a station filled with Y-wings and the rebels are desperate enough to go in and acquire a squadron’s worth of their own.

The events from the season two finale, however, are not so easily forgotten. Kanan still struggles with his blindness and manages to seek knowledge from something that sits between the dark and light sides. The creature’s name is Bendu, an ancient and powerful new character voiced by Tom Baker (Doctor Who). To fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the new character reminded us of the ancient lion turtle, who imparted Aang with the ancient art of energybending.

Ezra, on the other hand, continues to struggle with his need to protect his friends. He keeps the Sith holocron hidden beneath his helmet and the voice of the holocron (as well as Maul himself) push him into thinking that anger and power are what he needs to accomplish his goals and fulfill his destiny. If Ezra is the smart kid I know him to be, then I hope he begins to realize that the voices in his ears are guiding him down the wrong path.

During the panel, fans were also treated to another clip featuring Maul, Ezra, and Kanan. Maul successfully captures the Ghost crew, forcing Ezra and Kanan to comply with his demands. It’s interesting that he continues to call Ezra his apprentice, and even though Ezra didn’t voice it, I’m glad he displayed a flare of anger towards Maul because it shows that he wants nothing to do with him. That said, in order to ensure his crew’s safety, he has to follow Maul’s directions, including joining the Sith and Jedi holocrons. I don’t know what this would result in, but given the explosion that follows, I’m thinking it’s not good.

Finally, it looks like Nightsister magic is at play during the third season of Star Wars Rebels. The writers and animators specifically chose that color, and since we’ve been exposed to the Nightsisters before in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, it’s safe to assume that something mystical and evil is transpiring and affecting our rebel crew. Kanan, in particular, seems to be possessed by the green creature and sets off to fight Maul once again in what will surely be an epic battle.


The crew of the Ghost has come a long way from the days of Spark of Rebellion. A lot has happened to them, and a lot more is coming towards them. We don’t know how long the season is going to be, but if it’s following the structure of the second season, then we’ll probably see about 20-22 episodes. If that’s the case, then this trailer is only giving us a preview of the first handful of episodes. I can only imagine what the rest of the third season will bring.

And although we don’t have an official premiere date, here’s a stunning season three poster:


Have thoughts regarding the official trailer? Share them in the comments below.

7 comments on “SWCE 2016: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Season 3 Trailer and Thoughts

  1. Pingback: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Roundup: August 22, 2016 – The Wookiee Gunner

  2. I am really stoked to learn more about the Bendu, and this “third way of the Force”, that is neither Dark nor Light… just Nature.

    • Yes! I’m super excited about that. I love anything that expands our current views about the Force.

  3. Haha, great, I immediately thought of the lion turtle as well. I love the trailer as well as the two other clips they showed during the panel. The moment in the Mando clip, where Sabine grabs Ezra as if he’s a damsel in distress to fly away with him is all I ever wanted from pop culture, a gender cliché turned thoroughly upside down ;) – and then, how they work together in the air … superb!
    And now there’s Thrawn. As a nineties Star Wars teenager (my first Star Wars experience was the Special Edition in 1997 and it was my 16th birthday ;) ), I loved Zahn’s novels and enjoyed them a few months ago as a new and very well done (German) audio play with the original voice-over actors. It’s good that the new canon declared it legend, though, I’m not bitter at all. To bring him back was very clever and to bring him back to Rebels instead of Rogue One even cleverer. ;) I felt somewhat belittled by more than a few friends for being such a Rebels fan, and now everyone is talking about the trailer, while I’m like: “Oh yeah? Now, you’re in? Well, I loved it before it was cool.” ;)))
    It’s a big step for our small niche in the big Star Wars ‘verse.

  4. I am hoping that Ezra will turn away from the Dark Side, Maul gets what is coming to him, Kanan will some how regain his sight or there will be hope for him to regain his sight at a much later time (avoid the Star Wars The Force Unleashed story line), Sabine will get help from her people, and Hera, Zeb and Chopper will assist. I am also hoping that the entire Ghost crew will keep one step ahead of the Empire with the help of the Rebel Alliance and their friends.

  5. The voice I thought to be Dooku’s is probably Bendu, but for a moment, I thought it was Dooku

  6. I have not read the novels concerning Wedge, but I enjoyed his character in the Original Trilogy. His arc in the films was parallel to Luke’s, in that we watched him, in small ways, grow from awkward rookie pilot in New Hope to being a confident leader in Return of the Jedi. Very cool character.

    Thrawn will be an amazing villain, the Napoleon Bonaparte of Star Wars. I am looking forward to him matching wits with the heroes.

    And I think I heard Dooku’s voice in the trailer at one point, so there may be yet another Clone Wars connection

    And this may be the season where if critics had any doubts about Ezra, he may very well blow them away with his evolution. I can see by the way he behaves in these new clips that the season finale will very likely be very epic…..

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