The fledgling Rebellion continues the good fight as the critically acclaimed series, Star Wars Rebels, gets renewed for a fourth season. The news broke on what originally seemed to be an ordinary Friday afternoon, and it sent the fan community into a frenzy, especially after false rumors kept spreading that season three would be its last season.
“The team behind Star Wars Rebels delivers epic storytelling that has captivated fans of all ages across the globe,” said Marc Buhaj, Disney XD’s senior vice president, programming and general manager, in the official press release. “We’re excited to continue sharing the journey of these fan-favorite rebels with our audience in the fall.”
Star Wars Rebels season three has certainly brought fans epic storytelling and characters, from the introduction of Grand Admiral Thrawn and its direct connections to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to the emotional departure of a core crew member and Maul’s journey for revenge.
“I’ve been able to focus a lot on story this year, which is pretty exciting,” said Dave Filoni in an interview with James Jennings for StarWars.com regarding season three before it aired back in October 2016. “The story began with the childlike world of Ezra Bridger, but has expanded as his world expanded and his story has expanded to reflect his growing up, and the audience growing with him.”
One only needs to look back to realize that the story has been gradually developing to catch up to the events that the movies established. Fans are so quick to dictate where the story should go and what the show should focus on, but it’s important to step back and realize that each episode reflects a chapter, each season represents a book, and each book further expands the story.
Now, fans are concerned about where and when the story will ultimately end.
“Since day one of making this show, I’ve been beating a drum of ‘where are we going with this?'” said Filoni in the Jennings interview. “Everybody is thinking that, but I’m constantly bringing it up, because I want to make sure that we can arc correctly towards it. It’s easy to get caught up in exciting side adventures, but you have to make sure you’re always serving Ezra, our main character.”
Filoni went on to say, “Simon Kinberg has been a great leader in that regard. He’s always one who can come into a room and say, ‘Okay guys, but what about the family? What about Ezra, Kanan and Hera?’ He’s kind of our guru that way. It’s a big team effort that we have. We all love the show and we really care about these characters.”
Characters who we don’t even know whether they’ll survive into the next season! Many were pleased to see the full cast provided in the StarWars.com announcement, but that’s the current cast for season three and not necessarily the cast for season four. At the time of the renewal announcement, some characters, like Darth Maul and Agent Kallus, are standing on thin ice.
Personally, I’m thrilled that we’re getting a fourth season. I had no doubt in my mind, since Freddie Prinze, Jr., and Taylor Gray had casually mentioned recording for season four. That said, there were still concerns from the fanbase (and from the creators), especially given what happened to Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
“You always have an eye on it, and it’s tricky,” Filoni said in a separate, more recent interview with ComicBook.com. “It’s tricky in TV having worked on a series that frankly didn’t really have an all-out end like we had planned it. I’m always a bit wary. I’m thinking, ‘Okay, where do we need this to go?’ Because I want to make sure that we take the audience in these Star Wars stories, I think, on this really, I hope, interesting and entertaining journey, and I want them to feel that they get a complete payoff for it, and that it’s the story that we intended.”
So, where does the story go from here?
I, for one, hope to see more Mandalorians in the next season. They would be a formidable ally against the Empire, and it’d be great to check in on Sabine’s progress. There’s also the lingering mystery surrounding Ahsoka Tano‘s fate. Will the fourth season offer more in terms of answers? The Bendu is another character who I’d love to learn more about. He’s become a mentor figure of sorts, so it would be interesting to see how the Force users of the show will fit in with the Rebellion growing around them. I also hope to see familiar faces (Ketsu Onyo, Iron Squadron, Cham Syndulla, Quarrie, Saw Gerrera, and even Hondo) as well as new characters that continue to expand the galaxy. Last but not least, could season four touch on the Battle of Scarif? Filoni did mention that he has some theories pertaining to the Ghost‘s presence on Yavin 4 and stated that he could imagine doing the Scarif battle scene from their perspective. Only time will tell whether some or all of these details factor into season four.
As for whether the newly announced season is the last season? Given the fact that season three is two years away from the events in Rogue One and A New Hope as well as the reality that the new saga films take place decades after Return of the Jedi and that rumors of a new animated show have been circulating for some time, I fully believe season four will be the last season for Star Wars Rebels.
Also, I may be reading too much into it, but the StarWars.com announcement did state that fans attending Star Wars Celebration Orlando in April can look forward to more details as well as “an announcement about the exciting fourth season.” Of course, this could be anything ranging from the introduction of a new character or cast member to a fall premiere date. It could, however, be an announcement that season four will be the final season.
All that said, I look forward to embracing a new season’s worth of stories, adventures, and character development. Star Wars Rebels may be a children’s show to some, but for me, it reminds me why I love Star Wars in the first place.
What are your thoughts on the season four renewal? What are you hoping to see next season? Share your responses in the comments section below.
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