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A Closer Look at the ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Mid-Season Four Trailer

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

A friend of mine shared that Dr. Seuss quote with me a few weeks prior to the start of the fourth season last year, and it was the first thing that came to mind when the mid-season four trailer was released. I know it’s heartbreaking that one of the best things to come out of this new age of Star Wars storytelling is coming close to an end, but it’s not over yet. There’s still so much mystery to uncover and threads to be resolved.

Before the second half of the season debuts on Monday, February 19, let’s take a closer look at the mid-season trailer and highlight some of the plot points that we’ll see in the final episodes.

When we last left the Ghost crew in “Rebel Assault,” Kanan had departed from the rest of the group in an attempt to save Hera. It was a reckless move made purely on emotion, and the Force had to intrude in the form of the Loth-wolf to stop him. In that moment, Kanan learned what he had to do. It wasn’t all that clear to me at the time, but given the hints that we saw from the mid-season trailer, it makes sense now that the Loth-wolves and the Force are guiding Kanan to become who he should be.

In Kanan: The Last Padawan, after he found himself in the care of Janus Kasmir, Caleb Dume had to undergo a dramatic change. He cut off his Padawan braid, he tied up his hair, and he swapped his lightsaber for a blaster. This is the comic book series where Caleb Dume died and he established himself as Kanan Jarrus.

Going into the next half of the season, it looks like the reverse is happening. He’s finally owning up to his roots by cutting off the ponytail that came with the Kanan Jarrus persona and taking back the Caleb Dume name. I know Star Wars and Star Wars Rebels draw heavily from samurai culture, but as someone who grew up with Disney movies, the comparison that came to mind was Mulan. She cuts her hair to transform into someone else, and Kanan is doing the same thing.

The mistake Kanan did in the mid-season finale was thinking that he could save Hera on his own without coming up with a plan first. The Force essentially told him, “That’s not how this works.” If he had kept going, he would have surely died without getting anywhere near Hera. Ezra, on the other hand, gets it. He tells Kanan, “We can do this together.” Ezra knows this because he’s done the same mistake himself. He went off on his own to find Obi-Wan Kenobi and ultimately learned that his place is with his crew, “What you need, you already have.”

It’s also wonderful to see Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor back together again. Although, I will say that I wish Wolffe and Gregor were wearing the same fighting gear as Rex, since that would have been a great callback to their days a clone troopers. Then again, keeping the same models for Wolffe and Gregor helps emphasize their individual personalities.

Kallus is also back in the game, so it’ll be amazing to see him fighting alongside the others, especially since he took part in doing terrible things while working for the Empire on Lothal. He’s done what he can as Fulcrum, and now, it’s time to come full circle and help with the efforts on the place where it all started.

It’s so satisfying to know how Kanan and Hera started in A New Dawn and how far they’ve come together. They’ve been through it all, and just like she and the others came to his rescue at the end of season one, they’re doing the same for her. And although Hera may not like the haircut, I do. I like what it represents and it makes him look rejuvenated.

Of course, getting Hera out isn’t going to be easy, and people have pointed out that Kanan doesn’t appear in the rest of the trailer after this point. It is important to keep in mind, however, that there’s over 150 minutes of footage that we don’t see in the trailer, so anything can happen! That said, Kanan does face off with Rukh. So far, we’ve seen Rukh engage with Ezra and Hera, so it’ll be interesting to see how Kanan handles him. Sadly, if this is to be “Kanan’s end,” it will be upsetting to see him accept his former self again only for him to be taken out in the same episode. All of this is just speculation, though, so only time will tell the truth.

Some fans have also speculated that, with the return to Caleb Dume, Depa Billaba might make an appearance, and I honestly don’t see how that could happen. The Force works in mysterious ways, but I don’t see her popping up in any shape or form, especially given what we’ve learned about the cosmic Force and what’s needed to preserve identities after death.

Lots of things are happening here: Hera’s back in her pilot gear, Hondo and Ketsu are part of the group, Rex is wearing his stormtrooper disguise, and they’ve apprehended Arihnda Pryce. Kanan, Ezra, Wolffe, Jai Kell, and Mart Mattin are not present. Even though I have no idea what’s going on here or where they’re going next, I love that Zeb is taking the lead. He is part of the team and for too long he was relegated to the background, so I’m glad to see him front and center with a determined disposition.

Personally, I find it strange that Hondo is there. Hondo is the “I do things for profit” kind of guy, so I wonder what he hopes to get out of all this. And while Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures is not considered canon, I like to think he’ll be just fine by the end of it and eventually relocate to Maz’s Castle.

This is an excerpt from Star Wars Adventures in Wild Space: The Heist by Cavan Scott, and Lina is right. That dome structure doesn’t belong.

Call me crazy, but this is a show where we have to expect the unexpected, right? What if it’s not Imperial forces launching the dome located at the center of Capital City? What if it’s part of the Ghost crew’s plan? It would explain why they’re lined up against an extensive control panel. Kallus would also be familiar with this facility and what it’s capable of doing. I don’t know what their ultimate goal would be with that structure (maybe somehow use it against Thrawn), but I’m sure it would lead to something most impressive.

Rukh continues to be a persistent thorn on their sides. If he does live up to his title of “assassin,” and somehow played a part in removing Kanan from the picture (hypothetically speaking, of course), then the Ghost crew would essentially mark him as enemy #1, right? Thankfully, Ezra seems to be calm and thinking straight throughout most of the trailer, so if Kanan were to fall, it’s good to see (at least, from the brief moments in the trailer) that Ezra took his teaching to heart and let go of his attachment instead of letting any pain and anger consume him.

These are images I like to call, “Ezra being a boss, part one.”

This is his second time dealing death troopers, and every time these elite troopers are involved, I automatically think about Rogue One and the Death Star. According to Wookieepedia, “They served as protective details and bodyguards for important Imperial officers and members of the Tarkin Initiative, as well as being used as special-mission experts.”

One person we didn’t see in the first half of the season was Tarkin. He did, however, show up in the 2nd season four trailer, “Your TIE Defender is at risk. Krennic has been quite persuasive about his own project. Stardust.” The reason the TIE Defender program is at risk is because of Lothal’s Rebels, so it makes sense why Thrawn would become desperate enough to order planetary bombardment. That could also be a result of the Imperial base launching off of the planet. Either way, things aren’t working out well for Thrawn.

I don’t know whether these scenes are connected, but they have both Hera and Sabine being awesome, so there is a common theme. In the previous set of images, Ezra doesn’t appear to have his lightsaber on his person, which would explain why he’s seen using the Force for protection. Turns out, Sabine has his lightsaber. I like to think it’s a “this weapon is my life, protect it” sort of exchange and agreement between him and Sabine, but it could be that his weapon got separated from him at the wrong moment.

More than anything else, I’m excited to find out how the Loth-wolves play a role in all of this. For a short time, I thought there was something menacing about them because I don’t know what they truly want and the mystery that surrounds them makes it difficult for me to trust them completely. It’s clear to me that they are seeking some sort of balance, but how they go about achieving that is also what makes me curious.

The image on the right has Hera and the others riding the Loth-wolves. We saw a hint of this back at Santa Clara Library Comic Con, when Joel Aron (Director of Cinematography) and Keith Kellogg (Animation Supervisor) talked about the making of Star Wars Rebels. During that panel, they showed an example of Hera riding a Loth-wolf.

The fourth Loth-wolf appears to be carrying something in its mouth. I can’t really say for sure, but it appears to be the object that Ezra presents to the giant Loth-wolf below.

I don’t know what this item could be, but from the side, it looks like some sort of tablet. The giant Loth-wolf looks welcoming enough, but at one point, it does move in to strike. Maybe that’s part of a vision. When he had a vision about his parents in “Legacy,” the white Loth-cat hissed at him. This could explain why he wakes up in the middle of the field late at night screaming “What happened?!” as seen in the 2nd season four trailer.

The Ghost crew’s base of operations eventually comes under attack by the Empire. I think this Imperial takeover is what forces Ezra to put on the scout trooper disguise in order to gain access to the mural, as seen below.

“Some call us Force-wielders. … Few still know of our existence. … My children and I can manipulate the Force like no other. Therefore, it was necessary to withdraw from the temporal world and live here as anchorites.”

When The Father tells Anakin this in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “Overlords,” it didn’t click with me at the time that The Father, The Daughter, and The Son lived in the material world—the galaxy as we know it. When The Daughter and The Son grew too powerful, they withdrew themselves from this plane of existence and went somewhere else. There’s no better way to say this, but this sliver of information blows my mind. That explains why there’s a mural of them on a wall!

Lothal’s Jedi Temple is ancient, so is the mural implying that these Force-wielders resided on Lothal, visited Lothal, or that the residents/Jedi of Lothal simply knew of their existence and depicted them on the wall as deities?

Additionally, some have pointed out that the stars and lines on the mural resemble Luke Skywalker’s compass from Star Wars Battlefront II and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. That makes sense, since the person who designed the compass was director and executive producer Dave Filoni, as revealed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi Secrets Explained.

This mural leads Ezra into another world, but he encountered a similar setting before. When he was first being tested by Yoda in “Path of the Jedi,” he stepped into a room that had similar markings, and when he received his lightsaber crystal, the room disappeared and there was only the circle he was standing on and a starry background.

This time around, he’s fully immersed, and along the way, finds a familiar friend. The last time we saw this convor with this specific coloring, it had followed Ahsoka into the temple on Malachor. There, she followed it across a river, but where else it took her, we don’t know. The convor also appears on the shoulder of The Daughter in the previous image. It’s an extension of her, so I can’t wait to find out where it’ll lead Ezra and what sort of answers he’ll discover there. A girl can also dream and say that maybe he’ll find out what happened to Ahsoka…

Of course, the journey isn’t without its challenges. At some point, Darth Sidious intervenes with a dark illusion and Ezra attempts to deflect it. We’ve seen Sidious perform a Balc incantation before in The Clone Wars episode “Sacrifice” as a way to capture and trap Master Yoda while he was on the Sith homeworld of Moraband.

“The Inquisitors themselves are not the ones that are really locating Ezra. It’s really the Emperor,” said Dave Filoni in our interview with him back in July 2017. “[He] has his web kind of spread out across the galaxy, and he’s the one that’s trying to more likely zero in on Ezra’s sense of fear or Kanan’s sense of weakness that he can’t be the Master he needs to be. And the more that a character like the Emperor knows about you, the more that he has an understanding the greater his ability to kind of zero in on you. The Force is not like a metal detector, right? It can’t detect you specifically, but it can give him influence and ideas based on a lot facts he’s getting, and the Emperor’s willing to use the Force in ways the Jedi are not.”

So this entire time, the Emperor has been tracking down these two characters mainly because they pose a threat to the real purpose of why he has such a tight grip on Lothal. Maketh Tua gave us that hint back in season two, “I’ve discovered the true reason the Empire came to Lothal. … There is another reason known only to a few and ordered by the Emperor himself.”

When Ezra finds himself in this otherworldly environment, perhaps getting closer to some concrete answers, the Emperor must have sensed it. In The Clone Wars, Yoda was powerful enough to conquer the illusion, but how will Ezra overcome the Emperor’s influence?

Earlier, Ezra faced the Emperor through his dark illusion, and now, he appears to Ezra as a hologram. I’m not sure which encounter comes first, but my natural train of thought for this scene is, “At least it’s not in person.” But then, I remembered that Sidious, Vader, and Dooku managed to harm others in hologram form, so I don’t know how this is going to pan out for Ezra. Then again, there might be another fate in store for him.

When the host of the BOMM (Black Opinions Matter) podcast brought up that he wanted to see Ezra have a deeper dive into the dark side, Freddie Prinze, Jr. (FPJ), said, “Well, you’re about to get it. … Maul isn’t the only teacher in the universe, don’t forget who else is out there. There’s still a lot of darkness out there.”

I want to believe FPJ was just playing along and presenting the possibility and not the fact, but temptation is a powerful thing…

This is “Ezra being a boss, part two.”

In the first trailer for season four, Kanan tells Ezra, “We are the balance, Ezra. We were meant to be Jedi so we could be here now, when Lothal needs us most.”

Excerpt from previous article

Fans who’ve played Battefront II, however, found that Ezra’s goal may not have come to pass. In a conversation about what they would after the war against the Empire, ex-Inferno Squad member Del Meeko said, “Thought I might travel. See the galaxy. Lothal, Mykapo…” He went on to state that he was on those planets as a soldier for the Empire, but he added, “I want to see them when they’re free,” implying that Lothal isn’t free of the Empire even after the destruction of the Second Death Star.

Many have taken this to mean that the Ghost crew fail at their mission. That could be the case, or they could have just completed the immediate goal which was to destroy the TIE Defender factory. So even though they didn’t save Lothal entirely, they did stop the production of a ship that threatened the Rebel Alliance. Ezra could then assume a role that combines certain qualities of Cham Syndulla and Obi-Wan Kenobi, where he becomes the local rebel against the Empire and also mostly waits in the shadows for the right time to strike.

— End of Excerpt —

While talking with Zoe and Lizzy from the Star Wars Geek Girl podcast, Zoe brought up that she read someone’s theory online about how Ezra and Kanan could become the new “Son” and “Father” (respectively) from Mortis. It sounds like an interesting theory in which a new version of Mortis is established and 3 guardians take up the role of balancing the galaxy from this plane of existence. After all, that’s what the Father wanted Anakin to do because he was the Chosen One and he was the only one capable of controlling The Daughter and The Son. Anakin refused, they died, and the repercussions from that world rippled across the galaxy. War escalated, the Sith took over, and balance was broken.

So when Kanan says “We are the balance,” is he implying that they are capable of assuming these roles? We will find out soon!

At the end of the day, I don’t know what the future has in store for these characters. It’ll be exciting to see the story officially wrap up according to how the creative team envisioned it. I plan to go in with no expectations and with an open mind. Whatever happens, just remember, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

What were your thoughts about the trailer? Share them in the comments below.

The remaining episodes of Star Wars Rebels will air on Monday, February 19, at 9PM EST on Disney XD, and they will be released on the DisneyNOW App at 10PM EST.


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7 comments on “A Closer Look at the ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Mid-Season Four Trailer

  1. Pingback: Dave Filoni on the Mid-Season Finale Trailer and the Remaining Episodes of ‘Star Wars Rebels’ – The Wookiee Gunner

  2. After seeing the trailer, do you think that Sabine and Ezra could still get together by the end of the show? You have a really good grasp on the show’s themes. Is this ship something that would fulfill a facet of their character arcs in any way?

    • Johnamarie Macias

      I know the show is done and my answer is too late, but looking back at the series finale, I love how those two characters are intertwined, in a way. There’s a deep connection and respect there, and I can’t wait to see how that’ll be addressed in future stories!

  3. Well Wookies, the final act is about to begin.
    If anyone can make the Force a stunning parallel to our mystical experience, it is this Star Wars Rebels team. The balance between mystery and disclosure is evocative and dynamic. The enlisting of forgotten wild beings, especially Wolves and Owls echoes deep into the fear and wonder that is the ambivalence of humanity toward the natural world that shaped them all.
    I am confident that Ezra will not find himself a Sith, and I believe that Kanan has to find his synthesis to fully embrace his destiny.
    Maybe it’s just me, yet weren’t the Clones the most heroic, the most admirable, when they were led by Jedi? Master Bilaba chafed at her military rank, yet didn’t the Clones also bring out more from the Jedi? Could Master Bilaba have found her inner reserves without the burden of leading a Clone battalion?
    I will close this with a simple reminder that Asoka is dead. She is animated via the life force of the Daughter. There is no longer a significant separation between them. The fusion of Asoka and the Daughter is in my mind the key to the destiny of Asoka.
    Remember, Asoka in history was a great and terrible warrior emperor whose armies were irresistible. At the height of his power, he renounced it all and spread Buddhism throughout his lands. I would be surprised if this was lost on the Rebels team. I look for Asoka in Rebels to achieve her own transformation, and I believe that we will be treated to it.
    Thanks for an excellent trailer review. I look forward to the final episodes.

  4. Jon Hodges

    A very clever theory if Ahsoka, Kanan and Ezra become the new Triumvirate in the Force (Father, Son, Daughter). I had not anticipated the significance, but I can see how Filoni would bring a lot of things full circle in this manner.

  5. Pingback: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Final Viewing Schedule and Episode Titles – The Wookiee Gunner

  6. Thank you so much. Oh man, I’m gonna miss this so much, the show, the characters, the anticipation, your clever blog articles and podcasts, the twitter community. It will be still there, but we’ll have to find something new to pour so much love into. But it’s a good quote. Smile because it happened. Saving what we love. ;)

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