“Star Wars Rebels” is a show I haven’t come back to for sometime. I think I know what my issue at the time was too. After finishing up Season 3 and hearing how Season 4 went I knew I wouldn’t be getting the same bittersweet experience of “The Clone Wars.” The thing is this show was never that and with time I came to see that and wanted to return to this story, especially as it does connect to “The Mandalorian” and sets up some intriguing plot points for the future of the Star Wars Universe. This doesn’t change the cons I’ll be bringing up, which are pretty consistent throughout the show but in the end if you liked the past seasons, before I go into SPOILERS I will recommend this season.
The story picks up after the Rebels loss in Season 3 as they seek to gain victories again as they face Thrawn and his Tie Defender program as well as other Imperial Threats as the Rebellion attempts to grow.
Heroes of Mandalore Arc – The season starts out strong with us returning to Mandalore and learning about a weapon Sabine Wren made that targets and destroys Beskar armor, which all Mandalorian warriors wear. After nearly losing her mother she and the Rebels manage to stop the weapon through Bo-Katan’s leadership as Bo-Katan unites the Mandalorian Clans in rebellion against the Imperial Occupation with the Dark Sabre Sabine gives her. Empire was also somewhat effective as a threat.
Bo-Katan – Katee Sackhoff is once again wonderful as Bo-Katan as in this we see how driven she is as well as her big picture mindset she’s had since “The Clone Wars.” Her becoming leader made sense and this was a nice part of her arc and rise to power against the Empire.
The World Between Worlds – The penultimate story before the Final is a head trip and opens up the Star Wars Universe in some really cool and unique ways. It is here we find a Jedi Temple connected to the Mortis Gods from the Clone Wars is a gateway between space and time. This leads to Ezra saving Ahsoka from Vader at the last second and accepting the loss of Kanan. It is a really well done story and the Minister was a great villain. The Empire was largely effective this episode which is always nice.
Ahsoka – Ahsoka is back and seems to be being watched over by the Daughter of Mortis as her animal is always with Ahsoka. She is the one who helps Ezra accept the loss of his Master and promises to find him when she returns to her place in time. We don’t see her until the end and as far as I know the in-between time hasn’t been answered yet. I hope we get it given how core she was to the Rebellion early on. I thought I’d hate retconning her great death but I didn’t as it was a pretty special bit of circumstances that made it possible.
Kanan – Kanan’s arc is completed in more ways then one this season. His love story with Hera is finally made official, his training of Ezra is completed and in the end he risks his live to save his friends and becomes a full Jedi, a role he’d rejected after Order 66. It is powerfully done and he carries a lot of the emotional weight this season in his loss.
Zeb, Rex and Sabine – These 3 all are handled well and in Sabine’s case actually have an arc this season but it was mostly good to just to see them in action again and seeing how they help liberate Lothal.
Hera – Hera is my favorite member of the crew besides Zeb. In this we see the weight of being a general in the Rebellion as she navigates politics as well as surviving Imperial torcher and the loss of Kanan. She is such a great character and seeing her guide the crew both as a rebel leader and friend and mentor is some of the best writing on the show.
Rebellion Politics – Mon Mothma versus Saw Gerrara is a thing and it is cool when we see it. Sadly the episodes story kind of sucks as Gerrara is made a joke and a clear villain. This was a shame as the premise and politics of leadership and the fight on Yavin IV was really cool and I liked what it implied, just now how it was handled. Though the politics themselves among Rebellion leadership is still really good.
Grand Admiral Thrawn – Lars Mikkleson continues to play the biggest threat to the Rebellion at this point as we never see Vader of Tarkin in action against the Rebels again at this point. This was probably a good thing as more time with Thrawn is always nice. He continues to be the only successful threat against the Rebels this season and he is only defeated (like last season) through a combination of Deus Ex Force Machina and dumb Imperial underlings. He isn’t dead though so I’m curious to see how his story continues on.
Cringe Dialogue Sometimes – The jokes rarely work in this show and sometimes the show is telling you what you can already see through animation. The Clone Wars could sometimes have this problem too but it was very apparent in some scenes this season.
Governor Pryce – Pryce sucks. At least the Inquisitors had a cool look and managed to be effective somewhat before Ahsoka showed up. Pryce always loses and this character, who is setup really well in the “Thrawn” novel is wasted. She isn’t clever or strategic and just reacts. If any semi-competent leadership was in charge of Lothal the rebels never would have won or had as many survivors as they do at the end of the season.
Deus Ex Force and Force Wolves – Force Wolves, animals in touch with the force who have one who can speak to Jedi save the Rebels from destruction when they return to Lothal and single handedly make this small rebel cell nearly unstoppable. I hated this as the Bendu was at least neutral. These beings are Kanan and Ezra’s pets by the end and it makes the Imperial threat even weaker as our heroes have Force entities on their side who can be plot armor at the right time. I think I would have been more forgiving of them if we’d seen them in Season 1 when we were on Lothal a lot. Because of their late entry their ability to be plot armor is made so much more obvious.
This was a good season overall. I was never bored and I found myself invested in the the main cast. The show ends the main arcs solidly and it sets up stories that can be followed up on. We have Bo-Katan and the war on Mandalore, we have the search for Ezra and Thrawn as well as what happens to Thrawn and Ezra. I want to know what happens and am happy that it looks like some of these questions are being answered now in “The Mandalorian.”
Final Score: 8.3 / 10