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Maverick Wright
Maverick Wright

Star Wars Rebels - Season 4

The first season of Rebels takes place around 5BBY to 4BBY, and only one event situates things in the greater Star Wars timeline, but it's a very important one. Jyn Erso (seen in Star Wars: Rogue One) is abandoned by Saw Gerrera around 5BBY, starting the arc that led her to aiding in the destruction of the Death Star. She sacrifices herself on Scarif to ensure the Death Star's collapse in the same year as the Battle of Yavin.

Star Wars Rebels - Season 4

Episode 3 of Star Wars Rebels season 4 also introduces UT-60D U-wings (the little transport with foldable wings). The starfighter-transport hybrid appears for the first time here, piloted by Benthic "Two Tubes" and Gerrera during a rescue and bombing mission at an Imperial communications relay, before its used again during Rogue One by Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and the Rebel forces of Yavin IV during the Battle of Scarif. It, like the Imperial TIE Stryker, didn't appear in the original trilogy and seem to have been introduced for the merchandising effots of Disney's consumer products division.

In addition to one Stormtrooper name-dropping Director Orson Krennic (played by Ben Mendelsohn in Rogue One), the episode's use of Death Troopers (a squad of Death Troopers served under Krennic) and the Empire's kidnapping of reactor mechanics and power specialists - who might have gone to work under Galen Erso on Eadu if they hadn't been rescued - could mean that this season of Star Wars Rebels is much closer to the events of Rogue One than audiences might have initially anticipated. The two-part story ends on a grim note with the Ghost's crew pondering if the Empire has already won a war the Rebellion doesn't think has actually started yet.

I tend to be in the minority here, but I'm one of the few that believe Rebels never quite lived up to its promise. After a strong first season, the two middle seasons seemed more obsessed with "guest star" characters and clearing up all the ends from David Filoni's previous series, The Clone Wars. However, Season Four gets things back on track, putting the main focus of most (but not all) of the 16 episodes on its main characters and concluding their story arcs. Whether the characters get the conclusion they deserved is up to each viewer to decide, but the material is strong enough here to land this season set firmly in the Recommended category.

Throughout its four seasons on the air, Star Wars Rebels moved closer and closer toward the timeline of the original Star Wars trilogy, with characters ranging from Lando Calrissian to Princess Leia herself making appearances. Naturally, given that the fourth and final season would take the rebels closer than ever to the beginning of Rogue One and A New Hope, many fans wondered if the Death Star would make an appearance. Director Krennic got a name drop in Season 4, as did his "Stardust" project. Nevertheless, the Death Star never appeared, and showrunner Dave Filoni has revealed why the iconic space station remain off-screen on Rebels, saying this:

The original Death Star may be at the center of two Star Wars movies, but Rebels wasn't spending four seasons building up to the reveal of the Death Star. Rebels was about the band of rebels primarily fighting villains and threats that weren't showcased in the movies. Sure, we got Darth Vader and the Emperor and Tarkin, and Saw Gerrera's appearances teased the fact that the Empire was working on a weapon so devastating and secret that the population of Geonosis was wiped out after constructing portions of it. Still, Rebels wasn't about the Death Star or the biggest names from the movies, and so the Death Star and Krennic remained off-screen until the action of Rogue One.

"I give a pretty good eye to that because I like where we got the end of last year, and it really shook things up," Filoni told "Last season ending with kind of a dividing line between who the characters were and what they need to evolve into being, and I feel very good that this season drives us to a point where you can actually look and see these arcs within this season of where, say Kanan and Ezra, everyone started and where they end, and what the future may or may not hold for them. Imagining they survive, what's about to happen?" 041b061a72


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