TV Review: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ – Season Three

Rebels

Despite A Disappointing Mediocre Finale, Rebels Continues To Get Better With Age…

 

With Star Wars Rebels wrapping up its third season, fans are now preparing for what’s next for the crew of ‘The Ghost’.  The latest season proves that the show continues to get better as it matures.  With Rebels coming back for at least one more season, it will be interesting to see where the show goes from here.

As the season begins, we notice a few changes in the crew.  First of all, a good deal of time has passed since the end of the second season.  Ezra is clearly older.  He has a new haircut and he is a little bit taller.  He also has a new lightsaber with a green blade, after losing his lightsaber/blaster combo at the end of last season.

Season’s Best Line –

(Chopper saves Ezra by inadvertently catching him from falling)

Chopper: That was an accident.

Ezra: I know it was an accident.

Kanan is still developing his skills in the force after being blinded by Maul in a duel.  Due to his lack of sight, the Jedi takes a back seat for a while, as Ezra leads ‘The Ghost’ crew on many of its missions.  Hera is still the overall commanding officer, but Ezra takes point on any mission that leaves the ship.  However, Ezra is still haunted by Maul after their interactions with the Sith Holocron on Malachor.  He spends a lot of his time trying to figure out a way to spare his crewmates from the burden of Maul.  The show gives Maul a great arc over the course of the third season.  It truly is one of the highlights of the show.

While I was disappointed in how the season ended, overall this third season of Star Wars Rebels was phenomenal.  We got some great introductions to new, yet familiar faces.  Ezra, Sabine, and Maul have awesome character arcs that were some of best the series has presented in its run.  Finally, the battles keep getting bigger and better.  Rebels continues to up the stakes for the crew of ‘The Ghost’, I look forward to where producer Dave Filoni takes us in the next season.

Rebels Maul

From Here On Out This Review Will Contain Spoilers

Continuing, this season gave Star Wars fans some pretty awesome introductions to some of their favorite characters.  The hot shot pilot Wedge Antilles makes his first appearance after the crew of ‘The Ghost’ successfully help him defect from the Imperial Academy.  Now a Rebel, Wedge will go on to someday help Luke Skywalker blow up the first Death Star and destroy the second Death Star himself.  More notably, Grand Admiral Thrawn is now officially part of the Disney Continuity.  This revelation is making fans all over the galaxy cheer.

The blue skinned, military genius made his first appearance in the Star Wars universe in Timothy Zahn’s novel Heir to the Empire.  However, since Disney took over the franchise in 2014, the novels featuring Thrawn are now considered part of the Legends continuity.  Meaning, anything that happens in those novels never really happened.  Fortunately, with Thrawn making his appearance in season three of Rebels as the primary antagonist he is now officially part of the new Star Wars film continuity.

Throughout the third season, Thrawn proves to be a formidable opponent for Phoenix Squadron.  A skilled tactician, the Grand Admiral analyzes and breaks down every little detail the Rebels make.  Finally, he connects the dot and sets a trap that works in the Empires advantage.  He’s found the hidden Rebel base.

Star Wars Rebels

Favorite Episodes: ‘Visions and Voices’, ‘Twin Suns’ and ‘Trials of the Darksaber’

This season has some great character arcs.  My favorite has to be the fate of Maul, which ends with his confrontation with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Maul finds the Jedi hiding on Tatooine in exile and looking over Luke.  The two longtime rivals have one last and rather quick duel, which any Star Wars fan would know the outcome of.

Obviously, Kenobi isn’t dying at the hands of Maul, he needs to teach Luke a few things before meeting his end in a confrontation with Darth Vader.  Maul’s ending becomes bittersweet after the series has done such a great job making him a relatable and interesting character.  You’re almost sad to see him go.  However, his death is poetic and gives a little extra meaning to Obi-Wan’s purpose in the saga.

My Favorite Scene From Season 3

Another great character arc involves Sabine.  Outside of Chopper, Sabine is my favorite character and I love the fact that they have her rediscover the Dark Saber.  Using the Dark Saber she goes back to her family and makes peace with them, ultimately adding the Wren forces with the Rebels.  The two episodes headlining Sabine as she trains with Saber and then fights to the to save her family were two of my favorite episodes of the season.  Throw in all the awesome ass-kicking Sabine does with her growing arsenal of Mandalorian weapons, she’s a strong female character for young girls to look up to.

My last favorite arc features Ezra.  Ezra is growing up and finding his place in the galaxy as a Jedi in training.  He is tempted by the Dark Side with Maul, who wants him as an apprentice.  More importantly, he’s trying to find a way to defeat the Emperor, save his home planet of Lothal, and protect his friends.  Ezra spends more time away from Kanan this season and really becomes a great leader for the team.  By the end of the season, it’s the two youngest members of Phoenix Squadron that pull the most weight, Ezra and Sabine.  The Rebellion has a bright future with young leaders like them.

Rebels Zero Hour

Zero Hour

Sadly, I was really disappointed with the season finale.  The two-part hour-long finale features some of the best battle scenes the series has ever done, but there is no emotional anchor that ties up the season.  While Commander Sato does sacrifice himself to allow the Rebels to escape, I was expecting a member of ‘The Ghost’ crew to meet their doom.  Perhaps, I need to realize this is still a kids show.  Even if I know there are no Jedi but Yoda and Kenobi in A New Hope, I shouldn’t be expecting Kanan or Ezra to die anytime soon.

While the Rebels lose their base, they actually win the battle by being able to escape in one piece.  This was another gripe I have with the finale.  It felt like a major victory, despite the fact that they lost a good number of ships and Sato.  I thought Rogue One was important because it is about the Rebels first major victory.  The finale feels like a major victory and sort of diminishes the results of the Battle of Scarif.  I was expecting the Empire to capture a few members of ‘The Ghost’ crew.  This would give fans something to think about until next season.  They crew actually got bigger with Kallus being able to escape Thrawn’s ship and join the Rebels.

In the end, I guess it’s my own expectations that let me down.  I still love Rebels and thought this was the best season yet.  The final space battle was epic for the television series.  They’ll really have to do something bigger next season to one up themselves.  However, I personally think that Ezra, Sabine, Zeb, Hera, Kanan, or Chopper are going to have to lose someone on this list for the show to make sense in the end.  If there isn’t a big loss by the end of the series, it will kind of make fans wonder why Episode IV is titled A New Hope.  After all, Phoenix Squadron seems like they have a good hope of defeating the Empire if they keep their track record going.

Now You Know Whassup, Chucks!

Images via DisneyXD

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