It’s okay if your jaw hit the floor this afternoon after watching the latest Star Wars Rebels trailer because there are a ton of surprising and exciting things within its 3 minutes: links to The Force Awakens, return of several more The Clone Wars characters, Jedi and/or Sith Temples, and of course the fateful meeting of Ahsoka and Darth Vader. Anthony Breznican of EW spoke with Dave Filoni at length about the trailer’s contents and below I’ve included my thoughts, theories, and excerpts from the interview.
I’ll start with The Force Awakens connection: Ezra is seen handling a crossguard lightsaber, as popularized by Kylo Ren in the new film, but this one is green and stable, unlike Kylo’s. We know the design is ancient, but how or why does Ezra get his young little paws on it? Judging by the screencap of Ezra holding the lightsaber, there’s a grotesque looking statue in the background, something described by Filoni in all the shots of the eerie temple seen in the trailer’s opening moments, so it’s not too hard to imagine within the Sith-ly temple Ezra might find such a weapon.
Speaking of the Temple, Filoni says it’s an ancient place and the night sky you might see in the background is actually the the crust of the planet this temple is hidden under. There has been some talk recently (and mentions in the novel Tarkin) that hidden under the Jedi Temple on Coruscant are other temples, including but not limited to a Sith Temple somewhere deep, deep below. Since there’s a shot showing a red burst of energy shooting towards clouds over the surface of the planet that doesn’t look to be Coruscant, I’d rule it out at the very least. Housed inside the temple, as mentioned by Yoda as legends about times from long ago at the end of The Clone Wars Legacy “Crystal Crisis” arc, is a kyber crystal which could reasonably create the red beam. The kyber crystal in the “Crystal Crisis” arc certainly hinted at it being a core part of the Death Star’s main weapon and we’ve previously seen the Empire transporting a kyber crystal in the first season of Rebels, so it seems these crystals’ stories are far from over and this one’s could be what drives all our characters together, both good and evil, for what is shaping up to be quite the finale.
Hera’s father Cham Syndulla, who hasn’t been spoken about much by Hera and last starred in the novel Lords of the Sith where he had quite the deadly run-in with Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine on Ryloth, looks to be making the jump to Rebels later this season. Considering he ran the Free Ryloth movement, he would be a good person to have around when trying to put together a cohesive Rebel Alliance, no?
Ezra communes with Yoda again (Frank Oz returns for the voice), but this time Ezra actually sees the diminutive master instead of just hearing him. However, the design’s reception has been divided amongst fans but animators justified it looking so different since, “…Ezra would be picturing the tiny Jedi master through the lens of his own imagination,” and Filoni says inspiration was drawn from the old Kenner action figure. Several shots, including a dark exterior look at the Empire gathering around the entrance, point to Ezra and Yoda’s conversation happening in another trip to the Lothal Jedi Temple, as first seen in “Path of the Jedi.”
Fans hungry for more Sabine background, after this season’s excellent “Blood Sisters,” won’t have to look much further when the crew runs into some Mandalorians, which Filoni teases, “…it opens up the door for more Mandalorian madness in the future.” There was a glimpse of her arc in the first season 2 trailer back at Celebration Anaheim 2015, where it was revealed she is House Wren, Clan Vizla. But this season won’t be forgetting about everyone’s favorite (but stinky) Lasat, Zeb, as we’ll get to see if he truly is the final Lasat alive…and if a rematch with Agent Kallus will go better this time around for him.
No, your eyes and ears weren’t deceiving you: Sam Witwer is back…as Darth Maul! Maul was last seen fleeing the scene of Mother Talzin’s death at the hands of Count Dooku, General Grievous, and Darth Sidious near the end of the Clone Wars (in the Son of Dathomir comics adapted from TCW scripts), his fate dangling surprisingly open. I expected to see the fallen Sith Lord return in some form or another, but I’ll admit I’m pretty surprised it’s in Rebels. His introduction to the show looks to come at the wrong time for Ezra, who seems to be struggling with the pull to the dark side and Maul certainly won’t be giving him light side lessons. But what has Maul been up to all these years? Does Ahsoka know he’s still around? And what are his plans and reasoning for showing up now? Could he be trying to gain the Emperor’s favor again, in hopes of being part of his old master’s grand plan? There’s also the interesting possibility that Maul might meet Vader…and imagine the duel those two would have! I’m pretty sure Vader would finish what Obi-Wan started: the death of Darth Maul. No matter the outcome, Maul’s appearance, while unexpected, is certainly welcomed.
It looks like Maul won’t be the only lightsaber wielding character to join the season, as another Inquisitor joins the fray (but who’s identity remains underwraps) and Kanan, the crew, and the Inquisitors run a muck of some surviving Jedi Temple Guards. Where exactly this all takes place remains a mystery, but could it be part of the Sith-ly Temple as mentioned before, as maybe these Guards went there to ensure the crystal within it stayed out of anyone’s grasps. They seem to have a leader (see the picture) and though his voice actor won’t be revealed just yet (
but I’d bet my life it’s James Arnold Taylor considering it sounds a lot like his Plo Koon voice in TCW I’m glad I didn’t bet my life since James Arnold Taylor just told me he isn’t voicing the character. And I was so sure…back to the drawing boards, I guess!), how and why he knows Ezra is being pulled to the dark side opens up many questions, including: has Kanan visited them before? Have they been watching from afar this whole time? And how come they’ve never risen up against the Empire, the Emperor, Vader, and the Inquisitors before? Hopefully some of these questions will be answered this season.
But as exciting as all the above will be to see unfold on screen, they somehow pale in comparison to the battle between fallen Master and ex-apprentice. Instead of showing much of their battle (thankfully), the trailer builds up the emotional aspect of their eventual meeting, something Dave Filoni is keen on bringing to the screen even more so then their lightsaber duel. There’s a part of the trailer which shows Ahsoka having a vision, possibly at the Lothal Temple (joining Ezra and Kanan in a journey there), where she hears the voice of Anakin Skywalker asking her why she left…and if she knows what he’s become; And your ears didn’t deceive you (again), Matt Lanter reprises his role as Anakin from TCW, which is very exciting to me since I feel he is the best prequel-era Anakin (and of course James Earl Jones is back for all of Vader’s lines, too!). The hologram of Anakin comes from Kanan’s Holocron and while Ahsoka finally seems to be admitting who her master is to Ezra, has she finally revealed what she believes about Vader being Anakin? Or will she end up keeping that a secret, whether she lives or dies by the end of the season? One thing is for sure, Filoni promises the storyline between Ashoka and Vader will come to end this season. Cue ominous and dramatic sound, “dun dun dun!”
With all the above to come simply in the second half of Star Wars Rebels’ second season, just remember we have at least a whole other season yet to come!
UPDATE: Check out TheWookieeGunner’s post on the recent trailer, as they dive back to some interviews to dig up even more revelations hidden within the trailer, including Chopper’s friend, the possibility of the planet the Sith Temple is on being Malachor (a name familiar to Knights of the Old Republic II fans), and a detail I neglected to mention about Numa (also from The Clone Wars) joining Cham and the crew this season.
UPDATE #2: The descriptions for the final 10 episodes have unofficially leaked, but they back up a lot of the theories going around as well as set the stage for what looks to be quite the tragic finale. Read on at your own risk, even if they aren’t official! Turns out, they definitely aren’t official, as Pablo Hildalgo points out.
(All screencaps from EW.com)
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