Essential viewing for Star Wars Rebels season three

first_imgIn the third season of Star Wars: Rebels, the additions to existing Star Wars canon already makes it exciting, but the continuations of existing lore have also been pleasant surprises. Besides the core Ghost crew of Hera, Kanan, Ezra, Zeb, Sabine, and Chopper, characters and objects from this season of Rebels are picking up or closing off stories that began years ago.In November 2014, it was rumored that Star Wars: Rebels would last “about” three to four seasons before another animated series set during the Force Awakens time period would take its place as the animated arm of the Star Wars Universe. Assuming this isn’t the last season of Rebels, that still makes season three the beginning of the end game not only for the Ghost crew, but for some big Star Wars character arcs. To fully grasp the arcs these characters represent, here is some essential Star Wars viewing (and bonus reading) for Star Wars: Rebels.Ahsoka TanoStar Wars: The Clone WarsS05e17 “Sabotage”S05e18 “The Jedi Who Knew Too Much”S05e19 “To Catch A Jedi”S05e19 “The Wrong Jedi” Although it’s unlikely that Ahsoka will show up again this season (never say never!), we’ve already seen that Ezra’s inability to protect her at the end of season two is one of the contributing factors in his experiments with the Dark Side to gain more power.The story of Ahsoka is tied closely to the entire run of the previous animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. That series takes place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith and followed the adventures of the Jedi Order and the Republic’s Clone Army in battle with the Separatist Droid Army. In 2008, the series kicked off with a theatrically released animated film just titled Star Wars: The Clone Wars that introduced Ashoka as Anakin’s assigned Padawan. The movie isn’t essential viewing and includes a silly plot about Hutt kidnapping, but the character of Ahsoka grew alongside Anakin Skywalker during the run of the series.The essential episodes to understand why Ahsoka grew up to be Fulcrum, an agent of a budding Rebellion in Rebels, instead of a Jedi Knight like she was intended to be are the last four episodes of The Clone Wars broadcast on television (the sixth series wouldn’t debut on Netflix until after the show was off the air). Season five, episodes seventeen through twenty are a four part story that shakes Ahsoka’s confidence in the Jedi Order as ruled by Chancellor Palpatine’s Republic. Not only does she find herself at the center of a conspiracy, she gets wrongfully ejected from the Jedi Council and must prove her innocence. When everything gets cleared up, it’s apparent that Ahsoka has a jaded view of the Jedi’s place in the system.When “The Wrong Jedi” aired in March 2013, StarWars.com announced the show would no longer air on Cartoon Network, effectively canceling it. Anakin’s Padawan was there from beginning to end, and it’s only fitting that she’s lived on to be the counterpoint to her master: a Jedi who left the Order behind for good reasons instead of evil ones.HolocronsStar Wars: The Clone WarsS02e01 “Holocron Heist”Reading: Kanan: The Last Padawan #1 (comic book) There’s much ado about holocrons throughout the Rebels story arc, as they are the primary way that the Sith and the Jedi stored sensitive information they only wanted accessed by Force users. Kanan’s holocron was given to him in the last days of the Clone Wars by his master Depa Billaba (Kanan: The Last Padawan #1). After Order 66 wiped out most of the Jedi in the galaxy (Revenge of the Sith), Kanan kept his holocron and his lightsaber hidden away for years as the pieces of the Rebellion coalesced. Kana met Hera (Star Wars: A New Dawn) and they became the crew of the Ghost, eventually coming across the planet of Lothal where a young Force sensitive boy named Ezra was able to use the Holocron.Now, we’re dealing with Sith holocrons as well! Even though the existence of a dark holocron is fairly new to the main Star Wars continuity. There is talk of holocrons in many of the Legends properties (we were recently surprised to find references to them in the Shadows of the Empire novel), but since the Expanded Universe was re-set in 2012 the amount of holocron knowledge to accrue has been more than halved. The premiere episode of season two of The Clone Wars was titled “Holocron Heist” and is now canonically the first appearance of holocrons. Not only are they explained conceptually, but it’s a Clone Wars episode that features bounty hunter Cad Bane.Hondo (and crystals?)Star Wars: The Clone WarsS05e06 “The Gathering”S05e07 “A Test of Strength”S05e08 “Bound for Rescue”Hondo Ohnaka is a scoundrel and in Star Wars: Rebels, he has taken up the role of random cameo space pirate. Hondo once lead a much more formidable gang of pirates called the Ohnaka Gang on the planet of Florrum. Unlike most of Rebels’ characters, Hondo is a chaotic force that is only concerned with his own wealth and well-being. Hondo has now shown up in two seasons of Rebels and only made this list because of a possible connection between one of Hondo’s episodes of The Clone Wars and the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One.It’s been confirmed by Rogue One cast members that the new planet Jedha will have materials that were used to make lightsabers on it. To those in the Star Wars know, that means kyber crystals, which have only been name-dropped in the animated shows, not the movies…until December (probably).The three part story arc of The Clone Wars that deals with Ahsoka taking Jedi Younglings to Ilium for kyber crystals only to be captured by Hondo and his pirates afterwards. It’s a good explainer for the crystals and some fairly good Ohnaka gang action. Most importantly, Hondo knows how valuable those crystals are. Rebels season three has time to lead up to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this year, and signs are suggesting the Empire has been researching powerful super-weapons since before it was officially an Empire.Darth MaulStar Wars: The Clone WarsS05e14 “Eminence”S05e15 “Shades of Reason”S05e16 “The Lawless” Where to start with Darth Maul is difficult as the single-film Sith Lord has had a long life after being cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi on Naboo. In the context of Star Wars: Rebels, Maul can either continue his campaign of revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi or continue his war against the Sith for depriving him of his rightful place as leader of the galaxy. There’s a lot of Maul lore that survived the canon purge, including Savage Opress and his dealings with his family and Darth Sidious himself.It was the Star Wars: Rebels tease that Sabine Wren would be wielding a darksaber (a black lightsaber) that focused what Maul-centric stories should be spotlit as essential to the show. The darksaber was stolen from the Jedi by Mandalorians during the fall of the Old Republic and The Clone Wars first encounters it in the hand of Mandalorian Death Watch leader Pre Vizsla (one of Sabine’s Mandalorian ancestors). Maul was raging against Kenobi and the Sith equally and decided to team up with Death Watch to take over the planet of Mandalore from Duchess Satine (who Obi-wan is in love with).With soap opera twists and faction politics, the trilogy of “Eminence,” “Shades of Reason,” and “The Lawless” shows just how ruthless Maul can be while also illuminating more about the Mandalorian culture and darksaber that are orbiting Sabine this season.REXStar Wars: The Clone WarsS04e08 “The General”S04e09 “Plan of Dissent”S04e10 “Carnage of Krell”The most Santa Claus looking of the surviving clone troopers, Rex AKA CT-7567 is another character, like Ahsoka, who developed significantly over the run of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. Assigned to Anakin Skywalker during most of the war, Rex oversaw the historic 501st. Considering Dave Filoni has said he hopes Rex is the white-bearded Rebellion trooper seen on Endor in Return of the Jedi, it’s clear that this particular clone of Jango Fett managed to survive two interglactic conflicts, not to mention being one of the few clone troopers to have not participated in the mass murder of the Jedi.When Rex, Wollfe and Gregor appeared on Star Wars: Rebels, we were told that all three of them had managed to remove their inhibitor chips before Order 66 was issued, and it’s true that those three characters don’t appear in the Order 66 montage in Revenge of the Sith (unlike traitorous Commander Cody, who we’d come to appreciate over the animated series, shooting Obi-wan off his lizard monster). What would drive three clones to disconnect from the army they were biologically engineered to serve in? That would be the events of The Clone Wars.The trilogy of Clone Wars episodes from the fourth season that deal with General Krell and Rex butting heads over the chain of command (obviously, it’s more sinister than that, but that’s the broad swath) starts with Rex the hero clone trooper and ends with Rex the jaded part of a whole. It’s a series of episodes that changes the character from someone we just liked (like Commander Cody) to someone that would have removed their inhibitor chip before he was forced to kill the Jedi.BONUS: Wedge AntillesReading:Aftermath Aftermath: Life DebtWith an episode in season three called “The Antilles Extraction,” we can be pretty sure that we’re going to see how a young Wedge Antilles joined the Rebellion. The revelation that Rebels has to contribute to the canon is that Wedge started out as a defecting Imperial pilot (like Bodie from Rogue One!) that went on to become one of the most important pilots of the Rebellion.Sure, he might have had a ton of Expanded Universe Rogue Squadron adventures deleted from official canon, but those of us that read the Star Wars novels know that good ol’ Wedge managed to survive into the sequel series…as far as we know. Wedge is a central character in the first Star Wars novel to take place after the Battle of Endor: Star Wars: Aftermath and also appears in a significant role in it’s sequel, Aftermath: Life Debt.Not that this is pertinent to Rebels itself (hence the “Bonus”), but as far as legacy characters go in the Star Wars Universe, Wedge Antilles is still kicking around after the second Death Star gets blown up. Unless he’s forced to make the ultimate sacrifice in Aftermath: Empire’s End, Wedge could very well still be alive during the events of The Force Awakens.last_img read more

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