The end of an era has finally come, as Star Wars Rebels has aired its final episodes, “ A Fool’s Hope” and “Family Reunion and Farewell.” These episodes have the duty of wrapping up the remaining stories and character arcs, while also setting the stage for Rogue One. After a really strange two-episode story last week, the finale had its work cut out for it, and for the most part, it handled things decently.
*Episode Spoilers Ahead*
Rebels has always been Ezra’s story, and the finale is no different. Saving Lothal from Imperial Occupation is the mission, and this one plays out in true Star Wars fashion – a small band of heroes takes on an overwhelming amount of odds. Now, a lot happens, as the finale is 90 minutes across two episodes, but we will just be covering the most important stuff in this review. Ultimately, the plan boiled down to Ryder pretending to double-cross the Rebels, and it totally worked. Ryder makes a call to Governor Pryce asking for amnesty if he turns his friends in, and Pryce goes along with it. Once Pryce’s team comes to the Rebels, an awesome fight scene involving the Loth-wolves goes down, and Ryder reveals his true intentions, as they plan on using Pryce and her troopers to get into the Imperial base in attempt to remove the dome from Lothal. Plenty of great action scenes take place, and there are awesome moments from Hondo Ohnaka (a very welcome returning guest) and pretty much everyone else on the team. Things appear to be going well for the Rebels until the man himself, Thrawn, finally returns to Lothal. After a display of power by unleashing his Star Destroyer’s cannons on the streets of the planet, injuring and killing innocents, Ezra agrees to meet face to face. Though Hera and the rest of the team disagrees, Ezra knows Sabine will cover for him to do what he must.
On board Thrawn’s Star Destroyer, Ezra is taken to a special room where a hologram of Emperor Palpatine (looking as he did in the prequels, pre-Revenge of the Sith) and a section of Lothal’s Jedi Temple has been moved. Palpatine plays sympathetic, and tells Ezra there is power within the temple gate that can reunite him with his parents. Palpatine takes Ezra to the gateway, and on the other side are Ezra’s parents, beckoning him to join them. Whether this is simply a trick by Palpatine or something that could actually happen isn’t clear, but given last week’s revelations of time travel, it could also be entirely real. Either way, Ezra declines, as he learned last week that he must let the past go and allow the will of the Force to work. This angers Palpatine, and his hologram starts shifting between the variation we’ve seen and the hooded figure of Darth Sidious. Ezra uses the Force to destroy the temple section and engages in a fight with Imperial guards and troopers, but defeats them all.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team is working on getting the planetary shields up for protection when Thrawn starts firing again, and they have an extremely limited amount of time in which to do it. While in the reactor chamber, Zeb faces off with Rukh and, ultimately, Rukh dies when the power comes back on. The only casualty on the Rebels’ side is Gregor, a sad moment as he is one of the last clones, but the Rebels ultimately get the shields up in time. Ezra’s secret plans are now in motion, as the purgills show up after receiving a broadcast on their frequency. The space whales use their tentacles to engulf Thrawn’s Star Destroyer, tangling him up in them as well. Tentacles crash through the bridge of the ship’s windows, and Ezra uses the Force to brace himself as the purgills take off into hyperspace, taking the Star Destroyer, Thrawn, and Ezra with them.
In the show’s epilogue, which takes place at some point after Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens, many things are revealed. Hera and Rex both fought in the battle of Endor (though the show didn’t go as far as confirming Rex as Nik Sant, the fan-favorite bearded Rebel soldier who looks JUST like Rex) and it was revealed that Hera had become a mother, and Kanan was presumably the child’s father. The child had become Spectre 7, and was named Jacen Syndulla (Jacen is a nice call back to the old EU, as Leia and Han’s son was named Jacen Solo). It seems a bit odd that Hera had such an issue opening up and telling Kanan she loved him, but she had no qualms about having sex with him, but hey, what do I know?
Zeb stayed on Lothal for awhile, determined to help hold Lothal without the help of the Rebel Alliance, as they had taken Lotah without help. The cool thing is, with the Star Wars Rebels team winning on Lothal without the help of the Rebel Alliance, this victory doesn’t contradict A New Hope’s opening crawl, which stated that the Rebellion’s first victory was getting the Death Star plans. After the war, Zeb takes Kallus through a hidden hyperspace lane to a planet where Zeb’s species, the Lasat, are still alive and well to show Kallus that he wasn’t, in fact, responsible for the decimation of most of the species. This is such an amazing moment, and it really brings together two characters who, at the beginning of the show, we could have never seen as friends.
Sabine didn’t return to Mandalore or the Rebellion; she instead stayed on Lothal for the remainder of the war, in anticipation of Imperial retaliation that actually never came directly to Lothal. She remained on Lothal until the time came where she needed to go find Ezra, and it was revealed she would be joined by none other than Ahsoka Tano, who is very much alive and looks very much like Gandalf the White. We know absolutely nothing about what happened in between Ahsoka’s appearance in last week’s episode and her appearance in this epilogue, but I’m sure we will find out in the not-so-distant future.
So, the finale was fun, but it still left a lot of questions and threads hanging, and that rubs me the wrong way. Also, I’m afraid of what it sets up. We just finished a show that had “secret Jedi” as the main characters, and with Ezra still alive, as well as Ahsoka, that seems to be the case with the next series. Also, HOW can Ezra be alive? If Ezra is alive, does that mean Thrawn is as well? We can only hope. I guess my major criticism is that the show’s finale was ultimately underwhelming, but I understand now that this was just the first part in Ezra’s story. It’s exciting to see what the future may hold, but I just wish things could have been explained just a bit more. At the end of the day, I’m happy Dave Filoni got to finish his story AND bring back his baby, Ahsoka.
For more on Star Wars, keep your browsers locked to Geeks + Gamers.