Rebels Season Finale Satisfies But Does Not Redeem Underwhelming Season

– By Paulie Spiceflow –


The Rebellion got knocked around pretty good in the season finale of Rebels. The thrilling double episode sported an impressive space battle, some epic music, and a few plot points to move things along. It definitely delivered on the action front, no doubt. What it didn’t do was redeem what was a pretty weak season.

We here at Prescient Sci-Fi have been bashing Rebels pretty good for the past few months (also here), so I won’t reiterate our previous criticisms. So let’s just take this as a season finale and forget the rest of it for now. One of the EU’s most popular villains, Thrawn, finally got his chance to show his tactical genius. Using the Empire’s new toy, an interdictor cruiser, he was able to prevent the Rebel fleet from jumping to hyperspace and escaping the attack.

Thrawn waited in making his move, wanting to know the exact location of the Rebel base, utilizing Fulcrum rather than simply arresting and eliminating him. He also waited for the Rebel fleet to gather in large numbers so that his attack would deal a heavier blow. While not a total victory, his move definitely weakened the alliance and killed one of their leaders, Sato (sp?). Even by adult space opera standards, his tactics were pretty crafty.

As predicted, Sabine played a role in the battle but her fight to switch Mandalore to the Rebel side is still ongoing. Her family fights for power against pro-Empire families. This lays out an interesting subplot for the next season.

The Bindu character, an elderly force-wielder, apparently has a temper. Bringing about some storms, he slammed down hard on both sides in retaliation for bringing their war to his home. His move gave the Rebels the opening they needed to escape the planet, an obvious plot device but a neat one. Had he stayed true to character and his principles, the Bindu should’ve hid and remained hidden rather than reveal himself.

Oh well. It’s a cartoon.

We got a reference to the base on Yavin, yet another hint that we are nearly contemporaneous with A New Hope. The show will have to be careful not to venture to close to the movie rails, so to speak. For example, it is hard to envision them involving Luke Skywalker, since he is also a Jedi in training. Still, he and Kanan have a lot to talk about. There was some dialogue early in the finale, which suggested Ezra’s training is nearly complete. When a master says this, it can mean: (1) the master-apprentice are preparing to part ways; (2) the master is about to die; or (3) the pair will fight as equals like Obi-Wan/Anakin did for the bulk of the Clone Wars.

So what about season 4? Well, since this season didn’t quite do it for me, I am not really that excited for the fourth. The Ahsoka question lingers but as more time passes, I feel like she will not be featured anymore. Perhaps she truly is dead. The struggle between the Rebels and Thrawn will definitely be featured as well as Sabine’s struggle on Mandalore. Since we are nearing completion of the Death Star, we could see that featured, or perhaps the battle over Scarif. There are a few characters from Rogue One that could be featured (i.e. Saw Gerrera) but they will be careful not to upset the movie timeline.

Is that enough? Clone Wars had a big sandbox to play in, utilizing a full cast of new characters while staying a reasonable distance away from the movies. Not so here. Rebels is no longer filler; we are in straight-prequel mode now. We are on the verge of the Battle of Yavin, one of the largest events in the saga. Anything Rebels does in the next season will be left in its shadow. How will fans appreciate these other guys fighting these small battles?

For the above reasons, and its tepid ratings, I am predicting season 4 will be the last season of Rebels. It will end with the events leading to Scarif or Yavin. Kanan will die, Ezra will continue not as Jedi but as neutral force-wielder. Neither will meet Luke but might meet Han, Leia (again), or Senator Organa. The show will focus on the important defeat of Thrawn, removing him as the masterful nemesis to the Rebels in the ensuing three movies, perhaps suggesting that he could have defeated them had he been in command. Instead, it fell to Tarkin and Vader.

We shall see when the show returns in September.


Paulie Spiceflow is a regular contributor, movie reviewer and unbelievable smart ass. He prides himself on his excessive knowledge of movies, TV, books, internet memes, and pop cultural references. During college, he spent minimal hours studying but took full-advantage of the free internet and lack of bills to broaden his knowledge in numerous genres including spoof comedy, fantasy, Shakespeare, military history, zombies, and cartoons.