Rebels Mid-Season 4: Trailer Review

(Spoilers) It is here! The mid-season-4 trailer to tease us for what is going to occur in the final half-season of Star Wars: Rebels. And what a trailer it is! Follow me!

Ezra’s Path

The trailer starts out with a long look-back at Ezra’s journey from season 1, episode 1, all the way till now: The End.  This may seem to some as a tactic by Lucasfilm to avoid needing to show to much footage of the remaining new episodes and actually the season 4 main trailer last summer did the same under Hera’s voice-over. Screenshot (221)Here however there is more to it as in these flashbacks we revisit a large number of characters that turn out to be relevant for the upcoming episodes!

But most important of all, the flashbacks highlight a very particular characteristic of Ezra’s force-usage that is also very specific to Ezra: his linkage with other creatures. We see shots from his bonding with Loth cats, Loth wolves, but also from season 1 his first test of making this connection under strain and his season 2 connection to the hyperspace whales. Obviously the makers of Rebels are telling us that this trait of Ezra will prove crucial for the events of the final half-season.

All paths converge

Already in the summer trailer of season 4 did they play with the theme of all paths of characters converging. Screenshot (235)That indeed seems to be what is going to happen. As soon as the new footage begins appearing in the trailer we indeed see plenty of old friends returning. We see, for example, an old and familiar Weequay pirate, Sabine’s friend from her bounty hunter days, Ketsy Onyo, but also Rex’s buddies Gregor and Wolfe. The season 4 finale might very well try to tie all these character arcs into a single sequence of events. That promises to be an emotional and perhaps shocking ride.

Setting off where we left Hera

At the end of the previous half-season Hera was captured by the Empire and so we start out this half-season with the rescue attempt. Screenshot (228)Strikingly enough Kanan cuts off his hair for that. This is remarkable when you consider that in such animation shows any alteration of a characters appearance costs money, i.e. they wouldn’t do it if it weren’t necessary. I assume it is a symbol for Kanan and a potentially devastating loss early in the second half of the season. Together with the rumoured synopsises of the first two episodes of this half-season, the absence of Kanan in the last third of the trailer is ominous: to say the least.  All his appearances in the trailer seem linked to the rescue mission for Hera.

The paths seem to converge towards a battle for Lothal which will see Admiral Thrawn come into it with full guns blazing. The stakes are very high here. Not only will we get final resolution as to whether Thrawn is still around during the Original Trilogy times, or whether he has died. But somehow I can’t escape the feeling that more members of our Ghost Crew might not make it out of those episodes alive.

Screenshot (236)

The Wolf Mysteries

Much of the trailer recalls the Loth Wolf mystery that was set-up in the first half-season. In this final half we are in for a great pay-off of that. Not only do the wolves play a role in Ezra’s journey with the Force,Screenshot (247) not only were the Wolves ominously knowledgeable about Kanan’s real name in the previous half-season but here they also seem directly connected to what looks like being the greatest tease of the entire trailer: Ezra meets Palpatine.

The Emperor Appears

The absence of Vader or Ahsoka is easily forgotten once you spot that this season works towards a confrontation of sorts between Ezra and Darth Sidious. I like that the trailer has chosen not to show Vader. Screenshot (246)He might have a role, he might not. The revelation that Sidious is aware of Ezra is a high-stakes revelation. Don’t forget that Ezra knows about Obi Wan’s whereabouts. Also don’t forget that Ezra is very familiar with Sidious’ first apprentice, the late Darth Maul. If these two get talking … anything can happen. Now of course we know what happens in Rogue One and Episodes IV through VI and Rebels will not retcon anything of that. But it is interesting to bring Sidious in a position where he could hypothetically get access to a direct path to Luke. I am so looking forward to that.

Ahsoka and Mortis

For those who have watched the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series one of the absolute stand-out episode-trilogies was the Mortis Trilogy.Screenshot (231) In this trilogy Anakin confronts his destiny as the chosen one and Ahsoka hears in a dream that she will not live if she doesn’t leave her Master, Anakin. As we all know that series ends with Ahsoka leaving, yet the season finale of Rebels season 2 saw Ahsoka meet Darth Vader. Not only did Vader reveal himself as Anakin Skywalker in that episode, but Ahsoka directly commented on the prediction she had been given in the Mortis Arc by saying to Vader: “I won’t leave you, not this time”.

Screenshot (254)

Ever since that moment Ahsoka’s fate has been coloured in darkness. It was teased she had died, unavoidably given the events of Return of the Jedi in Anakin’s arc, but it was also teased that somehow she had survived. From that Rebels episode onwards many fans tied the survival of Ahsoka to her ‘return from death’ at Anakin’s hands in the Mortis Arc, under influence of the life force of the Sister. Well … in the last few shots of the trailer we see Ezra in front of a wall depicting the crucial elements from the Mortis Arc.

Get ready!

Isn’t it lovely that we now have a full months  to figure out what this mural means? I am totally hyped for the Rebels finale!

If you still need to catch-up with Rebels, then do so now. The first double-episode will air February the 19th, the next double will come February the 26th and then a final triple of episodes on March the 5th. You will not want to miss this … and you will not want to binge this three months later! Be there, or be square 😉

Screenshot (249)

Want to read more? Try these for example:

Reviews of Rebels: Season 4 Heroes of Mandalore, In the Name of the Rebellion, Rebel Assault.

Character studies from The Last Jedi: Luke, Finn, Rey, Armitage Hux, Poe Dameron, Rose Tico and Kylo Ren.

 

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