As the first TV series under the Disney era, Star Wars Rebels had much riding on it. Often compared to its predecessor, The Clone Wars, it had to break new ground, and rebels succeeded in every way, laying the foundation for series and movies to come after it.
Here are 30 reasons to love Star Wars Rebels.
1. Ezra Bridger
Dubbed “the Blueberry” by the fandom, Ezra Bridger is every bit of the teenage protagonist he should be. He is impulsive, stubborn, and flippant at times. But underneath the airs, Ezra is a young man working through incredible traumas.
He discovers he is Force0sensitive and becomes a padawan later than most to train as a Jedi. His journey from selfishness to selflessness is powerful as he rises to the call to adventure.
2. Kanan Jarrus
Kanan is an unorthodox Jedi for an unorthodox time. Being a padawan when Order 66 happened, he was never fully trained to be a Jedi and immediately went into hiding from the Empire. Kanan had to rely on the Force to guide him and his training of Ezra.
He’s also not the biggest stickler for Jedi rules, having a romance with Hera and attachments to his found family with the Ghost crew. Kanan is a new Jedi for a new era, and seeing how he differs from the Jedi before him makes him shine in the series.
3. Hera Syndulla
A military general. One of the best pilots in the galaxy. The first person to ever fly a B-Wing. These are just a few of the superlatives to describe Hera Syndulla. Hera is in charge of the Ghost crew and bears the brunt of leadership well. Raised by rebels, her idealism is an inspiration for those around her.
At her lowest moments, Hera picks herself back up to fight another day. Hera is a fantastic character of strength and perseverance, and it’s inspiring watching her rise through the ranks of the Rebellion.
4. Sabine Wren
The team’s residential Mandalorian brings a unique story to the series. Sabine has one of the more complicated histories thanks to her time in the Imperial Academy and as a bounty hunter. The artist and explosive expert is a spunky young woman, but that doesn’t mean she lacks depth.
Sabine carries her trauma close to her heart, which slowly emerges over the show, making her one of the more fascinating characters to watch.
5. Garazeb ‘Zeb' Orrelios
On the surface, Zeb might seem like the muscle of the team, but there is so much complexity to him. He is a survivor of a genocide and a bitter rival to Agent Kallus for the first half of the series. Zeb is vital to the series, showing his heart to someone he hates, which allows Kallus to be redeemed.
Through Zeb, Kallus is important in the last half of the show. Zeb is also kind, funny, and the team's big brother, looking out for the crew.
The team’s murder droid probably has the highest body count among the heroes, and that’s not a joke. There is a comedic, bantering side that fans love about Chopper, and his fights with other droids, Ezra, and Zeb, are some of the funniest comedic beats of the series.
The little droid has more to him, though, as Chopper has his backstory, makes friends with AP-5, and is close with his owner, Hera.
7. Return of Clone Wars Characters
One of the best parts of Star Wars Rebels is how it continues some of the stories from The Clone Wars. Several characters from the series, such as Republic clones like Wolffe and Gregor, the pirate Hondo Ohnaka, Hera’s father Cham Syndulla, and more, make cameos throughout the show.
8. Captain Rex
One significant character returns from The Clone Wars: fan favorite Captain Rex. Rex joins the crew, participating in several essential missions. His experience and military knowledge are vital, along with bringing some of the show's best laughs.
9. Ahsoka Tano
An early surprise of the series was the reveal that the mysterious Fulcrum leader of season one was Ahsoka Tano. The Clone Wars character plays a prominent supporting role as a mentor for Ezra and Kanan, and she also faces her old fallen master in a climactic duel with Darth Vader.
10. Legacy Characters
The Clone Wars isn’t the only Star Wars media that gets its time in Rebels. Multiple legacy characters are in the show, like a teenage Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, R2-D2, C-3PO, Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, and Wedge Antilles.
Rebels is a fantastic bridge connecting the Prequel Trilogy and the Original Trilogy.
11. Rogue One and Andor Connections
When Rebels was being created and aired, it was around the same time Rogue One was filmed and released. Because of this, the show has plenty of tie-ins with the film, with appearances from Saw Gerrera and Mon Mothma, played by Forest Whitaker and Genevieve O’Reilly.
In turn, Andor built on the story of Rebels, with many Easter eggs sliding in as the series takes place in the same year in the timeline.
12. Formation of the Rebellion
Rebels is about the formation of the Rebellion, and the Ghost crew is just one cell working on their own. But as the series progresses, they meet other groups in the Rebellion and even witness Mon Mothma’s call to gather as a unified front.
This series is about how the Rebellion came together and set the precedence and groundwork for other shows like Andor.
13. Kevin Kiner’s Score
John Williams might be known for scoring the Star Wars films, but Kevin Kiner is the composer of choice for Lucasfilm Animation. Teamed up with his children, Sean and Deana, Kiner has scored four animated series, including Rebels.
His music is some of the best in the franchise, with songs like Thrawn’s theme, “It's Over Now,” and “Into the Star Cluster.”
Most of the series takes place in Ezra’s home world of Lothal, as it is the base of operations for the Ghost crew. The planet itself is an integral part of the story, from the hidden Jedi Temple to its unique creatures only found in this world. Every time the crew returns to Lothal, it feels like coming home.
Loth-cats are a variant of the adorable Tooka cats seen around the galaxy. The difference between the two species is their names, as Loth-cats are only found on Lothal. These adorable critters can be just as much of a pest to the Empire or be spiritual guides for Ezra when he needs them.
Like the kitties of the planet, the Loth-wolves are creatures that inhabit Lothal. They have a strong connection to the Force and can mystically tap into hyperspace to travel across the world.
Because of his ability to connect to animals, Ezra follows the Loth-wolves as guides to lead him to new revelations about his journey.
Star Wars Rebels expanded on much of the lore the current canon knows about Mandalorian culture. The history of the Darksaber’s creation by its maker Tarre Vizsla all came from this series. It built upon the foundation that The Clone Wars started and laid its groundwork for later shows like The Mandalorian.
18. Bo-Katan Kryze
One figure who has become a focus of live actions series is Bo-Katan Kryze, and Star Wars Rebels is a critical piece of her narrative. While she’s only in one episode, the story details how she got the Darksaber to fight for Mandalore, setting up how she lost it to Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian.
19. Agent Kallus
Agent Alexsandr Kallus’ journey of atonement and redemption is one of the best of the series. His bitter rivalry with Zeb at the start of the series poses Kallus as a cruel antagonist to the heroes. Thanks to Zeb’s influence, Kallus realizes the errors of the Empire and becomes a spy before defecting entirely.
The ‘enemies to friends’ storyline is one of the best narratives of the show. Kallus' defection was also a viral social media moment, leading to the #HotKallus moment that ran rampant on Twitter for several days. Hot Kallus Day is still celebrated by fans years later.
20. The Inquisitors
The Jedi hunters of Star Wars Rebels are some of the deadly early threats of the series. The show gives the audience four very different Inquisitors starting with the Grand Inquisitor, a loyal servant to Darth Vader. The Inquisitors add a new kind of risk to the show.
21. Darth Vader
The big bad Sith Lord comes into the fray in season two in some of the scariest Darth Vader scenes before Rogue One’s release. Kanan and Ezra do not stand a chance against him and can only flee for their lives. Vader is a beast to be reckoned with, upping the stakes for the show.
22. Twilight of the Apprentice
The Season 2 finale is a highlight of the entire series. It brings in Darth Maul, Kanan is injured in a life-altering way, and Ezra begins to flirt with the Dark Side.
The spectacle of “Twilight of the Apprentice” is the showdown between Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader as the ex-padawan faces off against her old master. It’s one of the best lightsaber fights of the franchise, filled with emotional resonance 10 years in the making.
23. Darth Maul
Darth Maul’s arrival provides an interesting antagonist for the show. He immediately targets Ezra as his new apprentice, using the boys as a means to his end. Maul wants to find Obi-Wan Kenobi to complete his revenge, and he will buddy up with and manipulate Ezra if necessary.
24. Obi-Wan Kenobi
The episode “Twin Suns” reunites Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul one final time. Their Akira Kurosawa-inspired battle is short but powerful. Stephen Stanton perfectly channels Alec Guinness, bringing the classic character to life.
It’s a beautiful end to Maul’s story as Obi-Wan comforts him in his final moments.
25. Grand Admiral Thrawn
If there is one character from the Legends stories that should strike fear into people, it’s Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Brought back into the canon from the pages of his novel Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, Thrawn is not someone to be trifled with, as he is cunning, dangerous, and an imposing threat to the Ghost crew.
26. Emperor Palpatine
Ian McDiarmid returns as Emperor Palpatine, bringing all the delightfully evil gravitas to his iconic role. Palpatine is the final villain of the series that Ezra faces off against on two separate occasions. To survive, the young Jedi must be as crafty as the Dark Lord of the Sith.
27. The Lothal Temple
The Jedi temple on Lothal is by far the most prominent location in the series. It’s a place that the series continues to come back to as it is a major piece of Ezra’s journey.
From getting his kyber crystal to make his lightsaber to finding the World Between Worlds inside, Ezra's link to this temple on a mystical level drives much of the series' narrative.
28. The World Between Worlds
The World Between Worlds opened up a wide range of story possibilities upon its reveal. This nexus point in the Force, where all time and space converges, is a powerful location to divulge in the final season. Its mystery is still being unraveled.
29. Rebels Recon
A unique part of Star Wars Rebels was its behind-the-scene series Rebels Recon. Hosted by Andi Gutierrez with Lucasfilm Story Group’s Pablo Hidalgo making appearances, the show broke down each Rebels episode.
It was a fun insight into the series that was just as beloved by fans. There’s nothing like Rebels Recon at Lucasfilm, and the web series is sorely missed.
30. The Epilogue
The epilogue of Star Wars Rebels is a satisfying conclusion to the journey of the Ghost crew. It finished this chapter of their story while setting up many possibilities of where the characters might go once the final credits roll.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.