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Celebration Catch Up: Rebels Season 3 Trailer Breakdown

Posted by Mike_Taber | July 21, 2016 at 02:03 PM ET

The trailer for season three of Star Wars Rebels certainly got a lot of people talking. From the introduction of Grand Admiral Thrawn(!) to the continued threat of Darth Maul, it appears we’re in store for a very eventful third season. It’s time to delve deep into this jam-packed trailer. Click through for the full breakdown

Enter Thrawn

Let’s start with the biggest news, Grand Admiral Thrawn is back! I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think 99% of the old Expanded Universe was terrible, but Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy is certainly part of the 1% that I genuinely enjoyed. With his introduction in Rebels, one of the greatest (if not the greatest) Expanded Universe characters is finally canon. It’s definitely encouraging that Filoni brought in Timothy Zahn to consult on season three, because they have to get Thrawn right. The brief introduction of Thrawn in this trailer was a promising start though. They’ve already set him up as a brilliant strategist and showcased his obsession with art. I also think they found a perfect voice actor for Thrawn. Thrawn will be voiced by Lars Mikkelsen, brother of Rogue One actor Mads Mikkelsen. Without a doubt, I’m excited that Thrawn will be the big bad for season three but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. One of Star Wars Rebels greatest weaknesses has been its portrayal of the Empire. Other than the brief appearances by Vader and Tarkin, the Empire has been portrayed as a joke. Thrawn can’t be defeated every other week by the Ghost crew like Kallus. Hopefully the introduction of Thrawn will finally make the Empire a consistent and legitimate threat to the Ghost crew and their allies.

The Ghost Crew 2.0

It looks like the entire Ghost crew will be getting new animation models this season, and it appears there will be a time jump in between seasons. The proposition of a time jump in between seasons is certainly an intriguing one. The changes to Hera and Zeb appear to be the least drastic. Sabine has a new hair color so I guess that’s her character development for this season (I’m just kidding rebelsfangirl). Ezra got a haircut and a new lightsaber. Ezra’s new look is at least an improvement. Ezra has never been one of my favorite characters on Rebels, but his flirtation with the dark side is one of the most interesting storylines heading into season three. Ezra’s connection with Darth Maul was one of the best parts of the amazing season two finale. I’m really looking forward to see how the writers handle Ezra’s growing connection with the dark side and his relationship with Maul. Kanan’s look has probably changed the most out of the Ghost crew. In addition to new clothes and a beard, Kanan now wears a mask that covers his eyes. Of course, Kanan was blinded by Darth Maul in the season two finale. I think Kanan’s new look is probably the best of the bunch. I love that Kanan’s mask has the Jaig eyes from Rex’s helmet, and were probably included to represent how Kanan was finally able to see though Rex’s eyes after hating him for most of season two.

Wait? Was that Wedge?

It looks like Thrawn won’t be the only fan favorite joining season three of Rebels. Wedge will apparently be one of three TIE Pilots looking to defect to the rebellion. I was excited when I heard Wedge’s name, but I don’t know how I feel about the Ghost crew being responsible for Wedge joining the rebellion. It just makes the universe feel small to me. What do you guys think?

The Last Battle of the Clone Wars

Battle droids? The only fighting force more incompetent than Stormtroopers are back for one last battle. As a big fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, seeing Rex suit up and fight side by side with the Jedi against an army of battle droids was one of the most exciting visuals in trailer. Based on trailer, it seems like the rebels encounter these battle droids while searching for a squadron of leftover Clone Wars era Y-Wings. I wonder what role the battle droids will play in this story. Are there remaining Separatist holdouts left out in the galaxy at this time or are they just malfunctioning droids that are activated when the rebels arrive at this base?

Return of the Mandalorians

Dave Filoni confirmed that the Mandalorians and Sabine’s past will have a significant presence in seasons three, and we got a glimpse of that in the trailer. Fenn Rau, who sort of just vanished after his introduction last season, will be back. We also got to see some new Mandalorians based on the Ralph McQuarrie concept art for Boba Fett which is exciting. Oh and apparently Sabine comes into possession of the darksaber that once belonged to Pre Vizsla and Darth Maul.

Speaking of Darth Maul…

At Celebration, Filoni described Maul as a man looking for purpose and a legacy. At this stage, Maul has nothing. He lost his brother, his mother, and his power. Not mention to his old master sent Inquisitors to hunt him down and kill him. Maul may have found his new purpose in Ezra. As I mentioned earlier, their connection remains of the most exciting storylines heading into to season three. I can’t wait to see where they take this story. I know a lot of people still think the idea of Maul surviving The Phantom Menace is ridiculous and honestly it is. But it works. They handled his survival the best they could on The Clone Wars and they did some truly amazing work with his character. I can overlook implausibility of Maul’s survival because of all the impressive character development and stories his return provided us. Besides, Sam Witwer is perfect as Darth Maul. With all that being said, Maul’s days need to be numbered. He can’t be hanging around during the events of A New Hope.

The Bendu

Although his introduction was probably overshadowed by the return of familiar faces, The Bendu is one of the most compelling additions to season three of Rebels. The Bendu will be voiced by Doctor Who actor Tom Baker and represents the center of the Force who will serve as a guide to Kanan. The character’s exact quote is, “Jedi and Sith. The light and the Dark. I’m the one in the middle. The Bendu.” The Bendu’s inclusion is shaping up to be a fascinating exploration of a new aspect of the Force. Also of note, the term “Bendu” originates from George Lucas’s original script for Star Wars. The Bendu is definitely one of my most anticipated additions to Star Wars Rebels.

Miscellaneous

Not everyone needs a longwinded write up so this section will be for some minor details I found interesting. It’s always great to see Hondo! He was one of my favorite Clone Wars characters and he fits in so well with the Rebels cast. I loved his response to Zeb’s suggestion that they split the treasure. Also of note, we’ll be seeing some version of the Dark Trooper droids this season. I always liked that design so the Dark Trooper is a welcome addition to canon. Wait, did I just hear Ventress? It definitely sounds like Nika Futterman, but she could just be voicing the mysterious Sith Lord she played in the season two finale. Then again, the green spirit we saw later in the trailer looked like Nightsister magic to me so who knows.

What do you want to see in Season Three?

Now that we’ve all seen the trailer, what do think? What are you the most excited about? What are you the most nervous about? Is there something that wasn’t in the trailer that you want to see in season three? Do you hate Rebels and just came here to complain about it? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

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