But as Rebels finally creeps closer to the timeline of the films, seeing an event like the Battle of Scarif seems possible, given this season’s close tie-in with Rogue One. Here are the questions about the film we hope Rebels answers.
Will We See More Of the Rogue One Crew?
Because of the presence of Saw Gerrera, a character from Rebels’ predecessor Clone Wars and featured prominently in last year’s film Rogue One, it seems Season 4 is set shortly before the events of the latter film.
It’s even possible the season may include the Battle of Scarif, during which Jyn Erso and the crew of Rogue One successfully stole the Death Star plans and shared them with the Rebellion. After all, Hera’s Ghost was one of the ships that showed up over Scarif during the battle.
So will we see other members of the Rogue One crew in Season 4 of Rebels? There are so many opportunities on the table. Cassian Andor was already in deep with the Rebellion when he picked up Jyn Erso, so perhaps we’ll see him working with the crew of the Ghost at some point. It seems like this season of Rebels is moving away from Ezra’s strange relationship with the Force, constantly dabbling and then drawing back from the Dark Side; it’s possible a Force-sensitive character like Chirrut Imwe could appear to help guide him.
Why Does Saw Give Up So Easily in Rogue One?
Saw, you’ll remember, first appeared in the Clone Wars cartoon, where he helped lead the rebels in the Onderon Civil War alongside his sister Steela. Steela tragically perished in an accident caused by the then-Jedi in training Ahsoka Tano, but Saw felt responsible for her death and carried that weight with him his entire life.
Following the Clone Wars, Saw took Galen Erso along with his wife and baby Jyn to the uninhabited planet Lah’mu. When the Empire’s Lieutenant Commander Orson Krennic took Jyn’s parents, Saw spirited her to safety and took her under his wing. He unintentionally abandoned her as a young adult, and he continued to fight against the Imperial Military with a group called the Partisans, making a name for himself by using extreme tactics that would be considered borderline terrorism.
Saw has spent his entirely life fighting the Empire, and much of that time as a leader of militant groups. So why, then, after accomplishing so much and fighting so hard, does he give up and die when the Death Star destroys Jedha? He could have left with Jyn and made amends for abandoning her, or even helped her steal the Death Star plans. But instead, he simply passes on the information she needs, looks around with his crazy eyes a few times, mutters something about not wanting to anymore, and lets himself get killed.
Our best guess is that something happened during the timeframe of Rebels’ fourth season that broke him, hampering his determination and probably affecting his will to go on. Was he waiting in Jedha to die? Hopefully Rebels will answer these questions and show how such a fierce leader was broken down into the sad, despondent man that fell victim to the Death Star in Rogue One.
How Did No One Know About the Death Star?
If you read Timothy Zahn’s 2017 Thrawn novel, set before the events of Rebels Season 3, you know that at least one person outside the circle figured out the Death Star was happening. After being promoted to Grand Admiral, Thrawn confronts Emperor Palpatine and says he’s figured out the Empire is building a superweapon. Palpatine certainly doesn’t deny it, and then introduces Thrawn to none other than Darth Vader.
We’ve seen Vader in previous seasons of Rebels, but playing him in the same room as Thrawn and Thrawn’s knowledge of the Death Star further butts Rebels season 4 up against the timeline of A New Hope. We will see some overlap here?
But more importantly, Thrawn’s genius brain aside, how has no one on the Rebel team figured out what the Death Star is? In the latest trailer for Season 4, the project Stardust is mentioned — the code name for the secret Death Star. So the Rebel Alliance knows something is being built, but not what. With the amount of intelligence they have, how has literally no one cracked the code yet?
The Death Star has been in already well in production since the end of Revenge of the Sith, meaning there are more than 20 years between the beginning of construction and the end of Rogue One. That’s over two decades with no one accidentally finding this massive structure floating in space or so much as seeing a picture or hearing a whisper about it.
Furthermore, Cassian Andor, our so-over-it Rebel spy, has been in the game for years. And yet he first hears about it from a random person at the beginning of Rogue One. Either he’s bad at this job or I guess Imperial officers are great at keeping secrets? Maybe we’ll see the Death Star or some form of it in Rebels Season 4, or maybe someone on the Rebel side will finally figure it out — and possible get eliminated for it.
We Will See the Space Side of the Battle of Scarif?
During Rogue One, we hear a “General Syndulla” — Rebels star and Ghost pilot Hera Syndulla — paged over the intercom, and see her decrepit astromech Chopper in the background of Yavin 4. Then we see her ship the Ghost appear in the skies of Scarif to aid the Rebel fleet just as things start to heat up.
Hera is prominently featured in the latest Rebels trailer, and in many shots is wearing the familiar orange jumpsuit of choice for Star Wars’ pilots. Does this mean we’ll see her fighting in the skies of Scarif? We get very little perspective from that side of the battle, save Admiral Ackbar narrating the play-by-play of the Death Star plans’ retrieval and transmission.
True, showrunner Dave Filoni has said that we won’t end Rebels with the Battle of Scarif — but he never says we won’t see it at all and he’s faked us out before. There have been a lot of sly hints at a cataclysmic final to Rebels season 4, and given how close the season is in the timeline with Rogue One, this overlap seems very likely. And speaking of the timeline…
Will Rebels Go Into Episode IV Territory — and Will Any of Them Make It?
Since Rogue One ends right as A New Hope start — we even see Leia presumably on her way to be captured by Darth Vader — maybe Rebels will bleed into Episode IV. And since Filoni has said this is the last season of Rebels, maybe part of the reason being we’re moving into the main trilogy timeline.
Or maybe because, and because of this, the crew of the Ghost isn’t going to make it.
None of these Rebels main characters — Ezra, Kanan, Hera, Sabine, Zeb, Chopper, Rex, Ahsoka — are present in the original trilogy and don’t appear in any Star Wars material following A New Hope. They aren’t present or mentioned in the new trilogy, either; The Force Awakens opens on new characters in a new era and doesn’t look back. So if they aren’t showing up anywhere, and we’re assuming director Rian Johnson hasn’t worked any of them into The Last Jedi because having lightsaber-wielding Kanan and Ezra present would ruin that title, it might be because they’re all just dead.
Which is tragic, of course. But they could also just fade back into the Rebellion to take backseat roles and stay out of the spotlight. We’ll find out when the final season of Star Wars Rebels begins on October 16.