At Star Wars Celebration Orlando, Dave Filoni and the Star Wars Rebels family sat down for a Season 4 family portrait. New and returning faces joined the picture, including a very old fan favorite. Dave Filoni also revealed that Season 4 will be the last season of Rebels, but Star Wars animation has a long future ahead of it.
All in the Family
During the panel, each actor had the opportunity to discuss their journeys so far. Tiya Sircar and Taylor Gray have invested Sabine and Ezra with remarkable maturity. Kanan, too, has grown and he will have what Freddie Prinze Jr. called a “certainty” we’ve seen in other Jedi when they have a clear objective ahead. Zeb continues to grow as a deputy leader, and Chopper is… well, Chopper. But Dave Filoni insinuated that Chopper will reveal that he ultimately sticks around because he cares for these beings. Much of the camaraderie, you can be sure, has to be because of Hera. Her vision is what has molded Phoenix Squadron into the invaluable Rebel cell today. Overall, watching the panel you can see the close bonds between the crew transcend the screen.
Sabine’s Quest Promises Mandalorians Galore
Fans of t-visored helmets, rejoice! Tiya Sircar and Dave Filoni teased that much of the season will focus on the fate of Mandalore. Jetpack battles, darksaber duels, and nick-of-time rocket launches are sure to delight us in the coming months. After rescuing (most of) her family last season, Sabine dedicated herself to finding a suitable leader for Mandalore. Now that Chopper Base is toast and Atollon is no longer safe, the crew is free to help her with her mission where they can. The trailer shows that Ezra and Sabine have naturally emerged as the central protagonists of the series. In fact, now that they are base-less and have suffered a serious defeat, the fate of the Rebellion, and the fate of Mandalore, may be inextricably linked.
New Faces, Old Faces, and Who is Rukh?
Season 4 promises the return of some old favorites, like Katie Sackhoff’s Mandalorian warrior Bo-Katan, and Imperial Agent-turned-Fulcrum, #HotKallus. However, the biggest reveal came when Dave Filoni invited Warwick Davis to the stage and announced that he would be playing Rukh, Grand Admiral Thrawn’s vicious and stealthy personal bodyguard.
During Celebration Europe in 2016, Davis strong armed Filoni into casting him in the series. Filoni said he would oblige when he found the right for Davis, and he has done just that. Rukh is another resurrection from the Legends era of stories. He belongs to a species called the Noghri, who, in the original material are servants of the Empire coming from a primitive world devastated by a colossal natural disaster. Their origin story may well be different, but the execution is the same. Rukh looks to be a terrifying antagonist. His very presence in the series may have intense significance for the ultimate fate of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
During Celebration, Dave Filoni has also been joking about the ultimate fate of Ahsoka Tano. He riffed on the popular refrain, #AhsokaLives by wearing a shirt with a less assertive tone: Ahsoka Lives? At the end of the panel, he ran back onto the stage with tape over the question mark, turning the shirt into an affirmative Ashoka Lives! May the Force be with us if it is so.