Star Wars Rebels season 3 mid-season review

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is right around the corner, but first I want to share a mid-season review of Star Wars Rebels season 3. I will review the season with an overarching pro and an overarching con.

+ Numerous, meaningful ties to the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy and The Clone Wars

The best episodes this season exist not in isolation, but connect to other facets of the Star Wars universe in fascinating ways.  “The Last Battle” and the Maul-centric episodes “The Holocrons of Fate” and “Visions and Voices” have particularly excelled at this. “The Last Battle” in particular featured the original trilogy era and the prequel era literally clashing in such an incredibly imaginative, satisfying way. “The Holocrons of Fate” and “Visions and Voices” took a more philosophical approach, but the same effect was achieved. These three episodes have been the standouts in this sense, but others like “The Antilles Extraction” have made nice connections as well with presenting the backstory of Wedge Antilles in this new canon. I look forward to seeing more fascinating and meaningful connections emerge in the latter half of the season.

– Lack of consequences

Part of what made the season 2 finale “Twilight of the Apprentice” so riveting were the many consequences the episode delivered. These consequences included:

  • The Inquisitors eliminated
  • Kanan blinded
  • Ezra in possession of the Sith holocron and tempted by the Dark Side, his makeshift lightsaber destroyed
  • Maul on the loose
  • Everything related to Vader and Ahsoka . . .

The show had an amazing opportunity to capitalize on all these consequences in season 3. But Ezra’s temptation was extremely short-lived. Even more disappointing is that the consequences of the Vader-Ahsoka duel really hasn’t played much of a role this season.

Instead of capitalizing on those consequences, the show has decided to focus too much of the season on filler episodes like “The Wynkahthu Job” which reeked of Jar Jar Binks humor or “The Iron Squadron” which was just a completely pointless episode (except for learning that Grand Admiral Thrawn and Commander Sato have some kind of history together).

Speaking of Thrawn, there has definitely been a lack of consequences concerning his character. When he let the Ghost crew escape the first time, I was intrigued, eager to see how he would turn their victory against them and to his advantage. The intrigue crumbled as he pretty much let them escape twice more, once in “Hera’s Heroes” and again in “The Iron Squadron.” “An Inside Man” finally delivered consequences with Thrawn’s character as he manipulated the Lothal rebels into revealing the Imperial machines they’d tampered with, eliminating many of the rebels during that process. I hope to see Thrawn turning the rebels from Phoenix Squadron, specifically the Ghost crew, against each other as promised. The numerous times he let the Ghost crew slip away need to serve a purpose. There need to be consequences.

The Verdict:

Star Wars Rebels has made many fascinating connections to the Star Wars universe so far this season, but has largely failed to capitalize on past and present consequences. There are a lot of promising pieces at play, particularly:

  • The Ghost Crew and Maul separately searching for Obi-Wan Kenobi and the planet with “twins suns” (Tatooine)
  • Thrawn and the advanced TIE fighters he’s working on
  • Agent Kallus as Fulcrum, and whether or not Thrawn is aware that Kallus is a double agent
  • Sabine in possession of the Darksaber

Let’s hope the show takes advantage of these pieces and that the second half of season 3 is even better!



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