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May 27, 2021 at 5:21 pm #199geektalkKeymaster
Before The Bad Batch, and before even the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Dave Filoni and Lucasfilm Animation produced Star Wars Rebels, a 3D animated tv series depicting the origin story of the legendary Rebel Alliance, and the first major project of the Disney Lucasfilm era.
Though Rebels began its production in 2013 on the heels of layoffs, budget cuts, an accelerated development period, and the delicate expectations of the Star Wars community, it would eventually inspire a new generation of fans, and leave a new etching in the legacy of George Lucas’s Star Wars mythology: a prophecy of hope. This is an analysis of that prophecy, and all the work that went into bringing it to life.
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you two worked together so closely forso many years on the clone wars do yourecallmaybe one of the best pieces if not thebest piece of advice that george evergave youthe teaching wasn’t just outward for theaudience i mean i think that we learneda lot every day we must have drove youcrazy in the beginningwith what we didn’t know and the bigdifference was how patientgeorge was at teaching us all thesethings aboutfilmit’s amazing how character buildingthat show was for me and how it was forother people thatmade it through that production[Music]it became a great group effort of peoplethat by2012 we had been working formany many years together not just me andthe writers but me and the wholeproduction team athenajoel keith paul killian you knowthere was nothing that we couldn’t do onthat show there was no challenge thatwas too bigbut because of these new excitingchanges and things happeningother things have to wind down and cometo a close and that’s what we’re goingto be doing with star wars the clonewarslucasfilm and the clone wars supervisingdirector dave filoni have announced thatstar wars the clone wars the televisionseries is overand that the fifth season that just cameto an end was the final one for the showso it was difficult to know that thatwas gonna go awaybut at the same time can’t live thedream forever and so it was the greatestkind oflearning environment that i’ve ever hadi knew every day that one day it wouldbe overit was sort of the end of an era withgeorge telling star wars stories[Music]things are getting worse just as theydid back when i was your age but backthenthere were 10 000 jedi knightsprotecting the galaxynow there’s just youand me but i firmly believethat each generation needs to have theirown piece of star warsgeorge has this hopeful story it’ssomething that he’s reiteratedmost times i’ve seen him remember tomake these stories hopefulremember to give that to kids becausethey really need itbefore its revival lucasfilm animation’sgroundbreaking star wars the clone warsfirst came to a suddenand unprecedented end on march 11 2013.though george lucas day filoni and theirteam of writers had written scripts andstory ideas all the way to the seriesfinaleproduction on the show was far from oversome of those cancelled clone warsstories would eventually see the lightof daybut disney had no ambitions of allowinglucasfilm animation to finish themanytime soon especially given the show’sabove average budgetmature themes and focus on the prequelerastill in the early days of disney’sownership of the brand the company wasmore interested in a unified approachacross all its bookscomics games and shows the original starwars trilogy[Music]as someone who grew up with the clonewars 2013 wasa very confusing time to be a star warsfan though a new era of exciting starwars content lay on the horizonit was hard to ignore just how manyprojects were cancelled across lucasfilmthe clone wars most of all consideringlucas’s personal involvement with theshowhow much story it had left to tell andwhere lucasfilm animation was going nextwhile a smaller team wrappedpost-production on a final 13-episodebonus season of the clone warsthe rest of the studio was immediatelythrust into their next animated serieswith george lucas no longer involved inthe companysupervising director dave filoni joinedhollywood’s screenwriter simon kinbergand lucasfilm story group manager carybeckas executive producers for their showthe pitch they settled on came from beckthe adventures of an a-teamriding wrongs across the galaxy itwasn’t dissimilar from filoni’s originalpitch to lucas for the clone warswhere a crew aboard a falcon-like shiptangled with the criminal underworldfrom there the studio had 18 months toput together the first season for a fall2014 premierea vastly accelerated development periodfor a 3d animated tv seriesand less than half the time ofdevelopment for the first season of theclone warsnot to mention the wave of layoffslucasfilm animation suffered after thecancellation of the clone warsthe exodus of key members from aroundthe studio and the considerably smallerbudget they would be given to work withon their next showno exact figures are known but there’sevidence to suggest it could have beenas much as half the one to two milliondollar per episode budget of the clonewarsthe show came together franticallycharacter designs were created whilecharacters were being writtenthe visuals and art style were beingfleshed out before the story had settledon its premiseand before anyone truly knew what theshow was supposed to beit was called star wars rebelstaking place five years before a newhope rebels set out to tell the originstory of the famed rebel alliancethrough the lens of a motley crew aboarda ship calledthe ghost it was rooted in lucas’s ownideas about the rebellionand the story of the honduran arc in theclone wars where a network of smallinsurgent cells would eventually cometogether to build the alliancewhere the clone wars was told as ananthology rebels would focus on acentral group of characterswhich was not only closer to the typesof shows the artists of lucasfilmanimation had worked on before in theanimation industrybut better replicated the style of theoriginal trilogy the show’s art style islargely a love letter to ralph mcquarriewhose legendary concept artwork informedthe look and feel of the original starwarshis influence is most felt in the show’senvironments but also inspires thedesigns of characters droids clothingandships the emphasis on mccoy’s artworknaturally complemented the studio’s newapproach to storyboards unlike the clonewarswhere every shot and sequence was builtin zeviz using the original continuitysheets of a new hopecgfx and lighting supervisor joel aaronadopted the same approach tocinematography blockinglighting and color correction used bylucas and gil taylorif you track the position of the camerathroughout the first season you’llnotice how oftenit’s on sticks as if shot from a streetlevel tripodthis was done in a new hope to groundthe fantasy of the star wars universeand it similarly grounds mccrory’sartwork in rebelswe said what if this was cg what ifthese paintings just pop them off andsuddenly againdimension and the same type of camerawork that you see in the original filmsthat would be a very inspired animatedseries while artists and asset designersdrew upon original trilogy materialcomposer kevin keiner based his score onjohn williams’s work in the originaltrilogyand even in the writing room kinberg wasinjecting touches of lucas’s work onraiders of the lost ark in scripts anddialoguefrom top to bottom the goal of everycreative decision of rebels was tocontinue george lucas’s legacy yetdespite the studio’s years ofcollaboration with lucasthe early production of rebels seemed tosuggest they were only recreating whathealready accomplished and that didn’t gounnoticed by fansrebels was the subject of much iron thestar wars community during itsdevelopmentand for all the reasons you might expectthe animation looked cheaper than clonewarsthe writing and marketing played to ayounger audience and it wasfor all intents and purposes an unwantedfollow-up to anunfinished show as much of a fan as iwas of lucasfilm animation at the timeeven i was a bit skeptical though myinitial hopes were high it wouldcaptivate me in the same way clone warsdidall signs indicated this studio mightnever be the same without lucasnevertheless i gave rebels a chance asdid over 2 million other fans on october3rd2014 when it premiered on disney xdforged in flames at the speed of lightsby line producer athena portillaassociate producers kyrie hart and kerrybeck cgfx and lighting supervisor joelaaronart director killian plunkett’sanimation supervisor keith kelloggdigital asset supervisor paul zenisseries editors joe elwood and alexmcdonaldsupervising sound editors david accordand matthew wood lead composer kevinkeinerseries writers henry gilroy greg wisemankevin hopps charles murray and simonkinbergepisodic directors steward and steve leeand justin ridgesupervising director dave filoni theremaining cast and crew of lucasfilmanimation and their partner studio cgcgthis was star wars rebels the firstmajor projectof the disney star wars erait is a dark time for the star warsgalaxy the jedi knights are all butdestroyedthe empire’s at the height of theirpower and the citizens of factorycolonies likelothal are helpless against their mightbut the emperor himself has foreseen anew power rising in the forceone that may eventually ignite theelusive spark of rebellionthe premiere of stars rebels is a modestintroduction to the serieswe’re introduced to a diverse cast ofinteresting characters the titularplanet of lothaland the signature editing and pacing ofclassic star wars mediadespite how quickly rebels was puttogether few details were spared in itsconstructioneverything on the screen has characterthe imperial propaganda that wrapsaround every street cornerthe design of clothing the emphasis onheight and length and stormtrooperhelmets speeders and walkersand of course the macquarianenvironments where rough-edge subjectssit againstvast backgrounds mcquarrie’s influencesare further felt in the show’s use ofsurface-drawn lines on charactergeometryand the incorporation of deep focuswhere objects in the distance are justas visible as subjects in the foregroundi would argue there’s even a touch ofhey miyazaki in the color palette andsparse environmentswhich frankly wouldn’t be the last timefiloni was inspired by miyazaki onrebelsthere’s certainly a smattering ofstrange character designsand less than satisfying visual choicesinspired by classic star warssuch as thin lightsaber blades andhand-drawn laser effectsbut these never demean the detail portinto the show’s visualsnor lucasfilm animation’s own love forthe animated mediumbut that’s not to say the visuals andrebels always come across sothoughtfullywhat many fans had initially fearedabout the animation style of rebelsis hard to deny when watching the pilotit does feel cheapthere’s an area shot with more than afew characters standing in itand dialogue interactions are frequentlyhandled in congested setupsthat’s not necessarily a criticism butit occasionally begs for more shotvariationfluidity permeates the style ofeverything in rebelsyet moments of cartoony roboticanimation occur more frequently thanthey shouldsort of like the influence of 2danimation tropes in a 3d animated movielike tangledwhich according to felony and kelloggwas a key inspiration for the characteranimation of rebelsunfortunately lucasfilm animation didn’thave the budget nor the time to reallypull off the effectthey also didn’t have the budget forcloth sim special effectsand even the cinematic 2.35 to 1 aspectratio of the clone warswhich is why rebels is shot in the 16 by9 ratioand gave the crew lester render for eachshot and certainlythe small scale of the show befit itssmaller budget farfewer assets would need to be createdfor each episode visuallyrebel still accomplishes a lot more thanmost other televised 3d animationbut the sky was hardly the limit forlucasfilm animation like it was on theclone warsa barrier to creative freedom and inmore ways than onepressed for time money and inspirationthe first season of rebels can oftenfeelat conflict with itself for the darktimesthey’ve sure never felt this light thetv y7 rating of rebels makes itaccessible to a younger audiencebut too many tacky jokes and weightlessstakes ends up precluding the investmentof an older audiencethis creative turn after the studio’slate seasons of the clone wars initiallyseems bafflinguntil you read how some disneyexecutives originally wanted rebels tobe a comedypersonally i don’t mind a lot of thesejokes but i definitely drew the line atanother fruit episodewait you did all this for fruitno okay maybe a littlein many ways it feels like the studiowas retreading the mistakes of the clonewars season oneespecially if you consider the overreliance on original trilogy nostalgiabetween recreations of classic setpiecesgratuitous cameos from larger than lifecharacters and kiner’s overuse ofwilliams’s light motifsit reminded me of the criticisms leviedagainst the force awakens when it cameoutand that comparison concerned me quite abit rebels not only had a difficult actto followbut a treacherous path to walk and inthe face of that uncertaintyday floating and his crew didn’t exactlyput their best foot forwardall they needed to do was follow thesparka spark entirely of their own so ifthere’s anything in the pilot that’sevidence of thatit’s got to be the characterswhere characters like ahsoka or rexstarted as blank slates in the clonewarsand gain depth through their experiencesthe main characters of rebels feel likefully fleshed out people from the get-gowith hopes insecurities and personalhistoriesnowhere is that more immediatelyapparent than the audience protagonistof rebelsezra bridger among the many thingsrebels was criticized for in itstelevised runezra arguably received the mostcriticism he’s one musical number shortof being aladdinand uncle owen and on bruce short ofbeing luke skywalkerand a few too many annoying jokes to bea likeable character he’s not unlikeahsoka tata in that regardwho was widely loathed by fans untillater seasons of the clone warsto azeroth’s credit then his naivety andchildlike innocence early onare crucial to his eventual growth ihave to admitat times even i was charmed by ezra’sclumsiness given how clumsy i can be inreal lifebut most importantly ezra is the focalpoint for the show’s thematic narrativeand that’s why in the pilot ezra startshis journeyalone with no one to look out for buthimself until fate’s intertwinedand ezra encounters the crew of theghostyou want to ride these are the rebels ofspectre cellformer jedi padawan kanan jairus acepilot harrison doulamandalorian and demolitionist sabinewren lasat warrior zeb aureliusand uh chopper togetherthey form something of a family unitkanan is the dadhair is the mom sabine is the artsydaughter and so oneven aesthetically these characters looklike they belong togethersharing the same shades of orangesgreens and yellows through their outfitsmany of the same colors prevalent in theeventual rebel alliancefamilial archetypes inform not only thetraits and personalities of thesecharactersbut much of their dynamics this isespecially apparent when ezra joins thecrewas he develops a father-son bond withkanan or a brotherly rivalry with zebeven hera throughout the show callssabine and ezra the kidsas she swoops in after them like somesort of crack shot minivan driverno matter what your definition of familyis in real life it’s natural to relateat least some of these characters withsomeone you knowfor me personally zeb reminded me a lotof the fights i had with my older sisterwhen i was youngerand chopper reminded me of one of mycats considering the younger audiencerebels targetedthis creative decision makes sense youngor oldfamily means something to everyone it’sarguably what the core of star wars isall aboutwhat lucas has long coined as a familysoap operayet beyond the operatic lives of thesecharactersrebels emphasis on family serves a muchdeeper purposeunderstanding how family shapes ouridentity and allows us to actualizeour goals by exploring these ideasthrough the experiences of our heroesfamily takes on a whole new meaning inrebels it’s not just the intimate tiesbetween a tight-knit groupbut the power of connection that unitespeople against uncertaintyin many ways that power is foreign toezra who has been on his own since theage of sevenbut in other ways it’s entirely naturaland waiting to be embracedwhoa the force an energy field thatbreeds connection between all livingthings in the star wars galaxycalls to ezra though he doesn’tunderstand the powernor what it’ll take to hone it the senseof purpose it might giveezra is enough to compel kanan to takehim under his wingand train him in the ways of the jedi inwhatever way he knows howezra i’m not gonna try to teach youanymore[Music]if all i do is try that means i don’ttruly believe i can succeedso from now on i will teach youi may fail you may fail but there is notrykanan is a master without masterythe potential he sees in ezra is thesquandered potential he sees in himselflong divorced from his jedi ways by thescrutiny of the empirenot to mention he too had anunflattering past as a street ratby practicing ezra he can redeem hisshortcomingsand train ezra to succeed where hepreviously failedthis dynamic perfectly embodies theconnection between a fatherand his son where a father mightvicariously achieve their dreams throughtheir peoplekanan and ezra’s best moments evoke thisrelationshipespecially in the imagery of a fatherand his son playing catch at the end ofrise of the old mastersthrough ezra’s training kanan comes torealize that his biggest obstacle is notwhat he doesn’t knowso much as it is himself he feelsinadequate and throughout season 1 thewriters go to great lengths to draw thistruth out of kananespecially through the grand inquisitorwelcome in the spirit of star warsvillain designthe inquisitor is a walking embodimentof what he representsfear and because of the inquisitor ourheroes are forced to confront theirfearsfor kanan it’s a fear of failure hisconfidence wavers in the inquisitor’spresenceand he’s easily unmade in almost everybattle against himfor ezra it’s a bit more complicatedezra has long been stuckunable to move on from the absence ofhis parents and unable to form newconnectionsnow a part of the ghost crew and astudent to kanan ezra’s greatestchallengeis accepting the connective power of theforce he may seem reluctant toacknowledge connectionbut only because he’s so afraid to loseit thusazra’s greatest fear is the same fearthat plagued anakin skywalkerand will eventually tempt luke the fearof lossit’s an easy path to the dark side andthe inquisitor makes thatabundantly apparent[Music]at the mercy of fear the crew of theghost stand no chance against theinquisitor and his cohortstarkin and kallus to them they’re justanother rebel celland doomed to fail without one criticalingredient something tarkin understandsall too well from his days of servicewith the jediunity when kanan is capturedhera is ready to give up resigned to theinevitable day she long feared wouldcome truebut that’s not what happens ezra reachesoutboth as a family member and a jedi intraining ezra has spent this wholeseason understanding the meaning ofconnectionhe knows his greatest fears to be aloneto lose everyone that matters to himby using his power solely to protectthose connections he will be acting outof fearresponding selflessly to his innerdemons but by using his power to givebackand form new connections with thosearound him ezra comes to embrace a powerthat’s long eluded himhope we have been called criminals butwe are notwe are rebels fighting for the peoplefighting for you i’m not that old buti remember a time when things werebetter on lothalmaybe not great but never like this andsee what theempire has done to your lives yourfamilies and your freedomit’s only gonna get worse unless westand up and fight backit won’t be easy there will be lossand sacrifice but we can’t back downjust because we’re afraidthat’s when we need to stand the tallestthat’s what my parents taught methat’s what my new family helped merememberstand up together because that’s whenwe’re strongestas onerebels commitment to scale pays offimmensely by the season one finalewhere the lone crew of the ghost attemptto rescue kanan from tarkin’s fleetif they mess up the rebellion will besquashed before it even beginsbut as long as they have each other’sbacks they may yet succeedjust as ezra acknowledged its fear inthe jedi temple in the fall and foundthe resolve to move forwardkanan redefined his jedi identity nowlocked in battle with the inquisitoronce againhe will only find victory by trustinghimself and being one with the will ofthe forceand thanks to ezra’s fake out deathkanan’s fear of failuredissolves to his greatest strengthno because i have nothing left to feara weapon of fear is futile against thefearlessand so the inquisitor is no longer amatch against kananthe time old clash of light and darkdraws to a predictablejust close once more but not without theinquisitor’s chilling remarka harbinger of the perilous consequenceslyingin store there are some things far morefrightening than death[Music]we came back ezra’s call signals othercells to the rescue and the rebellionbegins to take shapeconcluding the first season of rebelsand our hero’s initiativeto unite the empire as it does willstrike backcertain to prey on the fears of ourheroes but the spark of rebellionreaches far and widea beacon of hope and the galaxy ruled byfearand who more appropriate to respond tothat beacon than the jedi without fearit’s a moment clowers and rebels fansalike will never forgetthe day ahsoka tano came down the ladderof the ghost and gave hope to patientfansfor the exciting future of star warsrebels one chapter has closed for youezra bridgerthis is a new day a new beginningthe story day filoni and lucasfilmanimation were truly weavinghad only just begunwith the cutthroat initial developmentperiod of rebels in the rear view dayfiloni and lucasfilm animation couldapproach future seasons with farmore clarity though each future episodewould need to be finished in a rapidone-year pipelinethe end of season one gave the shownewfound momentumjoined by french vietnamese animationstudio virtuous sparksthe entire team behind rebels workedcloser than ever preparing them for thenext chapter of their storyfor these reasons season 2 is not onlywhere rebels came into its ownit’s where lucasfilm animation recoveredtheir greatness and soaredto entirely new heights[Applause][Music]whether by budget increase or thestudio’s own resourcefulnessseason 2 is far more visually ambitiousthere’s a greater emphasis on lightingand fogand consistently fluid animation shotthe shot joel aaron attempts a far widerarray of special effectslargely through the creative use of 2danimation cardsand practical live action effects aselements such asfootage of salt and sugar slowly pouringthrough the holes of a cupas dust coming off of a walker theyactually did thatthe crews squeezed more into every framethan they ever could in season 1employing more wines in mediums thattake advantage of the show’s expressivestyleand convey scale or symbolism in waysreminiscent of the clone warsthe show even loosens its grip on someof the rigid aesthetic choices of season1such as hand-drawn lasers and always on6 camera workallowing the crew to put the needs ofthe story first the flight of the b-wingone of my favorite scenes in the wholeseriesfeels like the moment rebels evolvestechnically the camera movements aregracefula cord in wood sound design is maximallyimmersive andkiner who is largely confined to classicstar wars light motifs in season onefinally embraces the freedom of rebelsmusical identityafter wings of the master it truly feelsto me anyway that there was nothingstopping lucasfilm animation fromcrafting the storythey wanted to tell except the budget ofcoursethough subtle season two also evolvesnarrativelyour heroes travel to a far wider varietyof locationstruly giving viewers a sense of theempire’s omnipotencethe reintroduction of beloved clone warscharacters not only directly connectsthe two showsbut allows their stories to continue ina way that services the main charactersof rebels and most of all where thejourneys of these characters lead byseason’s endconnects them to the much grander wholeof the star wars mythologythe same mythology and mysticism foundin even lucas’s earliest drafts of starwarsand unbeknownst to the naive earlyaudience of rebels it’s the samemythologybaked into the show from the verybeginning[Music]last year when i made my series ofvideos about the clone warsi threw around a certain term withoutreally taking the time to expel thevagueness behind itthe mythology of star wars orinterchangeablylucas’s mythology on its surface theidea conveys that there’s a common styleof authorshipacross all iterations of star wars atleastall the good ones anyway whether it’s anew hope the phantom menaceknights of the old republic the clonewars or rebels and whether it even hasgeorge lucas fingerprints on itor not every star wars story is groundedin the same mythologyakin to the legends of norse mythologythe dramas of greek mythologyand the hieroglyphics of egyptianmythology these stories largely sharecommon themesmotives and iconography and though newideas may be interpreted from time totimethey usually find a way to apply to thegreater mythologywhat’s interesting about star wars thenis how lucas wanted to blend the mythsand traditions of several differentculturesinto one canon he was heavily inspiredby joseph campbell’s the hero with athousand faces in this regardwhich attempted to collate thetraditions of several different culturesinto a shared archetypal narrativeinfamously known as the monomythor the hero’s journey and that we havedefinitely talked about plenty on thischannel but star wars is not strictlythe monomythit’s ingrained with touches of differentreligions and myth all over the placelike a sandbox for mythic storytellingthe jedi high council invokes arthur’sknights of the round tablethe curse of the skywalker and familyinvokes the mark of cain passed onbetween father and son in the christianbibleand we’ve already compared mullin citiesin the clone wars to sisyphus and zeusit should come as no surprise then thatthese mythological touches persist inrebelsthe name ezra comes from the bible andmeans helpas biblical ezra helped establishcentral law to judaismallowing dispersed jews across the worldto survive as a communitykanan likely derives from the similarlyspelled canaan the lord’s promised landand home of the canaaniteswho were wiped out by joshua and theisraelites before they claim the landwhich doesn’t sound too far off fromwhat happened to the jedi heraprobably stems from the greek goddesshera of marriage and familysabine comes from roman myth as a groupof women that made peace between twowarring groupsand this one might be a reach but lothalis also a lost city of the ancient indusvalley civilizationand was a major center of trade in theregion all of the names are 100deliberate especially as are helping thecommunity come togetherand lothal thriving on the exchangebetween different peoplenow do these details enhance rebels nonot necessarily but it does highlightfiloni kinberg and beck’s efforts toinstill rebels with the samemythological qualityat the heart of star wars as we’ll pointout this aspect of the showonly intensifies as it progresses whererebels is enhanced by mythologycan be found in its characters andthemes and that’sthe core of the forcethe core of the force i mean you got thedark side the light sideone is selfless one is selfishand you want to keep them in balancethe force can be understood as a higherpower that connects all living thingsbelief in the force constitutes beliefin the collective whole that everyone isa part ofthose who follow the light side not onlyacknowledge that collectivebut find ways to give back to itconverselythe dark side refuses to acknowledge thecollective and only thinks of the selfhence why the light side is selfless andthe dark sideis selfish by giving oneself and serviceof othersone can achieve balance and follow theirdestiny but to truly accomplish thatan individual must rise above their fearfear is the quick and easy path toselfish comfortand so by confronting fear we can givehope to others in the power of positivechangethis is what circumvents everything instar warshope versus fear selflessness versusselfishnessand community versus isolation alwaysexpressed to the audience through theexperiencesof the characters[Music]looking back on season 1 we can alreadysee how these themes are woven into thenarrativeezra begins his journey alone as aself-serving pickpocketsand over time becomes a catalyst forunityhe only accomplishes this by bothforegoing his selfish lifestyleand battling his fear of abandonmentonly thendoes he embrace his found family inseason 2 the themes of the force extendeven furthereven applying to characters who don’twield it now joined with phoenixsquadron and entrenched in a fledgingrebellionthe new threats our heroes face willtest their bonds and exploit their fearsmore than ever beforeand there is perhaps no greater omen forthose threats than the rude awakeningawaiting them on lothal the cold machineknownas darth vader[Music]that doesn’t kill him won’t well not usdespite his scant few appearances thisseason vader’s presence looms over itfrom start to finishhe’s portrayed less as a man and more asa force of naturethat’s a fear our heroes might havebelieved their fear was conquered inseason onebut the complex truth unraveled byseason two is thatone rarely ever defeats fear for good itchallengeslife long it is not to bend fearinto anger every day we choose whetherto act out of itor in spite of it and the ghost crewwill have to make the same choice forthemselvesas the season goes on flony and aaroncommunicate this struggle visuallypositioning ezra kanan and the otherrebels at the edge of darknessor cascading them in it entirely that isthe impact of vaderan eclipse to the hope the rebels workedso hard to give lethal in season onethat doesn’t necessarily mean hope isout of their reach but it will be harderto attainhunted by inquisitors pursued from baseto base by kausas forcesand confronted by difficult pasts theonly way phoenix squadron will survivetheir trialsis with each other’s help and who betterto lead them out of this particulardarknessthan the surviving veterans of the clonewars[Music]ahsoka sends spectrocell to find rexwolfe and gregor on celoswhere they’re living out their days ofretirement fishing for jupa onhal’s moving att all of them strugglewith ptsd in some capacityand fearing their days of fighting mightnot be over is largely what triggerswolf to call the empirekanan too as we’ve seen is weary of thepastand sees the clones as the traitors whogunned down his masterbut against the empire’s forces kananpushes his fear asideevoking the days of the clone wars whenjedi and clones fought side by sidenote kanan refuses to trust rex wellafter celoseventually learns to step beyond hispast and see rex for the compassionatesoldier he’s always beenthus rex becomes the first of many newrecruitsand part of a warm welcoming family[Music]ketsu onya and fenrao reflect her tiesto the pastboth her recent stint as a bounty hunterand her greater mandalorian heritagesaving ketsu from the empire and givingher a place in rebellion comes naturallyto sabineit’s exactly what kanan and hera did forher but sabine is not so kind towardsfenra’s protectorsraised in the warrior culture of themandalorians and taught the value ofdestructive solutionssabine wishes nothing more than to severall ties to her complicated pastand burn rao’s forces to the groundespecially after what they did to herabut through kanan who demonstrates boththe genetic quality of sparing a lifeand the importance of overcoming fearsset in the pastsabine holds her demons at bay whateverthey might besabine you’re sounding more like a jedithan a mandalorianwell i guess i’ve just been raised right[Music]champson doula harrah’s father hasfought a lifelong battle for ryloth’sfreedomhe’s something of a war hero veneratedin the eyes of kananthough that probably has more to do withmeeting his girlfriend’s dad for thefirst timebut fighting an endless war has all butconsumed chamdesperate to win ryloth he’s grownaccustomed to viewing his obstaclesas things to be destroyed rather thanproblems to be solvedwhich comes directly at odds with hisdaughter’s optimism though hera’shigh-strung pursuit of liberty clearlyderives from her fatherher tenure as a pilot in connection torebels of entirely different walks oflifehave given her a truly galacticperspective ryloth is important to herbut there’s so much more good she can doacross the starsin the end hera and the ghost crew’sdedication to a free galaxy reminds chamof the greatness a warrior can becapableof when they fight for more than justtheir homewe were always stronger together[Music]unlike cham zeb is a warrior without ahomeat least not anymore the death of hispeople defines his hatred for the empireespecially against kallus who helpedcarry out the genocideit’s never stopped him from helping thegross crew carry out their missionsbut it has stopped him from reaching hisfull potential this all comes to a headwhen the ghost crew find two lasatsurvivors who believe zeb can save theirpeople from extinctionzeb is quick to mock the survivors he’slong lived in a prison of his own makingblaming himself for the death of hispeople what he fails to realizeat least until talking to ezra whoselong struggle to accept the death ofpeople of his ownis that this is a second chance to dothe unthinkablethe prophecy of the ashla is a cleverreflection of the cross-cultural canonat the heart of the star’s mythologywhere different deities might representthe same higher powerin this instance it’s the ashla and theforceboth representing the same energy fieldthat flows through all living thingszeb has never been much of a believerbut given the chance to serveto give something back to his people zebyields to the willof something so much more than himselfjust as zeb’s design is rooted in theawesome imagination of one of star warsmost gifted creatorsthe plight through the nebulaappropriately bursts with imaginationcolor and symphony on the other side ofthe nebulais genuine hope a small glimpse of thefuture the rebels are fighting forfrom this moment onward zeb feels moreat peaceless hostile towards ezra and far lessthe brute he’s usually characterized aswhich is exactly what prepares him forwhat happens nextstranded on the frigid moon of geonosiszeb and an unlikely callus must overcometheir bitter resentment towards eachother in order to surviveup to now rebels has explored how fearimpacts the heroes of mythbut not how it impacts the villainsvader the inquisitors and the lifelessdroves of imperials that pursue ourheroeslargely represent the fear they run frombut callous sheds lights on a morecomplex truth haunted by a traumaticpastwhere kalos lost his men to a assadattack the empire encouraged him to turnhis paininto prejudice and empower his ragetruthfully he doesn’t hate the assadshe’s afraid of themuntil entrusting zeb with his survivalkaus never had to humanize himand now that he has the fear that oncegripped his heartgives way to a bottomless void zeb haseverything he needs a family a causeand hope but kallushas nothing exceptfor the glowing rock that kept him alivewithin the coldit may seem useless in his imperial dormbut the warmth that once brought himis symbolic of a not so distant hope[Music][Music]time and time again ezra has watched hisfriends face their fearsuntangle thorny pasts and find purposein the growing familyof the rebellion though ezra understandsthe value of connection more than everhis fears aren’t easily assuaged byreaching outhe and kanan are two of the only jedistanding between the empireand total annihilation that kind ofpressure is sure to instillanyone with pervasive doubts but doublyso for someone as young as ezradespite kanan’s stalwart mentorship wewatch ezra indulge the misgivings offalse mentors like seventh sisteror hondo onaka arguably even ahsoka’spresence adds ambiguity to ezra’s jediteachingshis connections are usually unassumingbut often muddled by a doubt-riddenself-serving mindset yet when met by themost personal of his fearsthe dreaded fate of his parents ezraretreats to a solitudereminded how little his connectionscould ever help himkanan insists otherwise reaching out asany father figure wouldand leia riddled with the same dilemmasof their generationoffers him a different perspective onconnectioni feel like because i can fight i havetofor those who cannot and i think youmight be the same wayconnection isn’t always about what onereceives it’s what one givesinspired by leia and all thetribulations of his friendsezra finds the courage to give he’s onestep closer to balancebut woefully still too farfear continues to cloud our hero’sjudgments and their connection to theforceto protect the rebellion they seek theknowledge to destroy the sithbut aren’t prepared for what that willentail the jedi sample in lofall givesthem a taste of what’s to cometesting their fears as they will betested in the future kanan’s jediinferiority and inability to protectezraand ahsoka’s guilt over anakin’s truefateezra however receives a differenttakeawayhaving lived through the clone wars yodawarns him of the consequences ofpursuing conflict a trail of fear thatleads to aggressionbut ezra is still too naive tounderstand thusyoda sends him to malachor where he willtrace the darkness that pursues hisfriendsto its very sourcemalachor is the ultimate mythologicalplayground of star wars rebelsthe belly of malachor is comparable tothe greek underworld hadesthe sith holocron is the forbidden fruitand the twists of irony and fate thatunfold over the twilight apprenticeare the penultimate proof of the forceideologyas ahsoka lamented on avalon just whenyou think you understand the forceyou find out how little you actuallyknow and walking among the pompeiigraveyard of jedi and sith victimsdoomed by a conflict of their own designezra fails to see the grander cost ofaggressionthe visual dichotomy of light and darkthat’s followed ezra culminates in theunderworldwhere a faint glimpse of light strike aperpetual darknessup until ezra steps into the shadows andfollows his fears to their destructiveconclusionright into the domain of the mostfearful soulof all nownow i am coldmorein the clone wars lucas and filonitransformed maul into a cispean figurehe’s trapped in a cycle of victimizationdoomed to repeat his mistakes againand again and never move on all theseyears laterthat really hasn’t changed in fact maulis utterly enveloped by the tragedy ofhis lifehe acts as a helpless man wallowing inthe darkness a decrepit tool of the sithjust as forgotten as the broken weaponscattered about the templeand much like sisyphus he lives in aliteralunderworld in many ways he is a crackedreflection ofezra alone angry and confusedbut he is also a byproduct of his ownrelentless aggressionthough ezra may not understand wherefollowing his footsteps will leadhe’s going to regret the first stop anddo youknow what knowledge is tell meknowledge is powerforce wheelers clash blades all the wayto the top of the sith pyramidas the action ascends so do the beatsescalate in importance and climax at thetopa literal point of no return the entirespectacle is a parable to theconsequences yoda warned ofthe pursuit of conflict the indulgenceof fear and the inevitable sufferingof choosing darknessjust as fear has gripped the hearts ofour heroes the shadow of fear himselffinally descends into malachorwhich is exactly and fatefully whyahsoka the fearlessrises to meet it faced by her worst halfshe vehemently fights against it but issoon remindedof what the shadow is who the shadow isanakin he may have pursued his fears tothe bitter endbut ahsoka will not i won’t leave younot this time[Music]then you will dierelenting her aggression ahsoka choosesthe selfless pathshe gives her life hoping anakin is notgone for goodshe gives her life hoping kanan and ezrawill protect the rebellionand she gives her life hoping for agalaxy ruled not by fearbut by compassion that is the power ofahsoka’s sacrificebeautifully and tragically echoedthrough the solemn final minutes of thefinalemalachor is over but the battle againstfearis never ending[Music]2016 was a big year for lucasfilmanimationafter two successful seasons of rebelslucasfilm animation began to expandnot just the team behind rebels but theentire studiofuture shows like star wars resistanceand forces of destiny were enteringpre-productionwhile other teams around lucasfilmdeveloped a closer role with the studiofor future projectslike rogue one to oversee the growth dayfiloni was promoted to president oflucasfilm animationwith carrie beck as vice presidentthough they maintained executiveproducer roles on the showfiloni’s promotion left a temporary voidin the crew during the show’s thirdseasonsupervising director to fill that voidflony called upon a long time friendhis assistant director during the daysof avatar the last airbenderthe episodic director of clone warsepisodes rookies the gungan generalinnocence of ryloth and the holocronheist director of the rebel shortsbefore the series premiere and co-storegood artist on the twilight apprenticejustin ridge it’s really trying to keepthat vision from the very beginning likeokay this is the end goal and let’s justkeep that vision as strong as possiblethrough all the steps to get to the endproductseason three was well mapped out by thetime of filoni’s departureand he would return to direct specificepisodes such as trials of the darksaberand twin sonsbut the studio was otherwise underridge’s watch and that was no smallresponsibilitythe shift taking place behind the scenesof lucasfilm animation seemed entirelyfitting given where they took rebelsnextwhere the show previously struggled toconvey more complex ideas within budgetand the tv y7 rating the synthesis ofnew and old creatives around the studiofostered a subtly more expressiveapproach to the art stylethe fires of the archeon nebula emulatethe searing anxiety of outrunning theempire’s destructive clutchesthe bleak winter on crow nest reflectsthe emotional distance between sabineand her familyand the untold death and devastationincurred by thrawn’s invasionis visually as gothic as the organ thatplays whenever he’s on screenin some ways season 3 melds into amythological backdropwith our heroes as the center stagearchetypes and that comparison extendsfarther than you might thinkfinding stability on avalon season 3sees our heroes face not what theempire’s relentless pursuitsbut personal crises of identity the oldguard of characters like kanan and heratake a backseat to youngercharacters like ezra and sabine burdenedwith increasing amounts ofresponsibilityit harkens to campbell’s monomyth as theyoung are shepherded by the old to goout into the world like much of the hero1000 facesit reflects the cycle of responsibilitytold again and again through variouslegends and prophecieswhat season 3 delves into then is howour heroes are compelled by thosepropheciesseparated from family and called upon tolead what paths do they followhow does tradition impact their identityand how will they apply that to theirobstaclesas always the themes of the force willencircle their actionsbut because of the guiding example ofpeople like zebwho already fulfilled a prophecy oftheir own the shrouded path forwardisn’t as dark as it seemsunless you’re ezra bridgerwhen did kanan teach you that you didn’tezra has grown in the dark side of theforce though the sith holocron is anoutlet for his vengeful powerskanan’s absence has inflicted the mostdamage of allthe shedding of his armor a newdepression beard symbolizes a differentkananenveloped by his inadequacy hiscrippling doubts have rendered him ahermitand that doesn’t sit well with adelon’sown resident hermit in the slightesthello[Music]with the hulking appearance of a kaijumonster and the soft demeanor of a jimhenson puppetsbendu is the one in the middle afascinating and original addition to thestars mythologyand the analog influences of rebelsamidst generations of endless war andconflict between the lights and darkbendu has religiously abstained never tohelp others in neednor take anything for himself heembodies the danger of drifting towardsapathymuch like the jedi and the prequelshowever his neutrality extends so farbeyond even his own personal whimsthat he has gained omnipotence theability to see all through the forceforward backward and the true nature ofthe presentwhether out of pity for kanan or to gethim out of his hairbendu imparts him with the key to truesightknowing fear nono it’s not ezra or the spidersit’s it’s me feargrief anger that’s how they see methat’s how i see myself elements ofkanan’s light motif have been sprinkledabout in previous seasonsbut never as completely as it is here ashe comes into his ownfor the first time kanan sees not withhis eyesbut the eyes of the force steppingbeyond his hopeshis fears distant from everything andnothingeverything except the people he loves alove that bandu istoo distant himself to understand thuskanan reaches out as a father once againand rescues ezra from imminent doomthough the path to the light side hasnever been more illuminated for kananhis duties as a father have like neverbeen more direand that becomes all the more apparentwhen the legacy of the darksaber fallsto sabine the only thing i’m learning isthat ezra must bereally gifted to learn as well as he hasfrom a lousy teacher like youbestowed by fate with the star warsequivalent of mythological excaliburan artifact capable of uniting herpeople sabine chooses to standalone more than her desire to erase herpast on several occasionssabine’s fierce independence andpenchant for expression derives from herostracization from mandalorian cultureto sabine art isn’t just a hobby it’s asurvival tacticone that’s allowed her to have a senseof self and personal culture when shecouldn’t embrace her own heritageand though the ghost crew complementsher disdain for the empireher true reason for being here is farless glamorousand her trust and security since seasonone and destructive instincts in seasontwo were in the indication the effect ofher pastis nothing short of traumatic the tragicdichotomy between sabine’s estrangedheritage and personal identityis beautifully portrayed in her lightmotif appropriately written by one ofkevin keiner’s own childrensean keiner the theme builds andintensifies throughout the episode assabine wrestles between her owndestructive outlookand kanan’s noble guidance culminatingin their epic confrontationand tia sakhar’s greatest performancemoment in the whole serieskanan becomes the mentor sabine needstough on her emotionsbut no less empathetic the core ofsabine’s doubtthe source of her fear is herselfi helped enslave my peoplei wanted to stop it i had to stop iti spoke out i spoke out to save them tosaveeveryonewhen i didmy family didn’t stand with me theychose the empirethey left me gave me no choicefirst she spoke out then she wasabandonednow she is broken when family defineswho we arewhat are we to do when family neglectsus just as sabine shows us the value ofpersonal mythology to our identitysabine’s found family shows her thevalue of fighting for that mythologyfighting for her people fighting for herfamilymeeting clan ren is illuminating in muchthe same way as meeting your friend’sfamily for the first timesabine’s stubbornness passion andupbringing are all informed by clan wrenwhile her found family of the ghostreflects the person she wants to beit goes to show how connection definesus and sheds a new light on howcharacters like ezra were shaped by theidentity of their parentsthough sabine is ready to reconnect withher family ursais not so immediately charitableconflated with the superficial clash ofrulesloyalties and tribalism their connectionis not easily fought forbut when that bond is threatened by garsaxon and the empirethe real thing worth fighting forbecomes obvious the only battle worthfightingfor any wayward mandalorianthe one that will bring people together[Music]clan wren chooses family and heals thelong frayed bond with sabineher absence from the crew is bittersweetbut one thing is for certainno matter how far she is from her foundfamily the impact they’ve had on heris indisputableafter his dark escapade in steps intoshadowezra embarks on a journey ofself-discovery despite his proclivityfor connectionseason 3 sees ezra become far moreselective in his connectionsrevealing them as reflections of himselfhonda once represented the chaotic goodsomeone could be capable of to ezrabut after the win cathu job he sees howthe temptation of greed can lead oneastraymark matin and the iron squadron giveezra the opportunity to reflect on hisearly days in the ghost crewfor that reason it also allows him tosee the price of overconfidencesaul guerrero’s contempt for thegeonosians is not dissimilar from ezra’scontempt for the empirebut where ezra once let anger lead himdown a self-destructive pathsaul never deviated from that coursefurther showing ezra the cost ofaggressionand on the surface his distance fromcanaan may result from frustration withhis teachingsbut deep down he blames himself forkanan’s blindnessafraid and unable to forgive himselfit’s time for you to forgive yourselfyes master[Music]all these connections inform ezra notjust as a jedibut as a human being however hisconnection tomaul is more complicated fatesintertwined by the holocronsboth ezra and maul continue to seekknowledgebut where maul has already resigned hispursuit of knowledge to the destructionof his enemiesezra’s choice is not so set in stonemalachor brought ezra to the ends offearand he’s been walking his way back eversince yetit’s not until twin sons that he putsall the piecestogether under the dismal heat of thedune seaezra chases the pursuit of power to itsultimate destinationa desolate nothingness surrounded by nooneand chastised by regret it takes avillage to keep ezra on the right pathand surely no one must understand thatmore than the former masterof anakin skywalker you’re in the wrongplace ezra bridgerin the fledging mentor role he will oneday fulfill for lukeben is a desperately needed guide forezrathe holocrons probably did tell ezra thetruth butben’s sentiment isn’t wrong either thetruththe narrative behind legend is what wemake of itwe can use it responsibly in service ofothers orempower our own ability to destroy ezramay think he is doing right by chasingthe power to stop the sithbut his true power originates elsewhereand that’shome back to his family the very thingmaul wasted so many years agoand used ezra to reclaim a smallsemblance ofhaving finally learned his lesson ezrais nothing more than a passing bystanderin the history of two titans[Music]more than the finale to theirlong-standing feud the clash between benand maul is the definitive testament tothe force mythosboth of these figures have sufferedfailure been dealt with lossbut where each loss has only given mullmore bottomless angerobi-wan kenobi never stopped searchingfor meaning in his losshe was once a warrior of the jedi orderback in the days of the clone warsnow he’s a defender of peace giving hislife to protect the futureand he couldn’t have made it this farwithout his connection to the humanityof qui-gon jinnwhose death was maul’s crowning slightagainst obi-wanwhose death defined the force of naturemaul would becomewhose deathled to maul’s downfall in his dyingbreathmaul sees the futility of revenge anall-consuming pursuitfueled by fear however he also sees thelightat least part of it the prophecy of thechosen onewho will avenge the ruin in their livesinflicted by the sithben has devoted the rest of his days toprotect it and that alone should speakto the importance of a legendthough distant it will eventually becometheir only hope[Music]after giving their all to unite thebroken forces of the galaxythe rebel alliance comes together in aglorious moment of unitythe promise of a bright future may cometo pass but their greatest obstacleis just around the corner and itthreatens to block out the sunthere’s always a bit of truth in legendsat leastaccording to ahsoka though it’s notuntrue of star wars eitherfor such a massive long-running ip starwars arguably has its ownmeta mythology in the form of legendsthe old canon before disney’s takeoverit’s only fitting that a show concernedwith the mythological aspects of starwarscherry picks so many things from legendsas once mythic figures come to lifein our heroes stories timothy zahn’sgrand admiral thrawn is the titularexample of that for rebelsthough his reintroduction is welcome fanservice his purpose is deeply woven intothe show’s themesthrawn is a tactician he studiespatterns looking for the inherentweakness in any opponent’s strategyabsolutely everything he does iscalculated and nothing is reactionarybut his biggest assets ironically isart the expression of one’s culturehistoryand narratives art and expressionobviously circumvents everything therebels dosabine is an artist herself both ezraand kanan carry on the legacy of thejediand as we saw early in the season hera’scalicori meanseverything to her it’s unusual forsomeone from an organization built onsterility and industrialization to seeso much value in artbut thrawn is not your usual villainkyner uses an organ for his themea stranger to the saga’s musical canonand lars mickelson gives thrawn adeceptively soft demeanortherein lies the nature of thrawn’sappreciation art gives thrawn aconnection to his opponentsalbeit an aloof one and like maulhe manipulates these connections to hisbenefits just as easily as hemanipulates the helpless officers aroundhimthis is why thrawn is the perfectnemesis for the rebelshe too knows the power of prophecies andthe collectives they serveto know your enemy is to know theirhopes and their fearsand for thrawn that knowledge gives himthe power to wipe his foesfrom the face of existencethrawn divides our heroes depletes theirresources and forces theminto open combat the very thing therebels have spent years trying to avoidthey live in thrawn’s world now wherehope is fleetingand fear shadows all trapped on adelonthe rebellion’s only hope is through thesacrifices of otherscallus risks everything to give therebels a fighting chance againstthrawn’s fleetsato gives his life for ezra’s escapeclan wren risks their lives for therebellion’s escapeand though entirely indiscriminate inhis wrathbendu gives up his sanctuary to rid hisworld of war[Music]everyone surrounding the crew of theghost gives up something for theirsurvivalallowing them to fight at least one moreday[Music]thrawn may understand how connectionserves the rebelsbut he can never comprehend the truestrength of selflessnesswhich is why when thrawn crosses pathswith bendusomeone who bends to nothing but theforce he doesn’t understand himbendu cannot be manipulated and willserve thrawn no useexcept for the insight of his eventualdownfallwhat what do you see i see your defeatlike many arms surrounding youin the end the rebels are together nowmore than everthey know what it’s like to lose but thesacrifice of those around them can’t befor nothingwhatever lies ahead for the rebellion itmust be faced courageouslythe prophecies legends and narratives ofold have led them this farbut to win this battle they have to domore becomemore they must forge their own prophecyandlight the way for the galaxy there’s afuture for usone where we’re all freebut it’s up to us to make it happen[Music]and what do stories do for us in thatsense what are mythsthey try to show us our place myths helpyou tohave your own hero’s journey find yourindividualityfind your place in the world buthopefully remind you that you’re part ofa wholeand that you must also be part of thecommunityand and think of the welfare of thecommunity above the welfare of yourselfin the spirit of return of the jediseason four of rebels picks upright where the previous season left offthe mandalorian civil warthough expectedly limited in visuals andscope to the mandalorian stories of theclone warsthese episodes provide a great deal ofclosure for what those stories set upyears beforemandalore is finally liberated bokotanbecomes the rightful wielderof the darksaber and the mandaloriansfinally seemunited none of it would have beenpossible without sabine overcoming herdemonsand the allyship of the jedi and themandaloriansa far cry from the jedi mandalorian warcenturies ago thatkanan referenced everything sabine’sgone through in previous seasonsprepared her for thisand so as she stands over timber saxonwith the power to turn the occupyingempire to ashesshe makes a different choice a difficultonerooted in the same simple question we’veasked againand again hope or fearthe choice is yours by ending thebloodshedshe gains a power far greater than whatthe empire can imaginethus giving her closure to her troubledpast and forging a hopeful future formandalore[Music]closure can be a hell of a thingespecially if you’re dave felloniwho never had the chance to bringcloners to its rightful conclusionbefore starting rebelsthough rebels came to an end much soonerthan the cloners would havei can’t imagine it’s something felonytook lightly season 4 of rebelsis short like the first season but it’salso committed to the highest productionquality of any season thus farand telling an entirely different storythan those previous seasonsmandalore was but the prelude to a muchgrander gauntlet the test sabine wasfaced with foreshadows the trials andtribulations ahead on lothalit’s entirely deliberate then that ezraand kanan were the ones to accompanysabine on mandalorewe know by now how all these charactersare connected and how the values andactions of one informs the identity ofothersezra and kanan will face the greatesttrials out of everyone in the ghost crewon lothaland sabine’s choice prepares them forthe implications of thatit’s absolutely about hope or fear butit also touches on something finalsaul gets it or at least half of itfollowing orders willonly get you so far then you have totake controlof your destiny destinythat’s where all roads through star warsrebels have been leading tothe core of the force articulates thatevery individual has a purposeby following the light side and theselfless pursuit of givingwe will discover that purpose and thatis our destinywhat salt out seems more empowering ofthe individual but overlooks theimportance of the communityand without community the connection toothersthere’s very little the heroes of rebelscould have accomplished heckif it weren’t for ezra’s speech in thefall the rebel cells might have nevercome togetherand the fate of the galaxy would bedrastically different our heroes canthink fate is theirs to controlsure but it would go against everythingtheir experiences have taught themsabine didn’t find the darksaber itfound herzeb didn’t find his people they foundhimand once destiny called out to them theylearn to follow itand change the lives of those aroundthem for the better which is whywhen the thaw bleeds out for the rebelsthey will answerthe calllook at the skyending the series where it began givesrebels a signature star wars circuitryreturning to lothal gives our heroes anopportunity to reflect on the full widthof their journeyespecially for ezra they’ve all gonethrough changebut so has lothal no longer theplayground it was for ezra as a streetratslothal is now an industrializedhellscape the artists lean into burntoranges and yellowsblacks and grays high contrast and densefogi’d go as far to say that season fourlothal is the greatest visualaccomplishment of the whole seriesas the images of a burning lothalperfectly conveys the empire’s violencedestruction and oppression even thoughfall’s outward appearance alonecommunicates the skyward stakes of trulyfreeing the planetbut if they want to liberate lefall theycan’t think of it as the machine it’sdevolved tothey must think of it as a home forwriter for jaikelfor ezra and for all the people andcreatures they’re connected tothe persistence of its humanity willguide them to victoryto destiny to the loth wolvesfiloni’s infatuation with wolves is nosecret across his workbefore rebels had its name it beganpre-production as wolfprincess mononoke and wolf’s reign areboth cited inspirations for the effectsin clone wars and rebelshe created commander wolf put wolfconstellations in the mortise templeand hid wolf carvings in the temple andlothal in season twohere in season four flony finallyunveils a purpose for wolvesthe loth wolves are rooted in mythologyimmediately reminiscent of the norsefigure fenririn most mythologies wolves are predatorsand warriorssometimes associated with witchcrafthowever the most pertinent influence forthe loftwolves and rebelsprobably comes from native americanmythology where wolves are revered forpossessing great powernavajo tribes would call upon the wolfin healing trialsomaha tribes tell the legend in which awolf would guide a wounded warriorsafely back to his campand pawnee tribes looked to the birthand death of the wolf starcirrus as the coming and going of thewolf down the milky waywhich they called the wolf road aspectsof these interpretations make their wayinto rebelsbut the latter folklore from the pawneeholds the most direct connection torebelsthe loftwolves are guides and thoughtheir powers are mysterious it’s impliedthey can travel through hyperspaceor a visually incomprehensibleequivalent the wolf constellationall the way back on mortise and in thecaves on luthal also makes a lot ofsense if you think of it as the starwars version of the wolf starnot to mention there’s the commonlyreferenced two wolves legend of thecherokeewhere two wolves live inside you one ofdarkness one of hopethe one that’s stronger is the one youfeed this binary makes a very literalreinterpretation in rebelsas there are both dark wolves and whitewolves andas we’ll see later on these wolves preyon ezra’s fear but also bolster hiscouragedelving even further into the context ofthe show wolves are pack huntersthey thrive by community just like therebelsand because they are guides they areconduits of the greater will of theforceof destiny it has a deep connection tothe forceto the energy of this planetdon’t all living things this isdifferentmore focused like it has a purposethe wolves arrival is nebulous but theirintentions are notthey’ve chosen caleb doom not kananjairus the man who longshot his jediidentity by answering to the empire’sfearbut the balanced responsible and caringman caleb could bethe man he became after embracing hisjedi identitytraining ezra fighting his fear ofinadequacy seeing through the forceowning up to his love for hera and beingthe father figure for the ghost crew intheir most desperate houronly then do the loth wolves impartkanan with hisultimate purposethe return of caleb doom is unexpectedand whimsicalhe shaved the depression beard cut offhis fugitive ponytailand removed the mask that concealed hisblindness instilled with the knowledgeof his fatekanan couldn’t be more at peacecomplimented perfectly by a gracefulscoreflowing visuals and saturated hues inthe environmentbut kanan’s final act is no soloendeavor where he once struggled totrust ezra to protect himselfwrestling with his traumatic youth as ajedi survivor he entrusts him to devisehera’s rescuecontrary to the strict teachings of thefallen jedi order kanan finally believesin the value of his attachmentsignoring them would suffocate kanan butfollowing them too closely would makehim possessiveinstead kanan discovers a balance heknows his attachment to hera will cloudhis judgmentsbut he’s not about to let the love ofhis life perish for the jedithere’s no greater service thansacrificing yourself to save othersand that is kanan’s destiny[Music][Music]hey[Music]we’ll see each other again[Music][Music]kanan’s death breaks our heroes sabineand zeb lash out in angerharrah’s stalwart composure utterlycollapsesand ezra is transported back to thefamiliar confusion and loneliness he’sknown since his parents vanishedthe lothal insurgency has nothing leftto give and no hope for reinforcementsthe family is divided and their homewill survive only in fractured memoryfear will eat them alivebut kanan isn’t gonethough nothing has quite prepared themfor the loss of kananhis impact lives through them he liveson inherits proud syndulla legacysabine’s compassion and quite literallyone of the loth wolves for ezrathough our heroes were always going tofind a way to make kanan’s deathmeaningfuli can’t appreciate enough how filoni andsergio peas dwell in the extreme painand confusion of kanan’s lossit is human to mourn and to miss we caneventually reclaim our focusbut not without treading a broken pathit’s especially fitting that theaudience protagonistis the most confused and the most inneed of guidancethe fate of the force crushingly weighson his shoulders yetthere is a path forward the same paththat ezra has always followedhow togethernow ezra walks towards destinythe jedi sample in lothal containsknowledge privy only to a fewezra has accessed it before but hecouldn’t see itnow at the pit of the empire’sexcavation sites he’s beholden to just asmall sliver of its truththe mortise gods the wolves the templethey’re all connectedas are all things inherently connectedand within those connectionsis a world between worlds[Music]inspired by c.s lewis’s wood betweenworldsezra’s journey out of isolationpoetically culminatesin a plane where all living things areconnected through timeand space a vivid map of the forcedestiny as ezra knows itis literally in his hands though thechoice he must make in pursuit of itis no different which is why when ezrawanders back to the tragedy on malachorhe sees an opportunity to attach newmeaning to ahsoka’s sacrificeborn from an entirely selfless impulseafter all this time ahsoka livesbut not without reason having tasted thepower to controlfates ezra finds the moment of kanan’ssacrifice and prepares to intervene inhis destinybut attachment clouds his judgment nodifferent than how kanan knew attachmentclouded his in hera’s rescueit’s entirely deliberate that ahsoka ishere to coach him through this momentgiven her own struggle with the past andthe fall of her masterthere’s nothing she wouldn’t do tochange his fate but she also knows thefear she’ll be feeding by choosing notto accept itthe quick and easy path to selfishcomfort this is ezra’s mostimportant lesson letting gowhere kanan’s death first seemed like ahorribly timed tragedyit now gains unfathomable multitudesimbued in the beautiful evolution ofkanan’s light motifhe destroyed the refinery and haltedproduction of the thai defenderhe gained the ability to commune to theliving not as a force ghostbut as a wolf a fascinatingreinterpretation of hindu reincarnationfrom which elements of the force arealready inspired he inadvertently ledezra to save ahsoka’s life and saved theworld between worlds from the emperor’sclutcheshe gave ezra his final lesson empoweringhim to march towards his own destinyand he’ll reinspire the rebels to savelothalthat is the legacy of kanan jairusjedi knightgoodbye cannon[Music]so you’re in for that boythere is nothing i would not doevery theme of the force mythosconverges in the final episodesof star wars rebels the rebel alliancemay be unreachablebut not the friends the ghost crew madealong the way though these characters atone point or another were beneficial tothe growth of our main charactersthe return to the finale gives rebelseven more completenessit’s very much like the end of an rpgwhere all the companions you recruitedalong the waymatter in the success of the finalmission the tighter their bond the moreassured their victory will be overthrawn’s already divided forces onlothalthough the stakes are dire falloniansaul ruiz aren’t afraid to inject humormuch like the battle of endor in returnof the jedi the fight leads them to theheart of capital citythe root of its occupation and the endpoint of their journeyshope may raise them into the sky butthrawn will do whatever it takesto reduce them to ashes[Music]i await your arrival and make no mistakecome aloneezra has always felt alone in forgingbonds he found a temporary means tostave off his emptinessbut never to complete a veil he devotedhis solitary furyin search of the power to vanquish hisfoes but always walked awayempty-handed now back on lothal he’snever been surrounded by more of hisfriendsbut still finds himself forced into thesame precarious positionalone and yet he knows exactly what he’ssupposed to doafter all she’s been through sabinemight be the only other person in theroom who truly understands the weight ofthat burdenshe protects ezra so that ezra canprotecteveryone[Music]from the very first scene of rebels theemperor foresaw ezra’s eminencehe knew the threat he posed to thecoveted world between worldsand what he might do to inspire othersto rise up against the empirein a last-ditch effort he tempts ezrawith his greatest desirethe eternal comfort of his long gonefamilyfor more than a moment ezra struggles nohero wouldn’tbut palpatine couldn’t possibly accountfor what ezra’s been throughthe family he found the battles theyfought the mistakes he’s madeand the teacher and father who led himto this point that after his sacrificethe truth of loss became clearer thanever now staring the perpetual source ofhis abandonment in the eyeas regains the power to dispel his fearsno oneis ever really gone you’ll always be apart of mei have to let you gopalpatine fears all that he cannotcontroland by ezra choosing not to succumb tohis fears and let go of his losshe gains unimaginable power overpalpatinecliche as it may be stated it’s no lesspoignant in the climax of ezra bridgerthe awesome power of love thrawn mayfain to see right through ezra’sconnectionsbut love is beyond his comprehension thecompassion that flows through all livingthingsyet is entirely foreign to thrawn’smanipulationwhen the window of opportunity arrivesezra reaches out through the forceand summons the purging perfectly andpurposefullyezra’s magnificent winning move isachieved through connectionthus as ezra grips the arbiter of hisperil in one handand the overwhelming might of theempire’s forces in the otherezra like his father before him findsthe balance and rememberthe force will be with you always[Music]fog dissipates burnt colors give way toa vibrant blue skyand the characteristically sparsestreets of lothal are overrun with nighendless crowds of people an astoundingtechnical achievement for a show longconfined by its budgetthe significance of lothal’s liberationis not lost in that spectacle eithernor are all the sacrifices the rebelsmade to get to this momentby its conclusion rebels completelyrecontextualizes the symbolic importanceof the legendary rebel alliance theireventual defeat of the empire was notforetold by the might of their fleetsor their skill in battle but theirpersistent beliefin hope because of lothal anythingis possible the empire’s doom is asinevitableas the sun rising over the horizon andthat’s why the beautiful epiloguesequence after the waris the final scene of rebels lothal is asprawling utopia once moreonce misguided by fear kallus finds anew purpose beyond the stars with lasatpeoplekanan’s greatness lives on in harrah’sfamily and as a harbinger of the nextgenerationsabine carries the torch of pursuing herdestinyezra is still missing which means herand ahsoka are going to look for himof course at the time of this video thatstory has yet to be toldbut rest assured wherever ezra is in theuniversehe and the ghost crew are together inlegend a prophecy of hopethat will remind future generations thatanything is possiblewhen done togetherthe silence solitudeuh this is beautifuli’m in a world all my owni do not feel aloneit’s easy to see ifit perfectly in this wonderfulbeautiful[Music]when the clone wars first came to itsuntimely end in 2013and the production of star wars rebelsbegan the future of lucas film animationseemed uncertain though they werementored by george lucas and responsiblefor some of the best star wars storiesever toldthe accelerated development of rebelsdidn’t seem like the best environmentfor their creativity to flourishdealt with layoffs budget cuts thepressure of being the first majorproject of the disney lucasfilm eraand the delicate expectations of thestar wars community the team behindrebels could have easily told a mediocrestoryand failed the legacy of their mentorand though the first season of rebelsadmittedly left a lot to be desireda spark of greatness was buried within aspark that would take time to cultivatebut once it was it would transformrebelsinto one of the most soulful star warsstories ever toldand so after four seasons and five yearsof productiondave filoni simon kinberg terry beck andthe cast and crew of lucasfilm animationcgcg and virtuous sparks finally saw thespark of star wars rebelsall the way through to the end[Music]what defined rebels in the beginning thebudget the tv y7 ratingand its small scale is not at all whatdefines the show by series endthe art style the music the performancesand the storytellingand that shift isn’t incidental becauseof what lucasfilm animationlacked technically on rebels every otheraspect of the showimproved though never quite as cinematicas the clone warslucasfilm animations artists endeavoredto convey so much more emotion throughthe expressivity of colorslight and movement the work of kevinkiner and his children arguablysurpasses the music of the clone wars inits original runfreddie prince jr taylor gray vanessamarshall steve bloomand tia zakar breathe indistinguishablelife and humanity into their charactersand because of the centralized focus onthese entirely original charactersfelony took us all the way through thearc of their journeys to theirsatisfying endseven some areas of the show initiallyconstrained by budgetblossomed over time as the studio becamemore resourcefuland developed creative workaroundsrebels may have not been possiblewithout the clone warsbut the siege of mandalore andeverything that will followhas been elevated because of rebelsbecause of what lucasfilm animationachievedtogether with dave filoni now presidingover the future of star warsstorytelling as lucasfilm’s executivecreative directorand all the storytellers and artists whoworked on rebels contributing todifferent projects around the companythe truth of stars rebels has never beenmore apparentthe legacy of george lucas’s mythologywillgo on[Music]and yet rebels has yet to get anywherenear the same appreciation or exposureas even the clone warsespecially after last year while rebelsare still remembered yearly by fans inthe day of its finaleand continues to be relevant elsewherein the canon the show is stillrelentlessly chastised towardsshortcomingshelicopter lightsabers the empire’sincompetence the rebels always winfiller episodes ezra is annoying anddisney’s refusal for clone wars levelviolenceas tired as these complaints are i can’tsay i don’t understand where they’recoming fromthough i gave the first season of rebelsa chance i fell off the showshortly into season 2 and never watchedseason 3 or 4 when they premiered ontelevisionaside from the many glaring issues wepointed out about the first season andbeyondi could never bring myself to embracethe show that replaced the clone warsone of my favorite and most personalpieces of media growing upit took me seven years to realize howblinded i was by that grudgeand possibly how much happier i wouldhave been to stay with the showdon’t get me wrong there’s things thatdidn’t work for me at the start ofrebels that still don’t work by the endlightsaber duels feel weightless the 21minute run time doesn’t always givegreat moments time to breatheand if i’m being honest yeah a littlebit more violence would have aided theshow’s darker edgebut ultimately i think what rebelsachievesfar outweighs what it doesn’t rebelscaptures a genuine sense of mysticism inthe stars galaxy not felt since theoriginal trilogythe wonder of not knowing the awe ofsights and sounds beyond imaginationand the sneaking feeling that just maybethere is a reason for everythingthere’s a constant devotion to the ideaof familynot just what it literally is but whatit representswhat it’s supposed to be while thesecharacters might have their differencesat firstthey always come around in the endbecoming models of unconditional supportand healthy communication for youngviewers who may lack those models intheirown families and most of all for meanywayrebels preserves an uncompromisingvision of optimismand hope through its characters theirfamiliesand each and every outcome andreflecting back on my messy brokenteenage yearswhen i first grew apart from my familyand saddled the terrifying uncertaintyof my life after high schoolhaving a story that could have made mebelieve in that hope for just a passingmoment every weekmight have genuinely saved me a lot ofpain even after all these yearsrebels has given me a small bit ofcatharsis for what i missed out on backthenand that’s a gratitude i can’tcompletely express i can only imaginehow rebels has impacted the viewers thatgrew up with itand inspired them to grow and give inall the beautiful ways the found familyof the ghost did themselvesfor that reason alone all the flaws ofrebelshave to be worth it so once morethank you dave filoni simon kinberg carybeck and the cast and crew of star warsrebelsfor a true prophecy of hope for startinga firein complete darkness for findinghumanity in malignityand for making the ordinary utterly[Music]legendary[Music]hello everyone welcome to the end of thevideocongrats on guinea gear this was a longone wasn’t it umway longer than it was supposed to be inmy outlineum you know sometimes that happens butthis video especiallyreally got away from me uh this was avideo that did not want to get made ihadproblems writing it problems editing itjust pretty much from start to finishthis was a very difficultvideo to make though i do have to saybecause of this videoi think i am a slightly better writerand uhas with every video i work on i learnmore about editing andyou know the whole jazz so my sincerehope for anyone who has watched thisvideo is thatif you are a fan of rebels if say youlike rebels more than clone warsthat i’ve done justice by you because ipersonally do not fall into that crowdi should say right now um i do notlike rebels more than clone wars peoplehave been asking me about thatbut no though to be fair as welli don’t think i like anything else instar wars more than clone warsso it’ll be very hard for anything toever dethrone that just because it comesfrom such a personalum foundational place you know growingup with it umand my other hope is that if you are nota fan of rebels oryou know you do not like it more thanclone wars uh maybe watching this videohas heightened your appreciation for theshowbecause i know making it certainly didfor me um andyou know obviously just trying to enjoythe show as it was for the first timeall the way throughin preparation for this video so umplenty of stuff to look forward to onthe channelstar wars fans and viewers um though iwant to talk about that stuffa little bit after um i plug some thingsso guys you can follow me on socialmedia on twitter that’s at parksharmanon instagram that’sparksharman on twitch that’s twitch.tvforward slashsator you should actually follow ifyou’re not already following becausei’ll actually be streaming for once inmydamn career um tomorrow onmay 26th that’s a wednesday don’t have atime sometime in the evening presumablyandeast coast uh terms uh we’ll bestreaming i’ll be starting myplaythrough formass effect the legendary edition sothat’s gonna be a lot of funum i’m a big mass effect fan and uhi would be happy to share my playthroughi look forward to sharing my playthroughwith everyone who tunes in and thenother than that you should totallytotally join our uh community discordthe artorium we get new members everyweekwe have papa discussion every day aboutstar wars video games movies tv showsit’s truly for anyone and everyoneum if you especially if you want areally positive space to talk about yourfavorite stuff in pop culture that’ssomething we’rereally big on so please consider joiningthat the linkto the discord to join the discord aswell as on my social mediais in the description below um so wheredo we go from here guyswell i got a bunch of videos planned forthis summer nothingquite as long as this video or thecyberpunk video and probably you won’tsee any videos this long fora while at least until next yearknocking on wood for that hopefullyanother video doesn’t get away from meum and you know throughout the summerthere probably won’t be any star warsvideos to look forward tobut there are a couple of other coolvideos on movies and video games thati’ll be doingum one of which is the song you’rehearing right nowuh you know over this outro and anotherof whichis a video for actually a couple offilms in onevideo uh that i teased i was going tomake last yearso either that or the other video italked about will be coming upsoon but yeah couple of stuff to lookforward to and then in the falli’ll be uh star wars will be back on thechannelin a big way um won’t say any more thanthatjust hoping if everything pans out umthere’s gonna be a pretty cool series ofvideosabout star wars in the fall so yeahi like to keep things vague here so thatwhen i actually announce something it’sexciting more exciting but yeahokay guys thank you so much for watchingthis seriously yoursupport from the start of me editingthis to nowum has truly been a blessing and umi’m just extremely grateful for all ofyou being hereso tongue-tied um so yeah thank you allfor watching one last timeand may the force be with you peace out
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