4 Years Later – A Review of Season Three of Star Wars: Rebels

In August of 2020, we spoke with author Amy Ratcliffe about all things ‘Star Wars’ (https://bit.ly/2FHuCoB) on the Theme Park Thursday podcast (with a follow up interview in November of 2020: https://bit.ly/33ACDVn). In that episode, Frank admitted to having very limited knowledge of both ‘The Clone Wars’ series and, especially, ‘Rebels’. A goal was set to watch the latter prior to the Second Season of ‘The Mandalorian’. So, here we are with Season Three of ‘Rebels’ complete and Frank’s stream of conscious blogging in full effect.

You can read the Season One review HERE!

You can read the Season TWO review HERE!

During Mad Men’s epic run on AMC, I found myself exhilarated by the idea that the series was following the model of a Shakespearean tragedy. That there would be Five Acts. That Betty Draper would confront Don about his true identity in Act (Season) Three, scene two. I had similar thoughts when the audience learned that Jack was actually in a flash forward and not a flashback at the end of LOST, Season Three. Of course, both of these television series went longer than five seasons. But Star Wars: Rebels did not.

And here we are in Act Three…

Between Return of the Jedi and the opening of Star Tours, Star Wars was displaced in my young mind by GI Joe and Hulkamania. The motion simulator became a reintroduction to my first love and then was enhanced by the release of Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire. I bought my hardcover copy during the Dillos trip to WDW during the Summer of 1991 and, I was hooked by the villainous duo of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Prince Xizor.

Now, as much as Dillos don’t like change, I didn’t lose my mind when the original Zahn trilogy was no longer canon per Disney. Twenty plus years had passed, Luke, Leia and Han were not going to play the characters at the age in the trilogy, and Jorrus C’baoth reminded me too much of the villain from Star Trek V (which, so does the Bendu). I get that fans want Mara Jade and Jacen and Jaina, I do, but if I was Disney I would have been weary of setting too many fan expectations for Episode VII.

This is a rabbit hole I don’t need to go down right now.

To the four year old, Sabine Wren was the star of Season Three. She marveled at Sabine’s initial use of the Darksaber on Mandalore and we both were ALL IN on the Trials of the Darksaber episode. As of this writing, I am still questioned multiple times a day why there was not a scene where Kanan and Ezra told Hera and Zeb that Sabine was staying on Mandalore. I don’t disagree but I also worry that my 4 year old is actively searching for emotional scenes in a space fantasy.

During the original run of the series, Twin Suns was the only episode I watched. All scenes involving Darth Maul’s pursuit of Obi Wan Kenobi were enthralling. I now understand guests of Batuu’s at Galaxy’s Edge fascination with Holocrons. I was left wanting more of Maul’s pursuit but yet more may have felt redundant. I also enjoyed the parallel storytelling of Maul and Thrawn, one rising and one falling.

Like any great Shakespearean storytelling, you need great subplots with characters you invest in. The Sopranos always did a fantastic job of building characters on the periphery to become ones of great importance. To that, I find the journey of Agent Kallus to be masterful and am super curious to see where I am led.

The ‘guest’ appearances of legacy characters like Wedge, Mon Mothma, Tarkin, and even Kenobi are always appealing to my eye, but I find myself in a perpetual state of surprise as it relates to my investment in the main characters. Was I tearing up during Trials of the Darksaber? I’m not telling! It’s not because I’m starting to see Sabine as a surrogate for my four year old because of how infatuated she is with her – no – not at all…

As Season Three began to wind down, I began to debate whether I preferred it to Season One. But then I started thinking about Vader vs. Ahsoka in Season Two and am starting to realize that I shouldn’t be comparing one season to another.

On to Season Four…

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