Why The Battle Of Scarif Won't Be In Star Wars Rebels' Final Season

star wars rebels season 3 ghost crew

Disney XD has been the place to be when it comes to Star Wars action on the small screen thanks to the animated series Star Wars Rebels. As the show is set in the final years before the events of Rogue One and A New Hope, many fans have expected the action to end when when the Rogue One climax begins: the Battle of Scarif. We just learned that Season 4 will be the final season of Star Wars Rebels, but showrunner Dave Filoni has already explained that Scarif won't be a part of the story, saying this:

I don't think that would be right. It would be to hinge this series end on a battle we've already seen the outcome of in a feature film. It would be a little bit repetitious, anticlimactic. I think as an initial impulse it sounds great. But the more you think about it, you go hmmmm I don't know, it would kind of taper your expectations and the tension would be cut quite a bit. I like our ending. And I love that battle. I think it would be neat to see that battle one day from the Ghost's perspective because we know the Ghost is there, but we don't know who is in the Ghost. So that's kind of a good question that needs to be answered.

Dave Filoni's explanation is simple: he doesn't think we should know the end of Rebels before it airs, and ending the series with the Battle of Scarif would simply be a retelling of something we already saw on the big screen. His comments to Slashfilm indicate that fans of Star Wars Rebels will getting an ending that is a culmination of the series, not a tie-in to a movie. The finale will presumably be more about the Ghost crew than the Death Star.

That said, we do already know at least two of the Ghost crew members who will be around circa Rogue One. The scenes at the Rebel base on Yavin 4 featured Chopper in the thick of the action, and a "General Syndulla" was mentioned. Eagle-eyed viewers even spotted the Ghost itself arriving above Scarif to take part in the desperate attempt to retrieve the Death Star plans:

Unfortunately, none of the Rogue One Easter eggs gave away that anybody other than Hera and Chopper survived. Given that Star Wars Rebels will evidently end before the Battle of Scarif, there's every chance that Hera and Chopper will be the only ones left of the Ghost crew still in the fight. The end is likely nigh for at least Kanan, as there were no full-fledged Jedi running around the Rebellion during the original trilogy. The odds of survival are slightly better for Ezra; he's not a Jedi Knight just yet, and he could totally leave the life behind if he has to watch Kanan die. The Season 4 trailer indicates that Sabine will have plenty going on in Mandalore even if she does survive. As for Zeb... well, we can hope.

We probably don't have to wonder about the Ghost surviving Scarif, at least. Disney recently revealed that the new Star Wars Forces of Destiny series of animated shorts will feature one starring Hera and Leia, set circa Return of the Jedi. The Ghost evidently will not be destroyed at the Battle of Scarif. Of course, the Ghost also wasn't part of the run on the Death Star in A New Hope, so we can bet that Hera and any other Ghost survivors were dispatched elsewhere.

All things considered, we simply don't know much about how Star Wars Rebels is going to end, but at least we now know how it won't end. We won't be seeing an animated version of the Battle of Scarif, and that's fine by me. While Rebels has touched on big events from the movies throughout the three seasons so far, it has always stood on its own, and as far as I'm concerned, that's how it should end.

Star Wars Rebels Season 4 will debut on Disney XD this fall. Check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule to see everything you can watch in the meantime, and don't forget to take a look at the latest evidence that Ahsoka lives on Rebels.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).