The fourth and final season of Star Wars Rebels is coming to an end on Disney XD in the not-too-distant future, and only a couple of characters are guaranteed to appear in the Star Wars saga beyond the series finale. In fact, aside from Hera and Chopper, we can't even be sure at this point which characters will survive. The good news is that a major Rebels character could potentially appear in an upcoming project in the Star Wars franchise: Solo. As the second anthology film of the franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story is set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, which means that former-Jedi-in-hiding Kanan Jarrus could totally show up.
As Star Wars Rebels fans know, Kanan was a Jedi padawan by the name of Caleb Dume before the events of Order 66. After Order 66 wiped out almost all the Jedi, Caleb Dume went on the run and became Kanan Jarrus. There's a gap of around 14 years between Order 66 and the beginning of Star Wars Rebels, and the only canon material featuring adult Kanan set in that timeframe is a novel, A New Dawn, that featured that first meeting of Kanan and Hera.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is set in the gap between Revenge of the Sith and the first episode of Rebels, which happens to be a period in Kanan's life that is mostly unaccounted for in canon. The new movie could take place at the perfect time for an appearance from young adult Kanan. Now, just because we don't know much about Kanan's life in this particular timeframe and Solo happens to be set in this era doesn't mean that there's any good reason for the guy to appear in the movie. The brand new trailer for Solo is what reveals exactly why Kanan would fit in.
The majority of the Solo trailer obviously teases the exploits of Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and Chewbacca (along with some new faces), but there are a few quick glimpses of scenes set in the sort of haunts Kanan would have enjoyed as a young man. The A New Dawn novel explained that Kanan was a heavy drinker who liked the ladies and didn't exactly keep the most savory company in the most upscale places. Basically, pre-A New Dawn Kanan would fit right into any seedy bar the galaxy far, far away had to offer, and Solo will evidently feature at least one such seedy location:
Kanan could totally be part of that (or any other) motley crew in Solo! Sure, two future key members of the Rebellion hanging out in the same seedy bar would be a bit of a leap, but this is a franchise that had Anakin building C-3P0 as a kid, Luke and Leia as secret twins all along, and Rey and Finn just happening to run into Han and Chewbacca in space. Why not put Kanan and Han in the same room together? The Force works in mysterious ways.
Of course, Kanan turning up in Solo as an amusingly drunken drifter might only work if the movie is set when Kanan is an adult but before he met Hera. Yes, Solo could conceivably feature Kanan and Hera, and featuring Kanan and Hera together in Solo would certainly be fun for Rebels fans who have been dying to know what those two were up to before they started taking on crew. The problem is that the timing would probably have to be pretty specific to get both Kanan and Hera in the plot of Solo.
Neither Kanan nor Hera could meet Lando ahead of his appearance in Rebels, set years later, and Hera probably shouldn't meet Han so early since they'll both be part of the rebellion in the Original Trilogy era. Still, we don't have to rule out Kanan and Hera appearing together. Stranger things have happened in Star Wars. Remember when Ponda Baba and Cornelius Evazan turned up on Jedha in Rogue One a few days before they'd be mixing it up with Luke on Tatooine?
All things considered, Kanan is the member of the Ghost crew on Star Wars Rebels who makes the most sense as a possible inclusion in Solo. Ezra and Sabine would have been too young, Zeb was hopefully doing something somewhat more respectable than Kanan was, and (depending on the year) Hera was either already with Kanan or also too young to be hanging out in bad crowds. Given what's probably going to happen to Kanan in what's left of Rebels Season 4, fans will likely want a look at him alive and well more than the rest of the Ghost crew anyway.
All of this said, a Kanan appearance in Solo: A Star Wars Story would undoubtedly be little more than a cameo. Star Wars Rebels got a couple of minor nods in Rogue One without featuring any of the characters (other than Chopper) on screen. If we got Kanan in Solo, it would probably be a guy in the background with a ponytail and pieces of a lightsaber on his belt. Would it be fabulous to get a guy with a ponytail arguing and/or flirting with a Twi'lek in a flight suit? Sure. We just shouldn't get our hopes up.
Only time will tell if Star Wars Rebels will get any nods in Solo: A Star Wars Story. You can see Kanan in at least one more episode when Rebels returns to Disney XD for the final arc of Season 4 on Monday, February 19 at 9 p.m. ET. For more ways Star Wars Rebels could connect to the larger franchise, check out our picks for 8 Rebels characters that need to appear in the movies. If you're in the market for more TV shows in the coming weeks, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide.