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Warning: gigantic spoilers ahead for the twelfth and thirteenth episodes of Star Wars Rebels Season 4, respectively called "Wolves and a Door" and "A World Between Worlds."
Star Wars Rebels is coming to an end sooner rather than later. Disney XD will air the final three episodes of the series as one epic block, which means that only one night of Star Wars Rebels action is left. An awful lot happened in the last two episodes before the finale event, and they set the stage for the end in some major ways. Read on for our breakdown of 5 ways Star Wars Rebels just set up the series finale and the Star Wars saga beyond!
Answered Some Big Questions
Before "Wolves and a Door" and "A World Between Worlds" aired, it was difficult to imagine how Star Wars Rebels could possibly wrap up all of its ongoing storylines in time for the final credits. Fortunately, these two episodes answered some major questions that really needed to be addressed before the end. For one thing, the reveal that the Jedi temple on Lothal is actually a pathway between all of time and space explained why the Emperor was so interested in a random planet in the Outer Rim as well as why there was a Jedi temple built there.
The presence of the pathway as a conduit to the Force also explained what drew the Ghost crew to Lothal for such a long time. Kanan established earlier in Season 4 that he and Hera had been drawn to Lothal over and over again, even before they met Ezra. Kanan's connection to Lothal and the Force pulled him back. Additionally, the pathway explained why exactly there are Force-sensitive wolves running around the countryside, traveling impossible distances within mere moments. They were connected to the temple, and Kanan's will even embodied a gigantic white wolf after his death. Pretty much all of the stories of Star Wars Rebels that were connected to the Force converged at the pathway.
Brought Back Ahsoka
One of the longest-running mysteries of Star Wars Rebels was what happened to Ahsoka after the Season 2 finale that saw her either killed by Vader with her spirit descending into the Sith temple or heading down into the Sith temple alive. Fans were divided on what happened to her, but we've known for a while that Ahsoka would be back in some form or other. Showrunner Dave Filoni hinted that Ahsoka survived the Season 2 finale, and voice actress Ashley Eckstein promised that she'd reprise the role somehow.
"A World Between Worlds" revealed that Ahsoka did survive the end of the Season 2 finale thanks to Ezra using the pathway to yank Ahsoka out of the collapsing temple on Malachor before Vader could strike a killing blow. She went back to Malachor, alive and well, at the end of the latest episode, which solves the mystery of what happened to Ahsoka and frees the finale up to deal with plot points other than Ahsoka's fate. Rebels can move on and deal exclusively with Rebels stories rather than what became of a character who originated on The Clone Wars.
Concluded Kanan's Story
Well, in case you had any doubts that Kanan was really, truly, 100% super dead after he seemingly met his end in the previous pair of episodes, "Wolves and a Door" and "A World Between Worlds" must have laid those doubts to rest. Prior to the end of "A World Between Worlds," there was reason to believe that Kanan would be around, even if not the way he was before sacrificing his life. Kanan's will endured within the cosmic Force and was connected to the wolf called "Dume," and Kanan himself made a ghostly appearance when he laid a comforting hand on Hera's shoulder. He didn't say anything, but he was smiling (and had his ponytail back!). The fact that Hera seemed to feel his touch even indicated that maybe she could somehow see him again someday.
Then came the end of "A World Between Worlds," which saw Ezra realize he couldn't save Kanan and had to let him go. Ezra left the temple, which sealed behind him and disappeared. The disappearance of the pathway from Lothal evidently took Kanan's presence along with the temple, as Ezra confirmed to a still-heartbroken Hera that Kanan really is gone. Could Kanan return as a Force ghost? We shouldn't rule it out. His story as a whole seems to be over, however, and Hera will almost certainly never see or sense him again. Poor, poor Hera. Hopefully they'll both turn up elsewhere in the saga so we can at least see them happy together again .
Resolved The Jedi Story
From the very beginning, Star Wars Rebels chronicled the story of the rebellion in the years leading up to the original trilogy and the story of two lone Jedi trying to connect to the Force. The two latest episodes seemed to have effectively wrapped up the biggest stories left in the Jedi arc. Kanan is dead and gone, the pathway has been sealed off, the temple disappeared from Lothal, the wolves were associated with Kanan and the temple, Ahsoka is alive, and the Mortis arc from The Clone Wars was revisited. Perhaps most significantly of all, the Emperor made a grand appearance in Star Wars Rebels. The Emperor encountered Ezra and Ahsoka after Ezra entered the pathway, and he came frighteningly close to reaching them through his own portal.
If he had gotten through to them, he would have been able to seize control of the pathway to the past, present, and future of the universe, and that would have brought an end to any and all opposition to the Emperor. With the disappearance of the entrance to the pathway on Lothal, the Emperor lost his reason to focus on that planet except perhaps for the purpose of revenge. While we can be sure that Ezra will use his Jedi powers in the finale and there will be some Force mysticism in play, the odds are that the Jedi story has been largely resolved and the finale will focus on the story of the rebellion.
The notable absence from these two episodes was none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn. The only appearance from Thrawn came when Chopper played a recording of him to distract a pair of scout troopers so Zeb could take them out and steal their armor. His absence from "Wolves and a Door" and "A World Between Worlds" means that we're going to get a whole lot of Thrawn in the finale event. The midseason trailer featured a number of Thrawn scenes that haven't aired yet, and the whole story with the TIE Defenders needs to be wrapped up. The chances are that the final three episodes of Star Wars Rebels will showcase Thrawn as one of the greatest villains of the Star Wars saga, which should more than make up for his absence in this pair of episodes.
The 90-minute series finale of Star Wars Rebels will air on Monday, March 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Disney XD. For the shows you can watch following the end of Rebels, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide and our 2018 Netflix schedule. Don't forget to check out our breakdown of ways Rebels set up Rogue One and our picks for Star Wars shows that should rise up once Rebels is over.