With Star Wars: Rebels entering its twilight, the Future of the Force writers share some of their stand out moments from the series so far…
With the final season of Star Wars: Rebels entering into its penultimate episodes, the Future of the Force writers have taken a retrospective look at the series so far and have selected just a handful of their all-time favourite moments to share with our readers.
With so many incredible plot lines to choose from, the task has proven to be a difficult one, however with four exciting seasons available, packed full of some of the finest characters making up the Star Wars universe, we have had plenty to digest. It is with a heavy heart that we share our choices in preparation of saying goodbye to the crew of the Ghost for the very last time.
Ahsoka Tano: By Katelyn Mathis
As soon as a collaborative piece was pitched to us, I knew exactly what moment I was going to mention; Ahsoka finally taking on the inquisitors in season 2. Why? It’s not just because it’s an amazing scene that Filoni himself said he wished could have been the entire 20-minute episode, but because she turns off the Seventh Sister’s lightsaber. If you know anything about lightsaber construction, you would know how difficult that would be. Lightsabers work with a pressure plate that the user holds on to. That’s why when they are dropped, they turn off. To throw a lightsaber and have it stay on, you must use the Force to hold down the plate.
For Ahsoka to turn off a lightsaber that is being held, she had to use the Force to feel inside the lightsaber and turn off the actual activation switch on the inside. That’s incredibly difficult, especially in the middle of a fight. It wasn’t just to get the lightsaber away from Seventh Sister, but to show her that Ahsoka was better than her both in lightsaber combat and at using her Force abilities. The move was meant to show us how far she had come. My guess is that it was meant to be an intermediary, a middle moment to show us she is ready for the next step. What that next step is we hope to see in the coming weeks as we wrap up Rebels and Ahsoka’s story.
Twilight of Maul/ Ahsoka’s Destiny: By Thomas Storai
I have two top favorite moments in Star Wars Rebels. The first one was at the end of season 2 when Ahsoka Tano confronts her former master Darth Vader. Ahsoka quickly became one of my favorite Star Wars characters during The Clone Wars. So, when the show was cancelled I was sad that her character didn’t get closure but with Star Wars Rebels, her story got to continue, and I was so happy about it. And Ahsoka facing her former master was for me the best closure the character could get. It was such an emotional scene and action-packed because it was quite an intense duel. Filoni really hit us with the feels even to the point of bringing back Matt Lanter to record a line of dialogue when Ahsoka breaks Vader’s mask. That moment certainly asked one big question – did Ahsoka Tano survive? It’s a big question but at the same time, it left the door open for the audience to interpret the ending their own way, it’s the audience who decide and that’s beautiful. Some think Ahsoka died in the temple, some like me still think she somehow survived and went into exile. If it was her last appearance in Star Wars, she did get a great send-off!
My second favorite moment was in season 3 – Maul vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi. Maul was there since 1999, The Phantom Menace was the first Star Wars movie I saw in cinemas (I had seen the Original Trilogy on VHS before) so it obviously holds a special place in my heart. The Prequels are my generation’s Star Wars story. At the time, we all thought Maul was dead but Filoni and Lucas brought him back in The Clone Wars, expanding the character’s story. There again like Ahsoka, Maul didn’t get closure in The Clone Wars as the show got cancelled, we did get the Son of Dathomir comics, but we still haven’t got the Siege of Mandalore, I’m still hoping we will one day. A character as iconic as Maul needed closure too and Star Wars Rebels gave us his final chapter. That final scene between Maul and Obi-Wan was so huge of meaning and it was the perfect scene connecting everything together – the Prequels, the Originals, The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. It doesn’t get any better than this! Old Obi making Obi-Wan’s classic Revenge of the Sith battle pose was simply epic. And Stephen Stanton did a brilliant job at voicing Old Ben, giving us a beautiful tribute to Sir Alec Guinness.
I couldn’t have conceived a better ending for Maul. Obi-Wan being the one who killed him, made total sense. Darth Vader killing him wouldn’t have had the same impact. Obi-Wan and Maul have a long history. What kept Maul alive was his furious quest for vengeance against Obi-Wan. Everything was leading him back to Obi-Wan. And Tatooine, the planet, it had a significance. The first time we see Maul fight in The Phantom Menace was on Tatooine and so his last fight also took place on the same planet. This final duel being very, very short really captured what Maul was all about – revenge. And focused in his revenge, Obi-Wan grew old, but grew in wisdom and while Obi-Wan learned from his mistakes, Maul didn’t and ultimately ended up losing. That’s quite an ending for an iconic character like Maul!
Maul vs Obi-Wan: By Darth Elvis
It’s hard to pick one moment from the 4 Season run of Rebels as a favourite so far and my Imperial brothers and sisters might be surprised to learn which one I have chosen. My favourite scene is taken from Season 3 of Rebels and the episode “Twin Suns” and shows the final confrontation between Darth Maul and Obi Wan Kenobi.
The animation and attention to detail in this scene is just stunning! The lightsabers have never looked better with Obi Wan’s looking exactly as it did in A New Hope. The two legends who first met in The Phantom Menace are face to face once again. Kenobi a true Jedi Master stands calmly as Maul tries to get a rise out of him.
Maul: “Look what has become of you. A rat in the desert.”
Kenobi: “Look what I have risen above.”
Maul: “I’ve come to kill you, but perhaps it’s worse to leave you here, festering in your squalor.”
Kenobi: “If you define yourself by your power to take life, a desire to dominate, to possess, then you have nothing.”
Stunning writing by Dave Filoni and Henry Gilroy!
Maul: (GRUNTS) “And what do you have?”
Maul in his anger ignites his lightsaber using it to throw sand into the campfire they stand around. Kenobi ever the Jedi Master continues to stand perfectly still in the darkness which now surrounds them both.
Maul: “Why come to this place? Not simply to hide. Oh, you have a purpose here. Perhaps you are protecting something. No. Protecting someone.”
Kenobi came to Tatooine with one purpose to watch over the son of Anakin Skywalker, Luke and he won’t let Maul strike him down and then go after the Chosen One. He ignites his lightsaber, lighting his face in the darkness of the Tatooine desert. Maul charges and in 3 swift controlled moves the duel is over. Maul falls, and Kenobi catches him.
Maul: “Tell me. Is it the Chosen One?”
Kenobi: “He is.”
Maul: “He will avenge us.”
Two incredibly talented voice talents, Sam Witwer (Maul) and Kenobi (Stephen Stanton) give a beautiful performance in this scene. A fitting end to Darth Maul who after returning in The Clone Wars animated series has been seeking his revenge against Obi Wan and let his rage get the better of him. As a Master myself, I promise that I don’t envisage the same end for my Zabrak apprentice Darth Vegas. Not yet anyway!
It’s the set pieces like this that truly making Star Wars Rebels something incredibly special! A final confrontation that we have all been dreaming about and executed in such a masterful way. Once Dave Filoni was the learner, now he is the MASTER!
The Rise of Agent Kallus: By Patty Hammond
There are SO many moments in Star Wars Rebels that are memorable that I cannot choose just one. However, if I must choose an episode that spoke the most to me it is The Honorable Ones. This episode shows both Zeb and Kallus in a whole new light. Zeb shows that he is more than just an angry hard-headed Rebel and Kallus shows that he is not the evil villain that he was made out to be in previous episodes. It is this episode that gives rise to Kallus’s new role in the show, first as Rebel Agent Fulcrum, to Rebel Leader and of course to become what many us now know him as #HotKallus.
A Series of Inspirations: By Shay Spargo
As I was recently thinking about the bittersweet truth that Star Wars Rebels will soon be returning for the last time, I suddenly realized a fact about the show that I had been oblivious to before. Although I’ve been an overall Star Wars fan for a good portion of my life, I was always very partial to the prequels period. I know, I know, I probably lost many fellow fans right then and there. But for some reason, the sparkle and mystique of prequels always appealed to me a bit more than the grit and stark colors of the original period. I always enjoyed reading about the various rules, relics, and traditions of the old Jedi Order than I did the ranking systems and various skirmishes of the Rebel Alliance.
But since getting involved in Rebels, I have become a huge fan of the Rebellion, and almost entirely without knowing it!! Rebels provides the perfect transition from the prequels/The Clone Wars period to the time of the original trilogy, bridging the 19-year gap between the two eras. It was also the perfect way to slowly warm me up to some new ideas and the overall feel of the sequel trilogy films, as well leading me to love characters such as Iden Versio from the Battlefront II story-mode.
Not to mention that Rebels was actually my first introduction to Star Wars animation and has turned me from a skeptic to a full-fledged fan.
And to be totally honest, it wasn’t until Rebels that I really became a complete Star Wars fangirl. I had never had the experience of becoming so completely engrossed in an on-going storyline like this before, of growing so completely attached to the characters and their settings, of convincing others to join in and watch the show and going on to develop amazing friendships with their people, partly due to our combined love of this series. The first fanfiction I ever read was from Rebels, and that show often becomes a point of discussion on my own podcast. It really served to introduce me into the fandom, and to push me along in my pre-existing love for “a galaxy far, far away.
Ezra, Ahsoka, Sabine and Hot Kanan?: By Megan Rickards
Star Wars Rebels, every time I see a tweet from someone (I’m looking at you Tracy) counting down to the beginning of the end of this amazing show, I can’t help but get teary eyed. Not only have the characters grown so much, but so have I. Like with the characters, the person I was at the start of the show is vastly different from the person I am now. The lessons I have learned and things I have accomplished during these four years…
Just a few of my stand out moments include “Gathering Forces”, “Shroud of Darkness”, “Trials of the Dark saber” and “The Occupation”. While I will admit that the first season wasn’t as strong as the next three, there were still a few that it was difficult to choose between. Ultimately, I went with “Gathering Forces” because this is where I believe Ezra really starts connecting with the Force. Sure, it’s shaky at first, causing him to tap into the Dark Side due to his raw emotions, but it’s still a believable first step.
In the second season, I choose “Shroud of Darkness” mainly because while it’s such a growing experience for Ezra, it’s more so for Kanan and Ahsoka. While Ezra is simply told by Master Yoda to find Malachor, a not unimportant planet in Star Wars history, but Kanan finally becomes a fully-fledged Jedi Knight in the “eyes” of the Force itself, and Ahsoka comes to terms with who Vader really is.
The third season is where I had the most trouble narrowing down my favorite episode. It came down to “The Last Battle” and “Trials of the Dark Saber”. While the former was amazing and paid a fantastic tribute to its predecessor The Clone Wars, the latter just beautifully demonstrated Sabine’s training with this legendary weapon. Also, it was nice to step back and see her training with this blade rather than it taking place off screen. Finally, out of the several episodes we’ve seen of the final season so far, my favorite would have to be “The Occupation”, because it’s the first time we’ve seen the Ghost crew out of their normal gear. More than that, it’s the first (after seeing the mid-season 4 trailer), likely only time we will get to see Kanan with his hair down. Can I get a #HotKanan?
Binary Sunset: By Phil Roberts
Being a child of the original trilogy era, my tastes tend to be drawn to the incredible references to George Lucas’ sublime masterpieces, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Dave Filoni has proven himself to be a worthy apprentice to the master and had interwoven many fantastic nods to the original trilogy amongst the narratives of both The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Rebels. Darth Vader vs Kanan and Ezra, Vader’s epic duel with Ahsoka Tano, the return of Shadows of the Empire favorite, the Outrider and the introduction of Wedge Antilles all deserve special consideration for these scenes of glory. However, it is with no real surprise that my selection mirrors that of my Future of the Force colleagues and aligns with the epic finale of episode “Twin Suns”.
Darth Maul’s apt demise aside, and the episode is a perfect reintroduction for Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Following the events of Revenge of the Sith, the Jedi Master swore an oath to defend the son of his fallen brother, Anakin Skywalker and remained faithful to his mandate. Therefore, when it came time to confront his long-time adversary, Kenobi dispatched him without a second thought. No mercy, no compunction, no hesitation.
But even the epic conclusion to their feud was not enough to sway my judgment and win my affection as my favorite moment from the episode. That accolade belongs to the aftermath of this sequence where the victorious Obi-Wan travels to the outskirts of Owen Lars’ moisture farm to watch a young Luke Skywalker at play amongst the sand dunes. It was a pertinent ending. One that revealed the significance of his duty to ensure the safety of the young would be Jedi knight.
If seeing a young Luke Skywalker, at the height of his innocence wasn’t enough, the beautiful backdrop of the twin suns of Tatooine during binary sunset was breathtaking and the incredible Skywalker theme from John Williams added a nostalgic ambience which resonated with A New Hope in an incredibly sentimental way.
It was the perfect finale. One that boasted a pleasing balance between hope, nostalgia, innocence and anticipation of the events yet to come. It revealed our beloved Luke Skywalker at play, untouched by destiny and unaware of the significance destined to burden his shoulders. It was this blend of incredible visuals, characters and music that provided my ultimate moment from Star Wars: Rebels, where all roads came to together in support of A New Hope for the galaxy…
There have been some fantastic views and selections from the Future of the Force team and the series’ imminent return has certainly got the fans talking. But do you agree with our top choices?
Drop us a line and share your opinions with us:
Star Wars: Rebels returns to our screens on Monday in the United States, and Saturday morning in the UK. Be sure to tune in to Disney XD and catch the epic finale…
May The Force Be With You
Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force and babbles frequently!