We’ve long wondered when and how Star Wars Rebels would connect to the primary movie timeline of the saga. Set in the years leading up to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: A New Hope, there’s never been that large of a leap, especially with characters like Darth Maul, Princess Leia, and Wedge Antilles all making appearances throughout the animated TV series.
It’s the second episode of Rebels‘ third season that may have given us our most concrete and direct connection yet though, brought to us in the form of a Force vision from young Jedi-in-training, Ezra Bridger.
The key to destroying the Sith
Throughout the initial run of Star Wars Rebels, we’ve seen Ezra grow from a young orphan, into a competent, Force-wielding warrior. It’s a character arc that runs parallel to that of Luke Skywalkers’s own in the original trilogy, and it doesn’t seem coincidental in the slightest. This season, Ezra’s own focus has turned from his training, and straight toward the end goal of destroying the Sith. Part of that motivation is pushed by his need to protect his friends and loved ones, but we’ve also seen him dip his toes into the dark side along the way.
As we learned from Anakin Skywalker in the prequels, trying to rein in the dark side with even the best intentions only leads to ruin. That has done little to slow Ezra down all the same. It’s inspired his search this season for the key to ending the Sith once and for all, and in the second episode of Season 3, he may have gotten his answer, albeit with a clue that only we as an audience are equipped to decode.
The connection to Luke Skywalker
This brings us to the vision itself. Ezra doesn’t see much in the vision, but what he does catch says plenty. “Twin suns,” he utters, a reference that immediately brings Tatooine to mind for anyone familiar with the Star Wars universe. It seems entirely possible that the Force’s answer for destroying the Sith is a young farm boy living on a planet with two suns: Luke Skywalker. To top it all off, we know that Luke eventually does accomplish that goal, so the connection seems to follow logically.
More evidence in favor of the Skywalker connection comes in the Force vision from Darth Maul’s side of the table, who helps initiate the whole ordeal in the first place. After his own experience, he remarks, “I see him … he lives.” The identity of the “he” being referred to here isn’t actually made clear, but Maul’s own circle of in-canon acquaintances is limited to his brother Savage Opress (who definitely died at the end of Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Emperor Palpatine (who he already knows is alive), and Obi-Wan Kenobi, a man who’s been Maul’s sworn enemy since Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. If Darth Maul really did see Obi-Wan in his vision, it points a straight line toward Tatooine for all involved.
Showrunner Dave Filoni elaborates
io9’s Germain Lussier took the time to sit down with showrunner, Dave Filoni in hopes of getting some answers. For his part, Filoni was unsurprisingly cagey, simply saying that “you never know,” and that Ezra’s vision is “subject to interpretation.” He goes on to point out that “in the Star Wars universe, a planet with twin suns is almost the most common kind of planet,” although it’s just as likely that this is a misdirect on the part of the showrunner who’s obligated to not tip his hand.
It doesn’t seem coincidental for a potential connection to crop up in the months leading up to the release of Rogue One, although the odds of actually seeing Luke himself in the animated series are slim. More likely is the appearance of Obi-Wan Kenobi, who already has a lengthy history as a main character in Filoni’s last Star Wars animated series, The Clone Wars. Regardless, it’s exciting to see Rebels finally giving us a long-awaited link to the trilogies.
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