SWCE 2016: 11 Things We Learned from the Star Wars Rebels Season Three Panel

Ahsoka's fate discussed, Thrawn returns, and much, much more!

Selected cast and crew from Star Wars Rebels assembled on stage at Star Wars Celebration Europe tonight to offer a tease for Season Three and a glimpse of what is to come. Warwick Davis arrived via segue to lead the discussion with executive producer Dave Filoni, Sam Witwer (the voice of Darth Maul), and Tiya Sircar (the voice of Sabine Wren). They had many surprises to discuss.

What exactly did we learn?

1. Did Ahsoka survive? Filoni hemmed and hawed, answering the first question from Davis, but answered with a Yoda quote. “We must rejoice for those who have transformed into the Force. Mourn them do not, miss them do not.” But giving a serious tease of an answer, he explained: “I’m not going to say exactly, though, but you might not have seen the end of Ahsoka Tano.”

p39-part5-ahsoka-book2. Ahsoka’s fate was in the making for more than a decade. Filoni and George Lucas worked on Ahsoka’s ending for 10 years and Filoni wasn’t sure he’d be able to finish it. But when he had the chance to do it on Star Wars Rebels, he jumped at it. There is definitely more of Ahsoka’s full story coming to fans, including the new book (right) announced at Celebration.

3. Kanan’s new look! “There have been a lot of great blind samurai films like Zatoichi and Freddie Prinze is a great fan of those movies, so he understood what we’re going for,” Filoni said. “This experience might make him a better Jedi down the line.” When asked about Kanan’s new mask, Filoni said it was the most difficult design to realize. The markings on Kanan’s new mask are reminiscent of Captain Rex’s, to show that he’s learned to see through Rex’s eyes.

4. Tiya Sircar has offered input on the look of Sabine after Season One. Not only that, it’s for a pretty special character feature: Sabine’s hair! “I was so flattered and taken aback that they would ask for my opinion, and I gave it to them,” she said. “And they didn’t do it [for Season Two], but this new style [for Season Three] is exactly what I wanted.”

5. Two words: More. Mandalorians. Sircar said of Season Three, “I get to act with more Mandalorians. And I may or may not be related to some of them.” Sabine is definitely going to have to deal with spectres of her past. And now she has a new toy. “I have been wanting a jet pack since I knew I was playing a Mandalorian and now I finally have one. It’s so exciting.”

6. Star Wars origins are a large part of Star Wars Rebels. During the clip shown during the panel, three white-clad Mandalorians give chase to Ezra and Sabine. Their coloring is based on the original white mock-up costumes of Boba Fett from the late 1970s.

7. Rogue One is having a definite influence on the show. Filoni revealed the connection between Rebels and Rogue One in the look of the show. “We’re trying to fuse the looks of our show and the look of Rogue One and bringing the colorful things in our world closer to that. It’s a great synergy at Lucasfilm.”

8. Don’t forget about Maul. According to Witwer, Maul looks at Ezra as someone who could accomplish what he couldn’t. “And maybe he’s looking for something of a brother?” They definitely hinted with clips that Maul was back to his machinations, but might be truly clinging to the notion that Ezra could be his apprentice. Filoni also warned Witwer that he shouldn’t be so eager for the Emperor and Maul to meet again. “That would be very bad for Maul,” he said. But we’ll see what they have in store soon enough!

9. Enter Thrawn. Thrawn might be one of the most popular characters in Star Wars Legends, and Dave Filoni seemed pleased to reveal that the Grand Admiral would be brought in to deal with the Ghost crew. Check him out in the brand new trailer above. Timothy Zahn, the creator of Thrawn, was brought in to consult about the character — and a new book, Thrawn, was announced during the panel!

10. The darksaber is back! The darksaber was a Mandalorian weapon for a long time, and images were shown of Sabine wielding the ancient sword. When last we saw it, it was in the possession of Darth Maul, but it seems to have switched hands. “You took it from me,” Sam Witwer exclaimed, offended.

11. The Bendu is a new character that represents the center way of the Force. A concept that originally appeared in George Lucas’s earliest drafts, the Bendu, according to Filoni is a new type of Force user in the galaxy. The Bendu on Star Wars Rebels will be played by Doctor Who alum Tom Baker. “Tom charmed everyone in the room,” according to Filoni. “My wife included.” The last time a Doctor guest starred on Star Wars was David Tennant as Huyang. He won an Emmy.

When can we learn more? When Season Three begins its run later this year. Can’t wait.

Bryan Young is an author, a filmmakerjournalist, and the editor in chief of BigShinyRobot.com! He’s also the co-host of the Star Wars podcast, Full of Sith.

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