Inside the Star Wars Rebels Mid-Season Trailer – Shot by Shot


Star Wars Rebels returns with a vengeance.

During the era of the Clone Wars airing on television, Star Wars fans received the treat of many connections with the greater Star Wars mythology. However, we’ve never seen such an interconnected fireworks display of the Star Wars myth on television until the Star Wars Rebels midseason trailer dropped. With direct connections to the Clone Wars, the prequels, the original trilogy, and The Force Awakens, Star Wars Rebels graduated to an absolute must see for any Star Wars fan.

Rebels is transcending what any Star Wars TV show has ever accomplished previously. Let’s take a look at the trailer:

What follows is a *almost* comprehensive shot by shot analysis of the Star Wars Rebels Season 2 midseason trailer.

Note: TFA spoilers to follow!

Let’s dive in.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.06.12

Creepy Sith Temple alert! It looks like Ezra and Kanan are off on an adventure with Ahsoka and discover what looks to be an ancient Sith temple. It looks very similar to the structure of a hologram. Just much, much, bigger…

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.06.26

What’s this? It looks sort of like a perverted Dark Lords of the round table. And notice the chairs. Only two, there are. No more, no less.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.06.33

I really have no idea what to make of this – other than the structure of the energy beam looks not unlike the one we see at Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens. It will be interesting to see if this sort of technology was being researched by the Sith years and years before the First Order would ever come to power.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.06.43

Here it looks like the inquisitors find themselves in the ruins of an old temple, possibly the same one seen in the previous shots.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.07.05

Joining the inquisitors is the Dark Lord of the Sith himself. I love how imposing just the outline of Vader is. Such brilliant lighting in the shot.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.07.23

The A-wing fighter never had a chance.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.07.40

Kanan is concerned – rightfully so – that the inquisitors have become the ultimate barrier to ever helping the rebels establish a base.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.07.48

The gang can’t ever seem to catch a break. If you look closely, you’ll see Zeb carrying a member of his own species onto the ghost. You’ll see more details in a later shot.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.08.08

I have to admit, I absolutely love the clone wars connection here bringing Cham Syndulla back into the picture. Here’s a “man” who knows how to fight oppressive regimes. How does Ryloth sound for a rebel base?

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.08.21

Interestingly, Princess Leia is seen with stormtroopers in a previous shot so it looks like she is still definitely part of the political structure of the empire. This makes sense, but it looks like her sympathies lie with the burgeoning rebellion. Ezra is impressed with her willingness to support them.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.09.09

I love the ship design here, no idea who it is but it looks sort of like a mini Millennium Falcon with Y-wing engines on the side.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.09.16

Shelob is no match for the impossibly cool, witty, if not slightly arrogant Sabine.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.09.20

This is where the trailer starts to get particularly interesting. We now see three inquisitors banded together. I’m really interested to see if we ever get a glimpse of all 7. Let the Barriss Offee is Inquisitor number 3 rumors start now!

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.09.33

However, it looks like Ahsoka and Kanan aren’t the only adversaries of the inquisitors. In this shot, you can see the Jedi Temple guards from the clone wars facing off against the outnumbered Sith Inquisitors.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.10.00

Yoda!!! Ezra seems to be having a vision communing with Yoda’s spirit as he tries to make the case for defending his friends. Perhaps he’s a little too easily convinced in the pursuit of overt power. Remember, the force is used for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.10.06

I like to think that Ezra is holding a selfie stick in his right hand in this one :-)

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.10.24

I really like the unique visual design for Yoda here, complete with cane and ragged robes.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.10.52

Approaching the temple, approaching the storm.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.10.59

Vader as Anakin Skywalker seems to be a very prominent theme of the trailer. Particularly in the last sequences here. We see Ezra get an unusual insight into who Darth Vader once was through the eyes of Vader’s former apprentice.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.11.04

Ezra seems impressed. Perhaps a little too impressed.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.11.16

Well, it seems Ezra will be tested. However I don’t think he will be susceptible enough to fall to the dark side.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.11.24

We hear the voice of this Jedi Temple guard, it sounds an awful lot like one Andy Serkis. It will be interesting to see what the role of these temple guards are.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.11.31

Judging by his facial expression, I get the idea that this holocron is doing something less than desired.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.11.43

Ezra seeks knowledge… something that didn’t work out so well for Anakin.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.11.58

Aaaaand the money shot! Without a doubt, this is the coolest part of the whole trailer. Darth Maul returns. You can clearly hear the ominous voice of Sam Witwer asking Ezra to call him simply “old master.”

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.12.06

Here Maul softly, if menacingly, places his hand on your shoulder as Ezra looks somewhat resigned to his fate. What could be going on?

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.12.27

Don’t touch it! Touch it, and you have to pay for it. 😉

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.12.37

Maybe it’s the swelling tragic music, but I can’t help but wonder if Zeb’s life is in mortal danger here.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.13.08

Here we finally get a closer look at Ezra facing off against the third Inquisitor. Come on guys, get something unique with your lightsabers! Dark-siders have no originality.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.13.31

And here we get a good look at a Zeb and his friends of the same species. There seems to be some sort of magical power held by perhaps a female shaman of some kind. Look closely at the top right of the screen and you’ll see a – if you can believe it – even taller and intimidating version of Zeb in a new character.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.14.58

This is such a heart-wrenching moment, you hear the voice of Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter!) in Ahsoka’s head as Vader approaches. There can be no question now as to whether or not Ahsoka knows the identity of Darth Vader. He is indeed her old master. This is such an amazing dynamic that I never thought would happen on television.

It’s going to be good. Terrible and good all the same time.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.15.07

Here is where we first get the idea that Ezra himself will once again face off against Darth Vader. There is no escape.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.15.24

Don’t make me destroy you.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.16.34

This is a super brief moment. I didn’t even notice it until going through the trailer shot by shot, but it appears here that Ezra is facing off against Darth Vader and is able to de-elmet him. Perhaps this is all some sort of vision from the look of the cloud of smoke around. However, this might be an actual face off where Darth Vader loses part of his helmet and possibly even his breathing apparatus.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.16.44

Back to the scene with the temple guards, I’m not sure if they have enough lightsabers :-)

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.16.50

I’ve got to admit my initial reaction was not very positive when I saw they were introducing a cross-bladed lightsaber into Star Wars Rebels. I feel that making a crossguard lightsaber something unique to Kylo Ren as someone who fashioned it from scraps and didn’t really know what he was doing is diminished when you see that Jedi were using that very same design previously. Just my opinion.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.16.55

Ahsoka is getting down to business.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.17.03

Perhaps we’ll finally get some backstory and added dimension to Sabine’s character as we see Mandalorians showing up here.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.17.12

An up-close shot of the very intimidating Darth Vader.

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.17.22

And finally, the face-off fans of been waiting for, Darth Vader vs ahsoka. It would take a lot of guts, but I think it would be great storytelling if Ahsoka tried to redeem her old master, and in a moment of a vulnerability, Vader runs her through not unlike Kylo Ren did to Han Solo in The Force Awakens.

Well that’s it! What an amazing trailer! I have to admit I’ve been a long time huge Clone Wars fan, and thought that Star Wars rebels had a long way to go to live up to the storytelling from the Clone Wars show.

After watching this trailer, I can unequivocally say that Dave Filoni and crew have done it again. I cannot wait to finish out the season!


Powered by
  • Zarm

    “There’s always a bit of truth in Legends?” :-) Please tell me that was intentional.

    Well, this looks MUCH better than the first half of the season. Still not thrilled with the ongoing looking back to the Clone Wars- but if it’s in service to Ahsoka’s swan song, being killed by Vader, then I could see the overboard-ness of the TCW connections in the first half of the season being retroactively justified.

    Either way, a lot of cool stuff- hopefully, we get the writing quality to match.