Take a 2nd Look – A Shot by Shot Rebels Season 3 Trailer Breakdown


R (1)Over the Lucasfilm logo we hear lightsabers ignite, Darth Vader breathing, and Ezra yelling Ahsoka’s name, immediately evoking the end of Season 2 and the mysterious fate of Ahsoka.

R (2) R (3)“Battles leave scars. Some you can’t see.”

Kanan meditating… while levitating Loth-cats? Note the design on his mask. It is the same design as Captain Rex’s helmet. Dave Filoni said this represents Kanan’s growth in accepting Rex as an ally since Season 2.

R (4)“I will never let my friends get hurt again!” – Ezra

Ezra is still in pain from leaving Ahsoka behind and it is having a dangerous effect on him. Note that the red eyes of the center mask begin to glow (that is where he keeps the Sith holocron and perhaps it is reacting to his dark thoughts).

R (5)“I’m afraid it’s changing him.” – Kanan

Ezra with the Sith holocron from the end of Season 2. Like Anakin, Ezra is being tempted to the dark side through the desire to save the ones he cares for.

R (6)“What if there are secrets we can learn from it that will help us destroy the Sith?” – Ezra

R (7)“Ezra, the secrets in that thing almost destroyed you.” – Kanan

R (8)“There are Imperial cadets at the Skystrike Academy who wish to defect to the rebels.” – Fulcrum

It looks like a new “Fulcrum” (still using Ahsoka’s symbol) is contacting the rebels. I’m guessing Filoni will do more to hide the voice this time.

R 9Skystrike Academy

R 10vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h41m54s091“This is TIE SS25. You can call we Wedge.”

Wedge Antilles is introduced in the Rebels universe and given a new backstory. In Legends he was never a TIE pilot, but joined the Rebellion when his girlfriend was killed.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h42m05s157The guy on the right could be Tycho Celchu, a character created by author Michael A. Stackpole for his X-Wing series of novels. This theory was suggested by Mark Hurliman in his recent recap article.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h42m46s265“Still can’t believe we’re here to break this guy out of prison.” – Sabine

In a lighter moment, the Ghost crew frees Hondo Ohnaka, presumably to get some vital information from him.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h42m39s426“My friends! My friends!” – Hondo Ohnaka

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h42m54s943“I give to you, Reclam Station [spelling?]” – Hondo

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h43m09s441“If we could steal a squadrons worth….” – Hera

Hondo gives them information on where they can find Y-wings.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h43m20s047“…They would be key to building a strike fleet.” – Jun

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h43m29s823“Let’s go get em!” Overeager Ezra showing his impatience.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h43m46s997“Everybody ready?” Kanan, Ezra and Rex prepare for battle.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h44m34s796 vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h44m38s828

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h43m56s566The return of the battle droids. I wonder if this place is a holdover from the Clone Wars.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h44m01s050Cham Syndulla fighting alongside Hera, Zeb, and Sabine.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h44m04s924vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h44m06s840“One last glorious day in the Grand Army of the Republic.” — Captain Rex

Captain Rex preparing for what he believes could be his last battle?

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h44m48s352vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h45m14s241A mysterious pilot hammering through a TIE fighter in a YT-2400 light freighter. Dave Filoni clarified during Celebration that this isn’t Legend favorite Dash Rendar or his ship, the Outrider, just the same ship type.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h45m18s955 vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h45m39s796 vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h45m42s912Kanan and Ezra working together, jumping from a roof (back on Lothal?), and in disguise, punching out stormtroopers.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h46m38s189A return to Concord Dawn.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h45m45s462“Flying stormtroopers?” – Ezra

Dave Filoni said that the white armor is a reference to the original design of Boba Fett’s armor, initially a design for special forces stormtroopers. The line “flying stormtroopers” is probably a reference to this as well.

Note the triangle symbol on their helmets. There is also a triangle design on Kanan’s chest. I don’t know if this is a known design or what possible connection they have.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h46m02s159“Worse. Mandalorians who serve the Empire.” – Fenn Rauvlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h46m23s728 vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h45m55s298 vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h46m40s357Sabine and Ezra taking on the Imperial Mandalorians. They seem to be alone on this mission. Is Sabine doing this unsanctioned?

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h47m03s807 vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h47m06s092“You haven’t forgotten our ways. That has earned my respect.” – Fenn Rau

Fenn, a former enemy of the Rebels, seems to have changed his attitude on the Empire and Sabine.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h47m59s539vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h48m02s361Ezra and Zeb fighting Dark trooper inspired droids?

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h48m42s612My new desktop wallpaper….

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h48m50s867Lothal’s Governor Pryce, seen here for the first time.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h48m54s761“Governor Pryce, these rebels have proven particularly stubborn. How do you intend to solve this problem?” – Tarkin

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h49m59s188“I need someone who sees a bigger picture.” – Governor Pryce

Who could this mysterious figure be…?  ;P

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h49m49s386“The Empire is getting better at anticipating our moves. I underestimated the commander.”


vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h50m17s384“This attack was swift… precise.” – Cham

 vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h50m32s274“To defeat an enemy, you must know them.”

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h50m50s952“Not simply their battle tactics…”

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h51m03s495“…but their history, philosophy, art.”

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h50m42s003In arguably the biggest announcement to come out of Celebration, Grand Admiral Thrawn is now canon.

We see Thrawn studying the Ghost crew. As Thrawn fans know, he infamously learns how to defeat his enemies not only by studying their battle tactics, but by studying the art of their cultures. Note what looks to be the mask of a Jedi Temple Guard on Thrawn’s desk.


There is also a nod to the ysalamiri lizards with the two figures behind Thrawn.

YsalamirIn Legends, the ysalamiri were Force negating creatures used by Thrawn against Force users. Dave Filoni confirmed that this is just a nod to Thrawn’s origins and that the Force negating creatures will not be canon. He and George Lucas had already determined during the making of The Clone Wars that they did not really fit Lucas’s universe. Lucas told Filoni that since the Force is within all life, no natural creature would negate it.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h51m12s230“Grand Admiral Thrawn!” – Hera

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h51m15s705Hera, Sabine, and Zeb seem to know of Thrawn already, unless this is after he is introduced to them in the show.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h51m27s773vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h51m32s424vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h51m36s768Though blind, Kanan diverts a missile with the Force.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h51m44s947 “Embrace your destiny.” – Maul tempting his “pupil.”

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h51m47s412Ezra being drawn to the power of the Sith holocron.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h51m51s460“Jedi and Sith…”

Several ghostly entities emerge from an alter before Ezra. More on this below.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h52m01s444 vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h51m58s077 vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h52m07s618“The light and the dark…”

Maul and Ezra combine the Jedi and Sith holocrons. What will this do, and what is the purpose?

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h52m18s791“…I’m the one in the middle.”

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h52m21s574“The Bendu.”

The Bendu is a being said to represent the middle way of the Force, between the light and the dark. How Kanan came to him, whether it is a vision or reality, and what the purpose of the visit is remains a mystery (except to those who have seen the season premiere at Celebration).

The word “Bendu” was part of the original name George Lucas gave to the Jedi in his original drafts: the Jedi Bendu.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h52m32s820“Once a secret is known…” vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h52m58s438 vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h53m09s512“…it cannot be unknown.” – The Bendu

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h53m12s106“Your anger gives you strength.” – Unidentified female voice

Ezra drawn deeper towards the dark side.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h54m08s617“I will pull the rebels apart, piece by piece.” – Thrawn

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-19h57m36s314I believe this is Nightsister “magick” that is possessing Kanan. The green mist certainly matches.

Could this be Mother Talzin herself? She was supposedly killed in the Son of Dathomir comics, but she also possessed Count Dooku before that in the same comic. If you look closely, Talzin’s hood and shoulder pads seem to match this entity.

And that looks to be an unconscious Sabine in front of Kanan!

magic talzinPic from The Clone Wars

talzin hood padsPic from The Clone Wars

talzinPic from The Clone Wars
vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h54m41s365Maul using the Force on Hera.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h54m45s068“I must become more powerful.” – Ezra

Ezra fighting Maul. And more of that Anakin vibe coming through in Ezra’s dialogue.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h54m58s681“They’ll be the architects of their own destruction.”

This is gearing up to be a very dark and very deep season. It reminds me of some of the best Clone Wars episodes.

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h55m24s284Kanan possessed by the green mist from the alter. Did Ezra unleash this by messing with the holocrons, or did Kanan choose this? Is he the one ultimately drawn to the dark side?

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h55m30s307Sabine holding the darksaber, an ancient Jedi weapon that was stolen by Manalorians centuries before the Clone Wars. The saber was then handed down to members of House Vizsla. Darth Maul killed Pre Vizsla, then leader of the terrorist group Death Watch. Maul took the saber and became leader of Death Watch for a time. Sabine is a member of House Vizsla, so she may be reclaiming the blade for her family. Is this a dark turn for Sabine?

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h55m36s309Hera in the clutches of Thrawn?

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h55m44s734“Ezra, turn away before it’s too late!” – Kanan

vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h55m46s471The combining of the Sith and Jedi holocrons has an explosive effect.



May the Force be with you.

 Chris Miller

Powered by
  • MikeDare

    Oh wow, great rundown! Made me teary all over again!

    I don’t know what it is about seeing Thrawn study the crew of Ghost, but it’s both really exciting and utterly chilling. Especially Sabine’s phoenix; since she’s the most artistic one*, I fear she may be the weak link that enables Thrawn to get the drop on them. Also again, just seeing the juxtaposition of old Star Wars with new is simply wonderful.

    *Zeb is a close second, who specialises in the old Renaissance art style of mayhem and destruction.

    (Also cool: Bendu. It’s great to see a tie in to the Dai Bendu of the old EU!)

    I’ve also been wondering where Ezra got his new crystal from – and what it means. My personal theory is that he picked it up from … och, I’m blanking on the planet name, but it’s the planet from the last season’s finale. Dave Filoni said that Sabine made Kanan’s new helmet from a helmet there (a different one from that Kanan used in the finale), adjusted it and gave it to him. It’s possible that Ezra, knowing he needed a new crystal, picked up a few old lightsabers and salvaged some parts. As for the green, I’m wondering if that’s representative of his new and increasing knowledge of the Force. It’s tentative, but in the old EU, blue was for Jedi who focused on fighting while green who focused on weilding the Force and the philosophical aspect (much like the difference between Obi Wan and Qui Gon). Also since Ezra seems to be exploring the philosophical differences between the light and dark sides, that could be another aspect to it.

    As the hilt itself, well, it reminded me a lot of Vader’s, and that of the ‘dark side sabers’ that you find on Make Your Own lightsaber prop sites. Kinda like this: https://www.ultrasabers.com/product-p/diy-scorpion.htm

    *Exhales slowly


    • Chris

      Thanks for the compliment, and the other comments, Mike!

      Malachor is the name of the Sith planet in the Season 2 finale.

      In the Season 3 Panel Filoni basically said it was the same mask that Kanan had from Malachor, but Sabine “retooled” it for him. It sounded like he wasn’t quite sure that it was the same one yet, so he hedged a bit by saying “I think” the “root” of the mask is still the same one he had but retooled.

      It’s hard to see fully, but Ezra’s saber reminds me of Obi-Wan’s with a little influence from Kanan’s. http://www.starwarsreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/vlcsnap-2016-07-17-14h43m46s997.png

      The color thing is interesting. I never put much stock into the idea that they meant something, but it is canon that the crystals take on a color when they are chosen by, or choose, a Jedi. It is also interesting that Ahsoka’s sabers were the white of a natural crystal.

      • MikeDare

        Hey, Chris, no problem :)

        Thank you for clearing that up! I’ve been having such a brain-block on this since I saw it and I couldn’t quite remember the name, nor what Filoni said (most of Celebration is still a blur at the moment!). And you’re right, it does look a lot like Obi Wan’s, maybe a bit like Luke’s second, too. Also when I said it looked like Vader’s, I was thinking of the guard at the very top, where the blade is emitted. For some reason I thought it looked bigger than it is in your screenshot. I had thought, too, that the main body was more black than steel/silver. But as you say it’s difficult to make out fully.

        You’re right that Ahsoka’s white colour is interesting – and though it’s entirely fair that you don’t put much stock on visual symbolism, I can’t help but do so (sorry!). Ahsoka’s lightsaber rather reminded me of the clone troopers’ rifles, which shot blue energy. Of course, the good and bad guys shot either red or green, depending on the era, and I thought that was indicative of the power struggle at large, but I also thought the clone blue was to indicate their moral neutrality in the way, since they were essentially a pawn piece. (It could also indicate that they’re ion blasters, but then again they use them against living beings, so I don’t know what to make of it). Maybe Ahsoka’s lightsaber is a harkening back to that? Or to indicate that she’s neither Jedi nor Sith (though definitely more one than the other) – which I think is more likely. Or it may be just because it looks really, really cool, haha.

        But, again, I can’t help but look for connections. Even when there may be none!