TV shows must always evolve as they enter their third or fourth seasons. Suffice it to say that season three of Star Wars Rebels did exactly that, and more. The recent season three finale, “Zero Hour,” capped off a whirlwind of a season filled with some of the best Star Wars stories of all time. Even though our intrepid heroes suffered a major setback, they have at long last helped create the Rebel Alliance.
It was a slow build, but after three seasons, Star Wars Rebels has finally given rise to the Rebel Alliance. What’s more, the series is racing toward its inevitable collision with Rogue One and the original trilogy, which means that next season could very well be the show’s last one. We’ll know more once Celebration Orlando provides our first glimpse at season four this weekend. Before that happens, let’s take one last look at what made the final episodes of Star Wars Rebels season three so spectacular.
Fan Contributor Robert Mitchell contributed to this article.
The Long-Awaited Debut of Mon Mothma
When fans think about the Rebel Alliance, the first names that usually come to mind are Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo. However, one character stands out within the Rebellion’s core leadership: Senator Mon Mothma. Something about Mothma exudes charisma, at times even more so than Leia’s feisty temperament. Moreover, Mothma finally brings the true Rebel Alliance to Star Wars Rebels.
Fresh out of her supporting role in Rogue One, actress Genevieve O’Reilly returned to voice the character in the Rebels episode “Secret Cargo.” The TV show has already begun to feature another famous Rebel leader, Senator Bail Organa. But O’Reilly brings so much heart and empathy to her portrayal of Mothma that you can’t help but believe in her commitment to the Rebel Alliance.
With Mothma as its star, “Secret Cargo” shows us the pivotal moment when the Rebellion becomes the Rebel Alliance. Following her resignation from the Imperial Senate, Mothma puts forth a call for the galaxy’s rebel cells to unite for the first time. And unite they do. It’s an emotional moment for the series when rebel ships from across the galaxy arrive over Dantooine, ready to do their part to stand up to the Empire. With that, Mothma solemnly declares, “This, my friends, this is our rebellion.”
Now that she’s finally entered the show’s purview, this isn’t the last we’ve see of Mon Mothma. There’s so much more that Rebels has to explain about Mothma’s and Bail Organa’s roles in shaping the Rebel Alliance. Chief among those stories is the ideological schism between Mothma and Saw Gerrera, who will return next season. Mothma’s Rebels debut has been a long time coming, and it shows just how far the show can still go.
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A Believable Buildup to the Rebel Alliance
From the get-go, Rebels has shown us the slow but steady evolution of the Rebel Alliance. Whereas the Republic heroes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars had a wealth of resources to battle the Separatists, Ezra Bridger and his friends had to start from scratch. Rebels has always made a point of showing how the rebels are the underdogs in their fight against the Empire. And “Zero Hour” did a superb job of underlining that point.
The most gut-wrenching moment of “Zero Hour” was when Commander Jun Sato sacrificed himself to destroy Admiral Konstantine‘s Interdictor cruiser. Not only was it an emotional moment, but it also illustrated how every rebel victory comes at a cost. It’s a fight for the rebels to even just survive, and every action on their part elicits a counteraction from the Empire. Without Commander Sato’s sacrifice, Ezra wouldn’t have escaped to bring in reinforcements from Sabine Wren and her family. It’s that kind of story development that has made Rebels so worthwhile to watch.
Commander Sato probably won’t be the last Rebels protagonist to die in service to the Rebellion. And now that Rebels season four will send our heroes to Yavin 4, the stakes are even higher. We already know from Rogue One that Hera Syndulla, Chopper, and the Ghost survive until the beginning of the Battle of Scarif. But as Star Wars fans well know, anything can happen, especially with Grand Admiral Thrawn still in the mix.
Celebration Orlando has scheduled its Rebels sneak preview panel for this Saturday, April 15. So stay tuned to Fandom for your first look at Star Wars Rebels season four!