Why is Star Wars Rebels being canceled so early in the game by Disney? With its incoming fourth season leading into the war of Lothal the stakes are at it’s highest for the Heroes of Star Wars Rebels. Ezra walks between the light and Darkside of the Force and Sabine helps reign in a new era of the Mandalorian’s. Hera Sendulla has an entire fleet of fighters under her command, and Kanan has begun understanding the Force in ways he could not have in his wilder and younger years, and Chopper, well, I don’t think Chopper’s quite done yet either.
With all of this in mind, Disney and Lucasfilm are officially putting the brakes on Rebels at the end of season four. Our adventure with the crew of the Ghost is drawing to an end, but why? With the cast like the one on Rebels, stories don’t just finish unless the worst possible thing happens. We’re going to dive right into the end of the show and what Lucasfilm might have up his sleeve for the future with its imminent cancellation.
There’s something new coming at Lucasfilm Animation. Our first big hint is one that has been festering for a while. Just before the beginning of season 3, Dave Filoni would no longer serve as the Supervising Director and Executive Producer of Rebels and he was stepping into a larger position to creatively oversee the development of future of animated shows. Plural. See where I’m going with this? Filoni’s already working on an animated project to possibly fill the Rebels time slot and Star Wars animation has already built out new projects like Force of Destiny and the Freemaker Adventures. Now nothing’s listed on Filoni’s IMDB yet. The very possibility is that he’s already grilling away at another series or some other creative project within the Star Wars Universe. One thing is for sure, from the Clone Wars until now, Star Wars Animation has taken on a new form outside of on-screen special effects. Rebels aren’t exactly lacking in the ratings department. It has multiple milestones under its lifespan and has proven itself to be worthy of the wide range audience of 6-11-year-old boys age group which dominates most of the Disney XD programming.
How about that live action show, huh? While a live action show might not hinder any other department like animation it certainly would be one heck of a large scale project. George Lucas original plan for high stakes, live action series starring Saul Gerrera didn’t quite pan out, but now might be the time for several other stories to make their way to the small screen. It’s hard to really wrap one’s head around everything that might go into a Star Wars live action series, but you can bet key players from Rebels will be onboard if it happens. Aside from the involvement of the story group, Dave Filoni has had a hand in storyboards, character and set design throughout the recent saga, from cartoons to the actual saga films themselves. It’s likely that he, along with a few other familiar names, would work on this hypothetical live-action series. The demands that come with staging an ongoing television series to the standards of a Star Wars film are pretty high, so there may be a lot of focus put onto this hypothetical project. If it’s happening it will likely do nothing to replace the Rebels timeslot because it’s not like to be Star Wars television show would be nearly as kid friendly. Still, that would be a huge reason to take more and more of a hands off on Rebels and put them into the next big Star Wars small screen project.
The story of the Ghost crew has a beginning, middle, and of course and end. One of the most repeated quotes in Mark Hamill’s docket is this one, “Even if they do another trilogy it would be about another generation, and I had a beginning, middle, and an end. My story was finished.” What he’s basically saying is although he’s still a part of the Skywalker story in Star Wars the new trilogy is about Rey, Finn, Po, and their friends. Honestly, it’s that simple when you think about Rebels. Yes, Ezra and Sabine have their own heroes journey arcs to tackle and any of our heroes could continue on after the battle of Lothal, but Rebels is a story about the Ghost crew as a unit. The theme of found family is ever present in several sci-fi narratives and the crew as developed because of the things they have learned from each other. While we could follow Hera as she climbs the ranks in the Rebellion this isn’t the show or story where that is going to happen. Star Wars Rebels began on Lothal and looks like it’s going to end there too. But that’s only the end of the Ghost’s crew primary mission on Lothal. Old enemies have become trusted allies, legends have risen and fallen again, and one of the most notorious villains in Star Wars history is at the forefront of our heroes impending battle. It’s a little nerve-racking, of course, the fate of our heroes are far beyond our current knowledge and that might have fans on edge to see whether or not our favorites survive the battle. But as we go into season four it’s good to reflect to see where this crew came from and what it and the Rebellion were built on. Hope. Hera, Chopper, Kanan, Sabine, Zeb, and Ezra all believe in the greater good. The possibility where the galaxy might one day become a place where they can live peacefully and other would not have to experience the loss and hardship that each member has in their own way. Not everyone joined to be a hero. Honestly, outside of Hera, nobody did but they’re heading the Rebellion’s efforts on Lothal now and they’ve been through so much together, so when we kick off the season finale think of it as less of a goodbye and more of a milestone.