How Star Wars Episode IX will conclude over forty years of cinematic Star Wars is anyone’s guess at this point. Rian Johnson left the barn doors wide open, literally and figuratively, with The Last Jedi, with possible endings fanning out in every direction. One question fans of the greater canon have is whether or not Star Wars: Rebels character Ezra Bridger will factor in the Skywalker saga’s culmination.
It’s an interesting prospect, for several reasons. For one, show producer Dave Filoni has already confirmed that both Ezra and Thrawn survived the Rebels season finale after being whisked away into hyperspace. If Ezra survived that, there’s no reason he couldn’t survive to continue to evade Palpatine and Vader’s reach thereafter, especially if they ended up in the Unknown Regions.
We’ve already theorized about what could transpire if Thrawn reappeared. If Ezra does make an appearance, however, he’s also a character that could reenter the picture either as an ally, or a foe.
Remember, Ezra has danced dangerously close to the precipice of the Dark Side, and his skills were growing. A one on one encounter with Thrawn, more a logician than a villain in many respects, could give Bridger a different point of view on a lot of things, much like Kallus re-evaluated his ideology following his time stranded with Zeb.
Filoni has already had success having characters bridge the cartoon-feature film divide, going both ways: Leia, Lando and a smattering of other film characters have wandered through Rebels, and the Ghost, Chopper, Saw Gerrera and Hera (by reference) have all appeared on film in Rogue One.
These were all either established characters fans of the cartoon series would already know, or animated characters making cameos in the feature film; the large problem Star Wars has in bringing animated characters to life is the fact that many fans just don’t want to consider any material outside the feature films as canon. While there are many who would love the idea, for others Ezra Bridger would just be another new character about whose backstory they’d remain (in some cases purposefully) ignorant.
It’s all speculation at this point, admittedly, but at least it gives us something to talk about as production on Episode IX rolls on.