The highly-anticipated trailer for the second half of Star Wars Rebels Season Two just dropped, and the footage was, in a word, epic. So much of what the show has been building towards is going to pay off in the rest of the season, and I couldn’t be more excited. (Click on the “fannotated” trailer above to catch all the Easter eggs we uncovered.)
Here are some of the things I’m most looking forward to seeing in the remaining episodes of Season Two.
Exploring the Dark Side
This trailer is strong with the dark side of the Force. From its very first moments, we’re introduced to a new exploration of the dark side with some sort of temple that looks reminiscence of the Sith Academy on Korriban, as seen in Star Wars: The Old Republic. That same design was used for the Sith temple on Moraband (the canonical name for Korriban) in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, so it’s no surprise to see its influence continue onward. Ezra Bridger himself seems to be struggling with the dark side, heading down an all-too-familiar path: fighting to save the ones he loves, but at what cost?
Understanding the dark side of the Force seems like it will be a prominent theme this season. Ahsoka Tano said in the trailer that one must understand their enemy in order to defeat them, and Ezra goes in search of knowledge that could help him. It’s on that search that he meets someone calling themselves “old master.” Between the voice and the look of the character, it’s clear who that master is: Darth Maul. Fans of The Clone Wars know that Darth Maul survived his encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and he returned to wreak havoc on Obi-Wan during the Clone Wars. We last saw his designs for galactic domination crushed in the comic series Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, so it will be interesting to see what has become of the once-proud Sith warrior and what he has to offer Ezra.
Then there’s the trailer’s most obvious connection to the dark side: the crossguard lightsaber that Ezra wields. The design is very much like the one Kylo Ren uses in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but the color is green. Could it be a Jedi weapon this time? We know that the design dates back to the Great Scourge of Malachor, whatever that may be, but was it a Jedi weapon or a Sith weapon? Something tells me we’ll be seeing more than just a superficial connection to Kylo Ren and will start to understand the backstory of his unique weapon.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if most Star Wars fans looked at this name and said “Who’s that?” Cham Syndulla is Hera’s father, and we first saw him during the first season of The Clone Wars. Cham is a Twi’lek revolutionary who led his people against the Separatists when Ryloth, the Twi’lek homeworld, was invaded and occupied by the Separatist Droid Army. He reluctantly teamed up with Mace Windu and the Grand Army of the Republic and, together, they liberated Ryloth from the Separatists. Yet Ryloth would not truly be free, as the Republic soon turned into the Empire. In the novel Lords of the Sith, Cham leads another revolutionary movement to liberate Ryloth from the Imperial regime, going so far as to launch a failed plot to assassinate the Emperor and Darth Vader.
Cham is one of my favorite characters from The Clone Wars. He was the first person we saw in the prequel era who really questioned the Jedi Knights on a philosophical level for their leadership over the Republic military. Why were Jedi leading a war when they were supposed to be guardians of peace? Was a Republic military occupation on Ryloth really better than a Separatist invasion? Cham’s questions really drove towards the heart of what ultimately brought about the fall of the Jedi and the Republic, so I can’t wait to see what he’s been up to since The Clone Wars and Lords of the Sith, especially what his relationship is like with Hera. If I had to guess, while Hera is interested in liberating the entire galaxy from the Empire, Cham’s primary concern is Ryloth and sees anything else as a distraction from saving his own people.
Leia Organa is iconic. From the moment she stepped onto the screen in Star Wars: A New Hope, it was clear that she was more than just the archetypal damsel in distress. She was a leader in the Rebel Alliance and she was responsible for delivering the Death Star plans to her people, holding the fate of entire worlds in her hands. She was also a fighter, and it was Leia who ultimately had to save Han Solo and Luke Skywalker when their plan to rescue her from the Death Star went south. What made her become a rebel? Why does she fight when she could live a life of royalty? How did she become the leader who would one day create the Resistance to fight the First Order when no one else would? This season has the chance to explore the beginnings of General Leia, and set the stage for even more Leia-centric storytelling to come.
The Return of the Jedi?
Perhaps the most intriguing scenes from the trailer are the ones that show what looks to be even more survivors from the fall of the Jedi Order. These warriors wield double-bladed yellow lightsabers and wear masks and armor, much like the Jedi Temple Guards did in The Clone Wars. Could these be the survivors of Darth Vader’s attack on the Jedi Temple, as seen in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith? If so, can you imagine what it must be like for them, knowing that they failed in their charge to protect the Jedi Temple? It’s possible they want to bring about the restoration of the Jedi Order, but if they are then we know they’re doomed to fail.
If these are Jedi Temple Guards, they won’t be the only Jedi making a return this season. After appearing only as a disembodied voice in the season one episode “Path of the Jedi,” Master Yoda himself once again communes with Ezra, but this time Ezra can see him. Through the Force, of course, as we can see that Yoda is still in the swamps of Dagobah, but Yoda still has something to offer Ezra in his warnings about the dark side. Could Yoda be part of whatever these other Jedi warriors are planning? Was Yoda trying to restore the Jedi Order as well? There’s a lot at play here with the Jedi, and the Inquisitors seem to know it too — which makes them all the more dangerous to our rebel heroes.
Anakin Skywalker’s Legacy
Ever since Ahsoka Tano was revealed as the mysterious rebel contact known as “Fulcrum,” fans have been anticipating one thing: a showdown between Ahsoka and her former master. Ahsoka sensed Darth Vader during the events of the season two premiere “The Siege of Lothal” and seemed to get the feeling that Vader was once Anakin Skywalker. She didn’t reveal this to anyone else, and instead has been on her own mission to find out answers about the mysterious Sith Lord. The trailer shows that quest coming to a head as Ahsoka deals with the consequences of her decision to walk away from the Jedi Order at the end of her story in The Clone Wars, as well as her inevitable confrontation with the Dark Lord of the Sith. I for one can’t wait to see how that fight goes down, and I’m rooting for Ahsoka to come out of it alive.
What are you most excited to see in the second half of Star Wars Rebels Season Two? Join the discussion on Wookieepedia, and catch the return of Star Wars Rebels on Wednesday, January 20th at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central on Disney XD!
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