Star Wars Rebels season three arrived on DVD and Blu-ray today, and for fans of this excellent series on Disney XD, this set is a must-have.
Season three of the series had so many stand out moments. After the amazing second season, which ended with the apparent defeat and disappearance of one of my favorite characters, I was a little apprehensive. Ahsoka Tano, while not the only reason I watched the show, had become one of my favorite characters and one of the best parts of the show. I didn’t know how I was going to feel moving into season three without her.
Thankfully my fears were allayed. While I did miss my favorite Togruta, there was so much going on that it was easy for me to forget how much I had felt the show needed her. We saw the return of many favorite elements from the prequels, including battle droids, Geonosians, and even everyone’s favorite ex-Sith, Maul. Not only that, but we had tie-ins to both the Clone Wars series, as well as Rogue One, especially with the two-part episode starring Saw Gurerra, which bridged the gap between his appearances in Clone Wars, with his role in Rogue One.
These callbacks and moments of foreshadowing weren’t the only reasons to watch Rebels this year though, this season had so many new things that added to the lore and mythos of the greater Star Wars universe as well. This season introduced us to the Bendu, a mysterious, and enormous, being, fully entwined with the Force, though part of neither the Light Side, nor the Dark. The Bendu described himself as the one in the middle, and while he helped our heroes for most of the season, the finale brought out a shocking side of him, that most of us were probably not prepared for.
In addition to Bendu, this season also brought Grand Admiral Thrawn back into the Star Wars universe. Thrawn was a massive part of the Star Wars extended universe before Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm rendered the extended universe to the realm of legend. While many fans were upset at losing various favorite elements, one of the main losses that so many fans bemoaned was the fact that Thrawn was no longer canon. That all changed this season. Thrawn returned in the season premiere, and was a menacing presence for the entire season. And unlike the previous two seasons, which saw the death of the main antagonists during the finale, Thrawn has proven himself to be a far greater threat, easily defeated our heroes, and will almost certainly be back next season.
There were so many amazing episodes this season, from the premiere that introduced Bendu and Thrawn, to the finale which saw everyone narrowly escape with their lives in a battle, that brought us one step closer to the events of the original trilogy. With so many great episodes it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I will pick out a handful of standout episodes that really made this season great.
I’ve said it before, but the Twi’leks have always been one of my favorite Star Wars races. They have such a cool design, with a wide variety of variances within that design. I always love when they or their culture are highlighted, so this episode which saw Hera sneaking back into her family home to retrieve a family heirloom was an instant favorite. Not to mention it was one of the first few appearances of Thrawn that just further cemented his place as one of the most threatening villains in Star Wars lore.
“An Inside Man”
In season one we were introduced to a character called Fulcrum. A mysterious figure feeding the Ghost crew information and missions. In the season finale it was revealed that Fulcrum was actually Ahsoka Tano, working undercover for the Rebels. This season Fulcrum seemed to have returned, but as much as I hoped that it was Ahsoka, I figured it would still be too much to hope for. And I was right, however, the revelation in this episode, was still something I had been waiting for for a long time! Ever since season two, in the episode The Honorable Ones, I had been waiting for Agent Kallus to switch sides. He had proven himself to not be as bad as he seemed, and I hoped that one day he would come around. I loved this episode for that reason.
“Visions and Voices”
The Nightsisters of Dathomir! These creepy witch-like aliens were some of my favorite elements in the Clone Wars series, and I was so excited to see them back again! Not to mention we got the introduction of the Darksaber to Rebels, which kicked off a whole huge arc for Sabine! This episode features so many great callbacks, as well as a lot of great foreshadowing and set up for future plots.
Mon Mothma! I love any time we get elements from the movies, but this one was huge! Not only did we get a full episode dedicated to one of the great leaders of the Rebellion, we actually got to witness the official creation of the Rebellion itself! Until now, the Ghost crew has been working semi-independently, along with a multitude of other forces, squadrons, and groups. The Rebellion has not been, until this point, a united team. It was so exciting to see this happen, and I look forward to seeing where this will lead our crew in the future.
Of course this one had to make my list. Twin Suns saw the debut of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the series! This was an Obi-Wan who aged considerably since the days of the Clone Wars, and he looks a lot more like the elderly hermit we meet at the beginning of A New Hope. And not only that, but we finally get to see the end of Maul. I found it especially fitting that it was Obi-Wan to deal the final blow, especially after he thought he’d already taken care of him so many years before on Naboo.
In my review for season two of Star Wars Rebels, I said that the biggest fault with the set was the lack of extras. Season one had had such a great variety of extras, that the fact that season two only had two short featurettes and the Rebels Recon webisodes seemed a bit disappointing. I hoped that they would put a little more effort into season three, and I am extremely happy to report that they definitely have! The Blu-ray is definitely more loaded that the DVD, so let’s look at what the DVD has to offer first.
As always, the DVDs (and Blu-rays) include every episode of Starwars.com’s entertaining and insightful web series, Rebels Recon. There are 19 episodes here, one for every episode (or two-part episode) and they are packed with information and fun about what goes in to every story of the season.
A Rebel Alliance
Star Wars Rebels season three aired during the same time that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released. Rogue One is set around the same time period as Rebels, so this featurette takes a look at the measures that the show runners and movie makers took to make sure that their stories would mesh with each other and work together in the context of the larger Star Wars universe.
Return To Mandalore
This featurette takes a look at the lore of Mandalore, and how this planet’s people have come into play within previous Star Wars movies and TV shows, with special attention to what took place during the Clone Wars TV series, and how that will come into play during Star Wars Rebels’ final season.
Thrawn: A Legend Reborn
Grand Admiral Thrawn was a huge part of Star Wars pre-Disney, and this featurette is all about how much it meant for fans, as well as the crew of the show, to be able to bring back this iconic villain. The featurette also gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of the show, and looks at what it took to bring Thrawn into the series.
Apprentices to Outcasts: Kenobi And Maul
Darth Maul returned to the Star Wars universe in the final episode of last season, and his story picks up this season and comes to its presumably final conclusion this season, when he finally tracks down and is then defeated by Obi-Wan Kenobi. This featurette looks at Maul’s story and what brought him to this place, and what went into this final, climactic showdown, between these two Star Wars legends.
The Original Rebel: Saw Gerrera Returns – Extended
Saw Gerrera is a character introduced back in the Clone Wars series, who appeared in a prominent role in the movie Rogue One. This featurette looks at the character of Saw and how the crew of Rebels decided to take his character and how they went about bridging the gap between his appearances in the Clone Wars and Rogue One.
Five Audio Commentaries
Something I’ve been wanting to see since season one is the inclusion of audio commentary. To me it’s an easy extra to include, I don’t know why more people don’t do it. Either way, this season we get five of them! The episodes included are “Trials of the Darksaber”, “Legacy of Mandalore”, “Through Imperial Eyes”, “Double Agent Droid”, and “Twin Suns”.
All in all, this was an amazing season and this is an amazing set. It has just about everything I could have asked for in a season set, and with Disney’s track record with the way they treat the releases (or lack thereof) for their television properties, it’s almost nothing short of a miracle that we got something this good. If you’re a fan of Rebels, you owe it to yourself to pick up this set.
Star Wars Rebels: Season Three Purchase Links
What did you think of this season? Will you be checking out this set?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes