The season two finale of Star Wars Rebels has come and gone (you can read my spoiler-filled recap of “Twilight of the Apprentice” here), and now it’s time to starting thinking about season three. Rebels is currently only three years away from events in A New Hope, and since the second season showed more of the Rebellion in progress, it’s logical to think we’ll keep moving forward and see the development of the Alliance. The animated series is inching towards sharing space on the timeline with Rogue One, and it’s going to steer into that. In the latest Rebels Recon, StarWars.com’s Rebels after show, series executive producer Dave Filoni and Lucasfilm Story Group creative executive Pablo Hidalgo touched on the possibilities.
Regarding season three, Hidalgo said, “Over the course of the next season, we’re going to start seeing more and more recognizable elements. We’re going to see more of the Rebellion that we recognized in Episode IV and in Rogue One taking shape in Rebels.” This could mean seeing characters from the live-action side in Rebels. Maybe Rogue One characters will be mentioned? Maybe we’ll see the beginning of their mission? Rogue One writer Gary Whitta has worked on at least one episode of Rebels so…
Filoni added fuel to the speculation fire. He said, “Something big is going to happen that I think people really, really want. And I know that I’ve wanted it for a while, and we’ve figured out a way to do it. It’s a very important moment in Star Wars history and an important moment for Star Wars fans–long-time, die-hard Star Wars fans. So that’s going to be something, and you will definitely learn more about that at Celebration.” Celebration Europe takes place in July, so you have a bit to wait.
Now, Filoni’s comments aren’t necessarily tied to Rebels or Rogue One (though he does mention an important moment and not a character), but if they are, he could be referencing a key battle. What if it’s the Battle of Taanab that Lando references in Return of the Jedi? In the Legends timeline, that battle took place after the Battle of Yavin, but they could bump it up. It would make Lando’s occasional appearances in the animated series more meaningful.
What are your theories about what connection the third season of Rebels will have to the upcoming Rogue One and the original trilogy?