If you aren’t watching Star Wars Rebels, you’re really missing out. Not only is it one of the best animated shows going today, it’s just a damn good show, and one that ties directly into the Star Wars films we already know and love. It’s had Lando Calrissian, C-3PO and R2-D2, Grand Moff Tarkin, and of course, Darth Vader, and each and every time it’s been a joy to see them. However, with the latest teaser for the second half of season two, we see that the show more tied to The Force Awakens than we ever thought it would be.
We learned a little while ago that Princess Leia will be joining the show for at least one episode, and this teaser features her prominently as the fight against the Empire grows day to day. The series takes place in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, but we’re not entirely sure when, so Leia’s age is fluid. However, she’s still just as badass as we’d hope, and she adds to the growing list of amazingly cool female heroes on the show, including Hera, Sabine, and Ahsoka. So, if that’s all we got, we’d already be happy campers…but it’s not!
It looks as though the second half of the season will be all about Ezra, burgeoning Jedi being trained by “the last Padawan” Kanan Jarrus, and his struggles against the Dark Side. The Inquisitors have been on their back for the past several episodes, but now it would appear Vader’s going to start barreling down even harder. But that’s not all! Ezra is getting to commune with the exiled Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz himself!) about what it means to be a Jedi.
And, as perhaps the most surprising thing, there are many, many references to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, including a properly-made tri-saber (we already know Kylo Ren’s was based on “an ancient design”), an “Old Master” whose facial markings definitely appear Darth Maul-like to me, and someone warning Kanan of Ezra’s Dark Side connection which sounds suspiciously like one Supreme Leader Snoke…
This show continues to surprise and excite, and it looks as though the second half of season two is all about delving deeper into Jedi mysticism. Weirdly, I’m all for that. Go figure.
The season resumes Wednesday, January 20, on Disney XD. Let us know your thoughts on this awesome trailer in the comments below!
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!