Star Wars Rebels was the successor series to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, so when it premiered in 2014, it had big shoes to fill. We can safely say it did just that and has become one of the most beloved parts of Star Wars canon. Although the series ended in 2018, the upcoming Star Wars: Ahsoka series is very much a spiritual sequel to Star Wars Rebels. Not only was Anakin’s former apprentice a key character in the show’s second season, but Ahsoka will also feature Rebels characters like Sabine Wren, Hera Syndulla, Ezra Bridger, and Grand Admiral Thrawn as main characters. So with Ahsoka fast approaching, here are some of the very best episodes of Star Wars Rebels to watch.
“Fire Across the Galaxy” Season One, Episode 15
Much like Clone Wars before it, Rebels took some time to find its sea legs (space legs?). But the season one finale showed fans just what this show could be when firing on all thrusters. As the crew of the Ghost go on a mission to rescue Kanan from the Empire, the former Jedi and his apprentice Ezra face the Grand Inquisitor one last time. If all that wasn’t enough, this episode features the return of both Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader, making for one hell of a memorable cliffhanger… And making this one of the very best Rebels episodes around.
“The Siege of Lothal” Season Two, Episodes 1 and 2
In the second season’s two-part opener, Darth Vader is finally summoned to deal with the rebel problem on Lothal. Not only do we get to see him in a lightsaber fight with both Kanan and Ezra, where he pretty much wipes the floor with them, but we also get the first hint outside of A New Hope that reminds us that Vader is the best pilot in the galaxy. The great James Earl Jones returns to voice Vader, making this an extra special episode of Star Wars Rebels.
“The Honorable Ones” Season Two, Episode 17
When the Ghost’s resident Lasat Zeb Orrelios and Imperial Agent Kallus both wind up stranded on a frozen moon, these two mortal enemies have to set aside their differences and find a way to work together to stay alive until they are rescued. A riff on the ’80s sci-fi movie Enemy Mine, this episode begins a compelling arc for Kallus over the course of the series, as he realizes the Empire he serves isn’t what he thought it was. This Rebels episode kicks off one of the Star Wars saga’s better redemption arcs and makes it one of the series’ best entries.
“Twilight of the Apprentice” Season Two, Episodes 21 and 22
Once Rebels revealed Ahsoka had indeed survived Order 66, the question on the minds of every fan was “Will Ahsoka ever meet Darth Vader??” And if so, will she realize that he’s her former master, Anakin Skywalker? The confrontation Star Wars fans had waited years for happens in these Rebels episodes, and it absolutely does not disappoint. And as if all that wasn’t enough, we also get to see the return of Darth Maul, who tries to take on Ezra as his apprentice. This is one chapter that really has it all. Not only is “Twilight of the Apprentice” one of the best Star Wars Rebels episodes you could hope to watch, but it brings with it a truly crucial piece of the overall Star Wars canon.
“Steps into Shadow” Season Three, Episodes 1 and 2
This hour-long season three opener finds the crew of the Ghost much different from when we’d last encountered them. Kanan Jarrus is now blind, and Ezra Bridger has grown up some and become more powerful in the Force. But the status quo of the crew changes in this Rebels episode, as “Steps into Shadow” introduces us to the beloved Expanded Universe character Grand Admiral Thrawn. It also gives us a new wrinkle to the mythology of Force users, as we meet the Bendu, who is neither light nor dark side in nature.
“Through Imperial Eyes” Season Three, Episode 17
Ever since Agent Kallus switched sides and became the Rebel Alliance’s informant Fulcrum (taking over the title from Ahsoka), it was a ticking clock on whether he’d be discovered by the Empire. While he has almost everyone fooled, there’s one Imperial he can’t pull a fast one on: Thrawn. Not only is this a great episode to show how much Kallus has grown since the beginning of the series, but it also reminds us that Thrawn is not anyone to be underestimated.
“Twin Suns” Season Three, Episode 20
Another dangling plot thread left over from Clone Wars involved Darth Maul and his mission to destroy the man who took everything from him… starting with his lower torso. Once learning Obi-Wan is alive, Maul’s focuses on finding Kenobi and exacting his revenge once and for all. Although Ezra Bridger tries to warn him on Tatooine, Obi-Wan Kenobi knows facing Maul alone one last time is his destiny. This great Star Wars Rebels episode offers a truly emotional end to one of Star Wars‘ most famous rivalries.
“Jedi Night” Season Four, Episode 10
We knew that Kanan had to become one with the Force by the Rebels series’ end—at least for the continuity of the Original Trilogy to make sense. But when Kanan valiantly sacrifices his life for the good of the galaxy and to save his friends, you try not to cry and get all emotional. This was a truly heroic sendoff for such an iconic character not only in Rebels, but all of Star Wars.
“A World Between Worlds” Season Four, Episode 13
When an ancient temple is discovered on Lothal, Ezra enters it and discovers the World Between Worlds, a strange dimension where all time coexists. There, he finds out he can use the portals within it to change history. Will he save his master Kanan? Or does he rescue someone else from certain death? This Rebels episode is chock-full of amazing Easter eggs for Star Wars fans earning it a place among the best. “A World Between Worlds” also played a big role in Ahsoka’s path heading into her own series.
“Family Reunion”/”Farewell” Season Four, Episodes 15 and 16
Unlike Clone Wars, Dave Filoni got to end Star Wars Rebels on its own terms. And what an ending it was! Ezra steps up and becomes the Jedi that Kanan always knew he could be. Rebels also finally put the strife on Lothal to rest when the planet rises up against the Empire. Of course, this episode has one of the best epilogues ever. It showed fans what happened to the surviving members of the Ghost crew after Return of the Jedi, but still left enough questions to have us all begging for more. We’ll find out exactly what that “more” is when Ahsoka finally premieres. But in the meanwhile, we’ll rewatch these two Star Wars Rebels episodes again and know they are the best of the best.
Originally published on January 31, 2019.