The crew of the Ghost from the animated series Star Wars Rebels standing together

Is ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Canon?

Star Wars Rebels was the first production of a Star Wars story after Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012. Rebels was created by George Lucas’s protégé, Dave Filoni, with Simon Kinberg and Carrie Beck soon after the cancellation of The Clone Wars by Disney.

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Filoni was an executive producer for all four seasons of Rebels, and is also credited as a writer and executive producer of the web series Forces of Destiny, and the creator of the animated series Resistance and The Bad Batch. The cohesive storytelling is strong with him. That said, it can be confusing with all the Star Wars offerings as to what’s canon and what’s not.

So, is ‘Rebels’ canon?

Soon after Disney’s acquisition, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy created the Lucasfilm Story Group as a way to dismantle the hierarchy of Star Wars canon and separate it from what had been known as the Expanded Universe (now known as Legends) in the interest of developing a more unified continuity for the entire galaxy. The Lucasfilm Story Group organizes Star Wars canon to help writers and directors develop new stories that make sense within a span of… Well, more than a thousand generations. And according to this elaborate chronology, Rebels is definitely canonical.

Sabine Wren squatting on the ground raising her dark saber in a scene from Star Wars Rebels
Sabine Wren (Lucasfilm)

Where does ‘Rebels’ fit in the canon?

Set five years before the events of Episode IV: A New Hope (5 BBY–1 BBY on the official timeline), Rebels follows the adventures of an eclectic group of characters who help start the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Their efforts eventually develop into the Rebel Alliance—who wear the insignia we know so well, bivouac in ancient temples, and ultimately destroy not one, but two Death Stars.

Led by Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus and Twi’lek female Hera Syndulla, pilot of the VCX-100 Light Freighter nicknamed Ghost, the crew includes Mandalorian graffiti artist, Imperial Academy dropout and one-time bounty hunter Sabine Wren, Force-sensitive Human Ezra Bridger, Lasat honor guardsman Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, and the Ghost’s astromech droid C1-10P (AKA Chopper). The Grand Inquisitor, seen most recently on Obi-Wan Kenobi, first appears in Rebels. And all of these characters are canonical. Further solidifying its place in the Star Wars canon, Rebels also features appearances by Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Leia Organa, Lando Calrissian, Saw Gerrera, and Mon Mothma.

Hera Syndulla appears as her younger self in The Bad Batch episodes “Devil’s Deal” and “Rescue on Ryloth,” and will appear in live action for the first time, alongside Sabine Wren and Chopper, in the Ahsoka miniseries scheduled for release on Disney+ in 2023. Which other Rebels characters will step into the frame remains to be seen. In the meantime, Rebels remains as canonical as any of the comics, television series, or feature films in the Disney era.

(Featured image: Lucasfilm)

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Aria Baci
Aria Baci (she/her/hers) is a writer and cultural critic who has been working in print and digital media since 2015, for the now-archived Design*Sponge, Geeks OUT, Flame Con, and The Mary Sue. She is passionate about literature and film, especially science fiction, especially science fiction created by women. She is currently based in Louisville.