The crew of the Ghost in Star Wars rebels, including Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus, Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, Garazeb Orrelious, and Chopper

Why You Should Watch ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Before ‘Ahsoka’ Premieres

Is this the most underrated Star Wars show?

Fans are used to franchises like Star Wars having shout-outs and references built into every new piece of media released. Dave Filoni, the creator of both Rebels and Ahsoka, has confirmed that Ahsoka is essentially Star Wars Rebels Season 5 and will be continuing the story from that show.

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Rebels is an underrated gem in Star Wars, at least when compared to The Clone Wars or The Mandalorian, and deserves to be enjoyed on its own merits. Here are the top 8 reasons to watch Rebels, especially before Ahsoka hits Disney+ in August.

The article will contain spoilers for the show, but will not spoil the finale.

POC and women-led series

Rebels was the first Star Wars media to be led by a non-white cast, with both the characters and cast being mostly non-white. The show also explores the female characters just as much as the men, with Hera rising in the ranks of the rebellion and Sabine coming to terms with her past as an Imperial defector.

Also, this show is one of the few Star Wars shows/movies that have alien and droid characters in leading roles, with story arcs that focus on them and their experiences. Something we honestly need more of in Star Wars as a whole.

Consistent storytelling

I am a die-hard Clone Wars fan, but even I acknowledge that the show had a lot of rough patches. As an anthology series, many of the episodes followed different characters and often took place out of order, which can make it difficult to follow.

Rebels kept itself focused on the 6 member crew of the Ghost and every episode, no matter the cameos, was ultimately about them and their stories. This makes it an excellent place to start for people just getting into Star Wars media outside of the movies. It’s also a solid show to introduce kids to the franchise.

Best arcs including best redemption arc

A lot of the characters in Rebels receive some of the best arcs in all of Star Wars. Kanan goes from a traumatized Jedi survivor to a teacher and father to his found family. While Ezra shares some of the whiny characteristics of the Skywalker protagonists, he also comes a long way and arguably saves the whole galaxy with his actions in the finale.

The show also boasts the best redemption arc in all of Star Wars, where Agent Kallus was allowed an arc and didn’t just have a single act of rebellion before he died. Unlike some villains.

Laid groundwork for Andor

Let me be clear, Andor is better than Rebels. However, much like how The Mandalorian owes a debt to The Clone Wars, Andor owes a debt to Rebels. Many of the themes that were explored in Andor were first established in Rebels. Both series focus on a young man’s “hero’s journey” as he goes from scavenger with anti-Imperial sentiments to one of the greatest rebels of the Galactic Civil War. Rebels also has a lot to say about the Empire’s military-industrial complex and how that perpetuates fascism.

Exploration of the Force

If The Last Jedi made people angry with what the Force could do, then it’s a good thing they don’t know about Rebels. More than almost any other Star Wars show, Rebels gets into the spirituality of the Force. The Force is used as a tool of communication, a means of connecting with the living and the dead, and a means of truly becoming one with the natural world. Portals through space, reincarnation, time travel … all things are possible in the Force.

Ahsoka’s story

Like the Ahsoka novel or The Clone Wars, Rebels has some significant moments in the life of Ahsoka Tano, including her confrontation with Darth Vader and her reunion with an elderly Captain Rex. While I encourage you to watch the whole show, the essential episodes for Ahsoka are episodes 7, 13, and 15 of Season 1, episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 18, 21, and 22 of Season 2, and episodes 12, 13, and 15 of Season 4.

Incredible villains

Darth Vader fights his former padawan, Ahsoka Tano. Need I say more?

But seriously, the villains of the show are incredible. Darth Maul is the most developed antagonist, attempting to train Ezra after losing his brother, mother, and whole culture to Darth Sidious. In the end, his final confrontation with Obi-Wan is a melancholic end that suits both him and Obi-Wan perfectly.

The show also featured the Disney debut of Grand Admiral Thrawn and the final few episodes have Ian McDiarmid reprising his role as Emperor Palpatine. What more can you ask?

Cameos and character explorations

The show explores many recurring characters in the rebellion, including Mon Mothma, Saw Gerrera, Bo-Katan Kryze, and Bail Organa. Rebels shows how these different characters approach war, freedom, rebellion, and personal morality in the name of the greater good.

The series also features plenty of fun cameos from characters like Lando Calrissian, Leia Organa, R2-D2, C3PO, and many other fan favorites. Even better, many of these characters serve as foils to the main characters and genuinely have good story reasons to interact with them.

Have you watched Rebels? What are you most looking forward to in the future of Star Wars? Comment below!

(featured image: Lucasfilm Animation/Disney)


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Author
Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.