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How a Star Wars Rebels Sequel Series Can Be Better Than Disney’s Trilogy


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The continuation of the story of the Ghost Crew from Star Wars Rebels could be much more satisfying for fans than Disney’s sequel trilogy.

A potential Star Wars Rebels sequel series has the opportunity to be much better than the sequel trilogy. In 2014 Disney and Lucasfilm were in the thick of planning out the renaissance of the space opera on the big screen, with director and co-writer J.J. Abrams spearheading Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Simultaneously on the small screen, George Lucas prodigy Dave Filoni was already launching a new animated show following the cancelation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars with totally new characters.

The sequel trilogy and Rebels were set in two different periods in the Star Wars timeline; they have very different narrative focus and features different characters. However, their goal was the same — move the famed franchise forward with new material that would satisfy the old fans and bring in new ones. The Force Awakens introduced fresh players like Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and Kylo Ren. On the flip side, Rebels brought in the Ghost Crew — Hera Syndulla, Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren, Zeb Orrelios, and Chopper.

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Related: Star Wars: Obi-Wan Was a Big Rise of Skywalker Missed Opportunity

Now, both Star Wars projects are done. Rebels wrapped up much earlier than the sequel trilogy and it might have the opportunity to continue its story. There have been persistent rumors that follow-up projects are in the works with casting of live-action versions of the surviving characters supposedly ongoing. While these characters might not be assembled in a direct Rebels continuation, projects continuing their stores are far positioned for success than Disney’s trilogy of movies.

Rebels’ Characters Were Set Up More For Future Stories

Sabine Wren and Ahsoka Tano Star Wars Rebels

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After four seasons, Star Wars Rebels wrapped up its run with a finale that pit the Ghost Crew against Grand Admiral Thrawn. The good guys ultimately succeeded in fending off the evil Empire from further terrorizing Lothal and its neighboring planets; not too long after that, the Rebellion was officially born. The show ended on a significant time jump that saw the remaining team members living their lives following the fall of the Empire after the Battle of Endor. That said, while Rebels ended on a high note, there were few unanswered plot points open for further exploration moving forward. A potentials sequel series could follow Hera as she raises her and Kanan’s son, Jacen; it could also tackle Ahsoka and Sabine’s mission to locate the missing Ezra — both storylines are compelling enough that Lucasfilm can easily build a new project around either of them.

Related: Star Wars Rebels Made Anakin’s Sand Quote Less Cringey

The original trilogy, on the other hand, offered a solid ending to its narrative. All pivotal plot points have been addressed with the Rebellion taking down the Empire with the supposed death of Emperor Palpatine. Return of the Jedi didn’t leave any pressing issues that needed addressing; if anything, Abrams and Lucasfilm had to create a justified reason to revive the main Star Wars narrative instead of having an organic storytelling opening.

The Sequels Had Too Much Baggage to Resolve

Star Wars 9 Luke Leia Han

Since the sequel trilogy continues the Skywalker saga narrative, there’s a lot of limitations that it needed to follow, effectively restricting storytelling opportunities. For starters, the new films had to be set decades after the events of Return of the Jedi to avoid recasting the original trilogy characters. With such a massive jump in the timeline, Disney’s sequels had a lot of explaining to do with regard to what happened in the galaxy in the last three decades. Instead of moving the narrative forward, they had to devote a considerable amount of time addressing what happened off-screen in relation to what’s going down in the present time for things to make sense. In hindsight, there’s a case to be made about a potential Star Wars sequel trilogy that’s set between the Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens; the rise of the First Order in itself is intriguing enough that it could’ve been tackled more extensively on the big screen.

Related: Clone Wars vs Rebels: Which Star Wars Show Was Better

A future Star Wars Rebels sequel won’t have to deal with most of these parameters. Since it featured characters who are not front and center in the Skywalker saga, the original show had more wiggle room to craft storylines that have very little or no impact on the previously revealed continuity. This made for more creative and unique adventures for the Ghost Crew. It’s also worth noting that the animated series did a great job working around the established Star Wars lore; a possible Rebels follow-up can do the same assuming that it maintains its core team.

Rebels Had Less Expectations

Ghost Crew Sabine Ezra Zeb Kanan Hera Chopper C110P Star Wars Rebels

Since its inception in the late ’70s, Star Wars has drawn massive interest. Over the years, its fan community grew larger. When it was announced that a sequel trilogy was in the works on the heels of Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, there was enthusiasm for what this upcoming era of movies would mean to the franchise’s overall story. However, people’s excitement also came with massive expectations, especially considering how divisive the prequel trilogies ended up. Star Wars die-hards who are fully invested in the franchise had their own clear ideas of what the sequels would look like, making it simply impossible to satisfy everyone. Ultimately, Lucasfilm failed to deliver a new trilogy that’s as universally satisfying to its audience with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker being a divisive end to the Skywalker Saga.

Related: Star Wars Explains Why Palpatine Easily Turned Ben Solo To The Dark Side

This is something that Star Wars Rebels didn’t have to fully deal with. Granted that it still drew eyeballs considering it’s essentially part of the space opera, it’s not to the same extent as to what its big-screen counterparts had to deal with. With this, Filoni and his team were able to take more creative risks, and more often than not, they paid off, with the show offering some of the best smaller storylines, as well as, character arcs in all of Star Wars. So, while the show didn’t get as much attention as the films did, it’s universally loved by fans.

More: Star Wars: Why Darth Vader Didn’t Betray Palpatine Until Return of the Jedi

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Updated: October 29, 2020 — 11:34 pm

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