As the first new Star Wars stories after Lucasfilm was purchased by Disney, Star Wars Rebels explored one of the most compelling timelines in the saga, which depicted the Galactic Empire's establishment of power and the Rebel Alliance's birth. Since the series began, fans wondered how the storyline would tie into the original trilogy of films, given that none of the characters from the series appeared in those films. The series finale of Star Wars Rebels aired tonight which helped establish how this series relates to the live-action films.
***WARNING: Spoilers below for Star Wars Rebels***
Under the leadership of Ezra Bridger, the Ghost crew's final mission was to free the people of Lothal from Imperial control, which was the budding Jedi's goal from the first season. After achieving their objective with little help from the Rebel Alliance, the Ghost crew was faced with whether or not to contact the rest of the Rebellion for backup.
In a poignant moment, the Ghost crew looked back at what they accomplished largely on their own, knowing that they could rely more on each other than the rest of the organization. The implication in these moments amongst the crew is that throughout the course of the original trilogy's timeline, the Ghost crew could focus on smaller, more covert operations that avoided the bureaucratic complications of getting the rest of the Rebel Alliance involved.
To that effect, the remaining members of the crew serve a similar purpose as the heroes of Rogue One, who also actively avoided aligning themselves with the organization when they were tasked with taking questionable steps to end the Galactic Empire.
The series ended with a flash forward to after the events of Return of the Jedi, which did confirm that both Hera Syndulla and Rex took part in the Battle of Endor.
This detail also confirmed a fan theory about Rex's involvement in the battle when fans noticed that one extra in the Return of the Jedi looked quite similar to the Star Wars Rebels appearance of Rex.
Whether this detail was intentional from Rex's reemergence or a coincidental opportunity is currently unknown.
The series' flash forward could also potentially open up the possibility that a new animated series could feature the same characters and the rise of the Resistance, resulting in even more connections to the live-action films.
The path of this finale seemed to be the best way to not only ensure the survival of many of the series' characters, while also explaining why they weren't integral components of the saga's more massive battles. Additionally, various comics and novels have hinted at characters appearing in other corners of the galaxy, with Rebels' ending allowing more future connections between the Ghost crew and the original trilogy.
Were you happy with the ending of Star Wars Rebels? Let us know in the comments below!