How 'Rebels' Finale Changes the Star Wars Universe

The finale of Star Wars Rebels set up the surviving members of the Ghost crew for many more adventures in the galaxy, but it also changed many different aspects fans thought they knew about the saga.

From Ezra Bridges's existence to the Battle of Endor, the animated series added a lot more wrinkles to the Star Wars canon.

Warning: Spoilers for the series finale of Star Wars Rebels below.

What should be noted most of all is the concept of time travel in the Star Wars galaxy. It was never previously alluded to, but the final episodes showed a place referred to as the "world between worlds" where people can view and possibly change events in the past and future, just like Ezra saved Ahsoka Tano from her duel with Darth Vader.

But series creator Dave Filoni already explained that it's not so much time travel as it is another aspect of the Force. He used the two perspectives of the light and dark sides to call it "knowledge and destruction," while speaking with CinemaBlend.

"As the Dume wolf says, what's in there is knowledge and destruction," Filoni said. "You can gain knowledge of the future or futures that may happen, and you can see things that happened in the past. You can at times choose to alter them, but it's perilous to do so and when you alter something you don't know if that's not the way it always happened. So destruction is the other half of what's in there."

Ezra never really changed the past when he rescued Ahsoka, because viewers already saw her walking down the steps of the Sith temple on Malachor during the Season 2 finale — she was always meant to survive. Ezra did what he was always going to do at that moment, and Ahsoka recognized the importance of his actions. That's why she returned through that exact same door, going back to the timeline where she left it, and going down the steps of the Sith temple where fans last saw her.

It also explains more about Emperor Palpatine, who attempted to recreate the Force abilities of the Jedi temple on Lothal and manipulate Ezra Bridger for his own gain.

Palpatine created a doorway and used a hologram of himself — from before Mace Windu deformed him by reflecting the Sith lightning back at him — to seem benevolent, encouraging Ezra to change the past and be with his parents once again. It's unclear what his goals were, but as Filoni stated, Palpatine was using the destructive properties of the "world between worlds," possibly in an attempt to remove Ezra from the playing field and exert more control on the galaxy.

This lead to Ezra's sacrifice and subsequent disappearance at the end of the episode. And while it changes what we thought we knew about the Jedi during the time of the original trilogy, it also offers an explanation.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda both tell Luke Skywalker that there are no more Jedi, and they're right — from a certain point of view. Ezra journeyed to parts unknown alongside Thrawn, so his existence was likely a mystery even to those who knew him. It's not until after the Empire is defeated that Sabine Wren teams with Ahsoka to search for Ezra and bring him home.

So while other Jedi exist in the Star Wars galaxy, they weren't around to help defeat the Empire once the Rebellion begun in full force.

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The series finale of Star Wars Rebels is now available to stream on Disney XD.

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