'Star Wars Rebels': Dave Filoni on the Emperor's Endgame

The final few episodes of Star Wars Rebels introduced a huge new aspect of the Force during Ezra Bridges's confrontation with Emperor Palpatine.

Though he tried to capture Ezra in the "world between worlds," Palpatine was unsuccessful and tried a different approach in the finale — by offering the young Jedi a chance to change history and be reunited with his parents.

It's unclear if this was an illusion to gain access in the "world between worlds" or an attempt to remove Ezra from the playing field, but series creator Dave Filoni shed some light on the Emperor's goals in these scenes during the final episode of Rebels Recon.

"He tries to play on your perceptions all the time," said Filoni. "When he's in the void world and he's listening to Ezra, he hears Ezra's wish that his life could be different and that he'd like to see his mom and dad. So he knows the alternate reality that Ezra wishes for."

In the finale, the hologram of Palpatine was depicted as the benevolent chancellor of the Republic, and not like the robed Sith leader of his current appearance. He appeases to Ezra with warmth, kindness, and a chance to see the people he loved and lost.

"Because when you're tasked with a great burden and something you have to do, it's normal for you to wish that these things weren't happening to you and it's normal for you to wish that your life was simpler and that these challenges fell elsewhere. And so the whole thing at the end is if the Emperor can offer him that wish that maybe this kid will take it and thus take himself out of the equation," Filoni said.

Later in the video, Lucasfilm Story Group executive Pablo Hidalgo answered a fan's question about whether the Emperor had access to the "world between worlds," and if he could have followed Ezra and Ahsoka inside.

"The thing is the Emperor could see what was happening in the 'world between worlds' because Ezra entered it. Ezra was who he was focusing on," Hidalgo said. "And using his Sith alchemy, he was able to get sort of like a hand grip in but he couldn't actually go in. So that's what the Emperor is looking for he's looking for, some sort of foothold. Some sort of handhold, something to grab onto that will bring him into that realm."


Filoni will likely continue to explore this new addition to the Force in whatever project he tackles next. For now, fans can watch the finale of Star Wars Rebels, streaming on Disney XD.

Did you enjoy the final episode of the animated series? What do you want to see next? Let us know in the comment section!