Star Wars Rebels 2017 Premiere Date, Possible Rogue One Connection Revealed

Fans of Star Wars Rebels are still reeling after the new episode this weekend that saw the return of Darth Maul. SPOILERS AHEAD for that episode and the third season so far.

In the third season finale, thanks to the use of Force magic on Dathomir, both Darth Maul and Ezra Bridger discovered that the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi is, in fact, alive and well. Maul even figured out that Obi-Wan is "back in the desert where it all began," meaning Tatooine, while Ezra only knows he's on a planet with two suns. That's a major and direct connection to both the prequels and the original trilogy that means we're building to quite the confrontation, likely this season, between Jedi and Sith once more. Whew.

While that was the mid-season finale, fans don't need to wait too long for their next Rebels fix.The second half of the season will launch on January 7, 2017, and with a special hour long two-episode mid-season premiere. Ghosts of Geonosis parts one and two will air back-to-back that day, Star Wars News Net reports, with new episodes also confirmed for January 14 and January 21. The two-parter was screened during the Rogue One press screening for "Mommy Bloggers," and sounds like it should have significant ties to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and possibly to othere canon stories like Catalyst, the Rogue One prequel novel, and the Darth Vader comic book, all of which have dealt significantly with Geonosis.

For those unaware, Geonosis was the initial construction site of the Death Star, which started design and construction during the Clone Wars. With Rogue One's plot circling the Death Star, it suddenly makes these two episodes sound very intriguing. The synopses for the two parter read:

"Ghosts of Geonosis – PART 1: The crew returns to Geonosis in search of a missing rebel team sent to investigate suspicious activity there, and are surprised by what they find.

Ghosts of Geonosis – PART 2: After finding a missing rebel team member, the Ghost crew discovers another surprise on Geonosis, and work to conceal it from Imperial forces."

The next two episodes after "Ghosts" are titled "Warhead" and "Trials of the Darksaber." It sure sounds like they're going full speed ahead on heavy plot and mythology based episodes, then. The Darksaber, of course, returned to its rightful owner, as Sabine Wren is of the Clan Viszla family of Mandalorians, so that episode should see a push forward on that particular tale.

(Photo: Lucasfilm)

January is shaping up to be a huge month for Star Wars Rebels following the strong season finale. It's expected we will see a second half of the season trailer sometime in the next couple of weeks, with some clues for these major episode titles.

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Star Wars Rebels follows the adventures of Hera (Vanessa Marshall), Sabine (Tiya Sircar), Zeb (Steve Blum), and the Jedi Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) and Ezra (Taylor Gray), a small crew that's finding their way in the nascent Rebel Alliance a few years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Executive produced by Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni, the in-canon series helps to connect the worlds of the films and the previous animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, with guest appearances so far by characters like Lando Calrissian, Ahsoka Tano, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Leia Organa, Wedge Antilles, and more.

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