Saturday morning Lucasfilm animation junkies were treated to a lively panel acting as a recap of Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels, and a preview of season 4. Any cheer shown by the crowd however was drained when, as speculated upon by fans, Dave Filoni announced Season 4 will be the last.
But before that, the entire main voice cast of the show joined host Dave Collins and Filoni onstage. As each member of the cast was introduced, the loudest ovations were definitely for Tira Sircar, who plays Sabine Wren, and Vanessa Marshall, expert pilot Hera Sundulla. Taylor Gray, Freddie Prinze Jr, and Steve Blum rounded out the stage, playing Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus, and Zeb Orrelios respectively.
In discussing Season 3, a lot of time was spent on Twin Suns, the big Obi-Wan Kenobi/Darth Maul episode from last month. Filoni said it was an idea he has had since the show started, and that the two characters are hand in hand and there was nobody else who could end Mauls story. Obi-Wan is about doing things for the greater good while Maul is selfish, and in he end it was his undoing.
Grand Admiral Thrawn was up next, to the loudest applause of the entire panel. Filoni loves bringing characters "taken to the side, or made Legends" and bringing them back to official cannon, and He is a fan of Thrawn like everyone else. He loves bringing those characters back as it honors what has come before.
Prinze and Sircar talked a bit about how they got their performances out of each other for their big arc, Trials of the Dark Saber, with Prinze telling a delightful story about how after he saw it for the first time, he called not to tell her he was proud of her like a father would be, but impressed hat they were able to get those emotional performances out of each other. Sircar very much enjoyed the creative process and getting to record the episode with just Filoni and Prinze around, as it gave it more weight and felt very special. Plus: she got a lightsaber!
#HotKallus was touched upon, and Filoni says everyone around the office was in on it and he doesn't get it. He jokes that the single strand of hair hanging down the Imperials face represented his freedom, and that now since it's so popular (and apparently expensive to animate) that he is re-writing the whole forth season around his hair.
Mans what about season 4? Well after hearing them all speak, it will be a bit more dark and somber, even Hera will "feel the weight of the losses they have suffered. We will be pressed to our edges, and know we need to get the job done." Well said Vanessa! That got a loud response in the room. Blum says he want Zeb and Kallus to start a family together, robbery loud laughs. But expect to see a more responsible and less reactionary Zeb in season 4.
Chopper was touched upon as well, and the cantankerous droid won't get a story arc per se, but instead more reveals as we learn more about him. Sabine says "Mando fans will be pretty happy" and stops so she doesn't get in trouble with her boss. Prinze gets a big laugh when he says Kanan will still be blind in season 4, and that the patience he learned last season was vital for him. It will. E a very grown-up and adult story. Ezra is now a fully formed man and Jedi, so his big decisions this season will lean more towards deciding what kind of man and Jedi he Wars to be, and what he can do to free his people on Lothal from the Empire.
Also look for a couple returning faces as Mon Mothma and Saw Gerrera both return, and in a surprise reveal, Warwick Davis will join the show as Rukh, Thawns assassin. This got a big response as well.
Then it was announced by Dave Filoni that this would be the final season. He and Simon Kinberf said that it was time, and that they are glad they got to decide, instead of what happened with the abrupt cancellation of The Clone Wars. He also said they are far from done at Lucasfilm animation. I can't wait to see what's next, but I will also treasure these last few episodes I get to spend with the Ghost crew.
Season 4, the final season, of Star Wars Rebels will premiere this fall on Disney XD.