tar Wars Rebels is a groundbreaking animated series about a ragtag group of rebels who fight against the evil Galactic Empire. Set in the years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, it introduces a new cast of characters destined to become some of the most beloved heroes in the Star Wars universe.
Rebels has an intensely passionate fan base. Why? Because it’s one of the most moving and mystical Star Wars shows out there. Don’t let the youthful art or age demographic fool you. This show is DEEP. Powerful storytelling, evolving relationships, and deep lore make this show a lasting favorite.
And while the new-found family of the Ghost steals our hearts, old favorites make appearances too, such as Ahsoka, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Maul, Thrawn, and even Yoda!
If you love Star Wars—its themes, its battles, its characters, and its mysticism—then you will love Star Wars Rebels.
To learn more, keep reading! Our Rebels guide will bring you up to speed on one of our favorite Star Wars shows in the galaxy.
Star Wars Rebels is Special
There is something incredibly special about Star Wars Rebels. But what exactly? Could it be the deep dive it takes into the Force and all the wondrous lore? The Force visions, animal guides, secret Sith holocrons, inquisitors, and dark masters?
Perhaps it’s the exploration of compassionate people tempted to the dark side or found family risking themselves for others. Maybe it’s the birth of a fledgling rebellion. But mostly, I think it’s the hope, wonder, and adventure that abound in this story. And most importantly, it’s the love.
At its core, Rebels is about relationships. It’s about characters having their hearts broken and slowly learning to trust again. Found family who fight for one another against overwhelming odds. Everyone on this show is wounded.
Betrayal, abandonment, temptation, murder, and death are common experiences for the characters of Rebels. Whether it's Ahsoka facing Darth Vader, an orphaned padawan learning to trust an inexperienced master, Darth Maul facing his fiercest enemy, or a pilot opening her heart while struggling to stay true to her duty, the relationships grow and twist in real, heartrending ways.
Rebels expands and deepens the Star Wars mythology. We have an exiled Mandalorian, the Darksaber, the World Between Worlds, Loth Wolves, and lost devotees of the Force. It continues some of our favorite characters stories, such as those of Captain Rex, Darth Maul, and Ahsoka. Plus, it gives us the Post-Order 66 Inquisitors and Grand Admiral Thrawn, who make their first ever TV appearances.
Great music and incredible storytelling also play their parts.
What makes Star Wars Rebels so special? Just about everything!
The History of Star Wars Rebels
On October 3rd, 2014, Star Wars Rebels: Spark of the Rebellion premiered as a one hour animated TV movie on the Disney Channel. It went on to run for four fantastic seasons on Disney XD from October 13, 2014 to March 5, 2018.
Rebels takes place after Episode III, Revenge of the Sith and The Clone Wars, and five years before events of Episode IV: A New Hope. The Jedi and Republic have fallen, and the Galactic Empire is spreading tyranny throughout the galaxy.
(Youtini has the best Star Wars timeline in the galaxy that you can check out here.)
Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg and Carrie Beck co-created Star Wars Rebels. Dave Filoni executive produced, directed, and wrote episodes for the show, earning Rebels four Emmy nominations.
You can find it now on Disney +.
Star Wars Rebels Characters: New and Old
While our favorite Star Wars characters may make appearances, our main heroes are all new. They’re wounded, complex, and fiercely determined, and you’ll fall in love with them faster than a jump into hyperspace.
Here are the crew of the Ghost ship and the main characters of Star Wars Rebels!
The Rebel Crew of the Ghost
Ezra Bridger is the rebellious central character in Star Wars Rebels. As a teenager on Lothal, orphaned by the Empire, he’s survived by resorting to thievery, perhaps with a little help from the Force. When fate throws him into the path of the Ghost’s rebel crew, Ezra will join them and train in the Force under Kanan Jarrus.
Ezra has a mischievous and independent streak, especially since he’s been on his own since he was 7 years old. The dark side tempts him as he struggles to trust in his new-found crew and find balance in the Force.
It’s easy to root for Kanan Jarrus. He was once a Jedi Padawan who survived Order 66. Now, he’s a key member of the Ghost’s rebel crew and Ezra’s master in the ways of the Force. Because Order 66 cut his own training short and set him adrift, Kanan feels uncertain about how to guide Ezra. But even more daunting than learning to teach a padawan is learning to trust himself.
It’s impossible to meet Hera Syndulla and not be moved. As the Twi’lek leader and captain of the Ghost’s rebel crew, she’s a skilled pilot and strategist who puts duty before her own personal feelings. Noble and selfless, she’s determined to keep her heart under wraps. Despite her deep sense of honor, she has been known to keep powerful secrets, which sometimes unsettle her crew.
Sabine Wren– Artist. Warrior. Rebel. Sabine is a Mandalorian, an explosives expert, and a rebel who undermines the Empire not only through battle tactics but through art. She was once a cadet at the Imperial Academy of Mandalore.
Now a member of the Ghost’s crew, she’s always looking for ways to take the Empire down. She and Ezra often knock heads while learning to trust and rely on each other. She has some complicated family history and a special relationship with the Darksaber.
Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios
Zeb Orrelios is the Lasat muscle of the Ghost’s rebel crew. He’s a powerful fighter with a gruff exterior and deep hatred of the Empire, fueled by a tragic past. Despite his rough temperament, he has a soft spot for his fellow crew members, especially Ezra.
Chopper is the cantankerous astromech droid of the Ghost. He often bickers with the other crew members, but has been known to save the day every now and then. He’s fiercely loyal, especially to Hera Syndulla.
That’s it for the crew of the Ghost. But the following reappearing characters play important roles.
Ahsoka Tano first appeared as a padawan to Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars. But when the Jedi Order betrayed her, she walked away and chose a different path. Now, 15 years after Order 66, she reappears in Rebels as a mysterious figure known as "Fulcrum" and becomes a key ally to the rebel crew in their fight against the Empire.
Darth Maul is a former Sith Lord and the nemesis of Obi-Wan Kenobi. After surviving his supposed death in The Phantom Menace, he reappears in Rebels as a vengeful and dangerous foe. His obsession to seek revenge both on the Jedi and the Sith has only grown stronger, and he becomes a major antagonist in the latter half of the series.
Grand Admiral Thrawn
Thrawn is a Chiss military commander of the Galactic Empire with a brilliant and ruthless mind. His strategic thinking, study of culture, and grasp of his enemies’ motivations make him a dangerous opponent for the growing rebellion. Thrawn becomes a major adversary for the rebel crew and is one of the show's main villains in its final season.
Youtini’s Favorite Episodes and Story Arcs
Star Wars Rebels pulses with so many incredible episodes and story arcs that it’s tough to narrow them down. And of course, everyone has passionate opinions. But, here at Youtini, we’ve done our research, polled our wise ones, and presented you with the following treasured story lines:
Spark of Rebellion, Series Premiere
With the Jedi and the Republic gone, the Outer Rim world of Lothal is plunged into oppression under the evil Empire. In this two-part season premiere, 14-year-old orphan Ezra Bridger survives as a con artist and thief. Until destiny sets him in the path of the Ghost’s rebel crew. Together they’ll fight back against the Empire, and Ezra will discover that he has the power of the Force.
The Path of the Jedi
Kanan Jarrus and his padawan Ezra Bridger travel to a hidden Jedi temple on the planet Lothal. Both will face their greatest fears and encounter one of the most powerful Jedi the galaxy has ever known.
The Siege of Lothal
The crew of the Ghost have survived an inquisitor, discovered other rebel cells, and found an ally in Ahsoka Tano. Still, their fight continues. In this two-part season premiere, they’ll face their most dangerous enemy yet—Darth Vader.
The Lost Commanders
In "The Lost Commanders" and "Relics of the Old Republic," the Ghost crew meets up with an old friend of Ahsoka Tano’s. But will this heroic clone and his fellow comrades be willing to aid the fledgling rebellion and jump back into the fight?
Shroud of Darkness
Jedi Kanan Jarrus and Padawan Ezra Bridger are continually tracked by inquisitors and realize that their presence endangers the rebellion. In search of a solution, they journey with Ahsoka Tano to the Jedi Temple on Lothal. Each will confront a buried fear that will impact their lives forever.
Twilight of the Apprentice
This two-part finale of Season 2 is one of THE most epic Star Wars story lines ever written. In it, Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra travel to Malachor in search of an ancient Sith temple. There, they fight their fiercest battles and discover more than they ever imagined.
Steps Into Shadows
In this two-part season premiere, Ezra is intent on liberating the pirate Hondo Ohnaka from prison. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect his friends, and as a result, step ever deeper into darkness. Meanwhile, the Ghost has a powerful enemy in Grand Admiral Thrawn who is determined to end the rebellion once and for all.
The Darksaber Arc
In "Trials of the Darksaber" and "Legacy of Mandalore," Sabine Wren must confront her past when she trains with the Darksaber and returns to Mandalore in hopes of recruiting warriors for the rebel cause.
Darth Maul lands on Tatooine to reap his obsessive revenge upon his greatest enemy, Obi-Wan Kenobi. This is an incredibly powerful episode you will not want to miss!
In this two-part season finale, the fate of the rebellion hangs in the balance. The rebels plan a daring assault on the Imperial stronghold of Lothal, but their secret base is discovered by Grand Admiral Thrawn, triggering a brutal showdown as both sides engage in an epic battle of wits and will.
Jedi Night and Dume
This intensely powerful story arc centers around Kanan and his ultimate journey as a Jedi, which will leave the members of the Ghost reeling.
Wolves and Worlds
In two of the most mystical episodes in Star Wars, Ezra, guided by Loth Wolves, discovers a portal that transports him to the world between worlds, where time is fluid and the past is not set. There he will find Ahsoka and come face-to-face with the evil Emperor Palpatine.
Reunion and Farewell: Star Wars Rebels Series Finale
"Family Reunion" and "Farewell" are the final episodes of Star Wars Rebels. The crew of the Ghost will risk it all to liberate Lothal from the clutches of the Empire, and Ezra will be faced with the ultimate choice.
The series concludes with explosive and mystical shock waves. The finale has it all. Thrawn, the Emperor, the Ghost Crew, and even the most mystical of Force creatures—the Purrgil.
If you yearn to dive more deeply into Rebel’s story, art and characters, here’s some of our recommendations!
Star Wars Rebels Books
- A New Dawn, John Jackson Miller
Star Wars Rebels tugged on the heartstrings of countless fans, and this story is where it all began. Taking place before the beloved show, A New Dawn shows us how Kanan and Hera were destined to cross paths and fight together in the Galactic Civil War.
Being the first novel released in the new Canon era of Star Wars books, John Jackson Miller leaves a lasting first impression on what’s to come.
Star Wars Rebels Comics
Kanan Jarrus wasn’t always his name. Former Jedi Padawan Caleb Dume was on a remote mission with his master when their clone troopers turned on them. This comic series tells the story of how Caleb survived countless obstacles to become the Jedi we meet in Star Wars: Rebels. The hardcover omnibus combines all 12 issues of Kanan’s story into one volume so you can easily read from start to finish.
The crew of the Ghost dodge criminals, monsters, and the agents of the Galactic Empire as they cross the galaxy in search of aid for the young Rebel Alliance. Featuring forty-three rarely-seen comics, this collection is a must have for any Star Wars fan!
- Star Wars: Rebels Magazine #1-35, #37, #39,
- Star Wars: Rebels Animation Magazine #1-4
Star Wars Rebels Art
Star Wars art books have earned their reputation as some of the most visually stunning pieces of reference material out there. The Art of Star Wars: Rebels gives fans a series of behind-the-scenes glimpses into how each character and location was developed in all four seasons of the show.
The book includes a brief introduction from Dave Filoni himself explaining the choices behind the show’s unique art style and the original artwork that inspired it all.
For even more Star Wars Rebels check out our Star Wars Rebels Reading Collection!
Star Wars Rebels is one of the most powerful storytelling streams in Star Wars. It builds upon the characters we’ve grown to know and love so deeply. Characters like Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader, Ahsoka Tano, Rex and the Clones, Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Even Princess Leia makes a youthful appearance!
It’s also gifted us new and profound characters—Jedi, warriors, and rebels— that we can’t help but fall in love with.
Rebels strikes all our senses. The music is beautiful and moving. The art, rich and colorful. The storyline, deep and heart wrenching. It evolves the mythology of this beloved galaxy while delving even deeper into the mysticism of Star Wars.
Most of all, Star Wars Rebels illuminates the power of family, selflessness, and love. It keeps hope alive in a galaxy far, far away and here at home too.
If you love Star Wars, its themes, battles, characters, and mysticism, then you will love Star Wars Rebels. And thank the Force that the story continues in Ahsoka on Disney + (premiering August 2023), where we will meet some of these timeless characters again.
For as we discover in the World between Worlds, time flows in ever mysterious ways and no one is ever really gone.