t's hard to believe that it will be ten years since starwars.com officially announced Star Wars Rebels. No cast or characters were announced at the time, just a vague timeline placement and a release window of Fall 2014. Before the show’s premiere, the first Canon adult novel, A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller, was published as a direct tie-in to characters in the show. Most will say the show started slow, but over time the cast and crew won over the fans to create a dedicated, passionate following. Star Wars Celebration has been a central point for the fans with many iconic moments: the reveal of Vader and the return Hondo and Rex in the Season 2 Trailer, the reveal of Thrawn in the Season 3 Trailer, the announcement of the show ending, and Dave Filoni’s infamous “Ahsoka Lives?!” shirt.
Rebels would come to a thrilling conclusion on March 5th, 2018, leaving fans satisfied yet also with some questions. Mostly, where’s Ezra? One year later, on March 5th, 2019, fans on social media shared their love and passion for the show, and most importantly, their appreciation to the cast and crew. Dave Filoni shared a tweet giving thanks to the fans and a small tease of a possible future for some characters. With the live action Ahsoka show on Disney+, this possible future is looking more real by the day.
At Celebration Chicago in April 2019, Lucasfilm hosted an official Star Wars Rebels Remembered panel (which can be found on YouTube) moderated by Amy Ratcliffe with Dave Filoni, Vanessa Marshall (Hera Syndulla), Taylor Gray (Ezra Bridger), and Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren). This panel gave some insight behind the scenes of the whole show, specifically Season 4. No new show was announced, yet it was a panel full of insight and reflection.
Every year since, on March 5th, fans of the show continue to share their favorite moments, memories, characters, art, and so much more. The passion for Star Wars Rebels has not gone away and continues to grow even further as the characters are explored in other content like Ahsoka. On the 5th anniversary of the series finale, some Youtini Staff wrote about their love for the show and what it meant to them. Here’s what they had to say.
Youtini Staff Responses
I love Rebels because the characters feel real to me. More real than in any other Star Wars series. They act like a true family and have realistic emotional responses to things, as well as a realistic sense of humor. Also, it expanded on Star Wars lore so much.
I’ll always remember where I was on October 3, 2014 when I watched the first episodes of Star Wars: Rebels. It was my birthday and also the day I found out the awful news that my internship after high school was shutting down permanently. Watching this show allowed me to escape from everything. It brought me back into the world that I grew up loving so much. As Rebels went on, it continued to not only be an escape but also something very close to my heart. I could see myself in some of these characters, and through the show I connected with the fandom more than ever. Rebels is full of incredible stories and iconic moments that make the show a must-watch for Star Wars fans. There is yet to be an ending to any story that has rocked me as hard as the final episodes of Rebels did. I will always be grateful for what this show was and what it continues to be.
I can remember vividly reading A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller as the first book post-Disney acquisition and being so excited. Then Rebels came and my mind was blown. My brothers and I talk weekly about Rebels as we re-watch it again and again. Kanan revealing himself as a Jedi and Agent Kallus saying "fire on... on the Jedi" is hands down one of the best Star Wars scenes period. The series is such a beautiful story about life and rebellion. A VITAL Star Wars story.
Rebels is the ultimate Star Wars comfort show. It was released in a window of time when I was graduating from university, getting married, and finding family through friendship. A kids show? Maybe. But the kid inside of me needed to relearn what it meant to trust, play, fight, love, and grieve. I will always be grateful for the space it gave me to not only do those things, but to do them well, intentionally, and through varied perspectives.
I watched Rebels during 2020/2021. It was a really difficult time for me, but Rebels was a spark of joy in the dark. It gave me hope. I loved watching the evolution of Kanan and Ezra's relationship, watching as Kanan learned to trust his ability as a teacher and Ezra learning to trust Kanan. Also, getting to see more of Ahsoka and Anakin's story was incredibly thrilling. Of course, this show had its piercing share of pain too. And towards the end of the show, it left me in tears for a day and put me to bed. I had grown so strangely and intensely connected to the characters. It really took me by surprise. Rebels will always hold a special place in my heart.
Star Wars: Rebels means so much to me as someone that resonates with the idea of found family. Rebels is the epitome of found family: the six core characters of the Ghost crew aren't related by blood but by friendship and shared experiences. Not only does the idea of found family shine brightly in this series, but the universe's interconnectedness is prevalent and feels unique when compared to other Star Wars projects. Grand Admiral Thrawn being brought into Canon as a whole from Legends books is the best example of this synergy between mediums, and this type of synergy will continue into the new age of Star Wars media with the upcoming live-action Ahsoka show. Lastly, this show has some of the most memorable and interesting characters in any Star Wars project. Hera, Kanan, Ezra, Sabine, Zeb, Chopper: the Ghost crew is diverse and relatable, displaying the important and endearing traits of courage, loyalty, resourcefulness, compassion, and determination. These characteristics stand out to me five years after the show's ending, although it's quite a daunting task to narrow down just what makes this show so enduring and significant.
Rebels meant a lot to me because it allowed us to revisit the days of the Empire. We were blessed with a new set of incredible characters who taught us the value of friendship, perseverance, mentorship, succeeding despite being the underdog, and more. Thrawn’s introduction, Ahsoka vs. Vader, and Maul vs. Obi-Wan are moments I will always treasure.
To me, Rebels offers some of the best examples of the themes of Star Wars. In particular, I think it's the best version of found family in a galaxy far, far away. Each member of the Ghost Crew are all so different, but they always find ways to use their differences to work as a unit. And they are always stronger for having to rely on each other.
As you can see, there are so many reasons to love this show. If you haven’t watched it, now is the perfect time to catch up on Disney+. Additionally, the characters have appeared in other supporting media, so check out Youtini’s Rebels Reading Collection to dive deeper. As we continue to re-watch and celebrate this beloved show, you can share your thoughts about why you love the show in our Discord community as well as on our social media. Continue to follow Youtini as we have more Star Wars Rebels content coming out in the near future.