Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Announcement Possibly Imminent; Creator Discusses Sabine’s Story Arc.

No, Star Wars Rebels isn’t being cancelled at the end of Season 3 to make room for a new series, contrary to what some recent speculative pieces on other sites might tell you. Based on an interview with Dave Filoni, an announcement for Season 4 should happen in the near future even if there has not yet been an official announcement from Disney that they’re going to renew the series. In addition, Filoni discussed why last night’s episode ended with a major change to the status quo.

 

 

Spoilers for last night’s episode of Star Wars Rebels will follow this point. Either watch the episode before reading the rest of this article or get spoiled at your own risk.

 

 

ComicBook.com just ran a series of interviews with former showrunner Dave Filoni – who was promoted to oversee all Star Wars animated projects – and one interview actually discusses Season 4 in particular. While it doesn’t directly confirm that Season 4 is a go, the impression that the author of the piece has is that they’re working on it and that Filoni intends to give the show a full conclusion.

“I give a pretty good eye to [applying major shifts to the status quo] because I like where we got the end of last year, and it really shook things up… Last season ending with kind of a dividing line between who the characters were and what they need to evolve into being, and I feel very good that this season drives us to a point where you can actually look and see these arcs within this season of where, say Kanan and Ezra, everyone started and where they end, and what the future may or may not hold for them. Imagining they survive, what’s about to happen?

You always have an eye on [the possibility that your show might get cancelled], and it’s tricky. I have to be honest. It’s tricky in TV having worked on a series that frankly didn’t really have an all-out end like we had planned it. I’m always a bit wary. I’m thinking, ‘Okay, where do we need this to go?’ Because I want to make sure that we take the audience in these Star Wars stories, I think, on this really, I hope, interesting and entertaining journey, and I want them to feel that they get a complete payoff for it, and that it’s the story that we intended.

From the very beginning, Simon [Kinberg] and I, working with the writers and story group have had a goal in mind of where we would like to get to with this, and we’ve been taking steps towards it along the way, and some surprising twists and turns even to us, but we always have a goal in mind of where we want to be. So, I think we have taken some strong steps towards that with always an eye on ‘Does the adventure continue?’ So we’ll have to see. For Sabine, hopefully the adventure will continue. That would be great because then we can change her hair again. People love that!”

 

Speaking of Sabine, her decision to leave the Spectres is definitely a major change to the status quo that few were expecting – least of all, Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg. As noted in another article by Comicbook.com, while the show has an outline planned, the decision to have Sabine leave for a while came as a result of what the story immediately demanded instead of some creative decision made far in advance.

“I think a big part of it is you can have a broad plan, which is obviously always good because you have a guideline to go by and rails, but you have to also take opportunities and try to instigate things to make important character moments happen. I think you just learn by doing when those moments are. Once you meet Sabine’s parents, and you go all in, you create this dynamic. I thought, ‘Well, she hasn’t seen them in all this time. It’s kind of weird if she just goes and meets them and leave.’ Once we worked out the bigger politics of what’s going on with Mandalore, we’re like, ‘Good grief. We’ve destabilized this entire planet now.’ So there’s a sense of responsibility here.

I think that it really shows a maturity in Sabine that she’s even willing to help this family and help these people, and I think that’s why Kanan is proud of her in that moment, though he might not say it. It’s that she’s grown, and so much of this show has been about watching these two young characters, Ezra and Sabine, grow into becoming adults, and in their own ways more like Hera and more like Kanan. That’s been really fun because Simon Kinberg pointed out in the very beginning of the series that the family dynamic would be the most important thing here to keep expressing in different ways.

I know it’s difficult to have this happen to Sabine, but by doing this, it actually is also serving the greater Star Wars universe to say that there’s a lot going on in this galaxy. It’s not just this one-angled thing with this rebellion, and now you meet her parents, at least her mother, and you have rescued her basically, or freed her up. So she’s going to do stuff. I think it creates a great moment for the character in an unexpected moment, obviously. We’ll see where it goes from there.”

 

As it stands, it’s been suggested that we could see Sabine again before Season 3 comes to a close, although the window for that is fairly limited based on the episode premises that are out now – so a Season 4 return is way more likely. For now, we’ll presumably get more emphasis placed upon Hera, Zeb, and the others while Sabine does her own thing.

 

So yeah. There’s clearly a plan in place for more Rebels stories for the next few years, and as of right now it sounds like they’ll be committing to another season at the absolute minimum. For those of you who are still worried that Rebels will get cut short like The Clone Wars because they haven’t announced a renewal just yet, I’d like to present two counterpoints to assuage your concerns. The first is that the Cinelinx article which is being used to support this line of speculation in the past few days was publicly debunked by Pablo Hidalgo shortly after it first came out. The debunking, for frame of reference, was nearly a year ago, which is why I find it so curious that this article is in circulation again.

 

 

Now, that’s not to smack Cinelinx as a site, because they’re very good at what they do – it’s just that this one story they reported doesn’t quite reflect what Lucasfilm’s intention is. If I remember correctly, Hidalgo also said something to the effect of “Season 3 ends on a note where it’s clear that there will be more story to tell” – which is something that Dave Filoni more or less said up above in that interview. Considering that the show’s dialogue is recorded about a year in advance of the episodes airing, this should mean that dialogue for Season 4 would already be ready to animate at this point (and that, most likely, a lot of it already is animated).

 

However, there’s one more argument about Rebels that leads a few people to believe it could be cancelled, and that concerns the matter of ratings and how they’re lower than The Clone Wars, so therefore the show must be doomed. Well, that’s not really an accurate conclusion to draw from what we know, because there are a lot of differences between SWTCW and SWR that make this anything but an apples-to-apples comparison. The biggest difference are that SWTCW’s budget was substantially higher than SWR’s is, and that SWTCW was more or less funded out of George Lucas’s own pocket to account for these high costs – so with SWR costing less to produce, the show demands lower ratings to actually be considered successful. (The budget was most likely the reason SWTCW was cancelled, too – since George Lucas planned on retiring after selling the franchise, it would be easier for Disney to save the remaining stories for other times and formats to tell them through.) Also worth noting is that SWTCW aired on a channel that most packages get, while comparatively fewer providers let viewers watch Disney XD.

 

Since there’s no other Star Wars show that’s readily available to air, cancelling Rebels without giving it a replacement (which would most likely need an entire year of development at the absolute least) is a bad idea. It’s basically free advertising for their big event movies that they are already set to make fortunes off of, and it’s better to indoctrinate a fan early on in life than to wait later, as there’s more money to be made the younger your audience is when they get invested in your source material. The environment for measuring ratings is significantly different, too – DVR exploded in the time between SWTCW and SWR, meaning that initial ratings don’t account for viewership on digital platforms (something Disney XD pushes for). Finally, the reason that the whole ratings argument is a bit silly is that the show is one of the highest-rated programs on Disney XD right now, so if they were really worried about ratings, then they would be looking toward pulling the plug on Disney XD as a platform – it’d be easier for them to shut the channel down entirely than it would be to cancel their best-performing show.

 

So no, the sky is not falling – Rebels will keep on truckin’ for a while, and little suggests otherwise. While other animated projects are in the works, with Dave Filoni at the helm, we’re probably not going to hear a whole lot about them until next year or the year after that. For now, let’s just wait and see where the ride takes us – the Rebellion has a long way to go.

 

 

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Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.

Grant Davis (Pomojema)

Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.

60 thoughts on “Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Announcement Possibly Imminent; Creator Discusses Sabine’s Story Arc.

  • February 19, 2017 at 6:35 pm
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    Hoping Sabine’s arc doesn’t get a backburner seat, but I know we’re closing on Thrawn’s endgame (imminent attack on Chopper Base & flushing out and/or killing Fulcrum / Kallus)

    On the plus-side, a certain other back-burner character also has some rich Mando tie-ins left over from Clone Wars, so if they want to focus on Ahsoka’s return + Sabine freeing Mandalore from their ties to the Empire, that’ll be a great thread for Season 4 of Rebels!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmUSsMYUn7o

    • February 19, 2017 at 10:16 pm
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      Bo-Katan is already confirmed for Season 3. I suspect she’ll show up in the finale or something.

      – Pomojema

      • February 19, 2017 at 11:14 pm
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        She isn’t confirmed for season 3, but for the series in general. We’ll see her in season 4.

      • February 20, 2017 at 3:23 am
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        The synopsis for the last episode of season 3 does mention an “unlikely ally”.

    • February 20, 2017 at 2:44 am
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      That clip reminds me how much higher quality TCW was — and how much better it is when the show is not geared toward 7-year-olds.

      • February 20, 2017 at 7:04 am
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        geared towards seven year old kids eh? Yeah that is exactly what I thought when Sabines mother shot that guy in the chest and killed him a the end of last night’s episode. I also thought it was pretty cheesy and to Disney when Maul and Kanan Slaughtered the INquisitors…Shame on Lucasfilm for makin a cartoon geared for children even though the whole series since 1977 was geared for that same audience…curse them for making me a fan of this Universe since I was 5 years old!

        • February 20, 2017 at 5:10 pm
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          Sorry you can’t see it dude, but it’s true. Look it up on iTunes. Disney has it rated TV-Y7. Yes, those extremely mild things you mentioned are aimed at 7-year-old kids. Meanwhile, TCW is rated TV-PG.

          I watched the first Star Wars in 1977 at the age of 8. The movie wasn’t aimed at kids my age, but that made it just about the best thing ever for me. It was a bit CHALLENGING, both in content and dialog for an 8-year-old, and that’s exactly what Rebels should have been. Especially since it’s a lead-in to Star Wars Ep.4.

          I watch Rebels every week, and I do enjoy it. But its flaw of aiming too low does annoy me and takes away some of the enjoyment. Ezra is probably the biggest casualty in the show, as he is basically Aladdin in both appearance and behavior. It’s the whiny, bratty stuff that for some reason marketers think 7-year-olds want to watch.

    • February 20, 2017 at 9:47 pm
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      This show loves putting characters and plots on the back burner and leaving them unresolved. The difference with Sabine is that I actually feel like they will get back to that, unlike the Inquisitors, Ahsoka, the Force sensitive kids Palpatine was after…

  • February 19, 2017 at 6:38 pm
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    Let’s hope Season 4 gives us more Old Republic stuff. 🙂

    • February 19, 2017 at 10:21 pm
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      Let’s hope not.

      • February 19, 2017 at 10:38 pm
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        No?

        • February 19, 2017 at 11:12 pm
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          I don’t see why anything from thousands of years in the past needs to matter now.

          • February 19, 2017 at 11:37 pm
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            I think people mostly like to see the canonization of that area slowly come to pass more than anything.

          • February 20, 2017 at 5:19 am
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            At least untill TOR (Legends) is fully finished before we chart into this territory in the current new canon, we will have to settle for more Old Republic references in Rebels, for now.

          • February 20, 2017 at 5:35 am
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            Yeah, not a fan. I think the tech being roughly identical 4000 years later is lazy.

          • February 20, 2017 at 7:19 am
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            i think in the new timeline its only 1000 years, but yeah its still odd.

          • February 20, 2017 at 8:09 am
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            It’s not identical, lightsabers used to have cross-guards!! /s

          • February 20, 2017 at 9:46 pm
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            And battery packs.

          • February 21, 2017 at 1:27 am
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            If you dig into the Dark Horse comics rather than the newer MMO the technology is different. SWTOR did what it did to make that era more familiar for fans who had no idea the Old Republic existed.

            I didn’t used to like it at all when I was younger, but there are some cool stories there. Also, Sith Empire’s that fight to their own ruin are super fun.

          • February 20, 2017 at 3:19 am
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            Because it’s fun and adds to the lore of Star Wars. What more reason do you need?

          • February 20, 2017 at 5:33 am
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            Meh. I liked KOTOR, but I didn’t love it like so many. Always gonna feel that way.

          • February 20, 2017 at 6:27 am
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            That’s fine. But “ancient history” is apart of Star Wars, so don’t be surprised when fans crave content like that.

          • February 20, 2017 at 4:25 pm
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            I’m not. I just think the love for KOTOR has clouded some young minds haha

          • February 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm
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            FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, CURRENT HISTORY IS EVIL!

          • February 20, 2017 at 9:46 pm
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            Good, because it’s Legends now so has potential to be rebooted into something awesome.

          • February 20, 2017 at 11:15 am
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            But it’s still worth checking man.

          • February 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm
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            I already checked it out.

          • February 20, 2017 at 2:18 pm
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            It doesn’t have to mirror the Legends version of The Old Republic though. Also, Even though they did go overboard with the futuristic stuff in TOR space travel in SW is basically like seafaring to us where it’s been around eons hence why the galaxy is so developed and populated by humans unlike Star Trek where they only been doing it for a mere few centuries.

            Plus the Star Wars universe is pretty much steeped in ancient mythology in regards to the force. Also, It’s pretty much the only real time period where they can tell stories with completely original characters unrelated to any in the films.

            If they keep anything from the old KOTOR then I hope they keep the level of darkness intact, It always struck me as the dark fantasy genre of the saga to the sci-fi/western feel of the OT.

          • February 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm
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            No, I agree, if they made the Old Republic stuff way different in those terms, I would be fine with it.

          • February 20, 2017 at 4:32 pm
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            It seems that they would have to, as Darth Bane is a weird Samurai-guy in canon now. The whole aesthetic of The Old Republic Era would be different.

          • February 20, 2017 at 4:33 pm
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            Yay!

          • February 20, 2017 at 10:55 pm
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            Tell that to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

          • February 21, 2017 at 12:26 am
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            That’s much different and you probably know it.

            The fall of Rome, for instance, doesn’t have much to do with life today.

          • February 21, 2017 at 5:54 am
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            It’s all about who controls the food and water

          • February 21, 2017 at 3:33 pm
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            Not ancient Sith so…

          • February 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm
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            Oh DOESN’T it?!

            *pulls out a Trump article at random and points to it*

            I kid, I kid.

  • February 20, 2017 at 12:15 pm
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    I never was in fear Rebels wouldn’t get a season 4, but it’s good to have it somewhat confirmed now. I have really loved this show since it started, let’s hope it goes on and does better

  • February 20, 2017 at 1:47 pm
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    I really wouldn’t mind if this show came to a close soon so that they can focus on the post-Jedi series and take advantage of the remaining OT cast members before they follow Carrie Fisher. We are only two years or so away from the completion of the ST and they could easily build the first two seasons off of what we know already from TFA and TLJ, Especially considering animation takes forever. Much like TCW with the PT and OT, I really think a show set after VI would go a long way in connecting the OT and ST together. Plus it’s something a lot of fans have wanted to see since they been fans.

    • February 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm
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      It could also clear up a lot of Legends misconceptions as well and explain how they got to be “legends”.

    • February 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm
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      If they were to make a post-ROTJ series, there’s no assurance that it would be about any of the Big 3.

  • February 20, 2017 at 9:40 pm
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    One more season to tie it all up. This entire show is a wasted opportunity and the main characters all pretty much stink. Zeb needs to go back to his planet real soon and get his story wrapped up. If Hera stayed, why wouldn’t Zeb (logically)?

    This show should be moved to Legends status and just rebooted, honestly.

    Hopefully they take the few good supporting characters like Rex and bump them up to full time.

    • February 21, 2017 at 5:22 am
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      Your opinion is in the vast minority. Also, I disagree. Do you even watch Rebels?

      • February 22, 2017 at 5:41 pm
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        Nah, my opinion is pretty spot on. And yes, I’ve seen every episode, but honestly, it’s become a chore.

        • February 23, 2017 at 12:18 am
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          I didn’t say whether you were wrong or right, I said you were in the minority. And you are.

          • February 23, 2017 at 7:18 pm
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            I’m not in the minority (maybe on these forums, but not in general). And, yes, you did say that.

          • February 23, 2017 at 9:32 pm
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            Prove it. Ratings are constant and critic reviews are positive. the only widespread negativity I can find pertaining to this show comes from keyboard warriors.

          • February 24, 2017 at 12:09 am
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            I was going to say the same thing to you. Prove it. And the only people praising this show are keyboard loud mouths. It’s generally the same few people over and over.

            Btw, ratings are low and there was even talk of cancellation after this year.

          • February 24, 2017 at 2:37 am
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            Rumors. That’s not the same as official talk.

          • February 24, 2017 at 4:30 pm
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            True, but often where there is smoke…

            In any case, we disagree over the quality of the show. Truly, I’m glad you enjoy it. I just know it could have been so much better and the mistakes are just so glaring for me it’s hard to look past.

  • February 20, 2017 at 9:43 pm
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    Well one thing we do know is that the next animated show won’t be set right after Episode 7 (at least if they want it to feature any of the main players… which it should).

    It could be post ROTJ, but there’s not much happening then. Fighting off the last of the Empire post Emperor? Boring and redundant!

    I just hope they don’t go Old Republic… it’s too big without a Clone Wars size budget and is better suited with a movie to introduce that time period, then the animated serious could fill in.

    Maybe they will do a young Han show? But with Rebels they’ve already hit that time frame… would they want to hit it again?

    • February 27, 2017 at 2:22 pm
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      Jedi Academy maybe? Bring back Hamill as Luke? Set it early enough that it doesn’t have to end with Adam Driver killing everyone?

      • February 27, 2017 at 4:47 pm
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        That has potential. These shows need more of a budget and I worry Rebels has left an uninterested taste in people’s mouths. They need something really flashy and buzz-worthy to get people interested again… and they need to pop from episode 1… none of this one or two seasons of development to get to the good show.

    • February 24, 2017 at 4:31 pm
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      Of he could just take it off since it’s just there for show anyway.

  • February 20, 2017 at 10:38 pm
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    I’m not sure what Mandalorians were originally conceived to be outside of Boba Fett, but this show makes them out to be human Klingons with an odd affinity for Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. In fact, this whole show is very DS9-ish.

    Where’s that damn Andorian admiral guy they hyped so much in the promos?

    • February 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm
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      I was thinking the same thing when they started talking about clans and honor! The architecture is supposed to be a bit of cubism, I believe, which was highlighted during Clone Wars when they visited Mandalore.

  • February 21, 2017 at 10:12 pm
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    They will have a season 4…even if it goes to Netflix.

    I’m not a huge fan of the show but I think they need a season 4 to further expand the story. I’ve been liking this season more than the last two.

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