We have come to end of Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels and this two-part finale, titled ‘Zero Hour’, has been highly anticipated by fans of the show. One of the main reasons why this is the case is because we have been building towards Grand Admiral Thrawn’s master-plan to deal a crushing blow to the young Rebel Alliance. In ‘Zero Hour’, we would finally see it unfold. In addition to this, we would see whether this finale could live up to the finales of Season 1 and Season 2 of Rebels.
My Thoughts on ‘Zero Hour’
While I would say that the finales of Season 1 and 2 are better, this finale was a good end to this season of Rebels. Moreover, it capped of a season which, in my opinion, is better than Season 1 and 2. One of the strongest elements of ‘Zero Hour’ was its cinematic feel. Truly, watching the space battles in this season finale felt like watching the space battles in the Original Trilogy and I have to give a huge amount of credit to the animators of Rebels for this achievement.
I also liked how both sides suffered a defeat in their own way in this finale. The Rebel Alliance suffered a lot of casualties, including the loss of Commander Sato which was a very poignant moment in the episode. On the side of the Empire, Thrawn, while dealing a blow to the Rebel Alliance, failed to realise his complete vision for victory which he would have achieved if not for the failure of others to follow his calculated orders.
Yet, the important thing is that Thrawn lived to fight another day which was my main hope from this finale. He has been one of my favourite parts of this season of Rebels and I cannot wait for his character to be developed further in this series and in the upcoming book. The book will in fact be written by Timothy Zahn who originally created the character in the old-Expanded Universe, i.e. Legends.
While I was pleased that Thrawn survived, I was surprised that more characters on the side of the Rebel Alliance did not survive. True, Sato sacrificed himself but I did expect members of the Ghost crew such as Zeb to die too. Still, this was not a big disappointment because, by the time this series is finished, I expect most, if not all, of our heroes to die.
Speaking of the Ghost crew, we saw Sabine return to help her friends and it was great to see her back as she is one of the strongest characters in the show. Seeing Agent Kallus join the Rebel Alliance was a relief to see as I feared he would die in this season. This would have been disappointing as his arc in Rebels has been great to watch. Thankfully, we now get to see him as a fully-fledged member of the Rebel Alliance once Season 4 premieres later this year.
Building for the Future
In fact, this finale set up the next season of Rebels very well. With Kallus joining the Rebel Alliance, Thrawn living and continuing on as an antagonist in addition to the mention of Yavin 4 at the end of the episode, the foundations for Season 4 have been laid. What is even more exciting is that we are now in a position where we are getting closer to the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: A New Hope.
This is why I expect Season 4 to be the last season of Star Wars Rebels and the arcs which have been established throughout the series will come to a close. Moreover, I expect to see Ahsoka Tano return and for Darth Vader to return in a limited capacity too. I am really excited to see what is next in store for this show and this season finale is a big reason why as it did a great job at laying the foundations for the next season. It’s just a shame that we have to wait so long!