Review

Star Wars Rebels: Season 4 Episodes 14-16 (Television Review) – The End Is A New Beginning

Watching the end of a television show can be an emotional and sad experience. Whether you are a finishing a binge-watch or saying goodbye to a show you have watched since its inception, it is always tough to say farewell to a great television show. Sadly, the end of Star Wars Rebels has come with the last episodes of Season 4.

A Fool’s Hope’, ‘Family Reunion’ and ‘Farewell’ closed out Star Wars Rebels and I was expecting these episodes to bring satisfying closure to this series. The entire focus of these final episodes of Star Wars Rebels was on the efforts of our heroes to liberate Lothal from the Empire. In a sense, the show was coming full circle. The show began on Lothal and it ended on Lothal which was quite poetic.

My Thoughts on ‘A Fool’s Hope’, ‘Family Reunion’ and ‘Farewell’

I loved these episodes. Star Wars Rebels ended in a great way and one of the strongest aspects of this series finale was how insular it was throughout. Indeed, in ‘A Fool’s Hope’, we saw a lot characters from previous episodes return for this mission to free Lothal. Gregor, Wolffe, Ketsu Onyo, Vizago and Hondo all came to the aid of Ezra and it was great to see them all return, especially Hondo.

Kallus, Gregor, Hera, Rex, Wolffe, Ketsu Onyo and Hondo in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 14 A Fool's Hope

From an entertainment perspective, he has been one of my favourite characters in Star Wars Rebels and his line about how he would do anything for Ezra proved that he really cares for him. The fact that all of these characters returned for this mission showed how much respect they have for Ezra, even if this mission would be incredibly difficult to execute. Indeed, the majority of ‘A Fool’s Hope’ deals with the attempt to lay a trap for Governor Pryce so she can be captured which was a tall order.

As such, this episode was action-heavy and it was a joy to watch the animation in these battle scenes. The animation itself has come so far since the first episode of Star Wars Rebels. ‘A Fool’s Hope’, like ‘Wolves and a Door’, did a very good job at setting up the larger narrative which would be told in the following episodes. Pryce was eventually captured with some help from the Loth-wolves and it was weirdly satisfying seeing them chuck Stormtroopers around like they were merely toys.

Ezra’s Story

Thanks to ‘A Fool’s Hope’, the stage was set for the liberation of Lothal to begin. I mentioned before how Star Wars Rebels ends on Lothal which, at first, surprised me. This is because of Rogue One and how, for a time, I believed that the Battle of Scarif would be part of the series finale of Star Wars Rebels. After all, a big element of the story in this show has been about the formation of the Rebel Alliance. However, while important, I came to realise that this is not the main focus of the series. Since the beginning, Star Wars Rebels has always been focused on the journey of Ezra.

Ezra in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 15 Family Reunion

This has always been Ezra’s story so it made sense that the series would end on his home planet and his quest to free it from the Empire. He was the focal point of ‘Family Reunion’ and ‘Farewell’ and what he went through in these episodes showed how much he has grown as a character. Throughout Star Wars Rebels, Ezra has been, at times, a frustrating character to watch. Yet, he has developed as a person and leader and what we saw of him in ‘Family Reunion’ and ‘Farewell’ was, for me, the pinnacle of his character development.

Similar to Kanan in ‘Jedi Night’, Ezra took the mantle of responsibility upon himself to do what was necessary, despite the temptation to reunite with his parents. If you know anything about Ezra, then you will understand how important his parents were to him and how, in the past, he would have given anything to be with them again. He could have had this opportunity thanks to The Emperor who tried to trick Ezra with his greatest desire. However, Ezra let go of his parents which was an extremely poignant moment.

Gregor

It signified his character development in the best possible way and it was an emotional scene. The death of Gregor was another. In his last words with Rex, Gregor asserted how it was an honour that he, alongside Rex, fought for something they chose to believe in. The reason why this was such an emotional part of this series finale was due to how it linked back to certain story arcs in Star Wars: The Clone Wars which focused on the clone troopers such as the Umbara Arc in Season 4 and the Clone Conspiracy Arc of Season 6.

Rex and Gregor in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 16 Farewell

For me, they were some of the best stories told in Star Wars: The Clone Wars because it humanised the clones. Those story arcs dealt with the place the clones had in The Clone Wars and gave you reasons to care for them. You felt sympathy with how little control they would have for what was to come with Order 66. Hence, to have Gregor proclaim to Rex how he was proud to die fighting for a cause he chose of his own free-will alongside his brothers really got to me.

This scene would not have impacted me to the extent it did if I did not choose to watch certain episodes and arcs of Star Wars: The Clone Wars which I owe to Star Wars Rebels. Both of these animated shows have enhanced my experience with the Star Wars franchise and I am very grateful for that.

The Purrgil

Gregor was not the only one to die in this series finale of Star Wars Rebels. Rukh and Governor Pryce also die. However, all of the major characters survived the events of the series finale and Lothal was, in the end, successfully liberated from the Empire thanks to something that I thought we would never see in Star Wars Rebels again. I am, of course, talking about the Purgill.

Purrgil in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 16 Farewell

These creatures, who are effectively space-whales, saved the day and it meant that an episode from Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels titled ‘The Call’, where the Purgill appeared for the first time, has actual relevance and meaning. If you read my review of Season 3’s ‘Double Agent Droid’, then you will know that I regarded ‘The Call’ as an episode of Star Wars Rebels that was complete and utter filler which you did not need to watch. That has all changed thanks to events of the series finale and it is now a necessary episode to watch.

Ezra and Thrawn Survive

The use of the Purrgil was, again, a great way to show how insular and connected Star Wars Rebels is. It also provided a way to keep Ezra and Thrawn alive. This is because the Purgill used their hyperspace capabilities to take Ezra and Thrawn away from Lothal to an unknown location. As a result, both characters are alive but missing throughout the Original Trilogy which makes sense and does not contradict canon.

I would assume that they would have been taken to a place so distant and unknown that even Yoda would not be able to sense Ezra. In that sense, when Yoda asserts to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi that “When gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be”, he absolutely means it based on the knowledge he has. I am so pleased that Ezra and Thrawn are still alive. To kill these two characters, especially Thrawn, would have been too soon for me.

Thrawn, Ezra and The Emperor in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 15 Family Reunion

He was a great villain in Star Wars Rebels and I believe that there is more to be done with Thrawn. In this series finale, we saw again how devastatingly cruel and ruthless he can be with the aerial bombardment of Lothal. I want to see more of both Ezra and Thrawn in the future. Moreover, I think that what we saw in the last minutes of the series finale of Star Wars Rebels, which was essentially an epilogue, has established a new animated Star Wars television show where we can see all of these characters again.

The Epilogue

In this epilogue, we learn that, after Lothal was liberated, it was a planet which lived in peace throughout the events of the Original Trilogy. The Empire never came back to retake the planet, probably because they had bigger problems to deal with after the destruction of the First Death Star and the emergence of Luke Skywalker.

The last minutes of the series finale of Star Wars Rebels take place after the Empire is defeated and we learn from Sabine about what happened to our heroes after the Battle of Endor. For one, we find out that Kallus and Zeb travelled to Lira San to join with the rest of the Lasat species who Kallus had thought he wiped out. This was such a fantastic moment as it meant that the redemption arc of Kallus in Star Wars Rebels came full circle.

Kallus and Zeb in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 16 Farewell

Sabine also states that both Hera and Rex fought with the Rebel Alliance at the Battle of Endor and we learn that Hera had Kanan’s baby; Jacen Syndulla. I imagine that Jacen must have been conceived sometime during the first half of Season 4 or perhaps just before the events of ‘Heroes of Mandalore’. This was a nice surprise but the biggest reveal occurred in the very last scene.

Ahsoka and Sabine

In this series finale of Star Wars Rebels, Ezra told Sabine that he was counting on her and she assumed that this was in regards to protecting Lothal. However, she came to realise that his had a different meaning; Ezra was counting on her to find him and bring him home. Ezra also told Ahsoka to find him in ‘A World Between Worlds’. While that was in different circumstances, both Sabine and Ahsoka have a common goal to find and reunite with Ezra.

This made it even cooler to see these two team up and head off to find Ezra at the end of the series finale of Star Wars Rebels. We know that a new animated Star Wars show is being developed and, based on how Star Wars Rebels ended, it looks as though it will be focused on Sabine and Ahsoka’s mission to find Ezra. In this sense, the end is a new beginning. I am looking forward to hearing more details about the future of Star Wars animation soon, regardless of what the story will be.

Sabine and Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episode 16 Farewell

Right now, the only thing that matters is that Star Wars Rebels ended in a fantastic manner. ‘A Fool’s Hope’, ‘Family Reunion’ and ‘Farewell’ brought an end to a great TV show which enhanced and expanded the Star Wars universe. I am sad that Star Wars Rebels has come to an end but I am excited for what is ahead.

Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Episodes 14-16 A Fool's Hope Family Reunion and Farewell Pin

 

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