Star Wars Rebels ended in 2018 and gave fans the fates of all its beloved characters. Each member of the Ghost Crew was involved in the Galactic Civil War in different ways and took on different roles after it. The major question for the entire series was what would happen to the rebels by the end of the show since, by the end of the prequel trilogy, the Jedi are almost wiped out of civilization. Most importantly, fans were curious about what would happen to Kanan Jarrus and his apprentice, Ezra Bridger.
Updated September 13, 2023: With Ahsoka airing and continuing the story of Rebels, this article has been updated with additional information by Jack Deegan.
Rebels‘ finale was able to give answers to fans that they have been wondering about for years. However, the ending was also left open for the possibility that more stories could be told. Ezra Bridger was one of the characters that had an obscure ending after sacrificing himself to save the lives of his friends. Fans also wanted satisfying conclusions for their favorites like Hera, Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper. The rebels were able to complete their mission, but some ghost crew’s fates need a closer look to understand what actually happened in the finale.
Palpatine’s Plan vs Ezra’s Plan
The Rebels were able to seize the city until Grand Admiral Thrawn brought his fleet and says he will bomb the city if they do not surrender. Ezra decides to give himself up, and Thrawn takes him to the Emperor. Emperor Palpatine takes Ezra to a section of the Jedi Temple that was preserved for his plan, of which Ezra is a vital component. He needs Ezra to re-open the gateway to the World Between Worlds. Before this, Ezra had been getting visions of his parents, which Palpatine uses to his advantage to tempt him to open the doorway. Palpatine is on a mission to access the Force so he can influence any moment in time and have unlimited power.
Ezra is able to resist Palpatine’s urges to open the doorway and destroy the remaining remnants of the Jedi Temple. He is able to escape from the Emperor and goes to the bridge of the Star Destroyer to take on Thrawn. From the beginning, Ezra’s plan was to trick the Empire into starting Protocol 13, which instructs all Imperial soldiers and personnel to evacuate the planet. However, Thrawn’s arrival throws a wrench in his plan as the rebels can no longer blow up the Imperial Complex.
Ezra had a vision warning him this would happen, so he had a backup plan in place. Mart had a special role in which he was to fly the Ghost into high orbit and transmit a signal to call in the cavalry, the Purrgils. Luckily, as Culture Slate says, Ezra put this plan in place as a bunch of Purrgils hail their call and do some damage to Thrawn’s fleet. This leaves the Empire with no way of a counter-attack against the Rebels and the liberation of Lothal.
Hera, Zeb, and Kallus: Is a Happy Ending Possible?
Hera was always going to make it through the finale of Star Wars Rebels since her name was always dropped as being involved in the Rebellion. She even makes an appearance during the Battle of Endor. Sabine only verifies this with her speech and reveals that, at the end of Rebels, Hera was pregnant and gave birth to Kanan’s son, Jacen. Kanan and Hera had to keep their love a secret until the arrival of their son, which makes Kanan’s death more tragic. Jacen is seen in the cockpit of the Ghost, showing that Hera did not stop fighting.
Garzeb “Zeb” Orrelios and Agent Alexsandr Kallus cultivate a friendship that fans of the show were not expecting but glad it happened. The two seemed to hate each other in the beginning, but as Nerdist explains, they needed to get over their differences in order to survive being stranded on a frozen moon. Zeb and Kallus stay friends throughout the Galactic Civil War and have each other’s backs during the Rebels series finale. After the events of the finale, Zeb extends an offer to Kallus to come back home with him to Lira San. This is an immense gesture as it will allow Kallus to take a path to forgiveness for what he did to the Lasats. Kallus feels a great amount of guilt for this, and Zeb is offering to help him through it as well as offer a new home.
Sabine and Ahsoka Search for Ezra
Ezra and Sabine learned a lot from each other and became good friends during their time with the Ghost Crew. Ezra learned how to be part of a team from Sabine, while she learned how to be a leader from him. Their bond was seen as the strongest on the crew, which was not surprising when Sabine decided to stay behind on Lothal to help Ezra free his planet like he did for her. Ezra sent a final message to his friends, and he specifically told Sabine that he was counting on her but never said why.
Ezra’s message haunted Sabine because she understood that Ezra wanted her to protect his home planet, but after the war, she felt that he might have meant something more. Ahsoka arrives at Lothal, and Sabine asks for her help on a new mission — which is to bring Ezra back home. After all, Sabine still has his lightsaber, which she intends to return. They don’t really have a plan when they embark on this mission, but it’s clear that they will find where Ezra went and bring him back.
Ezra and Thrawn Should be Dead
Ezra and Thrawn should have died when the Purrgils jumped into hyperspace. Being exposed to hyperspace would kill anyone who is exposed to it, but if Ezra used the Force, there may be a chance for survival. However, where would he go? Ezra’s plan was left a mystery on purpose as he sent a message to the Ghost Crew saying he couldn’t wait to get home. Fans think that this is Ezra’s way of saying he had a way of surviving hyperspace. Screen Rant explains that there may be a few ways Ezra could return. He could travel beyond the galaxy and to the Outer Rim with Thrawn. He would be far away from the Empire and would be able to hide out where no one knew him.
Another way he could make it back is through Sabine and Ahsoka. It’s possible that they are going to search for him in the Unknown Regions. Or maybe they might decide to open a door to the World Between Worlds, where they could pull him out before being jetted into hyperspace. However, Ezra’s survival is currently in the air right now and could be for some time. It was left open to be explored in another story, and after all these years, it finally has been.
The Search Begins Again, This Time in Live Action
After Star Wars Rebels wrapped up it’s four season run in 2018, it seemed like these plot threads would remain left open for the foreseeable future. Showrunner Dave Filoni chose to end the series after the fourth season since he had completed the story he wanted to tell but ended it on that massive cliffhanger to hopefully come back on in another project.
Years went by without any news on Ezra and Thrawn’s fate. No comics, books, or follow-ups were announced, and with no major animated characters making it into live action, the future was bleak. That was, until Chapter 13 of The Mandalorian. Ahsoka Tano, played by Rosario Dawson, appears as the titualar Mandalorian seeks her out for help. It wasn’t until Ahsoka uttered the words “Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?” to Imperial Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth that fans knew the conclusion to Rebels was just set in motion.
That was all confirmed when Ahsoka premiered on Disney+. Set 10 years after the finale when Ezra and Thrawn went missing, Ahsoka acts as the spiritual successor to Rebels, directly following up on that plot line. The Ghost Crew have all gone their separate ways and lost hope that they’d ever find where Ezra went or if he even survived. After Ahsoka finds a map that leads to Thrawn, and in conjunction with Ezra, she reunites with Sabine Wren, who was revealed to have become her padawan following Rebels, and Captain of the Ghost Hera Syndulla. The only issue is that former Jedi Baylan Skoll and his apprentice Shin Hati have broken Morgan Elsbeth out of prison after Ahsoka arrested her and will stop at nothing to find Thrawn.
With Ahsoka finally coming back around to Star Wars Rebels‘ plot, it’s the direct tie-in and closure fans have been looking for all these years. From digging into Hera and Kanan’s son Jacen to the soon-to-be return of Ezra Bridger, it appears the wait has been worth it.
While Ahsoka continues the story of Ezra Bridger and the Ghost Crew, the series won’t serve as the end for these characters. The eight-episode series is serving as the first step into bringing these characters into live action before Dave Filoni’s film. That movie will unite various corners of the Star Wars franchise, including The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and maybe even The Bad Batch. Star Wars Rebels was the first step in a much larger story that fans have watched play out.