Starring: Taylor Gray, Freddie Prince Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Tiya Sircar, Steve Blum, Dee Bradley Baker, Sam Witwer, Keone Young, Stephen Stanton, Sam Witwer, David Oyelowo, Tom Baker, Matthew Wood, Kevin McKidd, Genevieve O’Reilly, and Lars Mikkelsen
Written By: Various
Directed By: Various
Distributor: Lucasfilm Ltd. & Disney XD
Original Year of Release: 2016 to 2017
Total Episodes: 21
Star Wars: Rebels Season 3’s finale literally had me on the edge of my seat. By this point, I have become so invested in these characters that I feel as if I am a member of the Ghost crew. To not spoil anything, if you haven’t seen it all the way through yet, you will be surprised at what happens and still feel rewarded as both a watcher and fan of the series.
In this brief interim between Season 4 (the final season) and another Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, Disney XD and Lucasfilm Ltd. have released the third season of their fantastic Star Wars series that reveals what happened between Episode III and IV of the Skywalker Saga. However, as the Star Wars universe has expanded to include new stories outside of the Skywalker Saga, Season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels included a few characters, ships, and villains that would also appear in last December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
My focus today is on the many of the special features included on the Season 3 Blu-rays. What I particularly love about the special features by Lucasfilm is that they can capture so much content in a brief amount of time. Before I get started, there are tiny clips from Season 4 peppered throughout the majority of the special features so pay attention.
A Rebel Alliance (6:10)
The focus here is on Genevieve O’Reilly who portrays Mon Mothma on Star Wars: Rebels and in Rogue One (she also played her in Revenge of the Sith). Supervising Director Dave Filoni takes us behind-the-scenes into the recording studio allowing us to see how he conveys the different moments for O’Reilly. What is fascinating is the approach for the actual character. Certainly, we saw her for a few brief moments in Return of the Jedi (then played by Caroline Blakiston), yet what was her story and how did it tie to the birth of the Rebel Alliance? This short BTS video reminds you that there are master craftsmen behind Rebels.
Return to Mandalore (6:59)
It was great to learn how much thought goes behind bringing any of the Mandalorian characters to life. Everything is discussed from their home world to their armor. They aren’t just the cool guys based on Boba Fett, they are a warrior people who have a reason and purpose for all they do. Filoni also goes into depth about the Dark Saber as well.
Thrawn: A Legend Reborn (6:59)
Kiri Hart, Senior Vice President at Lucasfilm, walks us down the path on how the fan favorite character from Timothy Zahn’s novel, “Heir to the Empire”, came to the TV series. We see it all from Thrawn’s digital artist getting her original novel signed by Zahn to hearing about how long it took to cast Lars Mikkelsen in the role. The best nugget here is that Darth Vader in seasons 1 and 2 was a danger to the Jedi characters. Grand Admiral Thrawn is a danger to all our characters. Again, we get a look at Season 4 and Thrawn’s right-hand man, Rukh (played by Warwick Davis) is spotlighted. Co-executive producer and series writer Henry Gilroy states that we will see more of Grand Admiral Thrawn in Season 4.
The Original Rebel: Saw Gerrera Returns – Extended (3:19)
As I mentioned before, this season of Star Wars: Rebels had a few ties to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. No tie was bigger than the inclusion of Saw Gerrera. Gerrera was originally a character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars so here we get to see an artist’s progression of the character from those episodes to the man who would physically play him, Forest Whitaker. Then dial it back a notch so that at this moment in the story of Star Wars: Rebels, we see Gerrera sometime before Rogue One. That artwork is amazing. It appears that either Edrio or Benthic (Two Tubes Brothers) will also appear in Season 4 as well.
Apprentice to Outcast (Kenobi and Maul) (8:47)
Without a doubt, the episode that will make all Star Wars fans pause in a quiet moment of reflection is “Twin Suns”. This is the long awaited confrontation of Maul (Sam Witwer) and Ben Kenobi (Stephen Stanton). What you will learn by watching the BTS on this episode is that every moment and character trait was scrutinized to symbolize and mean so much more than a stereotypical stand off. Witwer dives pretty deep into his final performance as Maul, so much so that it may be the best thing he has ever done. Where your heart will stop is with Stephan Stanton’s drop dead performance as Kenobi. It is not an imitation or an homage. It is perfect. Above all, you will feel sad for Maul. His final moments were still thoughts of revenge, yet he dies in the hands of an enemy who feels sorry for him.
Star Wars: Rebels Season 3 is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.
• Return To Mandalore
Explore where Mandalore fits within the Empire’s regime – and whether Sabine can unite her people against the Imperial forces.
• Thrawn: A Legend Reborn
Learn Thrawn’s significance in Star Wars lore, and what the future may hold for this memorable villain.
• Apprentices to Outcasts: Kenobi And Maul
Track two adversaries who’ve clashed throughout Star Wars history, and find out why the time was right to conclude their story.
• The Original Rebel: Saw Gerrera Returns – Extended
Meet the Original Rebel. This exclusive extended version features Forest Whitaker discussing the character he brings to life in both Rebels and Rogue One.
• Five Audio Commentaries
Featuring Dave Filoni (Executive Producer), Justin Ridge (Supervising Director), Kilian Plunkett (Art Director), Keith Kellogg (Animation Supervisor) and Joel Aron (CG Supervisor: Lighting & FX)
• A Rebel Alliance
Discover how the formation of the Rebel Alliance in Rebels ties into the Rogue One timeline – and the exciting story possibilities that lie ahead for season 4.
• Rebels Recon
Go behind the scenes with the cast and crew in 19 entertaining and information-packed episode recaps!