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  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: When "Zero Hour" came around, some people felt bad for Mart when they realized that the survivors would have to break the news to him that Sato was killed in a Heroic Sacrifice during the Battle of Atollon.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Kanan unfit to be Ezra's master? Is unfairly putting his issues on his apprentice (like in "Rise of the Old Masters" and "The Lost Commanders") making his teaching ineffective and detrimental to Ezra, or helping the both of them mature?
    • Was Kallus a complete Smug Snake until "The Honorable Ones", where he seems to have a My God, What Have I Done? Heel Realization about everything he's done, or as equally as much of a Jerkass as most of the other Mook Lieutenant Imperials that still means that he has an equal chance of redemption as them when he has his own Heel Realization that the things he genuinely believed were right were actually wrong? And is it justified to use brutal guerrilla war tactics in a rebellion against a tyrannical government, as mentioned in his backstory and motivation? And remember, Kallus was deployed in a genocide, as well as having helped assassinate Minister Tua, who was scared for her life to the point where she attempted to defect, as well as other actions that we may not know yet.
    • While official sources say he's just an Opportunistic Bastard and suffers from Ambition Is Evil, reviewer Geek Girl Diva suggests perhaps Saxon was concerned about the safety of his clan, realizing that the best way to save them was to fight with the Empire, not against them. To be fair, he has Pet the Dog moments in Son of Dathomir, where he's proud to work and fight alongside fellow like-minded supercommandos like Kast, and both he and Kast show possibly genuine concern for Maul's well-being due to being their leader. But due to that comic and "Imperial Supercommandos" being the only material featuring Saxon so far, there's still not much to go off of yet.
    • With The Reveal in "Trials of the Darksaber" that Sabine's family abandoned her and joined the Empire instead, was it because they were concerned about their social status, so they genuinely wanted to disown her and were pro-Imperial, like Saxon? Or was it because they figured that it was the only way to survive (considering the Empire had weapons of mass destruction that even scared Mandalorians), like Rau, or a bunch of ungrateful Dirty Cowards? "Legacy of Mandalore" addresses this and acknowledges that there really was no pretty way out of the situation.
    • Did Maul really go to Tatooine to kill Kenobi as he claimed, or did he expect that Kenobi might kill him and was he really just a Death Seeker by this point- his life was a catalogue of de facto slavery and Training from Hell followed by decades of loneliness, loss and pain, so possibly by this point he just wanted to go out on his own terms. Telling Ezra that he will see him again suggests the former, while his (Downplayed Villain's Dying Grace of having a moment of camaradrie with Kenobi (acknowledging that they are both victims of the Emperor and hoping that Luke will avenge them) leans towards the latter; quite possibly, Maul didn't know himself, and would have been content with either outcome.
    • A subtle one, but in "Crawler Commanders", many fans have questioned whether the death of Captain Seevor was really an accident, or did Ezra deliberately use the force to trip him? Ezra's cold, sardonic smile and saying "Watch out" seems to heavily imply that it wasn't.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Kallus appears to have no problem killing other Imperials after his Heel–Face Turn, especially when he helps kill most of the Imperials on Lothal at the end of the show. Though this could be justified to him realizing that The Needs of the Many (civilians) outweigh the few (Imperials), as well as the fact that almost the entire Imperial cast, particularly the ones he knew, had already been killed off or out of duty by then, so it probably made killing faceless soldiers easier.
  • Animation Age Ghetto:
    • Lo and behold, as soon as Disney showed early trailers for the show, message boards were flooded with posts about how the show was going to be "kiddy" and Disneyfied in comparison to Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
      • This is all conveniently ignoring that previous works by the production team have not shied away from telling darker stories, and that The Clone Wars was initially advertised as family-friendly series — similar to the way that Rebels is currently being advertised — before the show became more serious.
      • Also conveniently ignored — the fact that the actual team of rebels include members that are effectively Child Soldiers and that the series revolves around a corrupt, despotic government.
    • It didn't help that the first few episodes did seem very simplistic and formulaic for a "kid's adventure ensemble show" and having a very low level of violence, and the violence was often comedic (that slingshot didn't help). And then Tarkin rolls in, and suddenly the show slams back in the complete opposite direction.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: After having established himself as a badass warrior in previous installments, the great Sith Lord Darth Maul ends up easily defeated by Obi-Wan Kenobi in 3 strokes of his lightsaber and dies in a duel under 30 seconds. To be fair, this could be because the villain's still suffering from a heavy Sanity Slippage, but even his reintroduction story in the last Star Wars cartoon had him suffer mental instability as well and he was still able to put up one heck of a fight. It also doesn't help that the trailers really hyped this up as an ultimate Final Battle that fans would be impressed by.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • A common complaint about the first season is that way too much time was spent on Lothal. Because of this, a lot of people ended up Rooting for the Empire when Darth Vader himself came down to force the Ghost crew to suspend operations on the planet. As such, the presence of several other planets from the second season onward were seen as a welcome change of pace.
    • The second season is criticized for having a slower pace, especially given the hype for Ahsoka's confrontation with Darth Vader only increasing tenfold with each episode, and fans tended to have little patience for more "filler" episodes such as "The Call". Similar complaints continued in the first half of the third season, but general consensus seems to be rather positive in regards to the amount of advancements in plot and mostly consistent quality for the second half.
    • The third season has the problem of Thrawn's presence — much of the first half of the season has Thrawn appearing, making deductions and calculations based on what he knows, and then letting the rebels get away. While the character's portrayal on the show was met with praise, fans expressed frustration that he has yet to do something. This was finally addressed in "An Inside Man", where he takes a more active role from that episode onward.
    • For some, the Sabine/Mandalorian arc in the second half of the series, due to appearing to be an excuse to wrap up a The Clone Wars plot and being about Base-Breaking Character Sabine, rather than focusing on the show's titular group. Not helped that the Season 4 premiere was irrelevant to what the rest of the season would be about, which would be about the main Rebel Alliance. There was also a month-long hiatus between "Trials of the Darksaber" and "Legacy of Mandalore", which likely makes the arc seem longer to some viewers, because the Mandalorians were only deeply involved in five episodes in the show's second half (if you count the ones from the first half, then you have six, not counting "Out of Darkness" & "Blood Sisters"); this out of some 70 episodes in the entire show.
  • Ass Pull: At the end of "Double Agent Droid", Hera uses a Reverse Polarity signal through Chopper to blow up the Imperial Information Office ship that had been screwing with them the entire episode, which is apparently something you can do. While it is Truth in Television, nowhere was it ever foreshadowed or nodded to prior to this episode in the Star Wars universe.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The writers eventually clarified that the escapades of the Ghost crew aren't necessarily the cause of the formation of the Rebel Alliance (that is, the Alliance to Restore the Republic) as some fans had thought/complained about, but are instead individuals that inspire others to take action against the Empire - thus leading to more people joining the "true" Rebel Alliance, something that becomes officially revealed in the first season finale.
      Dave Filoni: I think the way to look at it, Simon said this beautifully. He described The American Revolution as if this was a show that was about five guys that were locked up in a farmhouse somewhere fighting against the local British military and without any real knowledge of the larger political movements or what’s going on. I think that that’s really how you look at the truth of it with the Rebels. How do you get all these people together? We’re looking at one little small group that’s trying to stand on their own and how does that hook up to what you know is a rebel alliance in A New Hope? I think that's one of the things that we’re gonna reveal as this story moves forward.
    • In response to the complaints about Sabine's appearance, namely that her armor left her arms exposed and was pink, the Season 2 trailer revealed that her armor will be changing, as it now covers her arms and features an orange paint job.
    • Back when "The Lost Missions" came to Netflix, not everyone was particularly happy about the revelation of Order 66 being a result of brain-implanted microchips instead of a contingency order. Barring the usual Fandom Rivalry between The Clone Wars and Karen Traviss's novels (and other parts of the Legends continuity), some of those against the revelation saw this as diminishing the likelihood of any clones refusing to follow Order 66. With Season 2 revealing that Rex, Wolffe and Gregor had removed their chips prior to the initiation of Order 66, the show retains the possibility of other clones having faulty chips, or growing suspicious and likewise having their chips removed, thus also refusing to follow the order to turn on their Jedi companions.
    • The reintroduction of the Mandalorian Protectors seems to be directed to fans who were displeased over The Clone Wars' depiction of the Mandalorians in that era; not just the New Mandalorian government, but the thought that the only remnants of the warrior culture left were Death Watch:
      • Here, it is confirmed that Fenn Rau and the Protectors fought for the Republic during that war and some of them served as tutors to the Clone Army, similar to how they were depicted in Legends (although in that continuity, the Protectors worked for the Separatists, similar to how Death Watch temporarily did), and that they aren't very fond of Death Watch.
      • To some, this is seen as trying to bring some of the more favorable aspects of the Mandalorian culture back into the new canon after the Legends decision nearly axed them all.
      • In response to people who found the two extreme portrayals of Mandalorians and lack of exploring beyond it, Rebels has introduced Revisions, including expanding on the clan system (also adding in houses), a nobility to match up with Satine and her father being members of the Duchy to help further the drill in the power relationships even more present on Mandalore, characters with grey morality like Sabine's mother (who is a former Death Watch soldier, but is otherwise a relatively reasonable leader), and et cetera. This might be a benefit in hindsight, as these things had to be set up by The Clone Wars first.
    • The Clone Wars received complaints for its homogeneous population of mainly blonde Europeans for the Mandalorians. When Rebels introduced Sabine, that also got complaints, as it seemed to contradict how no Asian Mandalorians were seen in previous series. Rebels Recon for "Legacy of Mandalore" revealed that because the Mandalorians were conquerors in the past, other Human groups from other worlds were absorbed into their culture, including the predecessors of Clan Wren (who are also Asian) and other clans of non-white ethnicities (such as the Ambiguously Brown Clan Rook and the African-descent Clan Eldar). In turn, this revelation also opens the door for the potential return of non-human Mandalorians.
    • Several fans complained about the lack of lightsaber duels in the series since they are usually reserved for battles with the Inquisitors, who rarely appear. "Twilight of the Apprentice" has plenty of lightsaber duels to go around, including the granddaddy of them all: Darth Vader vs. Ahsoka.
    • Many fans whom were displeased over how some of the more celebrated and acclaimed EU material was made non-canon were very pleased to see a growing number of stories and characters partially or wholly brought back to canon after Season 1, from the return of Malachor to the Season 3 trailer's reveal of Grand Admiral Thrawn and a ship that looks suspiciously like the Outrider.
    • Maul finally uses a double-bladed lightsaber as opposed to an Expy of him.
    • A lot of fans were displeased over Disney axing The Clone Wars so that Rebels could get made. Season 3's episode "The Last Battle" had the crew discover a group of battle droids that survived being shut down, thanks to their leader, Kalani, ignoring the order. The episode manages to give a sense of closure to the previous series, and even ends using The Clone Wars theme rather than the Rebels theme.
    "Rebels accomplished something that The Clone Wars was never able to do thanks to its premature cancellation: It resolved the Clone Wars."
    • Tied to the tendency of The Clone Wars to make Anakin a lot more fleshed out and reasonable, Rebels also shows him having created modifications to various fighting styles which he later taught to Ahsoka. In at least Legends Canon, this was part of the qualifications for a Jedi Master, giving him retroactive weight to his issues with not being named a master in Episode 3.
    • In "The Wynkahthu Job", Ezra referring to Zeb as Captain Orrelios was seen as a Kick the Dog moment from him as Zeb had previously confided in Ezra why he was uncomfortable with being called that. "Warhead" establishes that he reclaimed the title during the Time Skip between seasons 2 and 3 and it no longer bothers him, making the comment disrespectful rather than cruel.
    • In response to complaints about how a large part of "Imperial Supercommandos" was spoiled through a large number of clips released from Celebration 2016, the Disney XD YouTube channel, the Star Wars Facebook page, and the Star Wars channel, new clips are no longer shown on Facebook and the Disney XD YouTube channel. The number of preview clips has since been reduced to two, one from Rebels Recon and the other from the Star Wars Youtube channel, just like how it was before Season 3.
    • Ever since the release of Revenge of the Sith, the Emperor's Royal Guard have been something of a fandom punching bag for how pathetically they fared against Yoda in ROTS, especially when contrasted against Snoke's Praetorian Guard. Filoni gives them a brief but memorable scene against Ezra in the final episode to compensate for their weak showing against Yoda.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Badass Decay:
    • The Inquisitors began to lose a lot of their credibility after the crushing defeat the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister were dealt at the hands of Ahsoka; especially since Kanan alone had already been able to defeat the Grand Inquisitor, the highest-ranking Inquisitor. Sure enough, in "Twilight of the Apprentice", they're quickly wiped out by either Maul or the combined forces of Kanan, Ahsoka, and Maul.
    • Maul started out as one of the most feared Sith Lords in the entire galaxy and had many successful victories in his tenure during the war. However, he went from being a powerful Sith Lord to a lone villain with no apprentice or followers with a petty grudge against Darth Vader and the Emperor. The only villainous plans he has left involve simply screwing over the Empire in order to get back at them. However, he does grow into one of the more competent antagonists in the series immediately when action comes into play.
    • Kallus, who people also feel has outgrown his gravitas in Season 2, which may be why he is Fulcrum II the following season.
    • Thrawn for some viewers is suffering not quite from Badass Decay (possibly decay from his Magnificent Bastard status from Star Wars Legends) but rather being less a tactical genius than being the only Imperial in the room with a three-digit IQ as a result of the general decay of the Galactic Empire.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The reveal of Ahsoka Tano being Fulcrum was the obvious choice long before it was spoiled, much less its actual confirmation in the season one finale. Even the creators admit that it was an obvious choice, even after trying to trick people by using different voice actors to voice Fulcrum.
    • They probably anticipated this one, but when another mysterious, distorted voice (likely the successor to Fulcrum, as her symbol was used during their transmission) appeared in the Season 3 trailer telling the Rebels of possible defectors, it took less than 12 hours for someone to pitch it up and identify it as Agent Kallus, with many already recognizing the tone of their voice from the trailer alone. An audio edit can be found here. And, surprising nobody, this prediction came true.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Grand Moff Tarkin, cold-blooded governor of the Outer Rim, is first referenced as a ruthless Imperial official who brutally taxes his subjects to the brink of poverty. Upon his arrival on Lothal, Tarkin, disgusted by the local garrison's failure to stop rebel activities, had two officers immediately executed. After capturing Jedi Knight and rebel Kanan Jarrus, Tarkin had Kanan tortured to try and find out about a larger rebellion. Even though he acknowledges that Kanan may know nothing, Tarkin continues the torture.
    • During his appearance in Season 4, the Emperor attempted to tempt Ezra Bridger into using The World Between Worlds to return to his parents, which would give Palpatine control over time itself, to remake all of existence in his image. As always, Darth Sidious is a malevolent, sadistic monster who employs exceptionally cruel methods in his quest for power.
  • Contested Sequel: To The Clone Wars. There are those that like Rebels as a worthy successor, praising its characters, story, and serialized format. Others however have criticized the show for those same reasons, alongside claiming that it hasn't reached the darker tone that The Clone Wars was well-received for.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: If you haven't watched The Clone Wars you might well be confused by the significance of Ahsoka Tano and Rex, and wonder at the appearance of a very alive Darth Maul, since he was last seen in the prequel trilogy falling down a chasm in two pieces.
  • Crack Pairing:
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • The Seventh Sister, which has already made her a favorite of the fandom.
    • Darth Maul returns and murders the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother, manages to blind Kanan, and tempts Ezra with the power of the Dark Side, all in the span of two episodes.
    • The green ichor (presumably Nightsister Magik/ghosts) possessing Kanan, Maul, Ezra, and Sabine.
    • Darth Vader. He delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle to Kanan and Ezra while barely talking, and nearly cuts Ezra's head off with his own lightsaber.
  • Critical Dissonance: For the most part, this is mostly averted. Most fans and critics have agreed that while the show may have flaws, it doesn't take away too much from the show's quality. However, A.V. Club's rather consistently negative reviews have not gone unnoticed.
  • Cry for the Devil:
    • Due to her being a well-intentioned and eventually disillusioned Imperial official, it's difficult to not feel a fair bit of sympathy for Maketh Tua after the events of "Call to Action", as she's completely horrified by what happens to Aresko and Grint and it's clear she's utterly out of her depth in dealing with amoral monsters like Tarkin, the Inquisitor or the upcoming Vader. She dies before she's able to defect.
    • There was a bit of crying for the Grand Inquisitor as well, presumably because he was cool and it turns out he used to be a Jedi, meaning he wasn't always like this. And considering who his bosses are, it might not have been a conscious/willing choice.
    • Kallus, as of "The Honorable Ones". While it is revealed that he is more "innocent" than what was previously believed and having a softer side, it doesn't excuse his actions, most notably deriding Tua during "The Siege of Lothal," but this doesn't stop you from feeling bad about how he finally realizes how lonely and empty it is in the Empire.
    • Maul. His voice actor describes him as being a lonely and old dog that's dying yet it seeks affection and love, but because he has never known anything but hatred and violence, it never works out. Then in "Twin Suns", he is quickly defeated by Obi-Wan, but Obi-Wan takes pity on him and holds him in his arms as he dies. Maul makes peace with the confirmation from his old enemy that the day the Prophecy of the Chosen One will come to pass soon, thus avenging everyone who had ever been wronged by the Sith, including the Jedi and Maul himself. Maul makes peace with this.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: While she's not that evil (at best, she's maybe an Anti-Villain) so this is at least downplayed to some extent, Minister Tua isn't innocent, but Tumblr sure seems to think she is. Remember that Tua had a Heel Realization because her life was threatened, not because she had a sudden change in heart, as well as The Quisling, due to being in a high position where she had to have known about her people's suffering under the Empire and being apathetic to it (except for possibly having lowered the cost for homes, if the Propaganda Machine was actually telling the truth). She's also prickly to people like other officers and is selective in who she treats kindly, so it's an indication that she isn't a Nice Girl. Did she deserve to be coldly assassinated as a False Flag Operation? No, but she's not exactly someone you should place on a pedestal and praise.
  • Ear Worm: The broken holocron recording of Obi-Wan saying "Warning" alongside the music in the Season 3 midseason trailer.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • One that's been around for a while but has popped up more thanks to this show, is a theory around Yoda telling Luke he was the last Jedi. One possibility of course is that he was telling the truth meaning Kanan and Ezra, if not the entire Ghost crew, won't survive past the show. Some others believe that Yoda was telling Luke the technical truth, since Ahsoka certainly would not consider herself a Jedi and Kanan never made it past Padawan so technically, neither they nor Ezra are Jedi. Dave Filoni has supported this idea, but (obviously) refuses to spoil the ending of the series. There is also the more mundane but possible theory that Yoda simply didn't know that there were more survivors of Order 66. A more cynical theory guesses that Yoda told Luke what he needed to hear at the time, and Yoda not telling Luke about other Jedi was in case if Luke failed or fell to the Dark Side he would not reveal the existence of other Jedi.
      • Leaning toward the technical truth is a conversation in Season Two between Ahsoka and Kanan where the two both consider the other to be more of a Jedi then they themselves are. In the finale Ahsoka outright states she is not a Jedi when fighting Vader, on the other side during the same time Kanan manages to complete his final trial to become a Jedi Knight.
    • The return of Barriss Offee is constantly being guessed at in the fandom. Before the Seventh Sister was revealed most fans thought Barriss was the new female Inquisitor. Now that creators have hinted at a big reveal to come involving the Seventh Sister and the Sister's focus on Ahsoka as well as being the same species, many fans are guessing the Sister and Barriss might have a connection, some going as far as suggesting they may still be one and the same (though the latter appears disproved now that the two have met and neither acknowledged this).
    • Before Season 2's release, people theorized that Mara Jade would appear. People assumed that Sarah Michelle Gellar (whose role as the Seventh Sister was unrevealed at the time) would voice her character, and not helped that a fake leak claimed that a Mara Jade-esque character named Aileen Zahn (after the writer that created her, Timothy Zahn) would appear as a Dark Side (Inquisition or other) agent that would infiltrate the rebel ranks, leading to more guesses that she would be the female Inquisitor (the Seventh Sister), the bounty hunter (Ketsu), or a so-far unseen character. Then Filoni eventually Jossed the idea of Mara Jade showing up in Rebels long after this period.
    • The convor that appears at the end of "The Mystery of Chopper Base" and "Twilight of the Apprentice" is the fuel for a lot of fan speculation, since it has the same color scheme as the Daughter. Filoni only enhanced this when he confirmed that it wasn't a just a coincidence, and that the convor was connected to Ahsoka. Fans who remember that the Daughter gave a part of her life force to Ahsoka naturally went wild with this, forming endless theories about what that means for Ahsoka, the Ones, and the Force.
    • The identity of the new Fulcrum. Barriss? Though it's been more universally accepted that it's Kallus, due to an audio edit of their voice from "The Antilles Extraction" floating around and their voice being recognizable even without it anyway.
    • A popular theory regarding Sabine is that her mother is Rook Kast. Ever since the beginning, the only supporting evidence for it was the similar appearances and markings on their helmets, but as time passed, more information such as Sabine inheriting her helmet as it appeared in Season 1 (as in, she did not dye it until Season 2) raising the question of why her mother would paint her helmet a red color instead of the typical blue-grey color scheme of Death Watch, Pablo Hidalgo himself confirming that Kast was part of the inspiration for Sabine's design, Sabine apparently being reluctant to reveal the identity of her mother (only going as far to confirm she was of House Vizsla and a former Death Watch soldier—and that alone received backlash from Rau and the Protectors), and that Saxon, fellow Co-Dragon of Kast, knew Sabine and her mother when he and the former meet.
      • When Sabine's mother finally debuted in the midseason trailer, many quickly concluded that she and Rook Kast are one and the same, but some noted that they look too different and that either that it was neither Kast or Sabine's mother and instead possibly her aunt (which got jossed when a preview for "Legacy of Mandalore" was released, with Sabine explicitly calling her her mother), or that Kast might not be Sabine's mother. This theory was ultimately Jossed. She's an original character named Ursa Wren.
    • In the Rebels Recon videos for the first half of Season 3, Chopper's shenanigans often ended up having something to do with his pro-Britain behavior that he got after being sent overseas between the season hiatus for an unknown reason that was apparently worth leaving The Reveal on a Cliffhanger on the midseason finale's Rebels Recon until the midseason premiere's Rebels Recon after winter break. Then the theory came in that since he wasn't at the Celebration London convention, he might've been sent over to be cast in Rogue One for a cameo appearance, as the movie was to be released in the same winter break of Season 3. Not helped in that the midseason premiere, "Ghosts of Geonosis", ties in with the plot regarding the origins of the Death Star (and thus may possibly tie-in with Rogue One as well) that was spanning across the franchise at the time. Watch Rogue One carefully, and Chopper is there.
    • In another What Happened to the Mouse? case, there's a theory going around that Thrawn gets sent to the Unknown Regions before Rogue One and A New Hope and remains there for the rest of the Original Trilogy, then contacting the Imperial Remnant and/or helping create the First Order. Aftermath: Empire's End reveals that Thrawn was recruited due to his extensive knowledge of the Unknown Regions, having originated there himself.
    • Strangely, there seems to be a lot of traction for Agent Kallus becoming General Crix Madine, mainly stemming from the fact that the both of them are former high-ranking Imperials that defected to the Rebel Alliance. It may have also originated from how people thought that General Davits Draven in the trailers for Rogue One was Kallus (which is still a theory, despite Word of God already jossing it).
      • Pablo Hidalgo has expressed bewilderment at the theory and found it ridiculous, which for all intents and purposes, means this theory is Jossed.
    • The Season 4 teaser at the end of the Rebels Recon for "Zero Hour" seemed simple enough in that it was just showing that our favorite Mandalorians get their butts kicked, but the background music is specifically a variation on Ahsoka's theme. Especially suspicious since Filoni had previously said she would return to Rebels in some form later on...
      • One of these theories was that Ahsoka had been turned into the white lothwolf, like how a special convor is believed to be the Daughter in another form. However, it resulted in a Broken Base for how ridiculous it sounded and Word of God ended up jossing the theory before the season began.
      • ...only to be followed up by the theory that Depa Billaba is the white lothwolf as of "Flight of the Defender", solely because the lothwolf says that the reason why it is helping Ezra is "Dume."
      • The episode "DUME" reveals that the leader of the lothwolfs is named "Dume" and it has Kanan's symbol on it's forehead.
    • Shots of the Ghost in Rogue One either have the area where a Phantom shuttle would dock is always either out of frame or too dark/far to see. The epilogue later revealed that the Phantom II is still with the Ghost, though we still don't know if someone was off doing something with it during Rogue One or not.
    • The meaning of the murals on Lothal. We already know that the natives of Lothal were somehow knowledgeable enough to create accurate star maps containing the locations of worlds still yet to be investigated in the present such as Atollon, the Jedi Temple was built over a temple belonging to the original people of Lothal (meaning that the Jedi weren't always involved in Lothal's past), similar murals appearing back in Mortis (specifically of a lothwolf mural cameo), and it suggests that Lothal is somehow involved in Ahsoka's disappearance, as All There in the Manual shows her walking through a doorway decorated with murals of lothwolves. More mysterious murals appearing in "Kindred" only served to increase speculation, with Word of God saying that the child depicted in the murals being taken away from Lothal and becoming a Jedi is important to Season 4 and jossing the possibility that the child is Ezra.
      • The theories of the murals on Lothal an the Ones of Mortis being connected gained new steam after the Mid-Season 4 Trailer showed a mural on Lothal with the Ones of Mortis on it.
    • Over whether or not Jacen was a student at Luke's Jedi Academy in the Sequel Trilogy and later possibly becoming a Knight of Ren, or possibly being trained under Ahsoka and Ezra instead.
    • What happens to Ezra and Thrawn following the finale, such as them possibly forming an Enemy Mine situation to survive after Ezra jumps them both to hyperspace in a damaged Star Destroyer, and the possibility of them meeting Supreme Leader Snoke, who is confirmed to originate from the Unknown Regions, where the two of them are suspected to be.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • The Grand Inquisitor, no questions asked. Kallus as well.
    • As monstrous as he is, Grand Moff Tarkin gets stuff done.
    • Darth Vader is back, and James Earl Jones is voicing him. That is all.
    • The Seventh Sister, and to a lesser extent, the Fifth Brother.
    • Darth Maul is back.
    • The Season 3 trailer instantly gained this reaction for perhaps the most popular Star Wars villain outside of the films. Thrawn is back.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • The Grand Inquisitor, thanks to Jason Isaacs' voice.
    • Kallus. His voice, cunning, and sideburns are definitely contributing factors. Some people (including most of the team behind Rebels) also thought he looked attractive after he got beat up in "Zero Hour" (which, mind you, is after his Heel–Face Turn), which lead to the '#HotKallus' meme.
    • The Seventh Sister is a beautiful, positively deadly villainess who's overly touchy-feel-y with her prey, helped by Sarah Michelle Gellar's performance.
    • Darth Maul gets to show off his muscular body and battle scars in a Shirtless Scene while fighting multiple Jedi and Inquisitors.
    • Thrawn already had fangirls thanks to his Legends portrayal as a Cultured Badass who was Affably Imperial. Adding Lars Mikkelsen's voice is not doing anything to deter this. The mid season trailer showing him in training clothes that expose his (surprisingly muscular) arms has only added fuel to the fire.
    • Arihnda Pryce for her cold demeanor, being modeled after Colonel Irina Spalko, and having not-so-disappointing size of racks which are accentuated by her rather form fitting Imperial Officer Uniform.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • To the Sequel Trilogy, specifically The Last Jedi in comparison to Rebels Season 4. A number of folks have stated that they find the television series's additions to lore more interesting than TLJ's, especially given the controversies over how The Last Jedi handled character arcs and plot twists. Though this rivalry is largely one-sided, as most TLJ fans tend to also be Rebels fans.
    • In regards to the Mandalorians, there's one between the new canon's fandom and the Karen Traviss (Legends, to a lesser extent) fandom. The new canon fandom (mostly composed of fans of Legends Mandalorian fans that aren't fond of Karen Traviss's depiction of Mandalorians) enjoy that the Mandalorians are being deconstructed & reconstructed and are also being more inclusive & exploring beyond a Proud Warrior Race, viewing Traviss's depiction of Mandalorians as Flanderization, Author Tract, and promoting a toxic mindset. On the other hand, Traviss fans will argue that the new canon Mandalorians are depicted as wimpy and don't like the new nobility system, and lament that the Continuity Reboot means that this is the only depiction of Mandalorians.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • How Sabine and Zeb joined the crew (mostly Sabine) and their interactions with the earlier members as they settle in.
    • The lives of the Bridger family before Mira and Ephraim got arrested.
    • After "Twilight of the Apprentice", what happened with Vader and Ahsoka? Especially the latter with her Ambiguous Situation and some sort of hint towards the Daughter from Mortis.
    • Tumblr artists like to create their own interpretations of Sabine's appearance.
    • Season 4 revealing that time travel is possible via the Force, meaning that cross-era works and universe-hopping could somehow happen, maybe.
    • The series finale blows the gate wide open: what happened to Ezra and Thrawn? What did the Ghost crew get up to during the majority of the original trilogy? What's in store for Hera and Kanan's son, Jacen Syndulla (particularly if he's Force sensitive)? What did Kallus and Zeb do while literally living together on Lira San? How did Ahsoka manage to leave Malachor and find Sabine? Will Sabine and Ahsoka find Ezra? And so on...
  • Fanon:
    • The wooden chair in the living room of the Ghost belonging to Zeb as a Tragic Keepsake of Lasan, since he's sometimes found sitting in it (like in "The Mystery of Chopper Base"), also supported by the fact that no one else has been seen sitting in it besides Hera.
    • Yularen, who's confirmed to be a high-ranking member of the ISB, being a fatherly mentor to Kallus (his subordinate).
      • It kind of becomes canon when he does show up in the show. Yularen was Kallus' mentor and he keeps an eye on his star pupils. Likewise, Kallus is happy to see him again and geeks out a little during their reunion.
    • The origin of Kallus' wonderful sideburns being from his helmet (to explain the convenient sideburn guards) getting stuck on his head during shaving and deciding to stick with his new hairdo afterwards.
    • Tumblr has quite a taking to Dawn Syndulla, the fan kid of Kanan and Hera. And then the show ended with Hera having been pregnant with their son, Jacen Syndulla, who looks more human than Twi'lek, unlike Dawn.
      • Similarly, there's been a quite following for a Sabine/Ezra daughter named Mira Bridger-Wren.
    • Due to concept art showing Kallus as a Chiss, people seem fond of making Chiss-related headcanons about him, mainly him being a Chiss-Human hybrid. Of course, it is likely Jossed in canon, since it would've been mentioned by someone if Kallus had Chiss blood in him like Thrawn.
    • It seems rather common for Kallus to have a troubled childhood (mainly Parental Neglect) under the also popular assumption he grew up in the Coruscant Underworld. In tandem, you'll also see every now and then someone toying with the idea that Kallus is fond of looking at the sky due to the Underworld being... well, underground. With no sky.
    • Kallus and AP-5 (featuring Chopper) getting along famously because they're both Grumpy Bears and sound similar.
    • Kallus and Sinjir meeting because they're both ISB officers that join the rebels and work closely with Mon Mothma.
    • After the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue and with the Ambiguous Time Period, quite a few fans like to think that Hera participated in the Battle of Scarif while nine months pregnant and was busy giving birth during A New Hope, hence why she wasn't involved in the run on the Death Star despite being a legendary pilot with previous experience in X-wings.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Of a sort. A few detractors of the Sequel Trilogy or generally those who don't like the theory of Jacen being one of Luke's students and a Knight of Ren prefer the theory that Jacen will be trained by Ahsoka and/or Ezra in isolation from the events of the Sequel Trilogy.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • It's very evident that many fans want Kanan and Hera to be together.
    • In spite of having been Jossed, Ezra/Sabine remains quite popular.
    • Kallus and Zeb, all thanks to "The Honorable Ones".
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Kanan, Ezra, and Sabine aren't white. Word of God has already stated on Twitter and elsewhere that they're based on foreign ethnicities, and that should be enough for you before you get on Tumblr to say the contrary.
    • The Mandalorians aren't just white people. The Clone Wars may have made it seem so, but Rebels has fixed that.
  • Foe Yay: A minor one, but by the time of "The Honorable Ones", the Ghost's crew is positively gleeful to see Kallus again.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • All of the things fans complained about in Season Two — too many underused characters, a weak overall plot, silly moments, etc. — were there in Season One. But due to the lower number of episodes (15 instead of 22), it was harder to spot. note 
    • What likely stems the problem of the episodes' standalone (as in, seemingly unconnected) stories being crammed into a twenty-two minute timeframe is that the multi-parter episode arcs in The Clone Wars were also standalone, but since they were multi-parters, they had enough time to tell their stories properly.
    • The Clone Wars also had complaints about villain incompetency, mainly about how General Grievous and Count Dooku were overused to the point that it looked like they were "mustache-twirling villains", to quote many.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In "Vision of Hope", Zeb whacks Ezra on the shoulder, saying that Ezra should have been able to see him coming through the Force. In Issue 7 of the comic, he says the same thing about Kanan, who has just been stabbed with a knife. The entirety of the Kanan comics takes place before "Path of the Jedi" (and thus before "Vision of Hope" as well), though.
    • In the novel Ezra's Gamble, which takes place before the series, Ezra teams up with a bounty hunter and at one point said bounty hunter disguises himself as a blind being and claims Ezra as his "seeing-eye" and "apprentice".
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    Tropes G to M 
  • Gateway Series: Interestingly, the show became one for Star Wars: The Clone Wars simply due to Ahsoka's inclusion in the first season finale. This phenomenon is bound to increase with the inclusion of the clones and Hondo. And Maul.
  • Genius Bonus: In "Spark of Rebellion", Sabine mentions that a large refugee camp on the planet is known locally as "Tarkintown". This is almost certainly a reference to the Hoovervilles of the Great Depression, so called as a deliberate insult to the U.S. president at the time.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • "Spark of Rebellion" showed promise, but the following season one episodes marked improvements to the overall quality of the show:
      • A lot of fans seem to see "Rise of the Old Masters" as a point in which the series really improved, in no small part due to introducing the Inquisitor. It also showed Character Development between Kanan and Ezra for the first time outside of the premiere.
      • "Empire Day" manages to capture the heart and soul of the OT, especially A New Hope. It also introduces some surprisingly competent Imperial troops, as most of the Mooks being pushovers was a common point of contention prior to this episode. The follow-up episode, "Gathering Forces", is also well-liked for similar reasons.
      • The final three episodes of the first season: "Call to Action", "Rebel Resolve", and "Fire Across the Galaxy". Some fans were wondering if Disney would allow the show to get as dark as Star Wars: The Clone Wars got. Tarkin has informed them they can stop wondering.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Obi-Wan's message includes a bit about how the friendships and trust of the surviving Jedi will be challenged. Keep in mind that he delivered this message mere moments before he found out that Anakin Skywalker, his apprentice, became Darth Vader.
    • In "Droids in Distress", 3PO sells out the Ghost crew to the Empire to save his own hide. When Kallus and his men arrive 3PO is actually happy to see them (he soon realizes the troopers are in fact not there to save him), noting that R2 "thinks ill of Stormtroopers." Come A New Hope 3PO witnesses first hand the aftermath of a slaughter on some Jawas, perpetrated by the Empire.
    • The episodes involving Ezra's parents become a lot harsher to watch after the reveal in "Legacy" that Ezra's parents died shortly after his broadcast in "Call to Action".
    • Gregor's episode in The Clone Wars was about remembering who he was, which was a competent soldier of the Republic. Now he's senile and the most comedic of the clones in Rebels.
    • Kanan looking into his lightsaber in "The Lost Commanders" without the fear of it igniting becomes this when he gets a lightsaber to the face, specifically his eyes, in "Twilight of the Apprentice".
    • In A New Dawn, Kanan meets Count Vidian, who has cybernetic eyes, and thus must constantly delete his memories, since his eyes can't hold even a day's worth of visual information. As of "Twilight of the Apprentice", Kanan is a blind man.
      • In the same book, Kanan's friend Zaluna is blinded by the events and she opts not to have cybernetic implants.
      • Even worse? Consider all those times Sabine made jokes via her art, such as in "Stealth Strike" when she spray painted an image of him and Rex on a mission, or when she graffitited his Stormtrooper helmet. Now Sabine, his surrogate daughter, can't even show Space!Dad her masterpieces.
      • In "Relics of the Old Republic", Rex puts his faith in Kanan and Ezra, saying that a Jedi wouldn't be "blind" in a sandstorm.
      • "We'll see each other again. I promise." Yeah, about that...
      • In same episode, Kanan scrunches up an excited face for humorous effect to Hera. She's not particularly taken to this comedy because he doesn't quite get the weight of her inner turmoil. Now he might never make that expression again.
    • Also from "Twilight of the Apprentice": after witnessing part of the epic duel between Ahsoka and Darth Vader, Ezra, who's just been soundly beaten by the latter, declares that he needs a lot more training. There, it's a funny little moment that brings some levity to the seriousness of the unfolding events. Skip to the end of the episode, Ezra, using his anger and pain over losing Ahsoka and Kanan's blindness, opens the Sith holocron to get more training.
    • In "The Antilles Extraction", Kallus gets subject to one of Sabine's smart remarks when Pryce dismisses him from the room. If you pay attention to Kallus when she delivers it, you'll notice that it seems that he actually did seem to take that remark to heart. A couple of scenes later, Kallus helps the defectors escape, and Sabine was perfectly willing to shoot him if he gave her a reason to believe he was lying. She doesn't realize he genuinely meant it until the reveal in "An Inside Man", where she's clearly having an Oh, Crap! moment because she nearly killed him without knowing he had a Heel–Face Turn and was their new Fulcrum.
      Sabine: Looks like they found someone who can do your job.
    • In "The Honorable Ones", Kallus mentions that he was knocked out by a bomb by the Partisans, not unlike how Zeb was during The Last Stand at the Royal Palace of Lasan during the Siege. In material featuring Saw and the Partisans, note that they have a thing for explosive demolitions...
      • Kallus's minor freakout in "Spark of Rebellion" when Sabine sets off her explosive graffiti mark is suddenly more darker when you realize he might've had a brief PTSD attack when he gets thrown by the explosion, which you can glimpse in a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
    • Klik-Klak caring and protecting the last Geonosian queen egg in hopes of bringing back his species may well as be a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story, as Word of God implies that the egg will hatch into the sterilized mad queen from Darth Vader, who could only reproduce Geonosian droid mockeries at best through a womb machine. Meaning that the Geonosians are still very likely doomed to extinction in spite of Klik-Klak's efforts.
    • The episode "Breaking Ranks" has more tragic implications to what follows; Aresko reminds the cadets that in the Empire, "There is no friendship in war". Come "The Honorable Ones", Kallus starts to see the lack of camaraderie in the Empire, demonstrated by Konstantine's indifferent reception towards him, and it's clear nearly all Imperials follow this line of thinking.
    • May or may not be intentional, but the scene of Kallus's return to the Relentless at the end of "The Honorable Ones" shares similarities with some of Tua's scenes in "The Siege of Lothal" after Vader practically gives her a death sentence. Most noticeably, both Kallus and Tua are left alone in their offices after recent events and being denied any form of consolation by a colleague they had frequently worked with.
    • The novelization of the shorts reveals that Sabine has always wanted to travel the Galaxy, but sees the Empire as an obstacle to that. Season 3 reveals that she ran away from Mandalore because she had become a pariah to her people for accidentally betraying them to the Empire and figured leaving was the best way to save them.
    • Everything about the Ship Tease between Kanan and Hera once Kanan dies.
    • Also from "Jedi Night", Pryce subjecting Hera to Electric Torture becomes even worse when the finale reveals that she was pregnant at the time.
    • The crew preparing to break the fellowship in "Mystery of Chopper Base" becomes this in light of Season 4.
      • Ezra and Zeb talking about how they'll see each other again at the end of the war and exchange war stories, with Ezra admitting that he doesn't know if he'll come back and Zeb telling him to not think that way.
      • Sabine urging Kanan to talk to Hera about their relationship before he leaves, having spent the entire episode oblivious to her worrying about him, leading to him promising that they'll see each other again. In Season 4, Hera is the one who has trouble talking to Kanan, and she never gets to tell him that she's pregnant before he dies.
      • Hera telling Sabine and Zeb that they have to get used to not having Ezra and Kanan around to help them anymore. Kanan dies halfway through Season 4, and Ezra is unavailable during the final battle.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • The little scar on the head of each old Clone Trooper indicates that Fives' warning has been heeded by some of the clones after all, subverting the Shoot the Shaggy Dog ending to his final arc in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
    • Stephen Stanton confirmed that he based his voice for AP-5 on Alan Rickman - specifically, his take on Marvin. Thanks to the Animation Lead Time, the episode featuring AP-5's debut ended up airing a few months after the death of Rickman in January 2016, functioning as a sort of unintended tribute to the late actor.
    • The inclusion of the Ghost and Chopper in Rogue One, along with a name drop of a certain General Syndulla, means that some of the crew will survive until at least the events of that film, and possibily A New Hope as well.
    • In "An Inside Man", Ezra and Kanan are justifiably suspicious of Kallus being the new Fulcrum but at least take pleasure in taking this opportunity to pull pranks on him as delayed payback, with Ezra telling Kanan that he'll get his next potshot the next time they team up with Kallus. Later in "Through Imperial Eyes", Ezra and Kallus come to get along & respect each other after Teeth-Clenched Teamwork and ultimately getting their objective secured, almost akin to Ezra's interactions with members of the Ghost crew. But considering Kallus' predicament, it appeared that there was no way he would ever get to see Kanan or Ezra ever again and be subject to their familial love. In "Zero Hour", yes, Kallus lives to join the Rebel Alliance, these interactions having foreshadowed what he would one day have. And, the last time we see Kallus in the season is Kanan thanking him for risking everything and accepting him as one of their own.
    • The novelization of the shorts mentions that Sabine has always wanted to explore the Galaxy and become well-known for her art. Material outside of Rebels has revealed that she becomes famous for her propaganda art pieces, with one even implicitly being featured in the capital city of Chandrila according to Aftermath. The series finale also has her leave with Ahsoka to explore the Galaxy in search of Ezra.
    • In "The Siege of Lothal", Kanan sarcastically calls Hera a "General". Not only might it be a reference to her father's rank, but by Season 4, she's since been promoted to general.
    • In "Twilight of the Apprentice", when Ezra goes with Maul, Kanan expresses worry to Ahsoka and Ahsoka assures him that Ezra will be okay because Kanan taught him. Later, Kanan trusts Ahsoka to retrieve Ezra when things go wrong while he fights Maul. At the end of Season 4, while Kanan is gone, he has already shown that he trusts Ezra to go on without him, even when Ezra goes alone with Thrawn. Ahsoka promises to retrieve Ezra once again.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Reception to Freddie Prinze Jr.'s previous roles has been mixed, but his performance as Kanan has generally been well-received.
    • Tiya Sircar's emotional catharsis as Sabine in "Trials of the Darksaber".
    • AP-5's brief singing part, courtesy of Stephen Stanton.
    • Speaking of Stephen Stanton, his vocal performance as an older Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Twin Suns" was unanimously praised due to his incredible impression of of Alec Guiness's take on Ben Kenobi.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The theory that Chopper is actually an assassin droid rebuilt as an astromech became a lot funnier after Star Wars: Darth Vader revealed that there's an assassin droid that can be disguised as an astromech, and that said assassin droid was decommissioned for being too homicidal.
    • The Rebels Recon episode that accompanied "Fighter Flight" in Season 1 featured Dave Filoni noting that the episode was based off the idea of using toys for heroic characters to pilot vehicles used by the villains. Come The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron and Finn do exactly that when they wind up stealing a TIE Fighter.
    • In August 2014, the Reforged team of Man at Arms built a katana with a lightsaber-style hilt. In March 2015, Ahsoka Tano shows up in Rebels, wielding lightsabers with katana-style hilts.
    • Back in Season 1, someone made fan art interpretations of future Inquisitors, including Barriss Offee and a Trandoshan. In Season 2, the Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother were introduced, the former being a Mirialan female with resemblance to Barriss, the latter being a bulking, gray-green reptilian-like male.
    • Leia/Ezra was a fandom ship long before Leia was announced to appear in "A Princess on Lothal". What's more is many people shipped it as mostly platonic with Ship Tease, which is more or less their relationship in the episode.
      • Even more so when Leia, Princess of Alderaan revealed that Leia was probably in a relationship with someone else during that timeframe.
    • In the Season 2 episode "A Princess on Lothal", the Imperials see the Rebels stage a false abduction of Princess Leia and assume that they're taking prisoners for real. In the very next episode, "The Protector of Concord Dawn", they do exactly that.
    • Ever since Kanan Jarrus was introduced, several fans drew comparisons to Rahm Kota. As of "Twilight of the Apprentice", there's even more to reason to compare Rahm with Kanan given that Kanan's been blinded — and by another red lightsaber-wielding character voiced by Sam Witwer, to boot.
    • The casting of Mads Mikkelsen in Rogue One is pretty amusing considering that only a few months later, his brother Lars joined the cast of Rebels as Grand Admiral Thrawn.
    • In Aftermath, Wedge mentions how Fulcrum told him to go on a mission that ended with him breaking his leg in three places thanks to a crash. A couple of years later, we find out that this Fulcrum is Kallus, who wouldn't have become a Fulcrum if his leg wasn't broken in a crash with Zeb.
    • Kallus has a lookalike ISB officer from Legends.
    • In an Instagram video with other cast members of Black Sails while messing around with Star Wars toys, Ray Stevenson can be heard in the background saying "How do you turn on a lightsaber? ... Oh.". His character in Rebels, Gar Saxon, briefly ends up in possession of the Darksaber.
    • Originally, instead of Tristan, Sabine had a twin sister named Sacha. Some people thought that the normal-haired Sabine seen in a clip of "The Antilles Extraction" in the first Season 3 trailer was a different character, with one of the guesses that it was her twin sister.
    • Kind of. Josh Gad made these joke videos of him pestering Daisy Ridley, a co-star on Murder on the Orient Express, for spoilers on The Last Jedi. He ends up becoming a one-shot villain character in an episode of Rebels.
    • Ezra mistaking Imperial Supercommandos as Flying Stormtroopers became amusing after "Ghosts of Geonosis" revealed that Stormtroopers indeed have flying variant called Jumptroopers.
    • The Japanese voice actor of Sabine being an actress named Asami Tano. Asami Sato, Ahsoka Tano, and Sabine Wren all have prominent LGBT+ fanbases.
    • Ursa is a name closely related to Ezra (Ursa -> Erza -> Ezra).
    • Kanan managing to survive being thrown out of the airlock by Darth Maul surely becomes this in light Leia surviving the same in The Last Jedi.
    • Ahsoka slashing Vader's mask open, exposing one of his eyes in Twilight of the Apprentice is pretty funny when the exact same thing happens in The Last Jedi to Phasma, a character who has exactly the opposite appearance and perception among fans to Vader. This gets even better when A World Between Worlds reveals that he fell right into a glowing hole in the disintegrating floor after having his mask damaged, just like Phasma.
    • Hera jumping the Ghost through an Imperial hangar at lightspeed is amusing when less than a month later, Admiral Holdo does the same thing to Snoke's flagship in The Last Jedi.
    • The popular and oft-mocked theory that Ahsoka is the wolf in Season 4 got jossed by Word of God... only to be revealed in the last half of Season 4 that Kanan may well be "the wolf" and Ahsoka is alive as herself.
    • The series finale confirming a theory that yes, Kanan and Hera conceived a child, but contrary to fanon, they have a baby boy who looks more human rather than a baby girl who looks more Twi'lek.
    • In the series finale, a teenaged hero, with the assistance of a magical creature, manages to capture and restrain the main villain of the series, but then speeds off into the distance to an unknown fate while rallying his friends who are watching. Where have we seen this before?
    • In one of the supplementary books, it is mentioned that Sabine spoke in Shyriiwook (the Wookiee language) to annoy Zeb and wore out her lungs for a day. Solo shows Han speaking Shyriiwook when he first meets Chewbacca in a beast pen to earn his trust.
  • Ho Yay:
    • To some, the Grand Inquisitor's behavior of being seemingly polite and touchy (especially at the beginning of "Fire Across the Galaxy", where he gets rather close to Kanan while taunting him) towards Kanan was seen as this.
    • Despite Sabine saying they used to be like sisters, Sabine and Ketsu's interactions in "Blood Sisters" seem to come off as less sibling-casual and more (ex-)girlfriend-casual. Continues in "The Forgotten Droid", where Ketsu only joins the Rebel fleet battle after Sabine panics on the comm.
    • "The Honorable Ones" completely flipped the relationship of Zeb and Kallus from being archenemies to an ambiguous friendship at the least, but with scenes like Kallus gently chuckling at Zeb's misfortune, opening up to him about his past, the Sleep Cute, etc., it can come off as UST. Not to mention that this incident ended up inspiring Kallus' Heel–Face Turn, leading him to become the new Fulcrum before defecting to the rebels for good and joining them at the end of season 3. After years of blindly following Imperial orders, all it took was a little kindness and respect from Zeb to turn Kallus around.
      • It does/doesn't help that Steve Blum, Zeb's voice actor, has made comments encouraging the pairing, like saying that in Season 4 "Well, hopefully Zeb will head to Lira San and start a family with Kallus." REALLY doesn't help that as of the finale, they really do go live together on Lira San!
      • In the finale Zeb reveals to Kallus that he didn't genocide his people to extinction after all... by covering his eyes all the way to Lira San and then revealing it as a surprise. Its a very newlywed kind of gesture.
    • Chopper and AP-5, two robots with masculine programming, manage this. Chopper, who has a very difficult time caring about anyone, considers AP-5 a friend, saves him from slavery, rampages when AP-5 is hurt, and they hold hands when it looks like AP-5 is going to die. They also bicker Like an Old Married Couple.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming:
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: There have been numerous complaints about Season 2 episodes tying up plots and character development stories too quickly and that some could be extended into multi-part arcs in the vein of TCW.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Fulcrum being Ahsoka Tano, not helped by Google Instant making "Star Wars Rebels Ahsoka" one of the top searches the day after the season finale. Similarly, Kallus being the next Fulcrum and Thrawn making it clear he knows. Both of these are also a case of Captain Obvious Reveal, see above for details.
    • Tua dying in a Heel–Face Door-Slam in "The Siege of Lothal" briefly became this after it was given an early viewing at Celebration 2015 quickly made rounds around the fandom due to the character's Ensemble Dark Horse status at the time.
    • Kanan dying in Season 4, along with Ahsoka being revealed to have survived "Twilight of the Apprentice" via Force shenanigans, as both were popular fan theories regarding the show's main characters.
    • Hera had been shown to be alive in Forces of Destiny and comics set well past the events of the series. But while there's no suspense around her survival on the show, the finale reveals that she was a mother during the original trilogy and raising Kanan's son, named after a famous Legends character.
    • Ezra and Thrawn both surviving the events of the show rapidly became common knowledge among people with even a limited understanding of the show, probably because the fandom universally expected neither of them to do so.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Zeb seems pretty gruff and grouchy, until it's explained to Ezra that Zeb's species (the Lasats) were an early group to defy the Empire, who responded by genociding almost his entire race to make an example of them, and to underscore the "lesson", used horrific weapons officially banned by interstellar law when they "cleaned out" Lasan (Disruptor guns, which according to Legends stories, make their targets die in utter agony by vaporizing them). The Lasats are nearly extinct as a result.
    • Ezra has a very "looking out for number one" mentality at first, but he later explains why: when his parents were rounded up by the secret police for making anti-Empire broadcasts (when he was only seven years old), he waited in his home alone for days, hoping that they would escape somehow and come back for him. Eventually, coming to grips with the fact that "no one is coming for me and I'm on my own" is what kept him alive, giving him the determination to leave his house and start trying to survive on the streets. Thankfully, he becomes less selfish once he's taken in by the Ghost crew. There's also the fact that no one helped him or took him in, despite his parents having friends around, so he probably felt very bitter.
      • It's also worth highlighting that when we first meet him in "Spark of Rebellion", Ezra saves a street vendor from being arrested from the Empire. Then he steals a bunch of food from him, defending himself with "Hey, a kid's gotta eat!" And after that he steals from the Ghost crew, who were also stealing. Ezra's "looking out for number one" mentality is an Informed Attribute; he sure says it a lot, but what we are shown is much milder than that.
    • After "The Honorable Ones" Kallus started to get this view from some — yes he's still an Imperial and he's done some pretty horrible things but he's realized exactly how cold and brutal the Empire really is and how little he matters as a person in the grand scheme of things.
    • Maul, as vicious as he is, suffers horribly over the course of his appearances here. He spends years stranded on Malachor after being hunted by the Inquisitors, left to dwell on everything he's lost to the Sith with even revenge seeming like a futile hope. His comment that he wants Ezra to join him so they can find a path for themselves "as friends, as brothers" emphasises how lonely Maul has become and how much he misses his brother Savage. Like his brother before him, Maul's death scene emphasises what a tragic figure he is; after being cut down by Obi-Wan, Maul seems to realize how much his campaign against Kenobi and Sidious has truly cost him, with his only solace being the hope that Luke will one day bring about the destruction of the Sith. Even Obi-Wan, who has suffered more at Maul's hands than anyone, pities his old foe in his final moments.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: For some the main draw of the series is either Dave Filoni's involvement, the show bringing back characters from The Clone Wars, the return of the Empire's iconic vehicles like the TIE Fighters, Imperial Walkers, and Star Destroyers, or some combination of all three. Filoni himself admitted this trope was in effect for Season 2 regarding Ahsoka vs. Darth Vader.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Ezra. Not counting the ships where he's with adults, we have Sabine, Leia, Zare, Jai, or Mart; for those that he's never even met, like Luke; and in the books/comics, there's Moreena, Reann, Mizel, or even a non-canonical character like Mara Jade. The list goes on. If you look hard enough, you'll find it.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Sabine. In between her short-haired, multicolored, anti-authoritarian aesthetic that fits well with a Butch Lesbian, the fact that she rolls her eyes when Ezra flirts with her and is never shown attracted to any man in the series (and has Les Yay with Ketsu), and her backstory of familial rejection and finding her own family resonating with a lot of LGBT viewers who've dealt with similar things, she's gained quite the fanbase among sapphic Star Wars fans.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • A preview of "The Protector of Concord Dawn" showed Hera's A-Wing take enough damage to have major hull breaches. However, her survival was already shown in the trailer for the remaining episodes of the second season.
    • Since up to that point, the other finales involved the main antagonists of the season dying, some worried that Thrawn would die in the Season 3 finale per status quo and it would be a case of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character. He doesn't die, though Konstantine, a major antagonist, dies; and Kallus turncoats. Same with Pryce.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Mitth'raw'nuruodo, aka Grand Admiral Thrawn, manages to be just as brilliant in Canon as he was in Legends. Thrawn is a genuis strategist, who manages to always stay a step ahead of the competition and takes any escapes of them as minor setbacks having planned for victory in the long run. Thrawn is able to figure out that Kallus is The Mole for the rebels and ends up using him to feed the Rebels false information. In "Zero Hour", his plans come together with the destruction of Chopper Base and the elimination of Phoenix Squadron, and only some incompetence by his allies and ultimately the intervention of an Eldritch Abomination prevent his total victory. In the Season 4 mid-season finale, he sets up a blockade to stop the Rebel Forces from invading, and despite his best efforts, they manage to get through, with heavy losses; only to run straight into the second blockade he had at the ready, hiding in the planet's atmosphere on the off chance they managed to get through the first one. The rebel fighter squadron is annihilated with the only survivors being Hera, Chopper, and Mart Mattin.
  • Memetic Loser: The Fifth Brother, at least on Tumblr. His brute approach to the problem and his thuggish appearance had led many to see him as just a generic Inquisitor ready to be Worfed; for example, getting KOed by being sent stumbling into a pillar during the fight with Ahsoka. Some fans went as far as betting that he would be the first Season 2 Inquisitor to bite the dust. Not helped that his Fan Nickname is "Clyde" or the fact he's paired up with more the interesting and deadly Seventh Sister.
  • Memetic Molester: The Seventh Sister.
    • She's this towards Ezra, mainly due to this scene.
    • And then she does something similar to the grandmother (who looked somewhat youthful for her age) at the beginning of "Future of the Force".
    • Later, she flirts with Kanan in the middle of battle, but at least this time sounds like she does actually find him attractive. One wonders if she does it to everyone.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Chopper's become one after "Vision of Hope," in which he eliminated an Imperial droid by deactivating and then pushing him into a manhole like he's trying to cover up a murder. As a result, some fans have begun to suspect that Chopper is actually an assassin droid rebuilt as an astromech. (And given his Comedic Sociopathy tendencies, some of them also like to specifically think he's HK-47.) No doubt him grabbing a pair of blasters and unleashing havoc against Azmorigan will add more fuel to the fire. It's also worth noting that he wanted to blow up the Inquisitors' TIE Fighters, knowing full well that a baby was on board at the time.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Filoni acknowledged that the big event people were looking forward to in Season 2 was Ahsoka's confrontation with Darth Vader, but stressed that Ezra's story is the actual central narrative of Rebels. Despite being adamant that Ahsoka's time on Rebels was over at the end of "Twilight of the Apprentice", Filoni admitted at Star Wars Celebration 2016 that fan response has seriously made him consider bringing Ahsoka back to Rebels in the future.
    • As of Season 3, some viewers are quick to ignore episodes that don't contribute to anything that isn't related to Maul and his confrontation with Obi-Wan or some other movie/pre-existing and popular characters. This came to a head in "Twin Suns", with some ignoring Ezra's part in the episode to the point of even questioning why he was there to begin with, even though the episode was a crucial moment of Character Development for him.
    • Due to years of media focusing mainly on the simple battle of light versus darkness and a lack of exploring why the Jedi Order continues to fail due to their philosophy on being The Stoic as well as the amount of hypocrisy coming from them, anyone who walks into Rebels without knowing any context about or even understanding that the Jedi ultimately had a flawed philosophy may think that characters giving into emotion during an important event is a definite sign they will fall to the Dark side. Within the actual show, Yoda himself admitted the Jedi ultimately led to their own downfall and we also see that the characters having relationships with each other have more benefits than downsides that the Jedi tended to paint, as well as the show being a Decon-Recon Switch of the movies by introducing non-aligned parties in both Force and non-Force aspects.
  • Misblamed: The cancellation of The Clone Wars was done in part due to Cartoon Network's complete ownership of the show (as Warner Bros. obviously won't give up the airing rights to one of their best shows to a rival company), and the creative decision to create works more closely tied to the Original and Sequel Trilogies, not just because this show was in development. In addition, this show was actually in the works before Disney bought the franchise, due to the ratings of The Clone Wars declining (meaning that the show was slowly becoming unprofitable) and the Lucasfilm crew still wanting to do a Star Wars animation show that branched off of The Clone Wars.
  • Moe:
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Just in case you needed real proof that Agent Kallus is a villain, he goes and proves it in "Droids in Distress." He ordered the use of starship-grade ion weapons on the population of Lasat, driving the species to near extinction. He's not apologetic in the slightest. And just in case off-screen brutality doesn't quite cement it for you, his murder of a repentant and frightened Maketh Tua will probably do the job.
      • Subverted in "The Honorable Ones" where Kallus admits he wasn't actually the one who ordered the bombardment of Lasat; in fact he was genuinely horrified by it when the Empire ordered Lasat be made an example of. He took credit for it mainly to demoralize Zeb in a duel where the latter had a distinct strength advantage, but in truth he is ashamed to have taken part in it.
      • The same episode shows that he isn't quite as bad as he appears, as he learns to treat Zeb and the rebels as a Worthy Opponent and starts to question his loyalty the Empire.
    • The Base-Delta-Zero initiative. In Legends, it was obliterating a planet's sentient population and all standing structures via orbital bombardment. The name might just be a wink to followers of the old continuity... or it could mean that the Empire is, indeed, sterilizing multiple worlds in its attempts to crack down.
    • Want a reminder of how monstrous Tarkin is? When he calls Aresko and Grint to discuss the rebels, he has the Inquisitor behead them both for their repeated failures while their backs were turned. Minister Tua's and even Agent Kallus' reactions to seeing this is all that's needed to see that the Grand Moff was a nasty piece of work even before A New Hope.
    • The Empire is revealed to have retroactively crossed it in "The Honorable Ones," if they hadn't already, where it is strongly implied that the Death Star was constructed in orbit of the planet Geonosis... and that the population of the entire planet, billions of Geonosians, were wiped out to cover it up. Even Kallus refuses to believe that the Empire would do something so monstrous (though he knows that something happened to them).
      • Bear in mind that the Geonosian government were the ones who came up with the Death Star in the first place — while that hardly wins them any sympathy points, it does mean that the Empire committed genocide and betrayal in the scope of a single atrocity.
    • Governor Pryce was always an unlikable Smug Snake with a sadistic side but in "Jedi Night" she undoubtably crosses the line into irredeemability when she kills Kanan Jarrus by firing on Lothal's fuel depot. Not only was it unforgivable, Thrawn points out it was also monumentally stupid, since the destruction of all their fuel has severely compromised the TIE Defenders project they'd invested so much in and handed the Rebels a victory they'd been unable to achieve on their own.
    Tropes N to Z 
  • Narm Charm:
    • Obi-Wan actually giving A New Hope a Title Drop would come across as Narm in any other medium, but James Arnold Taylor's delivery of the line makes it work when coupled with Obi-Wan's sadness regarding the situation of Order 66.
    • Maul's Skyward Scream in "Twin Suns" is kind of overwrought, but it does a good job of selling Maul's obsession with finding Obi-Wan, as well as the extent of his Sanity Slippage.
    • Like Obi-Wan before him, Kallus' lock of hair as a result of getting beat up and tortured. But it works partly because of its fuel as Fanservice and it actually sort of looks good on him even disregarding the Fanservice, and it doesn't take too much away from his situation in "Zero Hour".
    • What is Kallus's first name? Alexander. It's... rather plain for Star Wars (though not the first time a rather common name from real life has been used, ex. Luke, Johnnote ...), though it's fittingly sophisticated considering Kallus is from the Core Worlds. Somewhat alleviated in that it's spelled using the Russian variant, Alexsandr, which makes it more "exotic" for Star Wars, though it hasn't stopped the jokes about it. Though most are glad that he actually has a first name (unlike Count Dooku) and that it isn't non-descript/ridiculous like "Sheev".
  • Never Live It Down: Has its own page shared with the rest of the franchise.
  • No Yay:
    • The Seventh Sister is very touchy with Ezra, and has some flirtatious dialogue towards him. He's fifteen, and some of the scenes between them come across as very uncomfortable, stopping just short of physical molestation.
    • Thrawn gets awfully close to Hera in their first encounter, telling her things near her ear about how he studies the art of war and how the Rebels are foolish to go save their friends. It isn't as touchy as the Seventh Sister or Grand Inquisitor were, but still. Don't Imperials know what personal space is?
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Obi-Wan Kenobi makes a memorable (if short) appearance on a Holocron message in "Spark of Rebellion," albeit to pass the torch onto the crew of the Ghost. He returns towards the end of Season 3 when he is met by Ezra and confronted by Maul in person, again in one scene.
    • Likewise, in the ABC airing of the film, Darth Vader's cameo is also great, and is made even better with James Earl Jones reprising his role as the Dark Lord.
    • Bail Organa's appearance at the end of "Droids in Distress." He appears once more at the end of "Fire Across the Galaxy."
    • Not a veteran character, but the Imperial combat driver in "Empire Day" that blows open the door of the crew's Imperial Troop Transport with a charge, jumping onto the roof in the smokescreen, and swinging in and kicking down Ezra when goes to look outside. He gets beat up by Kanan and shoved out the door afterwards, but he was pretty competent and close enough to stopping the highway chase scene had Kanan not interfered.
    • Yoda's voice-only appearance in "Path of the Jedi," done by Frank Oz for added nostalgia. He returns in "Shroud of Darkness," this time showing his physical appearance through a Force vision.
    • Tarkin shows up towards the end of Season 1, but apparently never bothered going back to Lothal, hence why we don't see him in Season 2. He comes back in Season 3, though it looks like he's just there to introduce the other Imperials to Thrawn before getting back to whatever work he's doing.
    • Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious makes a brief appearance at the end of "The Siege of Lothal," featuring Sam Witwer's first canon performance of the character.
    • Vader's brief cameo at the end of "Shroud of Darkness" was well-regarded since... well, he's Vader.
    • Luke Skywalker makes a distant, but very memorable appearance at the end of "Twin Suns".
    • The Emperor's Royal Guards get a brief but memorable scene with Ezra in the final episode.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • After the events of "Vision of Hope", the crew of the Ghost have to ask themselves a couple of questions. Questions like "What other Rebel operation is really an Imperial False Flag Operation?" or "Just how many Rebel cells are secretly controlled and manipulated by the Empire's security forces?"
      • Luckily, thanks to coming into contact with the greater Rebellion, they don't need to worry too much about rebel cells being Imperial bait for the rebels, though this doesn't eliminate the possibility of individual Imperial spies that claim to be rebel sympathizers like Trayvis.
    • At the end of "An Inside Man", Thrawn, being the Magnificent Bastard he is, proposes to Feed the Mole once they find Reverse Mole. Wouldn't you say that's a good idea, Agent Kallus/Fulcrum? Kallus gets the message, and so does Thrawn. So now Kallus has to jump through hoops to find what information is safe to leak to the Rebellion and hope that it hasn't been touched by Thrawn's Xanatos Gambit, and unbeknownst to him, the rebels have agreed that if Kallus's information is false and/or puts the Rebellion at risk, it must've been a set-up and his Heel–Face Turn was never genuine.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: While the following characters weren't full on Scrappies, they were still somewhat polarizing:
    • A lot of people were worried that Sabine's personality would revolve around the "girl power" Cliché Storm present in early promotional material and "Art Attack". Some were pleasantly surprised to see that she was a fairly well-rounded character in "Spark of Rebellion" and the show itself. With the revelation of her being a former Imperial in "Out of Darkness," it puts her antics in "Art Attack" in a somewhat darker context.
    • Even then, Sabine had—for the first two seasons—remained a mostly unchanged static character who many felt had little characterization beyond a generic Tomboy who was good at shooting people. Even in the episodes that featured her heavily, little to nothing was changed in how she was portrayed. "Trials of the Darksaber", however, changed a lot, showing that below the surface of a cocky warrior was a woman deeply hurt by not only the Empire, but her own family. Her tearful account of her past while sparing with Kanan set to a beautiful score completely changed how many fans felt about Sabine.
    • While a lot of people enjoy Chopper for being The Gadfly, others found him to be more of a nuisance (if not a hazard) than an asset to the crew, and him being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold as stated by the creators came off as being an Informed Attribute — particularly notable in "Out of Darkness", where his horseplay with Ezra and Zeb while repairing the Phantom ended up inadvertently putting Hera and Sabine in danger. However, the rest of Season 1 afterward downplayed his harassment of his fellow crew mates (while still keeping him as The Gadfly but overall less dangerous, which suggests the events of "Out of Darkness" have taught him to be more careful about his pranks after that), gave him some focus in a few episodes, and showing that, despite how much of a jerk he can be, he still genuinely cares for his crew mates, and thus, some of his detractors started warming up to him:
      • Starting with "Path of the Jedi," he donated one of his own batteries for Ezra's lightsaber.
      • In "Idiot's Array," despite his ownership rights being temporarily lost to Lando (and being a smartass by claiming that he's no longer their droid), he butters up Lando, steals a fuel barrel from under Lando's nose (or so he thought) and saves the crew on his own volition from Azmorigan's men.
      • In "Rebel Resolve," he's just as saddened over Kanan's capture as the rest of the crew, and he does everything in his power—including persistently hacking into the tightly-locked databanks of a doomed Imperial walker when everyone else has decided to evacuate—to find out where Kanan's being held captive.
      • And then in the Season 1 finale, when it seems he has left the crew to die, he returns with a fleet of other rebel cells backing him up. Also helping him was him having some Comedic Sociopathy moments in the form of pushing a few Imperial astromech droids to their dooms (and turning him into a Memetic Psychopath).
    • Rebels' portrayal of Darth Vader. Though he never really needed saving per se (what with being the most iconic symbol of the franchise), the prequel films and, in particular, the infamous sequence at the end of Revenge of the Sith have been noted to have somewhat dampened his capacity as a figure to be afraid of. His debut here fixes that, and then some. While Star Wars: The Clone Wars helped to fix the damage done to Anakin, Rebels made sure Vader is nothing short of terrifying. Rogue One's final scene followed in the footsteps of Rebels.
    • Mart is less of The Load in his second appearance, "Rebel Assault", as he takes the entire thing seriously and does his best to help. He also has an effective role in the final battle of Lothal in the finale.
  • Rewatch Bonus: In "Jedi Night" and "DUME", shippers of Kanan and Hera were understandably baffled by the verbal implications that Hera never told Kanan she loved him. Turns out, the script was a bit of deliberate misdirection. It was likely Hera was saddened by never telling him about her pregnancy. In hindsight, some of hers and Kanan's behavior from as early as the season 4 premiere also take on a new light.
  • Rooting for the Empire: A lot of people took more of an interest in the antagonists than the protagonists, probably due to the Foregone Conclusion that ensures the Empire to be still in power by the time the series ends (and the Evil Is Cool rule that Star Wars usually runs on). Many fans and new viewers brought in specifically by the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn to canon doubled down on the rooting with Season 3. To top it all off, Thrawn pulls off a win at the end of the season. It also doesn't hurt that he's a Wicked Cultured Magnificent Bastard, and Polite Villains, Rude Heroes is very much in play with this show.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Mart Mattin from the Season 3 episode "Iron Squadron" was disliked by many viewers for being a bland, arrogant jerkass who thinks he can take on the entire Empire, even though he didn't even know what a Star Destroyer is note . Throughout the episode, Ezra and Sabine constantly warn Mart and his crew to evacuate to escape a large Imperial fleet, which they constantly ignore. Later, when said fleet attack's Mart's freighter, the crew evacuates to Ezra's dropship while Mart stays behind and tries to attack the fleet all by himself. This incredibly selfish and stupid act results in Mart's ship getting damaged beyond use and himself getting captured, forcing Phoenix Squadron to risk their lives again to rescue him. Needless to say, most viewers wanted Mart to die to save the rest of the cast the trouble. Though see Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    • Mart's crewmates aren't exactly popular, either. While they aren't quite as annoying, they are disliked for having little personality and almost no impact on the overall plot.
  • Ship Mates: Due to being popular characters in the LGBT Fanbase, Sabine/Ahsoka is not usually shipped due to Sabine spending most of the series as a minor and the popular space-family meme viewing Ahsoka as her space-aunt. But with the series finale, shipmating them became more prominent as the two venture off to find Ezra after the events of Return of the Jedi, usually with Sabine/Ketsu and Ahsoka/Kaedyn.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Sabine and Ahsoka never with each other interacted one-on-one throughout the entire run of the show but the pairing exploded in popularity following the last scene of the finale, where the two meet up to search for Ezra. Sabine's new, much shorter and masculine haircut didn't help matters.
  • Shocking Swerve:
    • The premiere of Season 4B revealing that Hera had a younger brother that passed away in their youth, something that was never hinted at previously. Unlike with Sabine (who is a justified case regarding Tristan, since she refused to divulge details of her personal life until Season 3), it was implied up until this point that the brunt of Hera's Dark and Troubled Past was simply that she became estranged from her father after the Empire killed her mother.
    • In the Grand Finale, it being revealed that Kanan and Hera had a son comes as quite a surprise, given that Hera getting pregnant had to have happened before Kanan heard Hera's Love Confession. The two having a one-night stand must have been awkward for everyone else aboard the Ghost.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Darth Vader and Ahsoka's confrontation in "Twilight of the Apprentice" is this for perhaps the series as a whole. The scene is the pay-off to almost a decade's worth of speculation, character development, and pathos, and it is without a doubt the scene fans were most hyped about during the series' run. The ending montage of the episode is also very memorable.
    • Kanan's Heroic Sacrifice in "Jedi Night".
    • In "A World Between Worlds", Ezra entering the titular place and hearing voices from EVERY incarnation of the franchise to date, including the Original Trilogy, Prequels, Sequels, and Rogue One.
    • The ending montage of the Grand Finale, concluding with Sabine reuniting with Ahsoka to go search for Ezra.
  • Signature Song:
    • "Journey into the Star Cluster", played at the end of "Legends of the Lasat", is quickly becoming an iconic Star Wars piece in its own right.
    • "It's Over Now", played during the end montage of "Twilight of the Apprentice" and included the signature scenes of Vader limping away away from the Malachor underworld while Ahsoka walks into it and descends, the rebels staging a welcoming party for Ezra and Kanan that quickly becomes a depressing one, as well as Ezra opening the Sith holocron.
    • To a lesser extent, there's "Where The Sun Sails and Moon Rises", which is the What Could Have Been song for the montage.
    • "Sabine Suite" (or the shorter version, "Sabine's Catharsis"), which played throughout "Trials of the Darksaber", which is of course, about Sabine. Especially during her titular Motive Rant at the end of the episode.
    • "Thrawn's Web", which is almost as iconic as the man it belongs to himself.
  • Special Effect Failure: The show is definitely very consistent in design, but it is not without the occasional animation error. Near the beginning of "Relics of the Old Republic", while checking the Phantom's systems, Sabine is missing her neck.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
    • This series is more or less an animated version of Firefly, only set in the Star Wars universe.
    • The general outline and story also bears more than a passing resemblance to Avatar: The Last Airbender, which isn't surprising given Dave Filoni's involvement.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • The white lothwolf saying that it is helping because "Doom."/"Dume." is spoiled by closed captioning to actually be "Dume."
    • Zigzagged. The credits of "Flight of the Defender" credit the white lothwolf's voice acting to... "himself". While the voice actor's identity remains a mystery, we know that the lothwolf is a "he" (though it may not work both ways due to Cross-Dressing Voices).
  • Spoiled by the Merchandise: Sort of. An early Star Wars: Forces of Destiny short confirmed that Hera survives all the way to Return of the Jedi, although Rogue One had already featured a brief appearance from Chopper and her name being mentioned.
  • Squick:
    • In "Rise of the Old Masters", some tibidees rub their underbellies up against the Phantom while it's trying to hide from the Spire's searchlights. It seems pretty harmless, until Hera mentions that the Phantom was disguising itself with a mating call for the creatures.
    • "Idiot's Array":
      • Lando flirts with Sabine. He's in his late twenties at the least, while she's sixteen/seventeen.
      • There's also Azmorigan's tendencies for Jabba Table Manners and Mars Needs Women.
    • The Seventh Sister's uncomfortable and creepily-intimate interactions with Ezra. Yeesh.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • The first trailer was flooded with flames from fans who declared the series doomed and Star Wars ruined by Disney when released.
    • Some of the preview shorts also got this (particularly "Art Attack") — partially because of the Imperials being treated like pushovers to the main characters, but reception of early showings of the "Spark of Rebellion" pilot movie at fan expos was more positive in comparison, and comments from the people who saw it said that the show itself was nothing like the shorts suggested.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • A significant amount of the complaints toward the show are directed at the art style and character designs (particularly the re-designs of the canonical previously established characters), even though they are slightly similar to those of The Clone Wars, only simplistic and Disney/Pixar-influenced in addition to not being realistic yet slightly animesque, detailed, and visually appealing like The Clone Wars) and with a childishly bright color palette. It's also meant to invoke the concept art of the Original Trilogy.
      • An example is Darth Vader's looks, which got complaints for having a taller helmet and red lens, based off Ralph McQuarrie's concept art.
      • Another is Ahsoka, whose facial structure now looks rather similar to her voice actor, Ashley Eckstein, the lekku, tattoo patterns, and design in general not matching perfectly with how she looked back in The Clone Wars, which results in her looking very unrecognizable and ugly in Rebels
      • A very minor example is Thrawn's pupils. The reason for why this is is because Filoni and the animators wanted the audience to know where his line of sight was (also making it easier for them to animate as well), and so that the Chiss wouldn't come too close to looking like Duros such as Cad Bane. Also of note, this isn't the first time Thrawn's been depicted with pupils (and sometimes, he and other Chiss have been depicted with lighter centers to their eyes to make a focal point, such as in The Old Republic).
      • Another complaint with Thrawn is giving him a Rubber-Forehead Alien design with an oddly ridged forehead, when it was repeatedly stated in Legends that Chiss looked like humans with blue skin. The cover of the new novel downplays the trait.
      • Maul's redesign from this series is very unpopular with fans. Just like the other characters in The Clone Wars that appear in Rebels, Maul was subjected to a very simplistic and horrendous redesign that makes him look too kiddified instead of being intimidating and visually appealing just like how he was back in The Phantom Menace and The Clone Wars; his face in Rebels looks like a terrible mixture of a ghoul and a zombie instead of a Zabrak, the amount of horns he has on his head has been reduced, the amount of red on his facial tattoo has been reduced, and his teethnote  are pearly white is .
    • Also a slightly minor one; due to episodes for Season 3 now airing on Saturday nights, the episode guides no longer go up immediately after the episode airs, unlike Rebels Recon, and now go up in the noon time of Monday. It's rather upsetting for those who are especially curious about the background of concepts and such in the episode and would like that information to be available immediately, but otherwise, it is considered fine by others.
    • In general, the tone of the show being Lighter and Softer and cheaper (and thus not as capable to make something as grand scale or detailed, like say, Coruscant) than The Clone Wars (but not too much), not taking into account that a story doesn't need to be dark or grandiose to tell a good story and that Disney, unlike Lucas, has many other active intellectual properties to budget, even if it may be richer than Lucas.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • The series got fire from fans for replacing The Clone Wars long before the first teasers came out, mostly due to fears that Disney wouldn't allow the show to get anywhere near as dark and brutal as its predecessor, forgetting that The Clone Wars itself started out as Lighter and Softer and only got dark as it went on. As season 1 progressed (and as a couple of darker traits of the Star Wars universe made their way into the show), the consensus seems to be that the series is a worthy successor.
    • "The Siege of Lothal" kicked off Season Two with a bang, with Darth Vader on the warpath and Lothal basically being sacked and burned in his wake, as well a key moment with Ahsoka. Season Three's "Steps Into Shadow" starts out with somewhat lower stakes and scope, despite the Darker and Edgier tone and the introduction of fan-favorite Canon Immigrant Grand Admiral Thrawn, with many feeling that while the episode was good in its own right, it just couldn't compare to the spectacle and scope of "The Siege of Lothal."
    • In a similar case to the premiers, the finale of Season 2, "Twilight of the Apprentice", against the finale of Season 3, "Zero Hour". "Twilight of the Apprentice" was more personal, revolved around the Force, and included several whams including the long-awaited battle between Ahsoka and Vader with the former going MIA, the death of the Inquisitors, Kanan's blinding, and Maul and the Presence leading Ezra into the Dark side combined with the supernatural/otherworldly setting of the episode, while "Zero Hour" is more broad, focusing more on the development of the Rebellion's struggle against the Empire and how the cast as a whole reacts to such as devastating campaign. Though many still say that "Zero Hour" is definitely good, due it being a step in the development of a product that we know is already finished, the stakes feel slightly lower.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The lothcats/tookas for their giant round heads, flat facial features, and giant monstrous mouth. Other than that, they're just like any other domestic cat on Earth. It says something about their appeal with fans when the lothcats sold out very quickly at the Galaxy's Edge Creature Stall within days of the park's opening.
    • The puffer pig in "Idiot's Array." Lampshaded by Ezra.
    • The fyrnocks are usually a source of Nightmare Fuel, but once Ezra uses the Force to tame them in "Gathering Forces," they can be surprisingly endearing when they aren't prepared to rip someone to shreds.
    • Some might feel this way about Azmorigan, the slime-y-looking pig mob boss.
    • Spider lovers may find the krykna to be a bit cute, seemingly helped by their giant abdomen forehead.
    • From the same planet as the krykna, the hermit-crab like dokma are considered by Zeb to be annoying pests. However, their timid nature and that the krykna prey on them ends up making them endearing.
    • Klik-Klak, the Geonosian survivor in "Ghosts of Geonosis", has a noticeably cuter design than the rest of his species, and his Starfish Language chirps are a lot sweeter as well. It helps that he's a Woobie due to being the Sole Survivor trying to protect a queen egg.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • A number of viewers of the show have noted that the Wookiees look off-putting compared to other characters in the show's art style.
    • With the final Season 2 trailer, many have noted that Yoda looks rather off too. Anakin also, to a lesser extent. Yoda can be attributed to him being a vision by Ezra, who has never met him, while Anakin is probably a lot younger than when he fought in the Clone Wars when this recording was made.
    • Some seem to find Ezra's ears in Season 3 to be a bit weird, though this might just be because we've been used to seeing him with long hair, thus hiding his ears.
    • Palpatine's illusion of his Clone Wars self is deeply disturbing. Likely deliberate in this case.
    • Some have found the young Jacen Syndulla to be this, likely due to the combination of his odd hair color, round face, large ears, strange triangular eyebrows, and deep blue eyes.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Due to her lack of prominence in Legends works besides being especially known for Shatterpoint (of which had her killed off in the early days of the Clone Wars), Depa Billaba being the master of Kanan/Caleb was this.
    • The Wham Shot and Wham Line of Master Luminara being held prisoner by the Empire in early Rebels trailers, as Legends originally stated she was killed during Order 66 on Kashyyyk. Turns out she's still dead by the time Kanan and Ezra find her, but still, it was a surprise she lived past Order 66.
    • Viewers that got to watch episodes a week early before their televised airing were caught off guard when the Cold Opening of "Call To Action" had Grand Moff Tarkin show up without forewarning. The blow was really dealt in when he made it clear that he was a Knight of Cerebus by having an execution of his own subordinates shown between each other and had the episode end as a Wham Episode.
    • Fenn Rau. Due to his comic issue being released the same day as his debut episode, people were surprised that the Mandalorian seen in the previews for "The Protector of Concord Dawn" had a brief yet important role in the Kanan comic by helping Depa, Caleb, and their clones in the Third Battle of Mygeeto.
    • General Kalani was a oneshot villain for the Onderon arc in The Clone Wars, where he was Put on a Bus at the end of the arc with no indication from Word of God that the unreleased episodes would've explored what he was doing. If anything, most people were expecting Mar Tuuk, who was put into What Happened to the Mouse? status when Word of God stated they spared him for future use yet seemed to have forgotten about him.
    • No one expected Gar Saxon to be the initially unnamed Imperial Supercommando seen in one of the previews at Celebration 2016, particularly because there was no information on Saxon outside of Son of Dathomir that could've suggested his whereabouts after the Siege of Mandalore.
    • When Thrawn used Rukh's name as a keyphrase for his droids, everyone assumed that Rukh had just become a Mythology Gag (much to the relief of those who were worrying that Thrawn would meet the same fate that befallen him in Legends.)... and then Celebration 2017 revealed that the real Rukh of the namesake is returning for the final season, stirring up worry in the fanbase again.
    • The one who really tops this list—Emperor Palpatine in Season 4. He was the last fans would've expected to see in the series, but what better way to conclude the series with the Dark Lord himself?
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Lando Calrissian, hated in-universe, but loved out of it.
    • Also, Darth Vader himself, who's, well, Darth Vader in-universe... And, well, Darth Vader out of it.
    • Same goes for Maul, who has already done things including manipulating Ezra, which in turn caused the Season 2 finale to go downhill; blinding Kanan; holding the crew hostage; and that's all just in Rebels.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Compared to Kanan, Hera, Sabine, Zeb, Rex, or Ahsoka, Ezra is a fairly generic character. His interesting mentor relationship with Darth Maul is considered to rectify this somewhat.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The show may be on a lower budget than The Clone Wars, but it doesn't take away from how amazing Rebels' effects are. For example:
    • The star cluster in "Legends of the Lasats."
    • Vader's cape. Filoni says that they burnt out their budget on it.
    • The lighting in Season 2 has improved from Season 1.
    • The Sith temple's lightning in "Twilight of the Apprentice," among other things.
    • When Ezra Force-pushes Kallus into and through a glass pane. Not only is the scene completely hilarious, the animation of the glass shattering is just absolutely gorgeous for those few seconds.
    • The animation went all out with the loth-wolves, and while they did not have the budget to completely animate fur the texturing and hundreds of movable tufts are leaps and bounds beyond anything they've done before.
    • Speaking of Lothwolves, their slow disappearance into the tall grass as they warp the Spectres to the Jedi Temple in "Wolves and a Door"
    • Also from that episode, Ezra's activation of the doorway, and the subsequent closing in "A World Between Worlds". On the audio front, the use of lines from all across the Saga. From the Prequel Trilogy and Clone Wars, and even from the Original Trilogy, Rogue One, and The Force Awakens, which chronologically haven't happened yet. It tells you immediately that you are in a place where Time and Space are merely suggestions.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Tua buying Sabine's claim of being an Imperial Academy student, despite her bounty hunter-like appearance suggesting otherwise. She sort of makes up for this moment by quickly deducing that she was being played after she runs into Chopper, who is the reason why she had to use Sabine as a makeshift translator.
    • Sabine, who has seen Kanan deflect blaster fire with a lightsaber first-hand, decides to try and take a shot at Darth Vader. Her Mandalorian armor manages to save her life, though.
    • Yes, Kallus, why not send a 20-second message to your Rebel friends that solely contains a congratulations when you're fully aware that your Imperial higher-ups are just sniffing for an obvious enough clue to out you as a spy?
    • The Rebels decide to send Ezra in a Paper-Thin Disguise to extract their spy, Fulcrum. Kallus points out how reckless sending Ezra to get him is but the young Jedi laughs it off saying most Imperials don't know what he looks like. Okay, he has a point, but he leaves a helmet decorated by Sabine behind. Thrawn quickly deduces the "bounty hunter" they picked up was wearing a helmet with Sabine's art on it, that he was almost certainly Ezra and that Kallus would have known this from the outset. Since he withheld this information, Kallus is the spy.
    • AP-5 starts Thinking Out Loud in the Imperial Security Bureau base while he's infiltrating it to retrieve codes. The only reason why he doesn't get caught is because the hallways are surprisingly empty for the most part, but even then, he starts talking to himself after he was just jumpscared by someone who was wondering why he was there.
    • In "Zero Hour", Pryce, during a Villainous Breakdown, gets taunted by Kallus as the Seventh Fleet gets outflanked by the Mandalorians while Thrawn is absent and depending on her, has the guards throw Kallus into an airlock. Kallus uses it as an opening to escape to the Rebellion, which wouldn't have happened if she had him executed on the spot right there on the bridge. There's also a question of why Thrawn brought him on the bridge, too, instead of throwing him into a cell, presumably because he wants him to watch the rebels burn.
    • Pryce just can't catch a break with this trope. In Jedi Night, Pryce decides to blow up the main fuel depot on Lothal to kill one Jedi. When she realizes that she just shut down the production lines for the TIE Defender, a project that was in a massive funding battle against the Death Star, jeopardizing its future, she decides the best course of action is to cast the debacle as a crushing victory against the Rebellion and hold a parade. Thrawn sees through the idiotic ploy in seconds flat.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
    • The last three episodes of Season One, as those episodes push up to the absolute limit of what could possibly be permissible in a Y7 rating, with a few even complaining that the content does violate the spirit of the rating, if not the letter of its law.
    • "Twilight of the Apprentice." People such as Freddie Prinze Jr. have noted that this is definitely an episode that young children should not watch alone:
      • The Seventh Sister is cut in half, the Fifth Brother is impaled, the Eighth Brother seemingly dies when he tries to fly away, and Kanan receives a lightsaber to the face and is blinded.
      • And speaking of Kanan's blinding? The wound was shown onscreen. For the faintest of moments, yes, but still, it's there in the frames...
    • When on the topic of how serious Season 3 and beyond gets, Freddie describes it as 'Shakesperean (no doubt thanks to Greg Weisman's planning before he left the show) and mentions in one interview how the Mandalorian drama and power struggle is similar to Game of Thrones, which can't be a good sign. Sabine reveals she's responsible for helping create an Imperial pseudo-superweapon that was used to subjugate her people and loved ones, she was disowned by her people and has abandonment issues, Saxon has the Protectors Killed Offscreen and tries to kill Sabine and Clan Wren before being shot in the heart, and a Season 4 teaser showed the helmets of familiar characters lying alongside a battlefield grave in a smoking desolate wasteland.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • In the first half of Season 3, a poorly-timed hiatus between "Imperial Supercommandos" and "Iron Squadron" helped sour reception on the latter episode (and the former had already received backlash) combined with other issues in the episode such as Mart's The Scrappy status and poor pacing, among other things. When the show returned to regular schedule, "The Wynkahthu Job" and "An Inside Man" received much better reception, with some considering the former to be the best 'Filler' note  so far (probably thanks to the writer, Gary Whitta) and the latter mainly for an I Knew It! reveal with a worthy payoff and Thrawn actually doing something (as complaints were that he had yet to do something against the rebels at the time).
      • This would be further helped in the Mandalorian two-parter later in the season, which featured long-awaited Character Development for Sabine, a backstory behind the Darksaber, more reveals as to what's going on over on Mandalore and Sabine's family/history, as well as the burgeoning of a Mandalorian Resistance at the end of it.
  • Win the Crowd:
    • Prior to the release of the show, the entire concept led to one big Broken Base. However, the more footage that was shown to fans, the warmer the reception to it became. (Sound familiar?) The somewhat-dark extended trailer revealed before the 2014 San Diego Comic Con won some of the more cynical fans over. The same could also be said of the Visual Guide by DK Publishing and the extra information it has revealed. The trailer revealed at SDCC was also well-received by fans, along with the other footage that was revealed for the conference. The best example of this in regards to the show would have to be at the rough cut of "Spark of Rebellion"; almost all of the fans who saw the rough cut at the convention loved it.
    • The revelation that Darth Vader would be in Season 2 was met with a mixture of both excitement and dread. With the latter, it was over fear that Vader would suffer Badass Decay. The Season 2 premiere silenced those fears, by effectively portraying him as The Dreaded.
      • If you need an example, compare the like/dislike ratio on the official trailers on Youtube. In general, nearly every Rebels video with maybe a million views will have something like 19k likes to 1k dislikes (never mind the comments), but the first Season 2 trailer (containing the Empire upping its game by bringing in Vader, as well as the return of several The Clone Wars characters) has 19k likes to about 0.5k.
    • After the second season's first half drew a bit of flak from being comparatively slower-paced, interest in the series exploded again with the reveal of the mid-season trailer, with the canon introduction of a Sith holocron and Malachor, the return of Darth Maul, implied to become the Sith hermit to Yoda's Jedi hermit for Ezra, and the emotional confrontation between Ahsoka and Vader.
    • The reveal that Season 3 would contain the on-screen debut of Grand Admiral Thrawn was enough to make every member of the fanbase who recognized the revered EU character collectively lose their shit.
    • In addition, Season 3 began to show the evolution of the rebel cells into an organized Rebel Alliance, including the Lothal Insurgency becoming an organized movement, Senator Mothma going into exile but being able now to personally lead the Alliance alongside Senator Organa, Sabine recruiting the Mandalorians, other familiar characters like Saw, Wedge, Hobbie, Dodonna, and et al. gaining coverage of what they were doing during these days, a growing Alliance fleet, and so on. People appreciated that more tie-ins were occurring with the story as it approached Rogue One and the Original Trilogy, as well as the stronger continuity within its own season and other material.
  • Woobie Species:
  • Woolseyism: As discussed in this article (note: major spoilers) about the Japanese translation, the original English dialogue between Ahsoka and Vader before their duel is adjusted. Vader says "Anakin Skywalker was weak. Therefore I buried him OR So I entombed him". Ahsoka later says "I no longer walk the Jedi path".

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