star wars rebels series finale trailer

This post contains major spoilers for the series finale of Star Wars Rebels.

Star Wars Rebels came to an end with a surprisingly hopeful finale. It was a gorgeous epilogue that let us know just what our beloved Spectres were up to in the years following the end of the show. Set just after the Battle of Endor, the last few minutes of the series highlighted where each member of the Rebels cast ended up, even teasing the possibility of a Sabine Wren and Ahsoka spin-off.

But it was one of the smaller details that sparked much crying, yelling, and speculation amongst fans. See, the ending of Rebels introduced us to Hera and Kanan’s son. And that’s where things get interesting.

That would’ve been exciting enough on its own…but that son is named Jacen, confirmed by the official Star Wars Twitter account as the show aired.

 

Why should anyone care about that name in particular? Well, there used to be another boy called Jacen in the Star Wars canon – one of the most beloved boys in Star Wars –and he was the inspiration for one of the new trilogy’s most fascinating and popular characters: Kylo Ren.

Who is Jacen Solo?

In the now de-canonized Expanded Universe books, Jacen Solo was the son of Han and Leia, and the twin brother of their daughter, Jaina Solo. The pair were first introduced The Last Command, a 1994 novel by Timothy Zahn, and quickly became a huge part of the Expanded Universe. Jacen and Jaina were at the center of the Young Jedi Knights series, a young adult franchise that ran for 13 books and focused on Luke Skywalker training a new generation of Jedi. Sadly for Jacen, he later turns to the Dark Side and becomes the sith lord Darth Caedus. He is, in a very Star Wars move, later killed by his sister, Jaina.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because that storyline aligns in many ways with Kylo Ren. It was so similar that when the first script excerpts leaked, many fans believed the film would center around Leia and Han’s children from the Young Jedi Knights books. Those predictions weren’t exactly right, but just like Jacen, Ben Solo was trained by Luke Skywalker and later turned to the Dark Side, becoming Kylo Ren and betraying his family. Though we know now that Rey isn’t Kylo’s sister, she will likely be the one who defeats him, just like Jaina before her.

Who is Jacen Syndulla?

We know very little about Hera’s son, though it was strongly suggested that he is the child of Kanan Janus. One of the last Jedi, Kanan was the mentor of Rebels’ protagonist Ezra throughout the show’s four seasons. Kanan sacrificed himself so the rest of the group could survive, leaving Hera to raise Jacen alone. In Sabine’s short introduction to the pair, she stated that he was “born to fly just like his mother” and added “we all know what his father was like.” Though they might seem like offhand comments, those quotes actually hint at something much bigger.

Jacen Syndulla is the son of a Jedi, which means he’s likely Force sensitive. His penchant for flying at such a young age also hints that he might be a powerful Force user, as both Luke and Anakin’s powers were tied into their talents for flight. If Jacen can use the Force, it’s likely that he’ll need a master. With his father and Ezra out of the picture, he’d likely have to look elsewhere… perhaps to a famed Jedi who’s in the process of setting up a new school to train the next generation of Jedi. Someone like Luke Skywalker.

What Does This Mean for the Future?

There was much excitement amongst fans when it was confirmed that Hera’s son was named Jacen, mostly because it’s a sweet throwback to a beloved character. Plus, Rebels has been fertile ground for references to Expanded Universe lore. But what if it’s not just a nice nod to the past? What if it’s teasing a possible Rebels spin-off?

We know that showrunner Dave Filoni will now likely head off to create a show focused on Ahsoka and Sabine exploring the galaxy as they hunt for Ezra. However, the finale left the door open for spin-offs for other characters, specifically one about Hera and Jacen. So could Jacen be the focus of a new series, one where the fledgling young pilot enlists in a Jedi academy led by Luke Skywalker? It seems likely, as we know Luke was training the next generation of Jedi when young Ben Solo turned on him, destroying his school and killing his pupils. We also know that Hera and her young son were alive and well after the Battle of Endor, which means that Jacen could be an early student at Luke’s Jedi Academy.

The introduction of Jacen could be just a sweet send-off for Hera and her newfound family. But it could also be the launchpad for a new animated series, possibly inspired by the Young Jedi Knights series. How cool would that be?

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