Dave Filoni Explains This Weekend's Surprising 'Star Wars Rebels' Twist

This week's episode of Star Wars Rebels had a lot of mythology and introduced some massive changes to the DisneyXD animated series. Let's take a look at some of executive producer Dave Filoni's comments on this big change, including the implications of possible returning characters and the big question: Will we get a Star Wars Rebels season 4?

For those of you who have yet to watch the episode (I'm not sure why you're reading this, but) here is what happened: After reconciling with her family and defeating Mandalorian leader Gar Saxon, Sabine Wren made a choice to leave the Rebellion and our beloved Ghost crew in favor of staying with her family to work on freeing Mandalore from the Empire. This decision means an enormous and unexpected change as Sabine has been part of the Ghost crew since the series began. The ending was a big surprise for most fans, like myself. And a very emotional one.

Executive producer Dave Filoni has done some press talking about the reason for this choice and the possible implications of the move. Filoni explained why Sabine made the decision in an interview over at Nerdist:

It just feels right. Everything she's learned and grown through, and everything that she's overcome, especially in those two episodes, I think dictates that she has to continue to deal with this. It's not something that she can just walk away from, and say, 'Well I'm gonna go back with my rebel friends now. [laughs] Have fun! I opened up all of these things and Mandalore's in a state of civil war now, but...'

In another interview with ComicBook.com, Filoni explains that by Sabine making this decision it is "also serving the greater Star Wars universe to say that there's a lot going on in this galaxy."

It's not just this one-angled thing with this rebellion, and now you meet her parents, at least her mother, and you have rescued her basically, or freed her up. So she's going to do stuff. I think it creates a great moment for the character in an unexpected moment, obviously. We'll see where it goes from there.

But I wouldn't worry that this is the last we've seen of Sabine, even Filoni is willing to admit "I think we will have to have Sabine back in a bit because she's just too fun." I think even the episode suggests this isn't the last time we'll see her, with Sabine vowing to find someone else to wield the Darksaber as Mandalore's ruler once again. But who could that possibly be?

Bo-Katan Kryze

The most likely candidate is Bo-Katan Kryze, a character played by Katee Sackhoff on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Sackhoff already messed up and said that she was recording lines for the series at a convention appearance last year and even Filoni admits there is a "probability" of Sabine running into Kryze:

I love that character, she was my one of my favorite characters that we got to do on Clone Wars. I actually had a lot planned with that character toward the end of that series, so it would be fun to bring her back.

As someone who is not a fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this character doesn't register at all with me. She was a Mandalorian warrior who served Death Watch during the Clone Wars, who were determined to restore her homeworld of Mandalore to its ancient traditions. Here is a bit of info on the character from Wookieepedia:

Following several failed attempts to reclaim Mandalore, Bo-Katan and Death Watch joined Darth Maul's Shadow Collective. Although their alliance with the former Sith apprentice achieved Death Watch's rise to power, it also led to Vizsla's death in single combat with Maul who claimed the darksaber and his opponent's place as leader of Mandalore. However, Bo-Katan refused to recognize the legitimacy of an outsider's claim, consequently resulting in a civil war between Maul's supporters and those who shared Bo-Katan's views. As the conflict engulfed her home planet, Bo-Katan implored Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi to reveal Maul's actions to the Galactic Republic, preferring the prospects of a Republic military invasion over Maul's reign.

star wars rebels logo

The bigger question is: will Star Wars Rebels end with the season 3 finale or is a fourth season in the cards for this animated series? I remember when the show first started up, there were rumors that it was only planned to be a three season story. Of course, Dave Filoni is not giving a straight answer when asked about the future of the show (and judging from what happened at the ending of Clone Wars, he might not even know the fate of the series). He told CB the following:

I feel very good that this season drives us to a point where you can actually look and see these arcs within this season of where, say Kanan and Ezra, everyone started and where they end, and what the future may or may not hold for them. Imagining they survive, what's about to happen?" ... "From the very beginning, Simon and I, working with the writers and story group have had a goal in mind of where we would like to get to with this, and we've been taking steps towards it along the way, and some surprising twists and turns even to us, but we always have a goal in mind of where we want to be. So, I think we have taken some strong steps towards that with always an eye on 'Does the adventure continue?' So we'll have to see.

If you're looking to delve into this episode further, no better place than this week's episode of the Lucasfilm-produced web series "Rebels Recon":