Star Wars Rebels Season 4: Fewer Episodes, More Serialized Story, Ahsoka, Rogue One Connections & More

In today's edition of Star Wars Rebels Bits, voice actor Ashley Eckstein teases Ahsoka Tano's possible return to Star Wars Rebels and talks about her hopes for the future of the characters, Rosario Dawson continues to campaign to play Ahsoka in a live-action movie, the final season of the DisneyXD animated series will have a reduced episode count but a more serialized story, how the final season may tie into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, showrunner Dave Filoni talks about his aspirations to direct a live-action Star Wars standalone movie, and promises that the final season will have a more serialized continuous story arc than anything he's done so far. Hit the jump to hyperspace.

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Ashley Eckstein Teases Ahsoka's Return

Ashley Eckstein, the voice behind the character Ahsoka Tano, is teasing the former Jedi's return to Star Wars Rebels. As if we didn't know she'd be back — we've already suspected how Ahsoka's fate will be explained. Eckstein spoke to Yahoo about Ahsoka's eventual return. She says she hopes the show explores the reasoning behind her leaving the Jedi:

I want to know more about Ahsoka's future as this kind of neutral character. Her lightsabers are white because she's neutral. She's not on the Dark Side, she's not a Jedi. She's not even a full-blown Rebel. What is she doing? Where is she? All I can say is, you'll see Ahsoka again.

Of course, I'm sure at this point Eckstein may have even read the script as the fourth and final season of the series is in production. So maybe this is more of a hint than a hope?

Meanwhile, actress Rosario Dawson is still behind the fan campaign to have her play Ahsoka in a live-action Star Wars film. While appearing on Good Morning America, the actress said the following:

"There's a whole campaign going on online to try to get me in Star Wars to play Ahsoka Tano which would be amazing." After co-host, Michael Strahan brought up the fact that the official account for Star Wars follows her on Twitter she added:"I know! I'm like, I think that's a good sign! Internet help me out!"

I don't think we'll see an Ahsoka standalone movie, but if they did decide to make one Dawson would be a top contender for sure. Watch the full clip above.

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Star Wars Rebels Season 4 Has Been Reduced To 15 Episodes

Speaking of season 4, we have now learned that the final season of the DisneyXD animated series will contain only 15 episodes, down from the 22-episode order of the last couple seasons. A couple of the episodes will be two-parters, like the debut episode of the season that was previewed at Star Wars Celebration Orlando. And we can assume the final two or three episodes will also be a multi-part story.

While it is sad to see Star Wars Rebels end, I'm kind of happy that they are going out with a shorter season like the debut run, as it means they have to stretch less and it will likely result in a stronger overall story.

Rebels Final Season Will Have A More Serialized Continuous Story Arc

Dave Filoni told IGN that the fourth and final season of the series will present a longer cohesive story arc.

"This season 4 is unlike anything we've ever done in that, at a certain point, a couple episodes in, it's more a continuous story arc all the way till the end. More than its ever been in anything we've done, including Clone Wars. Each story really fits together. Yes, they are unique and independent but it almost feels like day to day. Because things start to move fast and get exciting, interesting desperate and awesome."

This is the most exciting thing I've heard about the series since the introduction of Thrawn as my biggest complaint about the show is the sometimes episodic nature.


How Rebels Season 4 Will Tie Into Rogue One

Aslo at IGN, Dave Filoni talks about how season four might tie into Rogue One:

Now that Rogue One is out, it opens up a lot of possibilities for us to tell these stories. We can go to Yavin now. We can start to deal with the way things worked out in the film and include ideas that are happening prior to that. The look of the background rebels really shifts to being more of the kind of drab military colors that you see in Rogue One. The Phoenix group of Rebel soldiers are kind of petering out. So they're redistributed into Mon Mothma's group on Yavin and Dodonna's group. You see a restructuring of certain cells, and certain cells get destroyed. And that's true of the ships as well. So there's lots of little, neat, detail level things that happen when our characters are heading into season 4 and are absorbed into the kind of pre-Rogue One era, which I thought they did beautifully in the film.

Or as we learned in our interview, how Star Wars Rebels won't tie into Rogue One.

dave filoni on the set of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Is Dave Filoni Interested In Making A Star Wars Standalone Movie?

And with Star Wars Rebels coming to an end, a lot of Star Wars fans are wondering about the future of showrunner Dave Filoni. The executive producer teased at Celebration that the future of animated Star Wars projects is strong, hinting that he may be involved in whatever comes next. But Coming Soon asked the filmmaker if he would have an interest in making the transition to live-action and whether or not he would like to direct a Star Wars movie. Here was his response:

"I'd be crazy to say I'm not interested in that. I don't want to say that would be the ultimate, because I really enjoy the stories I'm telling now and I would never undercut them by saying they're something less. I think the craft we do and the work we do in these series is tremendous and the artists we have working on them are amazing. But I can't help but be curious about this live-action world and what I see there and the tremendous opportunities that are around me. It is very interesting to me, I respect the craft that it is, it's a different style. I've been observing and learning a lot about it to see how I would do (it) and if it fits with my creative vision for things or would I encumber the process. I don't do things like that unless I feel like I do have a real ownership and mastery of it, I just think it's disrespectful to the crew that you would work with, who would obviously been tremendous professionals and I wouldn't want to hinder them in any way. You know, we'll see. In some circles you find you're a master and in some circles you're still a Padawan, we should always be learning, all of us. Always be learning."

I'd definitely be interested to see Filoni direct some live-action Star Wars, be it on the big or small screen.