A Closer Look at the 'Star Wars Rebels' Season 2.5 Trailer

01
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Darkness is coming

A mysterious temple
Ezra, Ahsoka, and Kanan approach a mysterious temple. Lucasfilm Ltd.

It's about to get real.

As the second half of Star Wars Rebels Season 2 gets underway, Lucasfilm has released a trailer that gives a strong taste of what's to come. I've taken screenshots of key moments throughout the trailer and enhanced them -- and discovered some surprising stuff.

These screens are positively overflowing with spoilers and my commentary has speculation for the rest of the season, so enter at your own risk. And if you're not caught up on Star Wars Rebels... please don't go no further.

 

The trailer begins with Ezra, Ahsoka, and Kanan approaching what looks like an ancient Sith temple. It's worth noting that this structure and the landscape surrounding it are underground in some kind of massive cavern.

There are shades of Pompeii in this sequence as well, as bodies will be seen frozen in time, at the moment some terrible tragedy occurred.

02
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What is this mystery object?

A strange, obelisk-like object
A strange, obelisk-like object. Lucasfilm Ltd.

I'm going with Sith metronome.

03
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A beam of red energy protrudes from an unknown planet

A beam of energy
A beam of energy. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Looks kind of like Kylo Ren's lightsaber blade, doesn't it? But it's coming from the ground, so could it be some kind of Starkiller prototype?

04
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Ezra vs. Fifth Brother

Ezra vs. Fifth Brother
Ezra vs. Fifth Brother. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Ezra's powers really are growing if he can hold his own against an Inquisitor as big and powerful as the Fifth Brother.

05
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Take note

Rebels board the Ghost
Rebels board the Ghost while under fire from Stormtroopers. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Look closely. See those two newcomers boarding the Ghost with the rest of the crew? Zeb is carrying one, and the other is wearing a teal-colored tunic.

Remember them. We'll come back to them later.

06
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Plenty to see here...

The Ghost on an unknown world
The Ghost descends toward an unknown world. Lucasfilm Ltd.

This appears to be a new planet, one we've never seen before. The surface is covered in craters, like our own moon, but asteroids float low above them. Inside the biggest of these craters, an eerie green light glows.

In the bottom right you can see an installation of some kind. (Typically these kinds of bases are there to mine a local resource.) Also note the fish-like creatures "swimming" through the air in a circle around one of the larger asteroids. Unless this entire scene is taking place under water, which would be really cool.

07
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Reinforcements arrive

Rebel reinforcements
Rebel reinforcement vessels. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think we've seen this class of ship before. They share some aesthetic similarities with the familiar blockade runner ships, which originate on Alderaan. Given that these are Bail Organa's "reinforcements," it's a safe bet that they're Alderaanian, too.

08
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Daddy's home

Cham Syndulla
Cham Syndulla. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Hera's dear old dad, Cham Syndulla, enters the fight, and he looks ready to take up the Rebel banner. (This shot is followed by a very quick cut of him punching a Stormtrooper.)

Cham looks quite different than he did back on Clone Wars; Rebels seems to favor a stylistic choice of depicting age by elongating faces. You'll see this technique again later in this slideshow.

09
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A Princess comes to town

Princess Leia
Princess Leia on Lothal. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Another original trilogy player enters the fray as Princess Leia comes to the rescue of Kanan and Ezra on Lothal. She's just 15(ish) years old here, like Ezra, but don't expect a similar conflict within her as what Ezra is experiencing.

Leia's always been mature beyond her years.

10
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A (somewhat) familiar face

Stormtoopers hold Ryder Azadi at gunpoint
Stormtroopers hold Ryder Azadi at gunpoint. Lucasfilm Ltd.

That guy on the far left facing the Stormtroopers? The one with his hands up? You can tell from his attire that that's Ryder Azadi, the former Lothal governor that Ezra and Kanan met in Season 2's "Legacy."

11
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Kanan's taking care of business

Kanan in action
Kanan in action. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Kanan gets several really cool action shots in this trailer. Here's one...

12
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Kanan blasts through

Kanan blasts through
Kanan uses his lightsaber and the Force to blast through a wall. Lucasfilm Ltd.

...and here's another. This might become my new desktop wallpaper.

13
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Skydiving

Ezra, Kanan, Sabine, and Chopper dive
Ezra, Kanan, Sabine, and Chopper dive through space. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Ezra, Kanan, Sabine, and Chopper (is Sabine carrying Chopper or riding him?) do a little skydiving. Their target is undoubtedly that new world we saw earlier (see #6).

14
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Sabine doing what she does best

Sabine wields dual blasters
Sabine wields dual blasters. Lucasfilm Ltd.

There's a reason Sabine has become a fan-favorite character. Here, she wields dual blaster pistols at...

15
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Eww

Sabine fights giant spiders
Sabine fights off giant spider creatures. Lucasfilm Ltd.

...big potato/spider creatures!

On a separate note, what world is this, and why does its sole geographic feature look like giant explosions frozen in time?

16
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Wait, how many Inquisitors...?

Standoff
Standoff between Inquisitors and Jedi. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Ahsoka, Ezra, and Kanan are into it now. And Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother have gotten themselves some backup in the form of a third Inquisitor. Who is this new player? Might we recognize the face behind the mask? Hm.

17
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Not-so-dynamic duo?

Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother
Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother - Inquisitors. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Our two resident Inquisitors have that look of knowing they're in trouble. I'm guessing it's Darth Vader who's going to reprimand them.

18
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10 vs. 2

Inquisitors face off against mystery Jedi
Inquisitors face off against mystery Jedi. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Things look grim for Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother, as they're surrounded by a mysterious group of Jedi-like warriors. (More on them later.)

This top-down perspective has a vague resemblance to the Empire's symbol.

19
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Vader is unhappy

Darth Vader
Darth Vader. Lucasfilm Ltd.

"It will be their undoing." Man, it's awesome to hear James Earl Jones again, isn't it?

20
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Chopper takes flight

Chopper takes flight
Chopper takes flight. Lucasfilm Ltd.

These Stormtroopers would be wise to get out of the way. As anyone who's watched Rebels knows... If you value your life, don't mess with Chopper.

21
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Rebel siege?

Ezra, Sabine, Kanan, and Chopper attack an Imperial facility
Ezra, Sabine, Kanan, and Chopper attack an Imperial facility. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Kanan, Ezra, Sabine, and Chopper are engaged in some kind of siege here, from the looks of things. This undoubtedly comes after #13, and appears to be on the green crater planet (#6).

But what's really interesting is what's in the bottom left. Those are yellow TIE Fighters. And they have a different wing configuration, too, with a concave design (we're looking at their front side here). Colors usually designate some kind of specialty, so maybe these TIEs are used for mining or something.

22
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Ezra meets Yoda

Ezra and Yoda
Ezra and Yoda. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Yoda's back! And this time we get to see him.

Frank Oz voiced Yoda for an episode in the first season, but he was merely a disembodied voice. Here, Yoda appears in the flesh -- albeit via some form of astral Jedi communication. The branch he's sitting on is a nice little reminder that he's currently on Dagobah.

23
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Using the Force

Kanan and Ezra use the Force
Kanan and Ezra use the Force. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Does every Rebel wear fingerless gloves and I never noticed? Is this a thing?

Man, I wish they'd give Ezra a haircut.

24
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Rex attacks

Rex attacks
Rex attacks. Lucasfilm Ltd.

You gotta wonder who Rex is so pissed at. 'Cause he's bringing the hammer down hard.

Please let it be Vader, please let it be Vader...

25
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Hitching a ride

A Jedi rides atop the Ghost
A Jedi rides atop the Ghost. Lucasfilm Ltd.

There's a Jedi on top of the Ghost. While it's attacking. That's so awesome, I can't add anything to it.

So is it Kanan or Ezra? Looks like Kanan to me, but I could be wrong.

26
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Another look at Yoda

Yoda
Yoda. Lucasfilm Ltd.

A better close-up of the venerable Jedi Master.

27
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Ezra gets a lift

Ezra rides a massive creature
Ezra rides a massive creature. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Once again we see that green crater planet, this time with Ezra using his Force ability to "connect" to commandeer one of those big fish-like creatures.

28
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Kanan and Ezra support Zeb

Kanan and Ezra support Zeb
Kanan and Ezra support Zeb. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Kanan and Ezra are helping Zeb here somehow, with the Force. What do you suppose they're doing?

29
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Ready to fight

Darth Vader
Darth Vader. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Vader ignites his lightsaber.

30
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Anakin Skywalker

Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker in a Holocron record. Lucasfilm Ltd.

A Holocron record of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker in action. I think we all knew from this moment in the trailer what climactic battle was to come...

31
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Where's this?

An unknown location
Vehicles search an unknown location. Lucasfilm Ltd.

And who or what are those ships searching for?

32
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Time to meditate

Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra meditate
Ahsoka, Kanan, and Ezra meditate. Lucasfilm Ltd.

What are our three Jedi heroes up to? And where are they? I don't recognize this location.

33
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Kanan encounters... someone

Kanan and a mystery Jedi
Kanan and a mystery Jedi. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Here we have Kanan discovering the sparring dojo from The Matrix, where some kind of Jedi person or droid or entity is waiting. That's the Jedi emblem hanging on the wall.

34
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Front view

Mystery Jedi
Mystery Jedi. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Seriously, who is this guy? And where are his nine friends (#18)?

35
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Oops

Ezra and a strange machine
Ezra and a strange machine. Lucasfilm Ltd.

This must be what dreams are like on crystal meth.

36
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What's going on?

Ezra and the mystery machine
Ezra and the mystery machine. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Ezra just activated something, and it's not good. Probably the source of that red energy beam shooting into the sky way back in #3.

Oh, Ezra.

37
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Ezra does a bad thing

Ezra holding a Sith holocron
Ezra holding a Sith holocron. Lucasfilm Ltd.

How did Ezra get his hands on a Sith Holocron?

38
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You wouldn't like him when he's angry

An angry Ezra
An angry Ezra. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Ezra is moving dangerously close to the dark side this season. Will he follow Anakin Skywalker's example?

39
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"Call me Old Master."

Darth Maul returns
Darth Maul returns. Lucasfilm Ltd.

I know this is a horrible image. I processed the heck out of it to make the contrasts and colors strong enough so that there can be no doubt about who this is.

fans know that Darth Maul survived being chopped in half way back in The Phantom Menace through his knowledge of Palpatine's dark side secrets. He was given mechanical legs and a new evil purpose, but his fate was left dangling by the end of Clone Wars.

The revelation that he's still alive, 15+ years later, shouldn't be taken lightly. While not surprising from an "of course Rebels' writers want to use him" perspective, it's huge as a plot point. Darth Sidious considered him a rival the last time they met, and it's hard to believe the big baddie would allow Maul to escape his grasp and go on living.

How he survived long enough to become an "old master" and where he's been all this time are some juicy reveals I can't wait for.

He can't be as limber or acrobatic as he once was, so is he still as much of a threat as he used to be?

40
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Kneel before Maul

Ezra kneels before Darth Maul
Ezra kneels before Darth Maul. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Ezra kneeling before a dark figure I assume to be Darth Maul is almost as bad as it gets. But maybe Ezra doesn't know who Maul is. Maybe he thinks he's an old Jedi. Even at that, he has to feel the dark side in the old man.

I keep wondering what's triggered this newfound curiosity in Ezra about the dark side. Is it the knowledge that his parents are dead? Or does something else happen that pushes him closer to the edge?

41
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The Ghost approaches a strange phenomenon

The Ghost
The Ghost. Lucasfilm Ltd.

I don't have any revelations or theories about this one, it's just a gorgeous shot.

42
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Yellow?

Ezra fights a yellow TIE Fighter
Ezra fights a yellow TIE Fighter. Lucasfilm Ltd.

It's blurry, but it's the best still I could get of this moment that features a closer view of one of those yellow TIE Fighters. I love that Ezra's fighting it not from another ship but with his lightsaber.

43
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Droid vs. droid

Droid vs. droid
Chopper fights a droid vs. droid battle. Lucasfilm Ltd.

That black astromech done picked a fight with the wrong droid.

44
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"Ezra, don't!"

Ahsoka warns Ezra not to touch
Ahsoka warns Ezra not to touch. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Well of course he's going to touch it.

45
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But he does anyway...

Ezra touches it
Ezra touches it. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Oh, Ezra.

46
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...Setting off a reaction

Ezra's touch sets off a reaction
Ezra's touch sets off a reaction. Lucasfilm Ltd.

What do you suppose Ezra just made happen?

47
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Zeb does something really hard

Zeb
Zeb. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Either Zeb is exerting himself angrily, or he's yawning.

48
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Ezra vs. an Inquisitor

Ezra fights an Inquisitor
Ezra fights an Inquisitor. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Here's that new, third Inquisitor again. Can't tell if it's male or female.

49
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Cool Mandalorians shot

Mandalorians
Mandalorians. Lucasfilm Ltd.

They're totally doing "Hit Me Baby One More Time." For real.

50
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There are more Lasats!

Zeb and his friends encounter surviving Lasats
Zeb and his friends encounter surviving Lasats. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Way back at #5, I said to remember the two newcomers boarding the Ghost alongside the Rebel crew. Here's the payoff.

Zeb isn't the last of his people after all! Here we see an older female Lasat, and another male standing behind her. Could she be Zeb's mother, or another relative? No idea what they're doing there with the glowy orb.

51
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Ahsoka learns the truth

Ahsoka learns the truth
Ahsoka learns the truth about Anakin. Lucasfilm Ltd.

At last we come to the meat of it. Ahsoka Tano spent 15 years believing that her Jedi master Anakin Skywalker died during the Jedi Purge. But the truth is so much worse.

52
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There are no words for this coolness

Darth Vader arrives
Darth Vader arrives as Ezra watches. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Ep. Ic.

53
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Inching closer to the truth

Ahsoka cries
Ahsoka cries upon learning the truth. Lucasfilm Ltd.

A tear escapes as Ahsoka starts to understand...

54
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"NO!"

Ahsoka reacts to the truth
Ahsoka reacts to the truth. Lucasfilm Ltd.

And now she knows. Ashley Eckstein does a fantastic job conveying Ahsoka's horror and anguish in just one line.

55
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Vader vs. Bridger

Darth Vader faces Ezra Bridger
Darth Vader faces Ezra Bridger. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Continuing from #52, it looks like Vader leaps down from his TIE Fighter to engage Ezra in a lightsaber battle. What Ezra hopes to gain from this isn't clear; he's hopelessly outmatched.

56
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Look at all those lightsabers

Kanan fights
Kanan fights. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Quick jump back to Kanan in the dojo. Most intriguing to me are the lightsabers hanging behind him on the wall. A few of them sport familiar designs.

The two on the left match the dual ends of Darth Maul's original double-ended saber. The one on the bottom right is Luke's second lightsaber, the one he used in Return of the Jedi.

57
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An interesting find

Ezra finds a crossguard lightsaber
Ezra finds a crossguard lightsaber. Lucasfilm Ltd.

In an obvious reference to The Force Awakens, it looks like Ezra is going to stumble across a lightsaber with quillions, using a design similar to Kylo Ren's.

The big difference here is that this is a Jedi saber, as evident by the green blade. (Bad guys always have red blades.) And from the body frozen behind him on the ground, this is happening in that vast cavern with the big pyramid, which is probably a Sith temple.

If Ezra found a Jedi saber here among these Sith-like ruins, does that make this the site of an ancient Jedi vs. Sith battle?

58
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It's on

Ahsoka is ready to fight
Ahsoka is ready to fight. Lucasfilm Ltd.

And then Ahsoka was all like, "Come at me, bro..."

59
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Here she comes

Darth Vader prepares for an incoming attack
Darth Vader prepares for an incoming attack. Lucasfilm Ltd.

And then Vader was like, "No you didn't..."

60
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Ahsoka attacks

Ahsoka attacks
Ahsoka attacks. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Time for the main event! It's a long-awaited reunion, but it won't be a happy one.

61
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Blades clash

Ahsoka vs. Vader
Ahsoka vs. Vader. Lucasfilm Ltd.

There's a rule of fiction writing that says, "The best drama comes when you put your character in the place they least want to be."

Ahsoka never imagined she'd be fighting her Jedi master. They were such close friends, with a sibling dynamic, with so much history. They saved each other's lives countless times.

62
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Master vs. apprentice

Ahsoka fights Darth Vader
Ahsoka fights Darth Vader. Lucasfilm Ltd.

And here it is: the money shot. The moment fans have been waiting for since long before The Clone Wars ended.

Showrunner Dave Filoni told Entertainment Weekly that his intention is to "wrap up that storyline by the end of the season." Some fans have interpreted this to mean that Ahsoka won't survive the fight.

But then, no one expected her to survive The Clone Wars, either. The way her fate was resolved on that show proves that there are always other ways, more creative solutions. And I find it impossible to believe that Lucasfilm and Disney would kill off one of their most popular characters -- even for an emotionally climactic moment such as this.

Having Vader kill Ahsoka would send the wrong message, narratively speaking. Because it would mean that the only reason she was imported to Rebels was so she could face Vader and die. That's all she's bringing to the party as a character, as if she has nothing of her own to offer besides serving Vader's story.

And we all know that's not true.