Star Wars is an enduring franchise because its world is bigger than almost any other major fantasy series. Every planet its heroes visit has a story of its own, every alien species has a unique culture to explore, and every revealed tidbit about its galaxy’s mystical reliance on the Force is another piece of a puzzle that sprawls out for light years in every direction.
Many of the more interesting elements of the Star Wars galaxy can’t be addressed in movies because there’s way too much to pack into a single trilogy (or a trilogy of trilogies), but its animated series like Star Wars Rebels do a great job at filling in the blanks for those who want a little more star in their war.
Star Wars Rebels is a four-season series that ended in 2018 and is available for streaming in its entirety on Disney+. It has everything a Star Wars fan could possibly want, packed into episodes that range from one-shot hilarity to poignant encounters with some of the franchise’s most popular characters.
Star Wars Rebels focuses on the war side of Star Wars by showing the impact of the Empire on ordinary people and planets. The found family at the center of the series consists of a pilot, a Jedi, an orphan, a sharpshooter, a warrior, a spy, and one very, very grumpy droid, all of whom come together to join the rebellion and fight for their homes and loved ones. Each character (even the droid) is fleshed out with time and attention, and by the end of the series everyone gets a satisfying arc.
Each character (even the droid) is fleshed out with time and attention
Do you like Mandalorians? Star Wars Rebels has a Mandalorian main character named Sabine Wren who brings the rebellion back to her home planet to fight alongside the galaxy’s greatest warriors. How about Force-sensitive babies? Star Wars Rebels might not have Baby Yoda, but the emergence of Force-sensitive children in the shadow of the Empire is a huge plot point that the series isn’t afraid to dive into. What about romance? Rebels has romance of the slow-burn, unrequited, and heavily implied varieties. Take your pick, there’s plenty to ship.
Of course, no Star Wars series would be complete without some Jedi action, so meet Kanan Jarrus, a Jedi who escaped the Order 66 massacre; and Ezra Briger, the promising orphan he’s training in the ways of the Force. Ezra’s journey as a padawan without the support of the Jedi Order covers way more ground than any Star Wars movie possibly could, and Rebels uses him to explore mysteries of the galaxy that change everything we know about the Force — something anyone interested in wondering where Star Wars can go after The Rise of Skywalker would be wise to interrogate.
Like all Star Wars animated series, Star Wars Rebels has blessedly short, 23-minute episodes that make it easy to binge in short spurts or lose a few hours getting caught up on an entire season; either way makes for a solid dose of Star Wars now that the sequel trilogy is over and The Mandalorian is ending soon. Until Disney reveals their plans for further movies or sets a release date for its Kenobi or Cassian Andor series, Rebels is your best bet for binging a Star War that doesn’t end with…well. No spoilers.
All seasons of Star Wars Rebels are available to stream on Disney+.