While I enjoyed Star Wars: The Clone Wars very much (and it is a pretty awesome show), I absolutely loved Star Wars Rebels. And yes, this series is different than Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and tone and isn’t quite is dark; get over it, people! Everything about this little makeshift family going up against the Empire was done so well. I loved the characters, the plot, the animation, the music, you name it. And with the concluding season ending, I thought it was appropriate to make a list of my favorite episodes from this fantastic series.
So here are the top 11 best Star Wars Rebels episodes. (Why 11? Why not?) Keep in mind that there will be some personal bias in the ranking, so if you disagree with it, sorry. These are the ones that I thought were the best and the ones that made the biggest impact on me.
Warning!! Major spoilers ahead! Continue at your own risk!
11. Out of Darkness S1Ep7
Summary: Sabine and Hera must battle desperate conditions on an abandoned station thanks to their ship running out of fuel.
What I like about this episode is you get some great interaction between Sabine and Hera, and you get a better look into Sabine’s personality. Plus, we also see some fun dynamics between Ezra, Chopper, and Zeb. What’s also pretty awesome about this episode is that it deals with a tough scenario where Sabine is wanting to know more about the Rebellion, but Hera can’t tell her much in order to protect the rebels. Both sides have legitimate reasons for their actions and desires, and to see them clashing is understandable but also a little difficult.
Watching this episode again after knowing Sabine’s past also makes it that much more understandable why she’s wary of the secrets Hera is keeping. But we see them come to an understanding, which is pretty heartwarming, and shows just how incredible it is that Sabine was willing to put her faith in Hera.
10. Stealth Strike S2Ep9
Summary: Sato and Ezra are captured by Imperials and it’s up to Kanan and Rex to rescue them.
This episode stands out since it shows the change in the relationship between Kanan and Rex. These two have had a rather uneasy truce since Rex joined the Rebellion, and you can tell they don’t really like each other. It’s not only the fact that Rex is a clone (and Kanan has understandable issues with clones); the two just have very different personalities and ways of handling things, which make them clash often. But to see Kanan go back and help Rex, even calling him a friend, is amazing and shows how far the two have come.
We also get to see just how much Ezra has progressed in both his Jedi training and in general combat. He shows off some amazing skills as he breaks out and helps Sato and his crew escape. He’s not the same scrappy little kid we met on Lothal anymore, and it shows.
9. Trials of the Darksaber S3Ep15
Summary: Sabine must learn how to wield the Darksaber if she’s to help lead her people against the Empire.
What I love about this episode is this clashing of Jedi culture with Mandalorian culture. We also get a much better look into Sabine’s past, why she left the Empire, and why she has so many scars involving her family. Sabine is one of the few members of Ghost crew to have family still alive. But that can be almost harder to deal with, especially if your family sees you as a traitor. This is one of the few episodes where we see Sabine actually open up and show her emotions, and it’s pretty intense.
What also makes this episode stand out is the final training session between Sabine and Kanan. The way it’s choreographed, the interaction between these two, and the music all come together to create a truly powerful and spellbinding scene that show us just what both the Jedi and Mandalorians are capable of.
8. Legends of the Lasat S2Ep14
Summary: Zeb finds other Lasats and, together with them and the Ghost Crew, searches for the fabled Lyra San.
This episode was the Zeb-centric ones that fans had been waiting for. Not only do we get to see some of Zeb’s backstory before he joined the Ghost Crew, but we also get a better look into Lasat culture and how they view the Force, or the Ashla as they call it. There’s a lot of mysticism in this episode and it’s both strange and intriguing.
Plus, it’s amazing to see Zeb finally step up and become more like the Captain of the Honor Guard he once was. This Lasat isn’t broken anymore, and we see just how confident and awesome Zeb really is. Plus, the animation and the music for this episode, particularly when they go into a star cluster, is just gorgeous. It’s a memorable episode for sure and one worthy of this Lasat’s proud heritage.
7. The Honorable Ones S2Ep17
Summary: Zeb and Agent Kallus end up stranded on an ice moon and must work together to survive.
This episode is a personal favorite of mine. I’m always a sucker for the reluctant ally trope. And this one is done very well. You see how Zeb and Kallus go from hated enemies to grudging allies to even something like comrades. They both realize they have a lot more in common than they initially thought, and the episode ends with Kallus starting to question the Empire he serves. And watching Zeb and Kallus argue and banter, as well as seeing Kallus actually scared and a little less than dignified, as absolutely hilarious.
But what sets this episode apart is the last minute of the episode, where we see Kallus starting to doubt the Empire. The way it’s shot combined with the music has this episode end on a very thoughtful note that gives me chills every time. This is the moment that catalysts Kallus’s eventual defection from the Empire. It’s intriguing and it leaves you hoping to see more of this proud Imperial’s struggle.
6. Through Imperial Eyes S3Ep17
Summary: Kallus, together with Ezra, must figure out how to throw Thrawn off the Rebellion’s trail.
This episode gives us a little look into what Kallus is facing as a Rebellion spy working within the heart of the Empire. You can see the stress he’s under and the admirable way he manages to hide his feelings and true thoughts from the other Imperials. It also showcases not only Kallus’s talents as a spy and a manipulator, but it also shows off Thrawn’s physical abilities as well as his mental ones.
While we’ve seen Thrawn’s brain at work, we haven’t really see him fight until this episode, where he takes on two reprogramed assassin droids. It’s impressive to say in the least. And watching him figure out that the mole is Kallus is fascinating to watch. This episode helps us appreciate the efforts of Kallus and Ezra, as well as the unnerving capabilities of Thrawn.
5. Dume S4Ep11
Summary: In the wake of Kanan’s death, the Ghost crew struggles to pick up the pieces and move forward in freeing Lothal.
This episode is amazing but also incredibly painful to watch. While I have mixed feelings about Kanan’s death, I’m glad they did an episode where everyone is actually grieving and processing it, and it shows the characters grieving in their own way. We get all sorts of reactions from depression, to anger, to fear. And we see normally strong characters like Hera break down in despair. There’s so much pain that everyone is feeling and it’s extremely well done. (Even if it makes me cry every time.)
Even though the episode is painful and full of sorrow, especially initially, it does show how the characters are reacting to this tragedy and how they learn to move forward and carry on the fight. It’s heart wrenching, agonizing, but also very beautiful.
4. Fire Across the Galaxy S1Ep15
Summary: The Ghost crew take on the Empire to find and rescue Kanan from the Inquisitor.
What impressed me the most about this episode was how it showcased Kanan’s abilities. While we saw Kanan in combat fairly often throughout the 1st season, we didn’t really see him go all out in a fight and show his true abilities as a Jedi. That changes in this episode. In taking on the Inquisitor, we see for the first time just how powerful and capable Kanan is as a Jedi, and it’s incredibly chilling.
And who could forget at the end that Fulcrum was revealed to be Ahsoka, confirming that she did indeed survive Order 66 and is still kicking? You can tell by the end of this episode that things are getting bigger and we’re going to see more of the Rebellion in the seasons to come. It was a great finale to the first season that left us excited and ready for more.
3. Twilight of The Apprentice S2Ep21-22
Summary: Ezra, Kanan, and Ahsoka travel to Malachor to discover the secrets of the Sith.
If the finale of season 1 brought us hope, the finale of season 2 brought us fear and a bit of despair. So much happens in this story arc and you’re left reeling from everything. From the reappearance of Darth Maul, to Kanan being blinded, to Ahsoka supposedly meeting her doom at the hands of Darth Vader, to Ezra possibly going over to the Dark Side, this season finale left us with a lot of feelings and questions.
What really impressed me was how Darth Maul managed to manipulate Ezra so quickly, considering how Ezra isn’t the most trusting of people, and he shows that when he initially meets Maul. But we see how he slowly gets Ezra under his control through various tactics and it’s kind of creepy. It reminds us just what this guy was capable of. And let’s not forget the gorgeous animation here. While these two episodes were pretty dark and left us with a lot of fear, they were done very well and left us wanting more.
2. A World Between Worlds S4Ep13
Summary: Ezra discovers the secret of Lothal as he travels through a world between worlds.
I think some people forget that Star Wars can really pull out all the stops when delving into the mythos behind the Force. People who claim that the movies are doing weird things with the Force clearly haven’t seen some of the more mystical episodes of Clone Wars or Rebels.
And this episode is no exception. It reveals that there are a series of pathways within Lothal that can help you travel through space and time. By discovering these pathways, we see Ezra actually save Ahsoka and being struggle to make the difficult decision of whether to go back to save Kanan. And we get the first glimpse of Darth Sidious in this series, which definitely raises the stakes. It’s a great episode, full of strange visuals and interesting things to think about. Pus, the incorporation of 2-D animation within this 3D world is always a treat to watch.
1. Family Reunion and Farewell S4Ep15-16
Summary: The forces and allies of the Lothal Rebels are coming together for the final battle to free Lothal.
It may be a cop-out to have the series finale as number one, but I thought it was done so well. We’ve got characters coming together and everything is tied together relatively well. Plus, there’s Ezra going up against Palpatine himself and facing an ultimate test in the Force. And let’s not forget the Purrgil saving the day. (I seriously did not see that coming, but it’s such an Ezra move.)
The ending is a good mixture of giving us closure while leaving some things open-ended that hopefully lead to another series. (Seriously, I need to find out what happens to Ezra and Thrawn in Wild Space!!) The big conflicts been concluded, but not so much that we’re completely satisfied. The whole ending does have this rather bittersweet quality to it. It’s not too sad, but not everything is resolved and perfect. Hopefully, it does lead to more stories about this amazing crew. (Let’s keep our fingers crossed.)
Star Wars Rebels is a wonderful series that ended on a pretty good note that has me hoping and waiting for more. If you’re looking for an awesome cartoon that has likable characters and seriously impressive animation, you should give this show a try!
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