The HoloFiles

Top 10 Episodes of ‘Star Wars Rebels’

By George Bate & Josh Bate

Star Wars Rebels tells a remarkable story about found family and the fight against seemingly insurmountable oppressive forces. Characters and plot elements of the four-season animated series will play key roles in the upcoming Ahsoka series, which means now might be a good time to rewatch the show’s greatest hits or check them out for the first time. Below are the Top 10 Star Wars Rebels episodes.

10. Season 4, Episodes 1-2: Heroes of Mandalore

The attention to Mandalore remains one of the best parts of Star Wars Rebels, and this two-part premiere of Season 4 capitalizes on this strength. Sabine Wren is given significant attention, while the darksaber is passed onto Bo-Katan Kryze, a decision with ramifications explored in both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.

9. Season 2, Episode 17: The Honorable Ones

Probably the most understated episode of this list, “The Honorable Ones” sees an unlikely duo in Zeb and Agent Kallus trapped together on an icy moon of Geonosis. After initial hostility, the once bitter enemies bond over a common goal and have a number of poignant conversations about the effects of the Empire, Lasat culture, and the roles they play in the larger galaxy-wide conflict. The events of this episode are significant for Kallus’ arc as he eventually becomes an undercover rebel agent codenamed Fulcrum. To be it off all, the episode features an emotional ending in which Kallus places a memento gifted to him by Zeb on a shelf in his quarters as his return to the Empire is not noted by any of his fellow servicemembers, a stark contrast to the warm welcome Zeb received when he rejoined the Ghost Crew.

8. Season 2, Episode 11: Legacy

“Legacy” is a profoundly emotional episode, one that reveals the tragic fate of Ezra’s parents. This installment cements the series’ theme of found family, something that has been explored in various other Star Wars stories dating back to the original trilogy. Ezra grieves his parents, but recognizes that with Kanan, Hera, Chopper, Sabine, and Zeb he has a new family who love him and care for him. Emphasizing the emotionality of this installment, it’s difficult to hold tears back in the last moments of “Legacy” in which Ezra is visited by his parents in a Force vision and Kanan tells Ezra about the Jedi philosophy regarding death not being an end to life.

7. Season 2, Episode 18: Shroud of Darkness

This episode is notable for the gut-wrenching revelations about Darth Vader’s identity made by Ahsoka. After becoming aware of Vader’s presence in “The Siege of Lothal,” “Shroud of Darkness” sees Ahsoka experience a vision that reveals her former master Anakin Skywalker fell to the dark side and became the evil Sith lord Darth Vader. “Shroud of Darkness” is also among the best Rebels episodes due to its development of Kanan’s character and the Sentinel crowning Kanan as a Jedi Knight. Ezra, meanwhile, has a meaningful conversation with Yoda, which sets up the second season’s finale on Malachor.

6. Season 4, Episode 13: A World Between Worlds

Probably the episode that expands upon Star Wars lore in the most unique ways, “A World Between Worlds” introduces Ezra to the World Between Worlds, a mystical plane that collapses across space and time and allows Ezra to intervene in events from the past. This is the closest Star Wars ever gets to time travel, which means the Emperor himself (voiced by Ian McDiarmid) has a strong interest in the World Between Worlds. The episode features a brilliant back-and-forth conversation between Ezra and Palpatine that mirrors Palpatine’s tempting of Luke to the dark side in Return of the Jedi. Ahsoka Tano also returns, notably setting up the character’s arc in The Mandalorian and the Ahsoka series.

5. Season 3, Episode 15: Trials of the Darksaber

Sabine steps into the spotlight in “Trials of the Darksaber” as she claims the legendary darksaber and works with Kanan to learn how to wield the weapon. The ways in which Jedi training conflict with Mandalorian values comes through in this episode, which affirms Sabine as one of the series’ most interesting characters. 

4. Season 1, Episode 15: Fire Across the Galaxy

The finale of Season 1 sees the Ghost Crew attempt to rescue Kanan Jarrus from the dreaded Empire. The episode is notable for the brilliant lightsaber duel between The Grand Inquisitor and Kanan, which eventually leads to the Inquisitor’s death. “Fire Across the Galaxy” concludes with the incredible reveal that their secret Rebel contact Fulcrum is Ahsoka Tano, ushering in the beloved Jedi’s return to Star Wars. 

3. Season 3, Episode 20: Twin Suns

The culmination of plot threads and themes dating all the way back to The Phantom Menace, “Twin Suns” is simply masterful. Maul and Ben Kenobi’s showdown takes inspiration from many of the Samurai films that originally inspired George Lucas’ Star Wars in provoking emotion and providing effective beyond clever animation and choreography. Dave Filoni’s handling of Maul’s character is so commendable as he makes this once dreaded Sith Lord a tragic character one can’t help but feel sympathetic toward. Stephen Stanton is superb in evoking Sir Alec Guinness’ Ben Kenobi, while Sam Witwer’s howl of “Kenobi!!!” will forever remain in the heads of Star Wars fans. To top it all off, the episode’s conclusion poetically sets the stage for Ben Kenobi arriving to rescue Luke Skywalker from Tusken Raiders in the original Star Wars.

2. Season 4, Episode 10: Jedi Night

Easily the most emotionally impactful episode of Star Wars Rebels is “Jedi Night.” Exploring themes and concepts darker than anything in the series to date, the episode features the death of Kanan Jarrus as the Jedi Knight also known as Caleb Dume saves Hera and the rest of his found family. Kanan’s death is heartbreaking, and remains one of the most beautifully crafted sequences in any Star Wars story.

1. Season 2, Episodes 21-22: Twilight of the Apprentice

The apex of this list and, arguably, one of the best Star Wars stories ever told has to go “Twilight of the Apprentice.” A culmination of the show’s themes, this two-part episode that rounded out Season 2 featured the re-introduction of Sam Witwer’s Maul and, in turn, a number of stellar lightsaber duels. The imagery of Vader’s cracked mask revealing part of Anakin’s face underneath remains one of the most poignant and haunting Star Wars visuals, while the episodes’ conclusion leaves the heroes in a somber place. In sum, “Twilight of the Apprentice” is a masterpiece.

Honorable Mentions:

Season 2, Episodes 1-2: “The Siege of Lothal”

Season 2, Episode 14: “Legends of Lasat”

Season 3, Episodes 21-22: “Zero Hour”

The HoloFiles

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