The tale of Ezra and his tryst with the forgotten ways of the Jedi in Star Wars: Rebels remains Disney’s special gift to the franchise.
Set after the birth of the Empire and before the rise of A New Hope, the spin-off is centered on the Rebel movement of the Galaxy. In what is the first time ever, the spin-off showed us the Padawan-to-Jedi transformation in all its glory.
The rough-edged orphan Ezra Bridger’s powerful Force abilities are discovered by the starship crew of one of Galaxy’s last remaining Jedi Knights, Kanan Jarrus.
As we witness Ezra’s training by Kanan, we see first hand how a promising pupil becomes a powerful Jedi. All this, in the backdrop of a nascent rebellion gathering foothold right under the nose of the Galactic Empire.
Coming to the question of how to go about watching the Star Wars: Rebels, a query common to all things Star Wars.
So Disney has not messed with its Rebels timeline — which means the order of release of all four seasons is the order of chronology.
When looking at where the whole series fits into the extended Star Wars universe — you can watch it after you finish the Prequel Trilogy and also the other spin-off series, The Clone Wars, and before the Original Trilogy.
1. Complete Release Order
Total Run Time: With each episode approximately 22 minutes long, the total run time of the Star Wars Rebels series is approximately 28 hours spread across four seasons and 75 episodes.
As for the Rebels Shorts, they are each three minute long, adding up to a total of 1/5th of an hour (12 minutes).
Stream on: Disney Plus currently is the home to the whole Star Wars franchise, including all four seasons of Star Wars Rebels and its four shorts as well.
- Star Wars: Rebels (Shorts) – The Machine in the Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement, and Property of Ezra Bridger (2014)
- Star Wars: Rebels Season 1 – 15 episodes (2014-15)
- Star Wars: Rebels Season 2 Premiere TV Movie – “Siege of Lothal” (2015)
- Star Wars: Rebels Season 2 – 18 episodes (2015-16)
- Star Wars: Rebels Season 2 Conclusion TV Movie – “Twilight of the Apprentice” (2016)
- Star Wars: Rebels Season 3 Premiere TV Movie – “Steps into Shadows” (2016)
- Star Wars: Rebels Season 3 – 9 episodes (2016)
- Star Wars: Rebels Season 3 Winter Premiere TV Movie – “Ghosts of Geonosis” (2017)
- Star Wars: Rebels Season 3 – 9 episodes (2017)
- Star Wars: Rebels Season 4 – 15 episodes (2017-18)
2. Where Does Rebels Fit In Star Wars
The first thing to know about any Star Wars story is where it fits into the larger Galactic timeline. Star Wars: Rebels starts a few years after the Galactic Republic has fallen and the autocractic Galactic Empire has taken its place.
The Jedi Order has been purged and former Chancellor of the Republic is now the Emperor.
In what is the darkest period of the Galaxy, hope is kept alive by the surviving Jedi Knights, that remain few and far between.
One such Jedi Knight is Kanan Jarrus who leads the starship crew Ghost which includes pilot Hera Syndulla, droid Chopper, the muscular Lasat “Zeb”, Padawan Ezra Bridger, and weapons expert Sabine Wren.
Kanan is running the operation under the larger plan of the Rebels, led by former Republican Senator Bail Organa and former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano.
Rebels begins its storyline a few years after Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. But do remember to watch the other spin-off series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
The timeline of The Clone Wars is sandwiched between episodes II and III. Rebels has several overlapping characters from The Clone Wars, including Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Senator Organa, and Ahsoka Tano to name a few.
3. What Are Rebels Movies?
There are exactly four Rebels movies, the first one being Siege of Lothal. It combines the first two episodes of season 2 and serves as the premiere of the season.
The second movie, Twilight of the Apprentice, served as the conclusion of the second season combining episodes 21 and 22.
The season 3 premieres with the third Rebels movie, Steps into Shadows, and combines its first two episodes.
For the fourth movie, we have the Ghosts of Geonosis, the winter premiere of the Rebels series. It is the 12th and the 13th episodes of the season combined.
4. What Are Rebels Shorts?
Before the formal release of the movie Spark of Rebellion which marked the premiere of Star Wars: Rebels, Disney released four shorts to introduce its main characters.
You won’t need to watch the series to understand the four three-minute shorts since they are just introducing the characters to us.
The first one, titled The Machine in the Ghost, opens on the spaceship Ghost which is escaping from a raid on an Imperial supply convoy. Here we meet Kanan, Hera, and Chopper.
With four TIE fighters in hot pursuit of their ship, Kanan rushes to man the ship’s gun turret while Hera mans the cockpit.
Kanan manages to dispatch two of the pursuing ships and Hera too blasts one of the TIEs. Meanwhile, the astromech Chopper decides to ignore all orders to take control of the ship’s rear gun, blowing away the final TIE fighter.
The second one, titled Art Attack, opens on the planet Lothal where most of the Rebels series is based.
We meet the former Mandalorian Sabine Wren, in her decorated purple armor as she overlooks an Imperial troop manhandling a Lothal civilian.
We soon hear Sabine telling Hera that she is about to create a diversion so Ghost can leave Lothal. She then goes on to paint the Rebels’ symbol on one of the TIE fighters and also plants a bomb on it.
As the Ghost departs, we see the bomb explode in a flurry of colors and the white suit of all the stormtroopers standing by are also colored.
The third short, Entanglement, is all about the Ghost’s muscle Zeb or Garazeb Orrelios. The humongous green beast is to Kanan what Chewie was to Han.
Always up for missions to restore justice in even the smallest possible ways, Zeb is seen picking up a fight with a bunch of stormtroopers over rescuing a street vendor they have been harassing.
The fourth and final short, named Property of Ezra Bridger, we are introduced to the hero of the Rebels series — Ezra Bridger.
This Han Solo-meets-Anakin Skywalker is seen wandering in the fields of Lothal when a TIE fighter comes crashing down nearby.
He swiftly sweeps everything saleable on the black market from the TIE fighter before escaping with the pilot’s helmet under his arm. The helmet is now Property of Ezra Bridger.
In under two minutes, Ezra manages to survive a TIE blaster and stun a stormtrooper with his slingshot. Our young Padawan is ready to be trained in the ways of the Force!
5. Order Of The Seasons
The Rebels series is more or less chronological with no tampering done to its timeline. It is straightforward, in that the seasons move chronologically through the story as well.
So if you would like to avoid creating any confusion for yourself, simply start with the Spark of Rebellion, the two-part season 1 premiere which aired as a TV movie.
In line with every new Star Wars story added since Disney’s take over of the franchise, Rebels too references and takes cues from the core plot.
However, it remains centered around new characters who are on paths divergent from the original saga. However, since the series was especially produced keeping children in mind, the battles are bloodless and the bombs colorful.
After this if you want to know Kanan’s back story then read the Kanan comic and the New Dawn novel. After that watch the show in the order the episodes aired.
There is other supplimentary material to read that can help you understand the backstory of minor characters or plots.
Things like the Lords of the Sith novel will help you understand Cham Sendula, and Brendall Hux’s ideas on training stormtroopers will help you understand the episode about the Imperial Cadet Academy.
6. About Star Wars: Rebels
Set between the Episodes III and IV, the Star Wars: Rebels follows the spaceship crew Ghost which completes smuggling missions and has a growing connection to the fledgling rebellion against the Empire.
Ezra Bridger (voiced by Taylor Gray), is an orphan on the planet Lothal, who encounters the crew of the starship Ghost.
Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), a former Jedi apprentice who survived Order 66, senses Ezra’s abilities with the Force, and recruits him as a Padawan.
Rounding out the crew are Hera Syndulla (Vanessa Marshall), the ship’s pilot, Sabine Wren (Tiya Sirdar), a Mandalorian former bounty hunter and graffiti artist, and Zeb (Steven Blum), a Lasat who is the last of his kind and the heavy combat member of the team.Originally Written By Epic Dope