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16 Star Wars Rebels Episodes To Watch Before Ahsoka

Based on the trailer for Star Wars’ upcoming Ahsoka show, it very much looks as though the live-action series will be a continuation of the Star Wars Rebels animated series. Starring Rosario Dawson in the titular role, Jedi outcast Ahsoka Tano is set to reunite with some old friends and face returning rivals during the New Republic era. As such, it does seem as though her time with the Rebellion will be good knowledge for fans to have ahead of the upcoming Star Wars series.

In Star Wars Rebels, Ahsoka is revealed to have played a key role in the formation of the Rebellion, bringing individual cells together into one cohesive Alliance to face the Empire in earnest. However, there are still gaps in her history such as her absence from the original trilogy of Star Wars movies. That said, a lot of her background can be found in the Star Wars Rebels show. Here are the best episodes of Star Wars Rebels to watch ahead of Ahsoka’s release, including episodes covering Sabine Wren’s history as well the canon return of Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Related: Ahsoka: Cast, Story Details & Everything We Know

Spark of Rebellion (Parts 1 & 2)

Serving as the very first episodes of Star Wars Rebels, “Spark of Rebellion” is a key foundational chapter introducing each member of the show’s main cast. Known as The Spectres, the crew of the Ghost is a single Rebel cell seeking to disrupt the efforts of the Empire and its widespread oppression. The crew is led by its captain Hera Syndulla and her astromech named Chopper. Other members include Mandalorian artist Sabine Wren and a Lasat survivor named Zeb. However, The Spectres also have Kanan Jarrus, a Jedi survivor of Order 66 who eventually mentors Force-sensitive Ezra Bridger over the course of the show.

Thanks to the first trailer for Ahsoka and The Mandalorian season 3, each surviving member of The Ghost is coming to live-action just like Ahsoka herself and her debut in The Mandalorian season 2. As such, it’s going to be very important for viewers to have some familiarity with Ahsoka’s allies, particularly Sabine and Hera who look to have ongoing roles in the upcoming Star Wars show.

Fire Across The Galaxy

Ahsoka in Rebels Season 1

The finale of Star Wars Rebels season 1, “Fire Across the Galaxy” is Ahsoka’s first true appearance in the series on-screen, revealing herself to The Spectres as the Rebel behind the codename “Fulcrum”. As Ahsoka confirms, she’s been coordinating cells in secret and feeding information alongside Senator Bail Organa in the hopes of one day forming the Alliance. As such, this episode immediately establishes Ashoka as an instrumental piece of the Rebellion, even if she was absent during the actual Galactic Civil War.

Siege Of Lothal (Parts 1 & 2)

Kanan Jarrus tries to fend off Darth Vader in Star Wars Rebels

The double-episode premiere of Star Wars Rebels season 2 is entitled “Siege of Lothal”. Beginning to make waves as Jedi, Ezra and Kanan find themselves face-to-face with Darth Vader himself. Voice by James Earl Jones, the animated version is just as intimidating as the classic Dark Lord of the Sith in live-action. However, the moment that makes this two-episode arc so dynamic is near the very end during a dogfight between the Rebels and Vader in his TIE Advanced.

Reaching out with the Force to ascertain the identity of the TIE’s pilot, Ahsoka is shocked by what she begins to discover. As such, she becomes quite unbalanced and uncertain regarding the hinted truth about Vader which she almost accessed. Meanwhile, Vader could sense Ahsoka just as much as she sensed him. As such, this was Vader’s discovery that the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker still lives.

Shroud Of Darkness

Ahsoka and Vader in Rebels Shroud of Darkness

Continuing Ahsoka’s near-revelation over Lothal, “Shroud of Darkness” sees Ezra, Kanan, and Ahsoka entering a secret Jedi temple where each of them is given their own unique experience in the Force. In Ahsoka’s case, she faces a manifestation of her old master Anakin Skywalker. This image of Anakin darkly questions Ahsoka as he transforms into Vader, implying that Ahsoka could have perhaps saved him had she not left the Jedi Order before the end of the Clone Wars. Regardless of whether that’s true, Ahsoka no longer doubted the truth about her old master following this episode.

Twilight of the Apprentice (Parts 1 & 2)

Darth Vader vs Ahsoka Tano

Following a battle with Imperial Inquisitors and Darth Maul himself on the Sith world of Malachor, Vader arrives to end his hunt of Ezra and Kanan once and for all. However, Ahsoka steps in, confronting her old master at the peak of an ancient Sith temple. As such, the two-part finale of Star Wars Rebels season 2 is largely seen as some of the very best episodes the animated show has to offer, so much so that many are hoping to see a live-action flashback to this duel in the upcoming Ahsoka series.

Damaging Vader’s mask and exposing part of Anakin’s face underneath, Ahsoka’s duel ends with Darth Vader limping away with a more mysterious fate for Ahsoka after the temple is destroyed in a blast of dark side energy. As such, Tano wouldn’t make a return to Star Wars Rebels until the end of the show’s fourth and final season. That said, her arc with Vader is a crucial part of her history between The Clone Wars and the upcoming Ahsoka series.

Related: Ahsoka’s Star Wars Rebels Characters: Live-Action vs. Animation Comparison

Steps Into Shadow (Parts 1 & 2)

Grand Admiral Thrawn and Tarkin in Rebels

Although Star Wars Rebels season 3 does not feature Ahsoka Tano, it does mark the official return of Grand Admiral Thrawn to the established Star Wars canon. Thrawn is confirmed to be a primary villain in Ahsoka and likely more shows set in the same New Republic era. Voiced by Lars Mikkelsen who will also play Thrawn in live-action, knowing about the Grand Admiral’s character and the danger he posed before the shattered Empire will be key foundational information to have before his debut in Ahsoka when Thrawn returns as “Heir to the Empire”.

Incredibly cunning, Thrawn is one of the Empire’s most brilliant tacticians. Following his promotion to Grand Admiral by the Emperor, Thrawn and the Seventh Fleet are recruited by Grand Moff Tarkin during Rebels’ two-part premiere for season 3 to hunt down Rebel cells with a particular focus on the Spectres and Phoenix Squadron. As such, Thrawn quickly establishes himself as an incredibly dangerous villain, willing to let the Rebels have small victories so long as it serves a longer endgame of his design.

Hera’s Heroes

Thrawn captures Hera on Ryloth in Star Wars Rebels

The Rebels season 3 episode “Hera’s Heroes” confirms one of Thrawn’s greatest and most unique strengths which he also had in Legends: his art appreciation. By studying the art and culture of his foes, Thrawn was able to glean key insights and weaknesses in his opponents which helped him achieve victory. As such, Thrawn deduces Hera Syndulla’s identity when she tries to infiltrate an Imperial base to retrieve an important family heirloom. Using his preexisting knowledge of Hera’s homeworld and culture, Thrawn was aware of the heirloom and its great value to no one but the Syndulla Family.

Through Imperial Eyes

Grand Admiral Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels.

“Through Imperial Eyes” is another episode in which Thrawn’s great intellect is on full display, discovering a Rebel spy within the Empire’s ranks when even the head of the Imperial Security Bureau could not. Likewise, Thrawn allows the spy (Agent Kallus as the next Fulcrum) to remain in the Empire seemingly undetected, using him to gain even more insights into the Rebellion’s activities and its growing evolution into the Alliance as seen in the original trilogy.

Heroes of Mandalore (Part 1 & 2)

Bo-Katan wields the Darksaber in Star Wars Rebels.

“Heroes of Mandalore” is the two-part premiere of Rebels season 4 in which the Spectres offer aid to Bo-Katan Kryze and her fellow Mandalores resisting Imperial control. Not only do these episode help set up the future Night of a Thousand Tears and the status quo for Mandalorians ahead for The Mandalorian series, but it also establishes more of Sabine Wren’s backstory as well as the culmination of her arc as a wielder of the Darksaber. As such these episodes help explain more of Sabine’s character and her ability to wield a lightsaber, something she’s confirmed to be doing in the upcoming Ahsoka series after she reunites with Tano.

Related: Ahsoka’s Age & Birthdate Confirmed, Massive Impact On Star Wars Timeline

A World Between Worlds

Ezra and Ahsoka in the World Between Worlds in Star Wars Rebels.

“The World Between Worlds” is one of Star Wars Rebels’ penultimate episodes, featuring Ezra in a mystical Force plane that exists outside of space and time. As such, Eza was able to look back into the past to see Ahsoka’s duel with Darth Vader in Rebels season 2. Pulling her into the World Between Worlds, Ezra saved Ahsoka, confirming her survival against Vader. After a harrowing confrontation with Palpatine whom they prevented from using the mystical, Ahsoka went back to her own time in the past. Interestingly enough, it does look as though World Between Worlds will play a role in the Ahsoka series as seen in the first trailer.

Family Reunion And Farewell

Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars Rebels.

Although it would be good for fans unfamiliar with Star Wars Rebels to watch all the aforementioned episodes to get a strong grasp on Ahsoka’s prior history and those she’ll soon be reuniting with in the live-action series, the finale is a must-watch episode before Ahsoka starts streaming on Disney+. The episode establishes why both Ezra and Thrawn are missing from the original trilogy, and the trailer for Ahsoka confirms the show will take place soon after Star Wars Rebels’ epilogue where Ahsoka herself returns to ask for Sabine’s help finding Ezra. All in all, it’s become evident that Ahsoka will serve as a direct sequel to Star Wars Rebels.

This story originally appeared on Screenrant

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