by Zoe Hinton
First off, I know that everyone has written their version of this. I’m definitely late to the party, I’ll admit it. This took me so long because I wanted to find the right words. Rebels has meant (and still means) so much to me, and I want to do it justice. Hopefully, this will do just that.
I’ll start with how much it’s done for me. Had it not been for Rebels, I never would’ve met so many amazing people. The most notable of course, is Lizzy, who I now easily consider my best friend in the entire world, and I can’t even imagine not having her in my life anymore. Her entire family, have been so incredible to me, and I love them all so so so so much. Meeting them all at Celebration in person for the first time is easily one of my favorite memories. Had Lizzy never joined the podcast, I really don’t think I’d still be podcasting, which alone has brought me more opportunities than I think I could list if i tried. So in that way, Rebels has done an incredible amount for me. I wouldn’t have met Johnamarie from the Wookiee Gunner or Shay from the Elven Padawan had it not been for Rebels, both of which are also amazing people. And I know it’s not quite as big as the rest, but I really don’t know what costume I’d have if it wasn’t for Sabine. I’d been sort of thinking about a Bo-Katan to replace my jawa, but that doesn’t really look as comfy as Sabine is.
Rebels has also really enhanced my love for Star Wars. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved Star Wars, but as someone who has never (and still doesn’t, sorry) care for the EU, I didn’t have much new content to be taking in or looking forward to. Rebels was the first of the new Star Wars, and I fell in love with the bright colors and the characters immediately. To me, Rebels had the feel of both the Clone Wars and the Original Trilogy, while also easily having its own vibe. It gave interesting stories that were dark, but still could make you laugh (while crying, often times). In addition, the end of season 1 brought back Ahsoka Tano, my favorite character of all time.And she was used very well, in my opinion. Not enough to overshadow the main characters, as this isn’t her story, but still enough to let audiences see how she’s grown and gave some of the much wanted reunions between her and Rex as well as her and Anakin. I grew up with Ahsoka, she was the first character in Star Wars I can say that I truly and deeply related to, so bringing her back made Rebels better for me (not that it needed it, without Ahsoka, Rebels still easily is incredible). Rebels brought back so many Clone Wars memories between the use of its characters, music, and references. Every generation of Star Wars fans has some part of the saga they grew up with, and Clone Wars was mine. Rebels revived Clone Wars in a way that still let Rebels remain independent as its own show, which I love. I have no doubt that even without a single reference to Clone Wars, Rebels would still be just as fantastic and emotional as it is, but those references did help connect me even deeper to the show than I already was. By connecting to the galaxy around it, Rebels really made me love Star Wars more than I thought I could. It stayed as its own independent show, but was unafraid to remind you that around the crew of the Ghost, there was so much going on and that our main characters were just a piece of the Star Wars story.
The main crew of characters are so incredibly lovable. The character I connected and related to the most is Sabine, of course. It didn’t take long for her to take her spot as my second favorite character of all time. She was artistic, funny, and had an attitude, and her interactions with the rest of the family made me love her so much. I have no shame in saying that Sabine was absolutely my inspiration in cutting my hair short and later dying it, two things that have absolutely increased my self-confidence and helped me express myself. She wasn’t the only character that deeply resonated with me. Hera easily has a spot as my third favorite character, and over the years has grown closer and closer to Sabine. Her never-ending hope that things can change for the better and her neverending optimism connected with me deeply, and one of her quotes from season 1, “If all you do is fight for your own life, then your life is worth nothing” is one I have never forgotten (and am totally putting on a sign for a protest some day). She’s certainly a maternal figure to Sabine and Ezra, which I related to as the resident “mom-friend” of my friend group at school. Despite everything she’s gone though, she never gives up hope, which is something that’s always been important to me. It doesn’t hurt her either that she’s a Twi’lek, and I’ve always thought that they’re really cool. I do have to sort of blame her for how much I suck at Battlefront II, though. I always want to use her pistol even though I’m total crap with it, but I can’t help it because it’s Hera!
I know I’m showing favoritism to the girls, but I do truly love the male characters of the Ghost crew. I think Chopper has taken his spot as my favorite droid, which is pretty impressive considering how much I love R2-D2 and BB-8. Chopper is great in that he gives attitude to everyone, but will still be there. He often complains about having to do something while doing it. When the crew really needs him, he’s absolutely there. He helped Kanan get to the Phantom after he was blinded, and comforted Hera after Jedi Night. Zeb is another character I really love. He appears to be tough, kind of dumb brute (which I think he does on purpose) but he’s really caring, and honestly really smart. He’s a good leader, and a good big brother figure to the entire crew, and I also really like him because I think he kind of looks like a giant purple kitty and I really want to pet him. Ezra is another character I of course really love. Like Hera, he does become optimistic and hopeful about the fate of the galaxy, and is always ready to sacrifice himself to save not only the people he loves, but people he doesn’t know. Ezra is a character who we watched grow up so much, and I know that by the end of the show he’s 3 years older than I am right now, but I am really proud of him, and I can’t wait to see where his story goes after what we saw in the finale.
Kanan gets the special treatment of having his own paragraph, because he “died” or whatever (he’s coming back, he’s fine) and I’m still really emotional about it. So emotional, that on the day I’m writing this, earlier this afternoon someone came up to me in the hallway and said “Zoe, I’m still not completely caught up on Rebels, the last one I saw was when Kanan died” and I said “don’t talk about that” and sped up on my way to class. Kanan is a character that I loved a lot, and I’m not sure I even really realize it. There a few ways in which he reminds me of my own dad. Not in any glaring ways, but there are a few moments and things he’s said where I’ve been like “hey, that’s something he would say.” Kanan is such a rich character, and is a really, genuinely good man. He cares deeply for Hera and the rest of the crew, is a very good teacher to both Ezra and Sabine, and always does everything he can for his family. He went through so much both before and during the show, and came out of it all a better person. He was a great father-figure to Sabine and Ezra, so much that when I’m upset about something, I’ll sometimes imagine Kanan comforting me, and it does make me feel better. He’s an incredible character, and his journey definitely made the show so much more emotional for me, and I know for so many other people as well.
So, that’s the end of my disjointed, structureless, emotional mess of a writing. To sum it all up, Rebels is extremely, incredibly emotional, and the characters and their journeys are all so amazing, and watching them all grow and develop over the years was awesome. Rebels means a ridiculous amount to me and has done so much for me, and I will miss it dearly.
Thank you for reading this disaster, but I’m starting to run out of words that mean “amazing” or “awesome” so I’ll call it quits here. Plus, I need to go get some water and tissues because believe me when I say that a LOT of tears went into this.