Star Wars: Rebels came out in 2014, back when my family was still getting cable tv, so I was able to go to their house and we watched each season as it aired. We had not really been interested in the Clone Wars animated series at the time, but the Rebels trailers were intriguing, and we got sucked into the show. The half hour episodes made it a nice, show easy to watch, and we liked that it was set before A New Hope.
I ended up rewatching the entire series after the first season of The Mandalorian ended, because there was so much from Rebels that appeared in The Mandalorian. Seeing a live-action Loth cat was awesome. Seeing the dark saber made me literally cheer out loud. Seeing live troop carriers in the Rebels design was thrilling. Seeing live blurrg! The Mandalorian just increased my Rebels love ten fold.
So, what appealed to me about Rebels? The characters, of course, always come first. I love these characters, though I still have a hard time with Ezra in the early seasons. The kid just doesn't listen! I want to slap him. I didn't start actually liking him until he eventually matures in the fourth season. Finally, he came into his own, and then I was able to appreciate him. My favorite characters of the Ghost crew were always Kanan and Sabine, but when I rewatched the show earlier this year, Hera jumped up higher on the list. And Zeb is amusing.
But as much as I like our heroes, my favorite character has been, and always will be, Agent Kallus. I adore Kallus. He ranks high on my top favorite Star Wars characters of all time list. I'm a sucker for a redemption arc, and he has a good one. He's a smart adversary and I just dig him.
Which brings me to my favorite episodes. None of the first season episodes make my favorite list. As with most shows, it was still finding its footing in the first season, the characters were still settling in. All the meaty stuff was still to come. That said, the season one finale is probably my favorite episode of season one. Which is part of a trend, as you'll see, because each season's finale show is pretty darned spectacular.
#1. “A Fool’s
Hope” and “Family Reunion and Farewell” (season 4 series finale)
These two eps roll right into each other, so it’s hard
to separate them. Not only are they the best eps of season four, but they are the best eps
of the entire series. They’re also the
very last eps, not just the season finale, but the series finale. Everything that was set
up over the four seasons comes to a head here.
Characters reappear, characters we’ve been waiting to face off against
each other finally face off. The Loth-Wolves are
awesome as always, and instrumental in events. Everything resolves Just So. After getting next to no Kallus in season four, he finally gets to do a lot. These last eps are just plain great. (This series finale is not something you can cheat and just watch without having seen everything that came before, though. What makes it so fantastic is the payoff after the build-up to get there.)
Honorable Ones” (season 2) – A Kallus episode, is anyone surprised? Kallus and Zeb are stranded and forced to work together to survive. It's one of my favorite themes – enemies who have
to put aside their differences to make it out of some life-threatening situation.
This ep is really well done and marks a turning point in Kallus’s arc.
#3. "Twilight of the Apprentice" (season 2 finale) – Without plot spoilers, this episode features Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Ashoka, Kanan, Ezra, Inquisitors... all facing off on an ancient Sith world. This season two finale has it all. Love it.
#4. "Zero Hour" (season 3 finale) – Surprise, surprise... another season finale makes my favorite list. Admiral Thrawn arrives to wipe everyone out, the Bendu gets to shine, and I’ve never adored Kallus more.
#5. "Twin Suns" (season 3) –
I love this ep solely because of Obi-Wan and Darth Maul. Ezra's disobeying orders as usual.