The Star Wars Rebels: The Complete Season 3 (Blu-ray) is out and it has a lot to offer an eager audience.
Star Wars Rebels season 3 was an exciting season for many fans and marked a big turning point in the show. The appearance of fan-favorite villain Admiral Thrawn was an exciting twist for many viewers and the writers of the show seemed to understand the character very well. The season’s skillful incorporation of aspects of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made the Star Wars universe feel more connected than ever. There were also lots of interesting character arcs in this season. Highlights included Sabine reconnecting with her Mandalorian roots and Agent Kallus struggling with doubts about his Imperial loyalties. The animation was also better than ever and some of the action scenes were especially striking. Season 3 is a solid season of Rebels that’s definitely worth watching for any Star Wars fan, expanding on the mythology of the Star Wars universe while telling a strong story with great original characters as well.
But what of the special featured for the Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season 3 (Blu-ray)? What does the set have to offer? It turns out, quite a variety of things.
There are several featurettes focusing on the making of season 3 of Star Wars Rebels, while giving hints to the upcoming season 4.
The first of these features was “A Rebel Alliance” which focused on how the staff behind season 3 made efforts to incorporate Rogue One into the show’s canon. This season of Rebels takes place in the time period between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. Not a lot is known about this period in Star Wars canon, so the writers were given a lot of room to explore. One big connection between Rebels and Rogue One was Mon Mothma. The writers talk about how they tried to show a more intimate side of Mothma and flesh out her story with her appearance in the show. Fans will be happy to see the Genevieve O’ Reilly, who plays Mothma in the show and in Rogue One, makes an appearance in the short.
“The Original Rebel- Saw Gererra Returns Extended” also explores the connection between Rogue One and the show. Gerrera, a character who originated in Clone Wars, returned in Rogue One as a hardened extremist. His appearance in Rebels showed how he came to change in the time between Clone Wars and Rogue One. Saw starts to drift further away from Mothma’s idealogy in season 3 and the showrunners hint at the character’s future, saying this might continue in Season 4. Saw’s actor, Forrest Whittaker, is also featured in this short, which is cool.
“Thrawn: A Legend Reborn” is a feature fans of the character are sure to enjoy. The featurette discusses Thrawn's origins in the Heir to the Empire trilogy, how the showrunners struggled to realize the character in animation (even having to consider things like the exact shade of blue his skin would be) and their long casting search. Timothy Zahn, Thrawn’s creator, makes an appearance and it’s shown he was consulted with. The crew also hints at more Thrawn trouble in season 4.
“Return to Madalore” is another good featurette, focusing on Sabine’s character arc in season 3 and how elements of Star Wars lore (like the darksabre) were incorporated at it. The crew promises fans will see more about Sabine as a Mandalorian in season 4 and talks about how her story may intersect with Bo-Katan's.
Finally, the “Obi-Wan and Maul: Apprentices to Outcast” featurette does a great job exploring the confrontation between Maul and Obi-wan in Rebels, with the writers giving their careful reasoning for the decisions they made with those characters. It incorporates parts from Episode II and maps out exactly why this fight needed to happen.
The Blu-ray also offers episode commentary by Dave Filoni (the executive producer of Star Wars Rebels) and/or other members of the cast and crew for several episode. The commentary offers tons of juicy behind-the-scenes info. There’s also a few trailers for other Star Wars properties.
There’s always a weak link in every set of DVD features though. For The Star Wars Rebels: The Complete Season 3 Blu-Ray, the weakest feature by far were the "Rebels Recon" shorts. The shorts are “an in-depth look at each episode of Star Wars Rebels with a recap, cast and crew interviews, answers to your Twitter questions.” That’s all well and good, but every one of the "Rebels Recon" episodes is already officially available online for free (they came out immediately after each episode aired), so it doesn’t feel like a valuable addition to the DVD. Not only that, but it’s completely useless to have “an exclusive preview of next week's installment of Star Wars Rebels” when the season is already over.
Overall, the Star Wars Rebels: The Complete Season 3 (Blu-ray) is a sound investment for any Star Wars fan. It offers all the episodes in top-notch quality alongside an impressive array of in-depth features and quality commentary. So don’t hesitate to join the rebellion!