Ahsoka Tano. Bo-Katan Kryze. The Ghost. One thing all these entities have in common: They’ve all played key roles in Star Wars: Rebels, and have since appeared in other stories outside of the series. This is no accident; they’re essential components of a much larger narrative, not just characters (OK, and a ship) from a Star Wars cartoon.
There’s a reason Sabine Wren is returning in Star Wars: Ahsoka and Grand Admiral Thrawn was mentioned by name in The Mandalorian Season 2. Rebels so often gets overlooked because it caters to younger audiences, but without its stories, without the people driving its events forward, the rebellion may never have had a chance against the Empire at all.
Ahsoka and Bo-Katan didn’t originate in Rebels — both first debuted in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and eventually came to work together during the Siege of Mandalore. But Bo’s interactions with Sabine laid the groundwork for her return in The Mandalorian, even if the two have yet to reunite again in live-action. Hera Syndulla appeared in the Star Wars: Squadrons video game as well as Alexander Freed’s Alphabet Squadron books. Ezra has been rumored for an Ahsoka return for ages. Fans don’t just want to see them again; it would be alarming if they didn’t.
These characters were integral to the course of the Galactic Civil War, eventually joining the larger Rebel Alliance that would obtain the Death Star Plans and take down the deadly superweapon. It’s no accident characters keep coming back … and more are likely to join them in the years ahead.
It’s the same reason Luke, Leia, and Han all returned for the sequel trilogy — not just because they’re beloved, but because they are focal points of the entire saga. Just because Rebels only lasted four seasons and its main players have never officially made it to the big screen (unless you count Kanan’s voice in The Rise of Skywalker, of course) doesn’t mean they’re any less important, or that bringing them back in future projects is merely “fan service.”
Seeing the Ghost Crew in future stories remains a matter of when, not if — and those who have yet to return, such as our dear boy Zeb, are long overdue for a reappearance.
Star Wars: Rebels is available to stream on Disney+.