Ezra and the rest of the Rebels take the fight to the Empire on Lothal in Family Reunion – and Farewell. One. Last. Time.
Playing right off the end of A Fool’s Hope, Family Reunion – and Farewell picks up with Ezra planning to use newly captured Governor Pryce to gain access into the Imperial complex in Capital City.
With half of the Rebels posing as prisoners they utilize two transports to infiltrate the facility using Pryce’s clearance codes and recall all Imperial troops in the city to the central dome. Feigning a complete evacuation the plan is revealed to be the destruction of the dome along with all of the Empires forces on Lothal. But the plan is met by a powerful obstacle. The arrival of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Back at the Rebels base Mart, Wolffe and Vizago are ambushed by Rukh but he is chased off by a Loth-Wolf. But he escapes in a transport and sends word to Thrawn that the Rebels are attempting to destroy the dome using Pryce’s codes. Thrawn orders Rukh to disable the shield generator on the dome that protects the city. With the shield disabled, Thrawn commences a bombardment until Ezra offers his surrender. Thrawn commands him to come to him alone. Hera tries to stop Ezra from going, and Ezra seemingly accepts another route, but sneaks away with the help of a distraction from Sabine. Ezra takes a transport and flies off to Thrawn’s flagship; The Chimaera. The Grand Admiral lectures Ezra about what the Jedi lack – power – and takes him to someone who can better show him the error of his ways. Aboard the ship is a section of the Jedi Temple that was reconstructed by the Empire from Lothal after their desecration of the Temple. And there via hologram is none other than Emperor Palpatine.
Meanwhile back at base, Mart and crew wake up after the ambush and realize what Rukh’s escape means for the rest of the team at the capital. Mart confesses to the rest that Ezra suspected this might happen and gave him a special task. Using the Ghost to reach the upper atmosphere of the planet they send a special transmission out amongst the stars. In the hopes of contacting a very special ally.
In the remnants of the Temple, Palpatine uses a vision of Ezra’s parents to tempt him into giving up. Giving him a chance to live the life that he has dreamed of. But Ezra sees it for what it is and destroys the gateway and brings the Temple down. Afterwards he is attacked by Stormtroopers and Royal Guards but manages to escape. Zeb and Kallus are able to dispatch Rukh and get the shield back up and running but not without paying a price. The clone Gregor is shot and passes away. Ezra confronts Thrawn on the Bridge and reveals the last trick up his sleeve. The Ghost arrives with a mass number of the hyperspace capable Purrgils. The Admiral learns that they have already taken out all of the Empires orbiting ships and latching on to The Chimaera they take the flagship into hyperspace and away from Lothal.
With Thrawn and Ezra onboard.
After speaking with Ezra one last time Sabine, Hera, Zeb, Kallus, Ryder and the rest launch the dome out above the sea, away from the City, and destroy it. With Lothal liberated they speak of the future and the inevitable retaliation that the Empire will no doubt bring to them. But the people of Lothal are rising up. And if the Empire comes, they’re going to face some resistance.
The Liberation Of Lothal
Family Reunion – and Farewell was an incredibly emotional and heartfelt episode. These characters have grown so much in the four years that they’ve been onscreen, both together as a makeshift family and with the audience who has invested so much of themselves in them. And the conclusion was a satisfying one.
The Empire, at least for now, has been run off of Lothal, completing an arc four years in the making. What started as merely an Imperial presence, an unwelcome one, had turned into a full scale military occupation. That same presence is what linked Ezra Bridger with Hera, Kanan, Sabine, Zeb and Chopper originally, thus ensuring its own destruction. It was the spark of the Rebellion on Lothal that lead to its people rising up and refusing to submit to the Imperial machine.
No matter where the series has gone throughout its run, Lothal has always been the central component. Ezra’s ties to it are representative of what the Rebel Alliance is fighting for. Freeedom from the Empire. His parents were caught up in it and no matter how hard you try to stay under the radar there is no avoiding it. You must take up arms and fight. That is why the finale had to take here.
Together with others from across the several seasons came together in the end for common purpose. Giving the title, Family Reunion – and Farewell, its meaning.
Family. It’s not always blood. It’s who you choose to let in. Hondo. Vizago. The clones Rex, Gregor and Wolffe. A small number of seeming outcasts are able to put up powerful resistance in the face of tyranny and oppression. That has been the message of Star Wars all along. Going all the way back to 1977 with A New Hope. As is the theme of family, but here Star Wars Rebels proves that bonds are more than biological.
Into The Unknown
When Thrawn debuted waaaay back in 1991’s Heir To The Empire by Timothy Zahn his backstory was shrouded in mystery and heavily enmeshed with the Unknown Regions. His area of space was controlled by the Chiss Ascendency. Within this new canon, and touched on in Zahn’s 2017 novel Thrawn, they have kept that history relatively the same. In the previous lore, Thrawn remained in the Unknown Regions until eight years after the Battle of Yavin which explains his absence from the events of the original trilogy.
So it would seem that events in Family Reunion – and Farewell could be doing something similar. It is not revealed yet where Ezra and Thrawn will wind up but producer Dave Filoni did confirm on Rebels Recon that they ARE still alive. This wraps up his thread in Rebels while also getting him out of the way for the following films. After the destruction of the Empire after Endor and Jakku the Imperials flee to the Unknown Regions so is it possible that they meetup with Thrawn out there?
In another sly nod to Heir To The Empire Thrawn communicates with Pellaeon during the Purrgil attack. Pellaeon is a fan favorite character who also got his start alongside Thrawn in 1991.
Ezra is also lost out in the wild now; whereabouts unknown. He decided that he needed to see this last mission through to the very end. Giving his lightsaber to Chopper, he knew he was not coming back. At least not any time soon. With another animated project rumored to be in the works its possible that this will be the focus of that series. It’s an area not usually explored within the canon so it would sure make for an exciting adventure.
Although an action-packed episode to be sure, the best part of Family Reunion – and Farewell is the last few moments.
So much payoff in the span of three minutes. It beautifully handles these beloved characters by explaining where they wind up after Lothal. While at the same time laying the groundwork for how they may be seen again in future projects.
Kallus’ arc is one of redemption and atonement. When the series began Agent Kallus was a member of the Imperial Security Bureau and a ruthless one at that. But his hatred and anger towards the Rebel group was nothing compared to his apparent distaste for Zeb personally. And the feeling was very mutual for Kallus was personally responsible for the “cleansing” of Zeb’s homeworld; Lasan. But during the episode The Honorable Ones Kallus confided in Zeb during their time stranded on an icy moon that the massacre was not personal; that he was simply following orders. This would eventually lead to him betraying the Empire and joining the Rebel Alliance. After the Battle of Lothal Zeb would take Kallus to the planet Lirasan; the new home for the survivors of Lasan where he could live as one of them.
It was now revealed that both Hera and Captain Rex would fight on with the Rebellion; both contributing at the Battle of Endor. Alongside a very special young boy.
The son of Hera and Kanan. With human features and bright green hair the most interesting attribute about him lies in the name. Jacen. In the Legends continuity Jacen is the name of the brother of Jaina Solo. Twins born to Han Solo and Leia Organa. It’s a fun little easter egg. Knowing that Rex and Hera are around throughout the original trilogy and after is just begging for more stories. Where were they? What were they up to? Did they have any interaction with the main characters from the films?
And then there’s Sabine. Looking out on the crystalline Capital of Lothal she recounts past events and searches for new meaning in Ezra’s last words to her. Ezra was counting on her. But for what? She took it as a plea to help protect Lothal but now she feels that it means more than that. Ezra is out there. Somewhere. And she aims to find him. But not alone as Ahsoka Tano arrives in a ship flanked by X-Wings. Ahsoka is still around after Endor! This is huge. It could mean so much for the heroes of the original trilogy. Did she have any interaction with them? That would be a game changer for how fans look at those films. Did Luke get a chance to meet her? Was the Rebellion aware that she was still alive? So many questions and all unanswered for now but just this small taste felt incredible. The universe is constantly changing and evolving….what’s next!?
As the dust settles on the amazing Star Wars Rebels with Family Reunion – and Farewell it can’t be helped to already start looking to the future. While nothing has been confirmed as of now there are MULTIPLE shows in the works both animated and live-action. Any one of these could be a spin-off detailing the characters adventures after Rebels. There will also be brand new ideas explored in these mediums but no matter what fans can expect years of content from Disney and Lucasfilm.
I’d also like to take a moment to personally express my gratitude to Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, Carrie Beck, Steven Melching, Henry Gilroy, Vanessa Marshall, Freddie Prinze Jr, Taylor Gray, Tiya Sircar, Steve Blum, Ashley Eckstein, David Oyelowo and the many, many others whose blood, sweat and tears have gone into making this show what it was. An amazing and emotional joyride worthy of the mantle of Star Wars. You have given fans of the saga something truly memorable and your work is appreciated beyond words! And to Andi Gutierrez and Pablo Hidalgo for all the love put in to the fantastic Rebels Recon. Your work will be missed but I look forward to your next endeavor too!
Mike Harris hails from the suburbs of Chicago and has been a fan for most of his life. Working as an industrial radiographer and raising a family with his wife take up most of his time, but there’s always room for Star Wars books and podcasts! Just looking to give back to Star Wars and the fan community, it’s been a source of fun and learning for him for so long.