The crew of the Ghost are back with a new (and old) nemesis as Star Wars Rebels Season 3 arrives on blu-ray this week. Coming bundled with a heftier amount of special features, it’s definitely bringing the goods on all fronts. Come inside to check out my full review!
The upcoming fourth season of Star Wars Rebels will also be it’s last, and many of the plot threads established in season three will (hopefully) be resolved. As such, it’s the perfect time to get caught up by rewatching the season, which arrives on blu-ray this week.
In its third year, the show has certainly shown growth, and steps up the stakes in a lot of ways. This season moved forward in time a bit, inching us ever closer to the events of Rogue One and Star Wars: A New Hope. The first few episodes show a more mature Ezra, who’s stepping up in the group to take charge, though in doing so finds himself tempted by the dark side.
His entanglements with Darth Maul (who made a comeback at the end of the last season) make for a primary plot line that culminates in a final showdown fans had been waiting years for. On top of that, the long time fan favorite character from the old Expanded Universe, Grand Admiral Thrawn, made his debut and caused no end of trouble for the fledgling Rebels.
There’s a lot going on, story wise, for Season three, which makes it a lot of fun to revisit. While there were some filler episodes fans weren’t exactly thrilled with while watching the season play out, they work a lot better within the whole season.
I’ve said it a number of times before, and it remains true with this blu-ray release, the seasons of Star Wars Rebels really works better when watched as a group. It’s really one big story arc, with a bunch of minor things going around it that, oftentimes, tie into the final arc. When watched all together, those “filler” episodes feel more essential in the context of the grander story, because you see it all at once.
I really enjoyed this season of Rebels as I watched it from week to week. Watching it all again in one big chunk, really puts the story into greater focus, and I found myself enjoying it even moreso this time around.
That’s not to mention how gorgeous it all looks. As they have in the past for the previous Rebels blu-rays, the HD transfer is impressive. The animation looks crisp, and the colors truly shine on the screen. Couple that with excellent sound design and 5.1 Dolby sound, and you’ve got a show that looks/sounds like the Star Wars you know and love in your house.
Perhaps the best thing, however, for this season’s blu-ray release is the amount of bonus features fans are treated to this time around. The previous releases were awfully skimpy on the extra content, and fans were vocal about their displeasure. Fortunately, the team at Disney/LFL were listening and added a bunch of special features for fans to enjoy:
Return To Mandalore
Explore where Mandalore fits within the Empire’s regime – and whether Sabine can unite her people against the Imperial forces.
Thrawn: A Legend Reborn
Learn Thrawn’s significance in Star Wars lore, and what the future may hold for this memorable villain.
Apprentices to Outcasts: Kenobi And Maul
Track two adversaries who’ve clashed throughout Star Wars history, and find out why the time was right to conclude their story.
The Original Rebel: Saw Gerrera Returns – Extended
Meet the Original Rebel. This exclusive extended version features Forest Whitaker discussing the character he brings to life in both Rebels and Rogue One.
Five Audio Commentaries
Featuring Dave Filoni (Executive Producer), Justin Ridge (Supervising Director), Kilian Plunkett (Art Director), Keith Kellogg (Animation Supervisor) and Joel Aron (CG Supervisor: Lighting & FX)
A Rebel Alliance
Discover how the formation of the Rebel Alliance in Rebels ties into the Rogue One timeline – and the exciting story possibilities that lie ahead for season 4.
Considering the dearth of bonus features for the Season 1 and 2 blu-ray releases, all of this for season 3 feels like manna from heaven. They offer up a great amount of insight into the story process behind this season, from the inclusion (and trials) of a character like Thrawn, to bringing a conclusion to a rivalry that started in The Phantom Menace. There’s a lot of cool tidbit for fans to enjoy and get a look ahead to what’s coming next.