Yesterday at Star Wars Celebration we got our first look and official details on Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels, which seems like a great time to revisit one of our reports on the series and how it went differently.
Just a little over a year ago we reported on an exclusive scoop regarding Lucasfilm/Disney’s animated series, Star Wars Rebels. As a quick refresher, we’d heard the show was planning on ending with Season 3 (which hadn’t started yet). The other month LFL formally announced Season 4 of Rebels and just yesterday it was revealed THAT would be its final season. So, obviously, our report was a little bit off. You can’t always be right in this business and despite having reliable sources, not everything works out the way you think.
I’m not too proud to admit when we’re wrong and in this particular instance I’m actually happy to stick by my report and the information we brought to you. As I said, many other sites picked up the story when we ran it last year, and I caught my fair share of flack for it even then. The problem, however, is the other sites picking up the story left out a crucial piece of information in our scoop.
We reported that Rebels would end, but the characters would get a fitting send off via TV specials (an hour or so) or even straight to DVD/Blu-ray releases. I stand by this, and based off all we’ve learned, and a couple things I’ve heard clarified in the last day or so, I’m convinced this was initially the plan and things changed.
It took them a LONG time to formally announce a fourth season of the show (we got season renewal confirmations for two and three BEFORE the start of the previous seasons), and it was revealed yesterday this final season will only consist of 15 episodes rather than 22. On top of that, IGN spoke with Dave Filoni yesterday in which he revealed season four would be more “serialized” wherein episodes would work more as arcs within 2-3 episodes; which is a perfect fit for those TV specials...
From what I’ve been able to gather, their plans to end on season three and move forward with the TV specials was shifted later on and broken down to be a season four. This accounts for the differences we’re seeing in this final season compared to how the series has run so far. Meaning our initial report was correct at one point in time, but plans changed.
As for the REASON things changed...I’m honestly not sure and have only heard vague explanations. During the Rebels panel at Celebration, Filoni revealed what we all expected, that Star Wars animation has a bright future. This essentially confirms rumors of another big series being in the works (beyond the Forces of Destiny micro-series that was announced).
Our scoop from last year claimed Rebels was ending to help pave the way for the next series that was in the works, so the reason for moving into an actual “Season 4” could be as simple as they’re not quite ready to show off what’s next. Perhaps things haven’t moved along as quickly on the next series as they thought or other stories being mapped out need to be told first.
Like I mentioned, I haven’t heard anything concrete, so that’s mostly speculation. Either way, I just wanted to take the time to clarify our report from last year. Obviously, I don’t enjoy having scoops debunked, but it’s part of the job sometimes. In this instance we were wrong, but it’s more a case for circumstances changing than inaccurate information. Regardless, we’re looking forward to seeing how Rebels wraps up the story.