For a Star Wars: Rebels fan like me, one of the most exciting things to come out of the recent Star Wars Celebration 2022 was the news that the back of a head with green lekku was seen in an as-yet-unreleased trailer. The trailer was for the upcoming Disney Plus series Ahsoka, set to release in 2023. The green lekku in question possibly belong to Hera Syndulla.
There’s been no official confirmation of an appearance by Hera in Ahsoka yet. We do know another Rebels core character, Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), will be part of that show. Ahsoka herself (Rosario Dawson) was central to some of Rebels’ most pivotal story arcs.
And then there’s Thrawn. From Ahsoka’s appearance in The Mandalorian, we know she’s actively looking for the Chiss Grand Admiral, who was a primary Rebels antagonist. Overall, the Ahsoka series is looking more and more like a live-action Rebels sequel.
The Mandalorian, of course, has already given us a live-action Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff.) This Rebels character currently has unfinished business with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), so we will undoubtedly see her again. And there’s the recent live-action debut of Rebels’ Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) in Disney Plus’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s impossible to deny that Rebels has received a lot of (much-deserved) live-action attention already, even without the intriguing Ahsoka possibilities.
And yet, I find that I’m not content! Rebels just has so many fantastic characters. Here’s my list of five more I’d love to see in a live-action format.
Alexsandr Kallus’s turn from Imperial ISB agent to rebel is one of my favorite story arcs in Star Wars. Intelligent, creative and focused, Kallus impressed the likes of Wullf Yularen while still a student. He held his own under the eye of Grand Moff Tarkin and Lord Vader. He was, by all appearances, a model Imperial.
Sometime around the time of Minister Tua’s death, Kallus began to change. Rebels is a kids’ show, so Kallus’s turn away from the Empire was seen primarily through the lens of his loneliness. His horror at Vader and Tarkin’s cruelty on Lothal was something left to adult interpretation. Whatever the internal motivation, the result is that Kallus became Fulcrum, a rebel spy.
Kallus’s is a story that begs an adaptation through an adult lens. I’d take this story in any format I could get, but a live-action version would be fantastic.
Ahrinda Pryce’s story, unlike Kallus’s, has already been expanded beyond Rebels, and masterfully so. Pryce has author Timothy Zahn to thank for that. He made her one of the central figures in his novel Thrawn. Through Zahn’s work, we come to know the younger Pryce, growing up the daughter of miners on Lothal.
We watch her make the questionable choices that will eventually gain her the Lothal governorship and power. As developed by Zahn, her story greatly enriches the character we see in Rebels. It makes the heartless government official an even more compelling antagonist.
A live-action Pryce would add nuance to this already fascinating character.
The irascible pirate, Hondo Ohnaka, made his onscreen debut in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Hondo was never painted as a particularly harsh figure, but he wielded power as a pirate leader in his Clone Wars days. This didn’t stop him from allying with the Jedi.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was a favorite of Hondo’s, showing that he had no genuine antipathy for lawful galactic types. Hondo was, from the start, a person who existed within the gray areas.
By the time he appeared in Rebels, his days of influence were over. He was surviving through various smuggling schemes. Through one of these, he eventually crossed paths with Ezra Bridger, who befriended him. Hondo’s best, most honorable side emerged through his subsequent affection for Ezra.
Besides being interestingly multifaceted, Hondo is hilarious. I’d love to see him in live action.
The Protectors, led by Fenn Rau, were a group of elite Mandalorian pilots pulled from all different clans. After Mandalore fell to the Empire, the Protectors joined with the Imperials. This wasn’t through force of conviction but because it was the only way to survive.
When Rau encounters the Jedi Kanan Jarrus, who reminds him of his heroic past, Rau’s disgust and bitterness with his current situation are palpable. Rau grudgingly joins with the rebels, only because Kanan and Sabine Wren essentially force him. Rau eventually finds his way back to a place of honor. He aids the burgeoning Rebel Alliance by choice and joins Sabine’s mother as she leads Clan Wren against the Empire.
The respect and admiration Fenn Rau comes to feel for Sabine as a leader adds a brighter, more idealistic dynamic to a man who seems like he only has hard edges. This makes him interesting to me. As a longtime friend and colleague of Bo-Katan Kryze’s, I hope Rau will show up at her side in The Mandalorian. This might not bode well for Din Djarin, but watching it would be fun.
The Kenobi series has me pondering how the surviving Jedi managed to stay alive in the days, months and years after Order 66. Obi-Wan spent 10 years hiding in a cave on Tatooine. In contrast, Cal Kestis of the Jedi Fallen Order game did odd jobs and kept his head down. Kanan Jarrus’s life mirrored Cal’s more than Obi-Wan’s, though Kanan was a bolder personality than Cal.
After surviving Order 66, the young Caleb Dume built a non-Jedi life for himself. Taking the name of Kanan Jarrus, he became a hard-drinking, love-and-leave kind of person. As told in John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn, Kanan was working a dangerous space hauling job when he met an idealistic Twi’lek named Hera Syndulla.
When he inadvertently reveals his Force powers to Hera near the end of that novel, it’s his first step toward reclaiming his old Jedi identity. That story is told beautifully in Rebels.
I’d love to see a live-action Kanan working together with Hera in those early years. I’d love to see how he and Hera met Zeb and Sabine. I’d love to see how Zeb and Sabine came to know that Kanan had once been a Jedi. Those would be great stories to tell in any format, but they’d make excellent showcases for a live-action version of Kanan.
What Rebels characters would you most like to see come to live action? Let us know in the comments and on social media!
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