Star Wars Rebels Season 2 proves to be one of the best seasons in either animated Star Wars series, sparing time for the entire cast and building towards a thrilling and emotionally-resonant finale that promises real consequences for the characters and the galaxy itself.
STAR WARS REBELS SEASON 2 IS PART OF THE CURRENT STAR WARS CANON. CHECK OUT THE TIMELINE.
Essentially a blueprint for how to craft a second season that improves on its predecessor in essentially every way imaginable, Star Wars Rebels Season 2 is a masterful continuation of the show that adds depth, stakes and complexity to what was already an enjoyable and distinctly Star Wars-tinged experience.
With the Ghost and its crew now having left the planet of Lothal and joined up with the burgeoning Rebel Alliance, giving them periodic plot-useful access to support, crises and secret missions, Star Wars Rebels Season 2 immediately feels bigger and more ambitious – and a far cry from the most pernicious problem of the first season, which was a galaxy far, far away feeling like a relatively small one.
If the opening episodes didn’t exactly dispel the show’s focus on Jedi characters, which is relatively ill-fitting for the era, it at least forged a lot of enjoyable connections to The Clone Wars with the inclusion of Ahsoka, Captain Rex (complete with dad beard) and the absurdly charismatic pirate, Hondo. As usual, Kanan and Ezra got a lot of dramatic focus, but the ambit of Star Wars Rebels Season 2 expanded to include at least one episode focused on an individual crewmember. What’s more, they were – almost without exception – great episodes, from an explanation of Zeb’s backstory and a fantastic, unwilling team-up with Agent Kallus (who got some characterisation of his own), to the introduction of Sabine’s old bounty hunter pal and the reveal that she was a part of Death Watch (remember those guys?), Hera’s reunion with her father, Cham, and an oddly poignant and thoughtful twenty-minutes given over, weirdly enough, to Chopper.
For all its connections to the galaxy and timeline at large, Star Wars Rebels Season 2 did a great job of remaining focused on the crew of the Ghost, only using characters like Rex, Ahsoka and Vader sparingly, wheeling them out for important character moments or dramatic beats that stayed true to their development throughout the Star Wars mythos; Rex and Ahsoka reuniting after Order 66, for instance, or the unavoidable connection between Ahsoka and her former master. The latter built towards a spectacular season finale that incorporated a returning Darth Maul, and paid off the long-running subplot of Ezra toying with the Dark Side, while reminding us that Star Wars Rebels can – and, presumably, will – have major consequences for its heroes and the galaxy.
While the show is still unbalanced in favour of Ezra and Kanan, whose dynamic isn’t exactly new in Star Wars stories, and (very) occasionally leans a little too heavily on Ezra’s somewhat nebulous ability to communicate with indigenous life, Star Wars Rebels Season 2 fares much better at incorporating the entire cast, putting in the necessary time to establish each of the Ghost’s crewmembers as a unique individual with their own backgrounds and personalities. It all builds towards a captivating and emotionally-resonant season that is among the best of either animated Star Wars show.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.