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Insight on Star Wars Rebels origins

As anticipation builds for the impending release of Star Wars Rebels, we have now been given the names of the crew who will live up to the name of ‘Rebels.’ As most of our readers probably know, Rebels will focus on six main characters who pilot a starship, the Ghost, while they evade The Empire and the vicious Inquisitor. Over the past several weeks we have been slowly introduced to this crew. They will include former Jedi Kanan Jarrus, Mandalorian explosives connoisseur Sabine Wren, con artist Ezra Bridger, the “muscle” Zeb Orrelios, the atromech droid Chopper, and the pilot of the Ghost Hera Syndulla.

Star Wars Rebels Cast
Star Wars Rebels CastStarWars.com
Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars RebelsStarWars.com

Most fans are probably aware that George Lucas loves to draw inspiration from mythology and ancient literature. A good example of this is when Lucas drew from Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero With A Thousand Faces.” Moon Gadget, a long-time media website, did an impressive commentary on the origins of Star Wars and unveiled the following, “Lucas had already written two drafts of Star Wars when he rediscovered Joseph Campbell's ‘The Hero With a Thousand Faces’ in 1975 (having read it years before in college). This blueprint for ‘The Hero's Journey’ gave Lucas the focus he needed to draw his sprawling imaginary universe into a single story.” It’s a great insight into how Lucas would draw upon mythology and previous literature to inspire his work. With the newly announced cast of ‘Rebels,’ we at Yoda’s News thought it might be interesting to try and glean if their names hold any significance. After all, leaning the history of these names might give us clues as to how they will be portrayed in ‘Rebels.’

Jedi Kanan has an instantly recognizable name, even if the spelling is altered, of Biblical origins. Lucasfilm has told us that Kanan was a Jedi Padawan who survived order 66 and went into hiding. He has swapped his lightsaber for a blaster and is very cocky. There are some similarities between this character and Cannan, from Biblical times. For those not brushed up on their Old Testament history, Cannan was the grandson of Noah. One could draw parallels between the flood that is said to have destroyed humanity and the Jedi Purge initiated by Emperor Palpatine. Noah also placed a curse on Cannan, which could be compared to the “curse” Kanan has passed down from the Jedi before him. It will be interesting to see how Kanan reacts to this “curse” of being a lone Jedi survivor. Will he go on to oppose his former Jedi, as Cannan did? Either way, it is an interesting train of thought that provokes us to consider if Kanan will follow in his former Jedi’s footsteps or rebel against them.

Sabine Wren has less obvious connections to any mythological or literary references. In ‘Rebels,’ Sabine is a Mandalorian explosives expert. The only mention we could find of “Sabine” is the name of an italic tribe who lived on the Tiber River. Not much is known about the Sabines except that they were pretty much pillaged and decimated by the Romans until eventually they were “incorporated” into the Roman Empire. It’s a bit of a stretch, but we don’t know the current status of Mandalore during the Original Trilogy timeframe. Perhaps Mandalore was ransacked and brought into line to serve the Empire. This might explain Sabine working with the Rebels.

The con artist, Ezra Bridger, was born around the formation of the Empire and is a Force-sensitive. Throughout ‘Rebels’ he will be trained by Kanan in the ways of the Force. “Ezra” is also a name with Biblical history. Ezra was known as “Ezra the Scribe” because he reintroduced the Torah in Jerusalem, even though doing so under Roman rule was extremely dangerous. Could Ezra be responsible for reintroducing the Jedi ways into the Imperial-controlled galaxy? There are many analogous ties between the two, and it might be that Ezra will have just as much of a burden to bear as his possible name-sake.

Zeb and Chopper don’t have any obvious ties to stories of old, so it’s hard to have any acumen about their potential in this story. The last of the main characters is Hera Syndulla, pilot of the Ghost. Hera was also the wife of Zeus in Greek Mythology. She is known as the Goddess of Marriage, Women, and Birth. Those working on ‘Rebels’ have already told us this show is about the birth of the Rebel Alliance. Hera very well might be the one responsible for the uniting (or marriage) of the various rebel groups which gives birth to the Rebel Alliance. We could also point out the strong female leadership we see within the Rebellion. Hera seems to be a very important character and might have the most important role of all in this series.

These are all just thoughts and allegories we were able to find. While there is no direct evidence that any of these conclusions are true, the thought process behind them is sound. Lucas has been known to draw on elements such as these in his previous work and it wouldn’t be surprising if this was upheld in ‘Rebels.’

Join the discussion with us and share your thoughts on Twitter, @yodasnews and @chewbacca89. (Alex Rybak contributed to this article)