Star Wars Rebels has gifted us similarly high-profile big bads each year, from beating Rogue One to James Earl Jones’ Darth Vader return, to this year’s reemergence of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Don’t expect Vader to have any significant role going forward, however, as Rebels boss Dave Filoni says there’s been “an elected decision to not have Vader around.”

/Film parsed out another bit of an interview with Star Wars Rebels creator and supervising director Dave Filoni, specifically the frequency with which we can expect Darth Vader appearances after that face-splitting finale. It could be a while yet, if ever, as Filoni thinks Vader should probably be relegated to the events of A New Hope from here on:

You know, I’ve kind of gone on this course, which is pretty, pretty direct about certain things ’cause I don’t like to tease people along and then have them be disappointed. So it’s really an elected decision to not have Vader around because, as we get closer to A New Hope, I want him to serve as that story.

Not only that, Filoni explained how it made sense to return Vader as a conclusion to his relationship with Ahsoka, but less so as a recurring threat to the Ghost crew, who wouldn’t survive him long. Someone like Thrawn fits the series’ purpose better, especially as Grand Moff Tarkin’s comments about the Jedi fire having gone out in the universe might also limit the appearance of Inquisitors going forward.

There’s still the persistent Darth Maul to consider, but is Star Wars Rebels better served by a military adversary like Thrawn? If indeed Ahsoka returns, should we expect Vader again as well?


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