The one thing that has aggravated life long Star Wars fans since the acquisition by Disney is that the vast majority of Star Wars stories have been thrown out the window. Sure, some of the best ones are still sold under the Legends moniker, but they’ve essentially been relegated to fanfic status. Star Wars Rebels, however, and the creative team behind it have a long history of taking things out of Legends and making them canon. Now it appears they are about to make the most beloved EU story canon, and I’m not talking about Thrawn, I’m talking about Knights of the Old Republic.
The First Hints
The first time I really thought about this as a possibility was during the first episode since the midseason break. It featured Princess Leia bringing supplies to the nascent resistance on Lothal. It was a pretty by the numbers episode for Rebels, but what struck me was this:
Those ships in the holo look very similar to these:
There are some slight differences between the two (namely the engines, and there also appear to not be as heavily armed), but overall the ships are almost identical. For those few unaware, the Hammerhead Class Cruiser was the ship of the line for the Republic during the war against the Sith Empire as lead by Revan. It appears these (presumably now ancient) ships have been retooled as long distance freighters. It would make sense that after 4000 years because there has been little technological advancement in the galaxy since then, therefore why waste a perfectly good ship that just needs some repairs.
They Keep Developing the Mandalorians
So the key incident that kicked off the Great Sith War and the fall of Revan was the Mandalorian War. It was the destruction of that war (and the use of the weapon on Malachor V) that drove Revan and his Jedi to the dark side. What is essential to making that conflict make sense is understanding who and what a Mandalorian is. Rebels and Clones Wars has done a lot to flesh out who the mandalorians are, and it just keeps getting more complex. Lately, the Mandalorian Protectors were introduced as allies of the Empire, and we were told by Sabine that there were many Mandalorian factions during the clone wars. We know one of them was Death Watch, and it’s leader, Pre Vizsla wielded a black lightsaber that he inherited from back when the Jedi and Mandalorians were enemies. In the Clone Wars we also see murals like this:
Those guys look exactly the Crusader Mandalorians from KOTOR.
The Great Scourge of Malachor
There was just barely a hint of this in Clone Wars when a trooper used Malachor in the same place we use Hell when we say “there’s no way in hell.” Now we know from the Visual Guide from The Force Awakens that there was an event called “The Great Scourge of Malachor,” and that the design for Kylo Ren’s lightsaber (and I bet his mask), date back to that time. Fans of KOTOR 2 know that the Battle of Malachor V was the end of the Mandalorian Wars where the Exile used a gravity weapon to destroy the Mandalorian Armada. It also turned out that the planet housed a secret Sith Temple that dated back to the original Sith. The planet was also located on the outer rim. Considering those things, it’s possible that the temple when see in the trailers for the final episodes of Rebels is on Malachor.
It’s also possible that this is the same place the First Order disappeared to in order to grow strong in the dark side after the destruction of the Death Star, and that possibly the “First Order” that it’s referring to is the original Sith Empire, and not the one under Palpatine. Dave Filoni (showrunner of Rebels and The Clone Wars) stated in a recent interview with Slashfilm, “I wanted to put a nod to this new history we’re seeing in The Force Awakens. It’s important to have these links between stories in major ways and subtle ways. Here you find a sword we’ve encountered before, and it gives a little more context to something that turns up later.” So anything’s possible.
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