Fans React After Beloved ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Character Makes Surprise ‘Ahsoka’ Cameo

in Entertainment, Star Wars

Hera Syndulla in 'Ahsoka' Episode 4

Credit: Lucasfilm

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Ahsoka “Part Four: Fallen Jedi.”

The fourth episode of the Disney+ Ahsoka series brought an iconic Prequel Era Jedi back into the fold, delighting Star Wars fans of all generations. But eagle-eyed viewers also spotted a lesser-known Force user from the animated Star Wars Rebels series, who made a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo alongside Hera Syndulla (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and her son, Jacen (Evan Whitten).

Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Hera Syndulla in 'Star Wars: Ahsoka'. Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Ahsoka has barely passed its midpoint on Disney+, but based on what we’ve seen so far, one thing’s for sure: showrunner Dave Filoni certainly isn’t afraid to pull out all the stops for fans of the animated Star Wars Rebels series.

Starring Rosario Dawson as the eponymous ex-Jedi, Ahsoka‘s most apparent connections to Rebels lie in its main cast. As the imminent return of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) looms, Ahsoka recruits the help of familiar faces like Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and New Republic General Hera Syndulla, both of whom made their live-action debuts in the show.

Ahsoka, Huyang, and Hera Syndulla talking to each other.
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Cara Dune’s Replacement Makes Surprise Appearance in ‘Ahsoka’

Hera and Sabine served on the starship Ghost alongside Jedi Kanan Jarrus (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Lasat Honor Guard Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios (Steven Blum), Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray), and their trusty astromech Chopper in all four seasons of Rebels, fighting back against the Galactic Empire with the Rebel Alliance.

The Rebels would ultimately help to end the Emperor’s reign of terror and lead the galaxy toward a brighter future, but hefty sacrifices had to be made along the way. In the Rebels series finale, Ezra blasts himself and Thrawn into the Unknown Regions, wrapped in the tentacles of hyperspace-traveling Purrgil. Hera, Sabine, Zeb, and the others initially believe Ezra to be dead, though hope lingers for his return.

Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray) and the purrgils pull Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) and his Star Destroyer into hyperspace. Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

However, in Ahsoka, the search for Ezra gets a promising development after nearly a decade when Thrawn loyalist Morgan Elsbeth (Diana Lee Inosanto) and her henchmen, Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno), crack open a mysterious map orb that might just be the key to finding Thrawn and Ezra’s location.

And for the former Ghost crew, stopping Thrawn is personal. As Rebels viewers remember, one of the most heart-wrenching moments in all of Star Wars took place in the Season 4 episode, “Jedi Night.”

Kanan Jarrus blind in Star Wars Rebels
Credit: Lucasfilm

Kanan’s death is the culmination of an intense campaign against the Empire and a Rebellion-saving plotline that holds the weight of heavy emotions, from Hera’s last-minute declaration of love for the Jedi to Kanan’s seeming acceptance of his fate—all before he’s killed by an exploded fuel pod while trying to hold off the blast from enveloping his friends in its deadly blaze.

Although he made a valiant effort with the Force to hold back the engulfing flames, Kanan knew this was his final stand and in his last moments, pushed Hera, Ezra, and Sabine to safety on a departing transport. His sacrifice was not in vain, as he helped secure the Rebels’ victory on Lothal.

kanan jarrus (left) and hera syndulla (right) in star wars rebels
Credit: Lucasfilm

As if his death wasn’t devastating enough, it’s revealed in the final episode that Hera was pregnant with her and Kanan’s child, meaning he was not only robbed of being a war hero but also a father. It’s safe to say that despite his sacrifice’s poetic beauty, Kanan’s remains one of the most tragic deaths in franchise history.

Ahsoka has yet to address Kanan by name, but we have seen his legacy live on through Jacen, the green-haired, ever-curious child with dreams of following in his father’s footsteps. It’ll be interesting to see if the boy can live up to the very high expectations set by his Jedi parent, considering Hera seems to be supportive of Jacen’s dreams.

Jacen Syndulla in Episode 3 of 'Ahsoka'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Episode 4, titled “Fallen Jedi,” will perhaps be best remembered for its bombshell reveal: Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), alive and well in the mysterious World Between Worlds. But a far more subtle cameo has flown under the radar—literally.

If you look closely at the cockpit of the starship Ghost while Hera and Jacen are pursuing Morgan Elsbeth at the 10:31 mark, you’ll find that Hera seems to have a photo of Kanan on her dashboard, placed directly behind her primary controls. 

Hera and Jacen Syndulla piloting the Ghost in 'Ahsoka' Episode 4
Credit: Lucasfilm

While he might not have been resurrected from the dead, it’s heartwarming to see Hera paying tribute to Kanan in Ahsoka and sharing his legacy with their son in a small but touching way. And fans can’t seem to get enough of this small detail.

On Twitter, the emotions were running high with this user, who shared a snapshot from Ahsoka Episode 4 with the caption, “Nobody touch me:”

just found out hera has a picture of kanan on her dashboard in the ghost, nobody touch me.

This fan was also in their feels about a smaller detail pertaining to Kanan and Jacen’s resemblance, pointing out the similarities between their armor:

Jacen Syndulla looks exactly like Kanan Jarrus, him wearing the same armor as is father is about to make me cry.

Meanwhile, this person asked an important question: is this our first look at live-action Kanan? And if so, who’s playing him? Demanding his return, this user wrote:

WE ALL MISSED THE KANAN CAMEO. OMG OMG WHO IS THIS ACTOR THO, I WANT A LIVE ACTION KANAN SO BAD.

It’s hard to say if this is a live-action rendering of Kanan or some sort of live-action hybrid loosely based on his animated appearance in Rebels. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see if the former Jedi pops up in Ahsoka in some capacity, in either a flashback scene or somewhere in the World Between Worlds.

Freddie Prinze Jr. has gone on the record to state that he has no interest in reprising his Star Wars role, meaning that if there is a hypothetical live-action Kanan Jarrus cameo in the cards, he almost certainly wouldn’t be played by his Rebels voice actor.

kanan jarrus (left) with padawan ezra bridger (right)
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ultimately, Kanan doesn’t need to make a throwaway cameo in Ahsoka for his arc to be complete, with his heroic death being one of the most resonant moments in franchise history. This subtle Ghost nod is the perfect way to honor this character and his connections to the greater story, all while allowing his family—Hera, Jacen, and the Rebels crew—to symbolically carry on his legacy.

Did you spot Kanan Jarrus’ cameo in Ahsoka? Do you think he’ll pop up somewhere in live-action down the line? Let us know in the comments below.

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