Rebels expanded Star Wars lore and Ezra Bridger is at the center of all of it.
Ezra Bridger made his first appearance in Part 6 of LucasFilm’s new live-action Star Wars series Ahsoka. Given his status in the animated TV show Rebels, the young Ezra Bridger is likely to be significant in the future of live-action Star Wars.
And he has an interesting backstory.
In the animated TV series Star Wars: Rebels, Ezra was pivotal in the formation of the Rebel Alliance. He was there to assist Mon Mothma and Bail Organa in bringing the various Rebel cells together into an alliance. And he helped Saw Gerrera destroy a giant kyber crystal before it could be used to power the Death Star’s lasers.
Ezra is a Jedi with his own special abilities and in live-action, he could become as important to the Star Wars saga as Luke Skywalker. Both Luke and Ezra were born just months apart. In fact, Ezra was born on Empire Day, the exact date on which the galaxy transitioned from Republic to Empire control. As you’ll see Ezra’s birthday and his home planet, Lothal, are important to the storyline of Rebels.
Hopefully, we’ve whetted your appetite to watch Rebels and to learn more about this great addition to the Star Wars canon.
Below, we do a full breakdown of his life thus far, all the major plot points in Rebels, what happened to him at the end of the show, and why he is key to finding Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Spoiler alert for Star Wars: Rebels
How Does Ezra Bridger Meet The Crew of the Ghost?
Ezra Bridger’s story begins on Lothal, his home planet located in the Outer Rim.
Homeless and without family, the 14-year-old develops his wits and street smarts while stealing and avoiding Imperials in order to survive.
His resemblance to Aladdin (from The Arabian Nights) in physical appearance and as a thief is not lost on viewers of Rebels. But the similarities end there as Ezra will become a unique and powerful character in his own right.
His life changes direction when he interferes in the hijacking of an Imperial shipment by the crew of the Ghost. Led by skilled Twi’lek pilot Hera Syndulla, the Ghost is crewed by a diverse range of individuals each with their own capabilities. The crew includes the Mandalorian Sabine Wren; Zeb Orrelios, who is one of the last remaining Lesats; Chopper, a feisty astromech droid; and Kanan Jarrus, a Jedi Knight who escaped Order 66.
How Does Ezra Bridger Become a Jedi?
Ezra soon discovers he is Force-sensitive and Kanan Jarrus offers to train him.
Under Kanan’s teaching, Ezra becomes more and more proficient with using the Force.
The relationship between the two is not the usual Master and Padawan relationship. Ezra repeatedly defies Kanan in the first season, only to learn his lessons and mature as a character.
Kanan is also not a fully-fledged Jedi Knight at the beginning of Rebels. He teaches Ezra what he knows, but also grows into the role of being a Jedi himself. In season 2, Kanan is knighted by the ghost of a temple guard in a Jedi temple on Lothal after he successfully passes a trial.
The bond between the two deepens over time, with both Ezra and Kanan forming a strong friendship that strengthens their master-student relationship.
This friendship defines much of Ezra’s character arc over the four seasons of Rebels.
What Happened To Ezra’s Parents?
Ezra wrongly assumes he is an orphan in the first season of Rebels.
He later learns that his parents, Ephraim and Mira Bridger, were imprisoned for their revolutionary broadcasts against the Empire.
When Ezra makes a broadcast of his own, his parents see the rebel he has become which shakes them out of their despondency and causes them to mount a prison revolt and escape.
Tragically, Ezra learns they died during the escape from Ryder Azadi, the former Governor of Lothal.
Ezra has now truly become an orphan.
Ezra’s Relationship with Darth Maul and the Sith Holocron
The news of his parents’ death leads Ezra on a downward path to the dark side.
Searching for a way to destroy the Emperor, Ezra encounters fallen Sith Darth Maul on the Sith planet Malachor. Maul is frail and appears harmless. He tricks Ezra into taking a Sith Holocron from the Sith temple, which he claims will aid Ezra in his mission to destroy the Empire.
Maul councils that a Jedi must know the dark side of the Force, a seductive trick used by many Dark Force users.
While Maul betrays Ezra on Malachor, he is left impressed by the young Jedi. And plans to make him his apprentice.
Ezra keeps the Sith Holocron hidden from Kanan. He believes it holds secrets to destroy the Sith. So he opens it, which only someone who can think like a Sith can do. As he uses the Sith Holocron more and more, he receives knowledge that grows his power as a Jedi but also increases his selfishness.
Kanan notices the change in Ezra’s behavior and soon discovers the Sith Holorcon, and helps the young Jedi break free from its control.
Still, Maul tricks Ezra into opening Kanan’s Jedi Holocron and the Sith Holocron simultaneously, which creates a Force bond between Maul and Ezra.
Ezra agrees to accompany Maul to his home planet Dathomir. There, they perform a dangerous ritual conjuring the ghosts of three Nightsisters, which will give both Ezra and Maul the information they seek. Ezra believes he now has the knowledge to destroy the Sith, while Maul learns the location of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine.
Ezra believes he must warn Obi-Wan, but when he gets to Tatooine, the old Jedi Master is perfectly capable of defending himself. He tells Ezra to leave Tatooine.
At nightfall, in the middle of the desert, the two old enemies confront each other. Obi-Wan is reluctant to fight, but when Maul mentions that he knows he is protecting the young Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan ignites his lightsaber. After a momentary standoff, Obi-wan makes just one deft move and slices Maul’s chest open.
Obi-Wan cradles Maul’s head as the former Sith dies.
What happens to Kanan Jarrus?
Kanan Jarrus tragically dies in the last season of Rebels.
In order for the crew of the Ghost to survive, Kanan must sacrifice his life by using the Force to prevent a wall of flame from engulfing them. When the crew attempts to save him, Kanan uses the Force to push them away to safety and the flames engulf him.
His loss is devastating for both Ezra and Hera Syndulla, in particular. A romance blossoms between Hera and Kanan in season 4, and in the epilogue of the show, we learn that the two have a son, Jacen Syndulla.
In the final episodes, Ezra Bridger discovers the World Between Worlds, a mystical dimension outside of time and space. Here, Ezra has the power to alter past and future events, if it is the will of The Force. Presented with the past event of Ahsoka Tano fighting Darth Vader, Ezra pulls her to safety just as Vader is about to deliver a death blow.
Ezra believes he can also rescue Kanan. Through a portal, he sees the moment of Kanan’s death. But Ahsoka warns him that saving Kanan will result in the death of himself, Hera, and Sabine because, without Kanan’s sacrifice, the flames would consume his friends and their ship.
However, when Ezra returns to his home planet, Lothal, he discovers something miraculous.
Ezra is pursued by Loth-wolves, who lead him to the newest and largest member of their pack. The large Loth-wolf tells Ezra: “I am Dume”. Caleb Dume was Kanan’s name before he became a Jedi. Ezra realizes Kanan’s will lives on in this new wolf.
As Dume, Kanan continues to instruct Ezra.
The Defeat of Thrawn and the Liberation of Lothal
Grand Admiral Thrawn is the main villain in Rebels season 3 and 4.
On multiple occasions, Thrawn’s unmatched strategic abilities almost destroy the Rebel Alliance, which loses more and more ships with every trap Thrawn sets.
In the final episode, Ezra Bridger concocts a plan to apprehend Imperial Governor Pryce and liberate Lothal.
Thrawn uses Pryce’s failure to trap Ezra Bridger and his team of Rebels inside the Imperial Command Center, the HQ of the Empire on Lothal.
But Ezra is a step ahead of Thrawn. Anticipating this move, Ezra arranged for his friend Jai to get support of an unusual kind–an armada of space whales called Purrgil.
The Purrgil decimate Thrawn’s fleet, abduct both Thrawn and Ezra, and take them to the Unknown Regions of the galaxy.
Devastated by the disappearance of Ezra, Sabine, Hera, and Zeb are emboldened by a prerecorded holographic message from Ezra.
In the message, Ezra explains to the Ghost crew that many possibilities lay ahead of him. But only one possibility–the plan he followed–liberated Lothal. Ezra made a selfless act by using his Force-given ability to commune with animals to remove himself and Thrawn from the galaxy’s known regions.
This act not only saved Lothal but removed the Empire’s greatest military strategist, Grand Admiral Thrawn, from the fight.
In many respects, Ezra Bridger’s decision gave the Rebellion a fighting chance and led to the Empire’s defeat.
What Role Will Ezra Bridger Have In Ahsoka?
In Rebels, actor Taylor Gray voices Ezra Bridger. In Ahsoka, King Richard’s Eman Esfandi plays the part.
He’s appeared briefly in a hologram and at the end of Ahsoka Part 6. But the hope is he’ll play a significant part moving forward and set his own show.
Thrawn and Ezra Bridger were taken to the Unknown Regions of the Star Wars galaxy at the end of Rebels, but the location may have been retconned to this new galaxy that everyone is trying to get to. Or both characters make another trip from the Unknown Regions to this galaxy.
The plot to a canceled animated sequel series to Rebels leaked online in 2020.
These plot leaks revealed Thrawn and Ezra Bridger form an unlikely alliance to fight an even greater threat from inside the Unknown Regions. This threat, known as the Grysk, is the enemy of Thrawn’s people, the Chiss, who also reside in the Unknown Regions.
But with the change of location to this new galaxy it is unknown if such a shakey alliance will form between the two.
All will be revealed in the final episodes, we’re sure.
Summary: What Is Special About Ezra Bridger?
Suspected Relationship to Luke Skywalker. Ezra Bridger was born on Empire Day, two days earlier than Luke Skywalker. The idea of placing their birthdates in close proximity is clearly deliberate and may speak to some greater connection between them within the Force.
Liberated the First Planet From Empire Control. He was the first Rebel to concoct a plan that liberated the first planet from the Empire’s clutches. Lothal remained free of Empire control until their demise at the Battle of Endor.
His unique Force ability is communication with animals. Throughout Rebels, animals are drawn to Ezra Bridger, especially those animals that are a strong natural focal point of the Force.
We see him communicate with Loth-cats and darker creatures like the Fyrnocks in season 1.
But, it is his communication with the hyperspace traveling Purrgil and Loth-wolves in the final season that is particularly important in Rebels and Jedi lore.
Ezra’s connection to the Loth-wolves draws them close to Kanan and prepares him for the transfer of his will into the Loth-wolf, Dume. Ezra’s communication with the Loth-wolves also saved Sabine, Zeb, and Kanan from an Imperial bomb strike on Lothal.
The Purrgil, which appear on Ahsoka, are space whales capable of traveling long distances in hyperspace. In Rebels season 2, Ezra prevents miners from slaughtering Purrgil who feed on their product, a fuel called Clouzon-36. In the process, he befriends the Purrgil King. In the final episode, Ezra uses the Purrgil to destroy Thrawn’s fleet and liberate Lothal.
The Purrgil have also made their way to live-action in Ahsoka. On the holographic star map in Part 2, the Purrgil are shown encircling the unknown galaxy where Thrawn and Ezra are located. The Purrgil also helps Ahsoka travel to this galaxy, presumably out of their loyalty to Ezra.
His connection to the World Between Worlds. He is also the first Jedi we’ve seen gain access to the mysterious World Between Worlds. His actions in this mystical realm saved Ahsoka Tano.
While his relationship with the World Between Worlds remains unexplored, clues demonstrate he was meant to find this place all along. And point to Ezra’s greater purpose in connection to this place.
The Loth-wolves, who Ezra has a strong Force bond with, are connected to the World Between Worlds. Kanan’s unique transformation into the giant Loth-wolf, Dume, is made special by the fact that Dume only communicates with Ezra.
In addition, the mural on the gateway to the World Between Worlds shows two Loth-wolves sitting on either side of the three Mortis Gods, who we suspect created this realm. Loth-wolves also run around the border of the portal entrance to the World Between Worlds, further demonstrating their significance to this place. Are they guardians of this place?
As you can see, Rebels expanded Star Wars lore considerably, and much of it centers around young Jedi Ezra Bridger. Expect the character to become of primary focus in the High Republic era of film and TV shows moving forward.
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