Star Wars: Rebels: Force Awakens link teased in new trailer | EW.com

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Exclusive Star Wars: Rebels video teases a surprising link to The Force Awakens

(Disney XD)

As fans of Disney XD’s animated Star Wars: Rebels series already know, the show is set in the nascent stages of the Rebellion, between the events of Revenge of the Sith and the original 1977 Star Wars.

But the remainder of Season 2, which returns on Jan. 20, will have some ominous ties to The Force Awakens, even though that story is set many decades later.

In this exclusive video teasing the final upcoming episodes, there’s one shot in particular that may blow some minds: Ezra Bridger, the young Jedi in training (voiced by Taylor Gray), ignites a crossguard lightsaber similar to the one wielded by Kylo Ren in the new film – only this one is green and seems to be of much sturdier construction.

We know from a Disneyland display of props for The Force Awakens that Ren’s saber, with its distinctive laser quillons, was an “ancient design” that the the Darth Vader obsessed young man recreated himself in crude fashion. In the upcoming episodes of Rebels, Ezra will apparently encounter a similar weapon. 

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As the first half of the Season 2 came to a close last year, Ezra learned about the fate of his parents and also felt the pull to the Dark Side of the Force. This teaser suggests that temptation will only grow, and he will cross paths with some familiar Force-sensitives from the past. Not just Yoda, but a hooded and mysterious man who says he should be called “Old Master.”

This figure was obviously meant to stir the imaginations of fans, but if you peer deeply into those shadows you can see some markings on the face of “Old Master” that clearly reveal his identity.

Entertainment Weekly will spell out exactly who he is later on Friday when we publish a deep dive into this new footage with Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni. We need to hear more about teenage Princess Leia’s appearance in the show; Hera’s father, Cham Syndulla; Darth Vader’s return, and most important: Who exactly is that deep voice warning about Ezra being drawn to the Dark Side?

Is it just me, or does that sound a little … Snoke-like?