It's no secret that Star Wars Rebels is, at least in a timing sense, a lead-up to the events of Rogue One. Kanan and Ezra's adventures all take place in the years before Jyn Erso finds out about the Death Star's fatal flaw, and for astute Rebels fans, her adventure included a few cameos from the series that offered a little hope of how the Ghost crew fares once their story wraps up. Now that the show is ending, clues about Star Wars Rebels Season 4 inevitably lead to one very prominent place: Rogue One.
For one, Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni, speaking at a press conference at Star Wars Celebration Orlando, betrayed that the rebels' defeat at the hands of Thrawn actually reaches into the events of Rogue One, suggesting that this battle could have something to do with the Rebellion's resistance to following Jyn's plan. That puts the series in a seriously important position within the film series' timeline.
Beyond that, a few details dropped in Rogue One will make their way into Rebels, namely that Hera (who is referred to as a general in the standalone film) will "be a general before the end of the season."
And she's going to need to be, because while Filoni expertly dodged just about every question thrown his way, he did offer rather candidly that things are about to get dark.
"There will be episodes that have somewhat of a somber ending, but you have to go through those things to have some sort of a victory," he said, adding that ultimately, "I think always Star Wars represents a happy thing a thing that gives you hope ... That doesn't mean there won't be tragic things and difficult things along the way but that's the journey of a hero and the journey of us all."
I'd suggest that Rebels fans get ready to soldier through some tough episodes, because it seems like things are about to get extremely real.