WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the two-part Season Three finale of "Star Wars Rebels," which debuted Saturday on Disney XD.
The explosive two-part Season Three finale of "Star Wars Rebels" saw the long-simmering plans of Grand Admiral Thrawn come to a boil as he exposed Agent Kallus as Fulcrum and launched a crippling assault against the Rebellion. But "Zero Hour," also reunited the entire Ghost Crew, and strengthened the continuity ties between the animated series and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," most notably by introducing the Death Troopers to "Rebels."
They elite Imperial soldiers accompanied Thrawn as he launched the ground assault on the Rebel base on Atollon, their sleek black armor standing in stark contrast to his crisp white uniform.
"It just made sense when we were all discussing it internally, and with Story Group, that Thrawn would be a person that actually gets to have those guys," executive producer Dave Feloni explained on the season-ending episode of "Rebels Recon." "For us, it served several purposes: It was to show he was really making his move, and he brought in the top elite troopers to support him in this time. Also, it's a great connection to 'Rogue One.' We knew the film would be out by this time, and we wanted to start integrating the continuity of everything, which means there will be more of that stuff in Season Four."
Some of that "stuff" includes the return of both Saw Gerrera, the "Clone Wars" character who made the leap to live-action in "Rogue One" before debuting on "Rebels," and Mon Mothma.
"You'll get much more of an insight into seeing how that relationship breaks down and breaks apart," Feloni said, before adding that Season Four, "might be possibly, possibly, possibly when you get to see an X-wing." It will also feature Mandalore, a planet featured so prominently in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."
"The longer we've gone with this series, the more it just has occurred to me that 'Rebels' really is, in a lot of ways, going to finish 'Clone Wars,'" Feloni said. "It's going to give us an ending for so many things that I didn't get to finish. That was never intentional, that was never the goal. But it's kind of worked out that way. Some of these characters have come into it, and I think that's a good thing in way, that they're kind of a partnered series, while exactly explicitly connected, there is a shared story path for many characters it it, which I think is a good thing."