When Does Star Wars Rebels Take Place in the Timeline?

Is Star Wars Rebels prequel, original, or sequel era?

by Mike Bedard
Image: LucasFilm

With Ahsoka now on Disney+, fans who watched Star Wars Rebels can finally get some closure on what happened to Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn. It may even encourage people who missed Rebels when it first came out to give it a shot. It would definitely provide some much-needed context to understand the full picture of what happens in Ahsoka and potentially beyond if Dave Filoni gets a chance to make a theatrical Star Wars movie. And in case you want to check out Rebels and want to know where it takes place in the timeline, which can get rather confusing, you’re in luck because most of it is set right before the events of Episode IV — A New Hope.

How Many Years Before A New Hope Does Star Wars Rebels Take Place?

The first season of Star Wars Rebels begins in the year 5 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin). The Battle of Yavin, also known as the Battle of the Death Star, refers to the climax of A New Hope when the rebels destroy the Death Star, signaling a major turning out in the galactic war. Therefore, Rebels stars a few years before that happens, meaning the rebel alliance is still trying to figure out a way to bring down the evil Empire. This also means it takes place 14 years after the end of the Clone Wars when the Galactic Republic fell in Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.

This is why when Ahsoka Tano is introduced in Rebels, she’s much older than when fans last saw her in The Clone Wars. She’s grown a lot and learned much, providing aid to the fledgling rebel cause. Star Wars Rebels lasted for four years, so it ends in the year 1 BBY, shortly before the Death Star is destroyed. However, the epilogue to Rebels occurs in 4 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin), directly after the events of Episode VI — Return of the Jedi.

And if you’re wondering how all this leads into Ahsoka, the newest Disney+ series takes place in approximately 9 ABY during the New Republic era. It takes place between the original trilogy and the sequels, so the galaxy isn’t out of the darkness just yet.

- This article was updated on September 14th, 2023

About The Author

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Mike Bedard has written tens upon thousands of articles online in all kinds of spaces. Some of his previous writing credits include Cracked, Ranker, and StudioBinder.