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Star Wars Rebels season 4 Blu-ray brings show to fitting end

Blu-ray review: The feature-packed home release is the ideal way to bid farewell to the Ghost crew.

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Star Wars Rebels says goodbye with the Blu-ray release of its final season.

Lucasfilm

The final season of Star Wars Rebels brings the tale of the Ghost crew to a satisfying conclusion, and the Blu-ray set, available July 31, offers a deep dive into the show's creation that enhances the experience of the universe George Lucas first introduced to the world back in 1977.

For those who haven't seen Rebels, a quick primer: it centers around a crew of rebels primarily based on the Ghost -- essentially the show's Millennium Falcon -- as they battle the Empire on the Outer Rim world of Lothal.

Its scope has expanded considerably since the animated show premiered on Disney XD on 2014, continuing plot threads from The Clone Wars and tying directly into the events of the movies.

With 16 episodes to wrap things up, season 4 doesn't have much room for filler.

The two-episode opener finishes up the Mandalore subplot (one of The Clone Wars plot threads) and is immediately followed by a pair of episodes that link the Ghost crew to the Rebel Alliance and tie in to the events of Rogue One -- essentially forming a pair of mini arcs.

They generate suitable momentum for the return of Lothal. From here, season 4 does a nice job balancing the military plot (and the Grand Admiral Thrawn conflict) with the Force elements, especially in its intense second half, and brings both to amazing conclusions.

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Ezra Bridger, the show's Padawan, teams with some wolves.

Lucasfilm

Blu-ray is unquestionably the definitive way to experience Rebels, and this set's image quality highlights how far the animation has come since season 1. It maximizes the rich color palette and textures -- you can see characters' pores, and their movement is more natural than it was in the show's early days.

The set includes a satisfying selection of special features, with the commentary tracks standing out as the highlight.

Executive Producer Dave Filoni is an engaging, enthusiastic speaker. Thankfully, he doesn't fall into the trap of just describing what's happening on screen, but instead reveals how production of The Last Jedi impacted the season, talks about the importance of female representation and gives us plenty of insight into the process.

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Grand Admiral Thrawn (center, in white uniform) is one of the major villains of season 4.

Lucasfilm

He's joined on the track for A World Between Worlds by re-recording mixer and sound editor Bonnie Wild, a fitting choice for this aural feast of an episode.

Beyond the commentary tracks, we find the usual Rebels Recon featurettes for each episode. These offer a nice, light-hearted insight into production through interviews with cast and crew, but have been available online since season 4 aired.

There's also substantial original content. Ghosts of Legend is a 28-minute series of featurettes on the main characters and most of the season's pivotal moments. These are composed of further interviews with the cast and crew, footage from all four seasons, shots of the production and glimpses of concept art.

Force of Rebellion is a 15-minute dive into the nature of the light and dark sides, narrated by Filoni, that tastefully uses footage from the movies, The Clone Wars and Rebels.

Kevin Kiner: The Rebel Symphony looks at one of the show's unsung heroes -- its composer. This packs a lot into 10 minutes, revealing how he worked with his sons to craft the music (including character themes), his approach to scoring most of the pivotal moments throughout the series and when he chose to lean on John Williams' iconic work from the movies.

Fans can rest assured the insight of Filoni and Kiner will greatly enrich rewatching this show and The Clone Wars.

If you haven't seen Rebels season 4 and want the best possible experience, this set is the way to go. For those looking to revisit the show and learn more from the people behind it, it's a no-brainer.

The Blu-ray set goes for $35 (about £26, AU$47). 

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