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In the series finale of Star Wars Rebels,

we see that Ahsoka Tano is alive after the events of the Original Trilogy, and it is conveyed to the audience via Sabine's epilogue voiceover that Ezra is still alive.

However, the entire driving force of the Original Trilogy is that Luke, Obi-Wan, and Yoda are the only Jedi left, and it is up to Luke to overthrow the Empire and rebuild the Jedi (to pass on what he has learned, as it were).

This exchange in Empire:

KENOBI: That boy is our last hope.

YODA: No, there is another.

Obviously, the "other" refers to Leia, Luke's sister who is revealed to be Force-sensitive at the end of Empire. So Luke is the last Jedi, with Leia a possible replacement if Luke fails.

This is also communicated to the audience when Yoda dies in Return of the Jedi:

YODA: Luke, when gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be. Luke, the Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned, Luke... There is another Skywalker.

We also know that

Yoda knows who Ahsoka Tano and Ezra Bridger are—and that they are alive shortly before the events of the Original Trilogy—as he communicates with them in the Rebels series.

Does this mean that Yoda and Kenobi

presumed Bridger and Tano to be dead during the events of the Original Trilogy?

If Yoda knew they were alive, he wouldn't have told Luke that he was the last Jedi. And I presume that he is (a) not lying to Luke and (b) is Force-sensitive enough to know if these characters were still alive.

I assume that Dave Filoni would not write an ending to a series that took a large amount of the emotional weight out of the Original Trilogy—but I felt like this ending did just that. If Ezra Bridger and Ahsoka Tano are alive, then Luke's importance in the Original Trilogy feels diminished. I am well-aware that an out-of-universe explanation is that this ending is a device to simultaneously explain why these characters were not present in the Original Trilogy while keeping them alive for a future project; however, I am wondering if there is a more satisfying, less-cynical, and in-universe answer.

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    I'm not sure "plain" Jedis would count as "hope" - Anakin was the "chosen one". I supposed only his children could match him. – bdecaf Mar 7 '18 at 7:19
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    I have to downvote this. It's not quite a future works issue, but it so clearly an issue of retconning 40 years later that without a future work, it would be totally opinion based (imo). The creator of Ezra and Ashoka was only 6 years old in 1980 - certainly ESB wasn't referencing those characters – NKCampbell Mar 7 '18 at 19:34
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    @NKCampbell even without future work, it's possible Filoni or others have made informative comments (for example, I didn't watch the recap show for Rebels) or that something else in the EU is informative that I'm missing. – Mark White Mar 7 '18 at 19:37
  • I would disagree because 1) There is no EU anymore 2) any canon works that were released prior to the final episode of Rebels wouldn't have referenced the final episode of Rebels because the final episode of Rebels didn't exist yet and the outcome was intended to be a secret. – NKCampbell Mar 7 '18 at 19:43
  • Disney would certainly make some comic or something "explaining" that Yoda actually meant "last Jedi" on Dagobah, or last Jedi not taken by space whales :D – rs.29 Mar 8 '18 at 8:05
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Ezra is missing, as Ahsoka meets with Sabine after the Alliance victory to go look for him, so he's literally not around for the events of the Trilogy. As for Ahsoka herself, she rejected and left the Jedi Order, so she's officially not a Jedi and wouldn't call herself one, regardless of the fact that she acts like one. So again, Jedi Truth: Luke is the last of the Jedi because he wants to be a Jedi. Nowhere was it said he's the last Force user on the side of the good guys.

EDIT

To be more specific, the circumstances aren't clear when Ahsoka and Sabine meet; being taken wherever he was, Ezra might have been undetected through the Force so they don't know if he's still alive or not, which we know is possible as Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Luke were all able to conceal their locations one way or another so that other powerful Force users (the Emperor, Vader, Snoke, and Kylo Ren) were unable to sense where they were. So they might have started their search based only on faith he was alive, or that he re-appeared through the Force, or that there's been intel that, say, Thrawn was spotted which gives them hope to also find Ezra.

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    +1 Yet, it is unclear if Yoda knows Ezra is missing, which makes it feel strange, especially given that the series put Yoda and Ezra in contact. And I suppose Ahsoka is literally not a Jedi, but that feels too much like semantics to me (which, obviously, Jedi have played fast-and-loose with before...) – Mark White Mar 7 '18 at 6:09
  • would ezra even count as a jedi? last I know he was a padawan and luke himself was the last / first jedi knight in return of the jedi KNIGHTS – Thomas Mar 7 '18 at 20:32
  • @MarkWhite a lot of the new Star Wars relies on this kind of semantical interpretation to make it "work", otherwise they would have had to kill off a lot of people on a kids show. – psubsee2003 Mar 7 '18 at 21:36
  • @Thomas even in the Clone Wars, Ahsoka called herself a Jedi. She wasn't a Jedi Knight, but she did refer to herself as a Jedi at times. So the precedent is set that a Padawan is a Jedi, just a Jedi-in-training. By the same logic, Ezra could be a Jedi since he was Kanan's Padawan. And one might argue that he underwent his "great trial" in dealing with Kanan's death, and was a full-fledged Jedi Knight by the end of the series. – psubsee2003 Mar 7 '18 at 21:41
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    You are trying to polish a turd. Jedi Order as such does not exists. Luke is no formal Padawan to anyone, he doesn't wear a braid in his hear, he does not pass trials of Padawan. In other words, Luke is no more of Jedi then Ashoka or Ezra . Disney simply created a pile of dung that ruins all previous works. – rs.29 Mar 8 '18 at 8:09
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As of now, Kenobi and Yoda's knowledge is unknown when it comes to Ahsoka and Ezra. However it still would not change the status of Luke being The Last Jedi even if they did know.

Within an interview, Dave Filoni has confirmed that Ezra and Thrawn survived the jump to hyperspace:

I felt a lot about that… It’s one of those things that you go “oh boy I love the idea of an end credits scenes” but as tempting as that is but I go “well if I cover that, then I want to do it right” and I don’t want to commit to things right now because things might change. So I have a lot of theories about it and what I think happens and where they are. I’ll say this much, they’re not dead. Both of them survive, both Ezra and Thrawn I would say survive it.

While Ezra and Thrawn may have survived the hyperspace jump but as to whether they are currently alive by Episode Six is debatable. Ezra is missing and his fate is unknown. We'll have to wait for a novel, comic, or even another animated television series to confirm what became of both him and Thrawn.

Even though Sabine states within the finale:

Ezra's out there somewhere and it's time to bring him home.

We still are quite unaware of Ezra's fate by Episode 6 and moreover, if he was knighted as a full Jedi Knight within this time period. Speaking of which...Luke might have been deemed the last truly knighted Jedi. Kanan was knighted by the ghost of the Sith Inquisitor, making him a full fledged Jedi Knight (however Kanan was killed off within Season 4). Ezra has not been knighted and thus, is only a padawan trained to use the light side of the Force (as stated in his Wookieepedia page):

Ezra Bridger was a human male Jedi Padawan who became a rebel fighter and revolutionary leader in the early rebellion against the Galactic Empire.

Without a knighting ceremony or going through Jedi trials, Ezra would not be considered a full Jedi. Thus, Luke would indeed be the last of the Jedi Knights and Ezra would not be counted.

It's made clear that in Episode 6 that even though Luke had been trained in the Jedi ways, he still was not a Jedi until he faced Vader and the Emperor:

Luke: But I need your help. I have come back to complete the training.

Yoda: No more training do you require. Already know you that which you need.

Luke: Then I am a Jedi....

Yoda: Not yet. One thing remains: Vader. You must confront Vader. Then, and only then, a Jedi will you be. And confront him you will.

Luke's knighting ceremony was when he stared down the Emperor and finally knighted himself by stating these iconic words:

I am a Jedi like my father before me.

Thus, making him a full Jedi Knight.

Even though Ahsoka is still alive, she left the Jedi Order when she was younger and has stated multiple times in Rebels that she was no longer a Jedi despite still fighting and using the Force. She states this in Twilight of the Apprentice before her duel with Vader:

Vader: Revenge is not the Jedi way.

Ahsoka: I am no Jedi.

And she also states this when it comes to opening and unlocking a Jedi Temple in the episode Shroud of Darkness:

Ezra: If you and Kanan stand here, you can use the Force to open the Temple.

Ahsoka: I cannot.

Ezra: Why not?

Ahsoka: Because I am no longer a Jedi. It was my choice. I left the Order. It's probably best if you two open it.

However, Kanan was knighted but was killed off in the episode, Jedi Night.

Temple Guard: By the Right of the Council, by the will of the Force, Kanan Jarrus, you may rise.

Kanan: Wait. What does this mean?

Temple Guard [revealing himself to be the Sith Inquisitor]: It means you are what I once was: a knight of the Jedi Order.

Ultimately, we do not know if Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda were aware of Ahsoka and Ezra's fates by Return of the Jedi. If they did, it doesn't mean that Yoda was lying when he stated Luke was the last of the Jedi. Ahsoka was not knighted as a full Jedi (she left the Order) and does not see herself as one; Ezra has (most likely) not been knighted either or is possibly even dead by the time Yoda dies. If so, Yoda was not lying and Luke Skywalker is still the last of the Jedi Knights.

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My guess for Ashoka is that, when she jumped out of the "time bridge" realm (don't remember what they called it, if anything), she arrived in the future after the events of RotJ. The realm had doorways to different times, so it is feasible. As for Ezra, I'd guess the space whales jump him to a region outside of the Galaxy. That's where the empire went at the end of the aftermath trilogy, that's where the first order began, so it sets up the new animated series in a new place where the hunt for Ezra coincides with seeing the remainder of the empire transform into the first order. Not even Yoda would likely be able to detect Ezra at that distsnce.

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