It seems rather obvious that it is more than coincidence that the name given to Commander Sato’s rebel cell is “Phoenix.” In the premiere episode of Star Wars Rebels Season Two we are introduced to the A-Wing fighters of Phoenix squadron under Sato’s leadership. Unfortunately for the pilots of Phoenix squadron their screen time is limited by the appearance and destruction of nearly their entire force by Darth Vader.
Phoenix Squadron as described by the Databank:
Phoenix Squadron was an elite group of A-wings in one of the first larger rebel collectives. They served under Commander Jun Sato and often assisted the Ghost team on missions — until one deadly encounter with Darth Vader. The Sith Lord, piloting an TIE Advanced prototype, wiped out Phoenix Squadron in a vicious attack. Only a few ships survived the battle.
We see Sato and other members of Phoenix squadron escape and retreat to their rally point of “Safe Haven.”
This leads to the obvious conclusion that much like the phoenix of legend this squadron will rise from the ashes and return.
It is also interesting to note that Sabine’s Starbird symbol is both a stylized version of the classic Rebel Alliance logo and an image of a phoenix.
Artist Chris Glenn discussed the design of that logo in Star Wars Insider Magazine #154:
“I’m probably most proud of the Rebels’ phoenix logo. I made it one day on a whim while working on really early versions of the Ghost ship, and it’s remained unchanged all the way through marketing. It’s meant to hint at the Rebel Alliance symbol that will appear in the later films.”
The logo is also discussed by Sabine as part of a journal entry in the in-universe book, Sabine: My Rebel Sketchbook;
“There’s a lot of meaning to the symbol. According to some, the starbird can never die- whenever it seems to be gone, it’s actually renewing itself in the heart of a nova.”
It seems rather obvious that this is not all coincidental, so let me put forward a theory.
The Phoenix squadron will go through a series of defeats and rebirths before the formal formation of the Rebel Alliance. Each time the squadron is reformed it will be larger and stronger than the time before, slowly connecting with other cells and gathering fresh recruits. Over the course of time they will also take inspiration from the bravery and skill of Sabine and the rest of the Ghost team and adopt Sabine’s Starbird logo as the emblem of Phoenix Squadron. This symbol as Phoenix squadron becomes the heart of the rebellion is slowly adopted and slightly altered by other cells that join the movement.
In the end it will be Ghost team serving as inspiration to all Rebels, Phoenix Squadron forming the Alliance’s foundation and Sabine becoming a legend.