Star Wars Rebels S3E2: “The Holocrons of Fate”
Starring: Taylor Gray, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Tiya Sircar, Steven Blum, Tom Baker, Sam Witwer.
It’s starting to seem like the fuse is running short for the Prequel-era characters. Although Star Wars Rebels is firmly entrenched in the Rebellion era, thematically, the show is very much a holdover of the Prequel period with frequent wrapups of Clone Wars era plots. We get this in both big ways and small, what with the reappearance of Darth Maul (Sam Witwer) and a reminder that he ruled Sabine’s (Tiya Sircar) homeworld during the Clone Wars. But remember, we’ve seen neither Maul nor our two Jedi during any Rebellion-era material, and this week once again reminds us that the clock is ticking (along with the producers’ recent revelation that A New Hope is now 2 1/2 years away).
It seems that for now, concerns that Ezra (Taylor Gray) was turning to the Dark Side have been allayed. Still, there’s consequences to his actions from both last week and from last season’s finale…besides Kanan’s blindness, of course, though Ezra still holds some guilt for that. No, the bigger problem is that Ezra walked off with a dangerous Sith holocron, and Maul returns to take the crew of the Ghost hostage to demand its return. Except that Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) gave it to the Bendu (Tom Baker) last week and now they have to figure out how to get it back from the oversized Muppet. Oh, and Maul wants Kanan’s Jedi holocron, too.
This week’s episode seems to be themed around knowledge, with the distinction that some had to be earned and some is best left unlearned. Maul’s desperate to get into both holocrons for unspecified reasons (beyond apparently them giving him “hope”–and that’s probably a wink-and-a-nod clue) but can’t get Kanan’s to open. The Bendu’s willing to give the Sith holocron back to our two Jedi, but only if they’re willing to go hunt for it in the lair of the Lothal spiders. Of course, Ezra hasn’t been through the lessons in humility which Kanan has, but…oh, well, they get there.
Honestly, this was probably one of the more predictable parts of the episode. Given that last season’s ending suggested the show was going in the direction of an Empire Strikes Back darkening, it’s a little surprising to see Ezra and Kanan patch up so easily. Sure, it’s a little tense, but no so tense that we can’t tell how it’s going to turn out.
The fight with Maul doesn’t fare much better. There’s a fight and a briefly tense scene where Maul literally shoves Kanan into the void of space, making it look for a moment like they’re killing off a main character. This show takes risks, but it’s also a kid‘s show, so the really bad moments are going to be reserved for climaxes.
Anyway, the episode climaxes with Maul and Ezra doing something the Bendu said shouldn’t be done: bringing the two holocrons together. Apparently, doing so could reveal information which people just shouldn’t have. Whatever that knowledge has, we get just enough to whet our appetites but not enough to satisfy us. The mystery revelation suggests that Maul and Kanan had a vision of the impending original Star Wars saga, as Ezra makes a vague reference to “twin suns.” As for Maul, he gleefully runs off saying “He lives!”
Whether “he” is Anakin Skywalker, Luke, Obi-Wan, or somebody else, we don’t know. Undoubtedly, a future episode is going to resolve this. Undoubtedly also, we’ll be waiting a few months for this to be firmly explained. It’d have been better if the show held off on this kind of teaser until later in the season.
Rating: Two and a half holocrons out of five.