ALWAYS TWO THERE ARE
I typically like to write my episodic reviews spoiler-free, but I can’t help it this week – mostly because I have so much to get off my chest!
The number 2 is significant on so many levels in Holocrons of Fate. There are 2 Holocrons, a Jedi & a Sith. The return of (Darth) Maul puts the focus on Ezra’s “two masters” in Kanan and Maul. Of course, it’s week 2 of this third season. During the hyper exciting ending, Ezra mentions “two suns.” The episode at times feels as dark as the original trilogy’s second film, The Empire Strikes Back. I could go on with the symbolism (sadly, Maul’s current lightsaber only produced one blade).
The story jumps right in, as Maul has taken the Ghost’s crew hostage. He offers Kanan and Ezra an ultimatum: deliver the Sith & Jedi Holocrons, and the lives of the crew will be spared. And thus, we’re back off to visit Bendu! If you read last week’s review, you’d know that I enjoyed Tom Baker’s presence as Bendu, and this week is no exception. Ezra and Kanan have a bonding experience that not only teaches Ezra some lessons in patience and the general Light side of the Force, but also helps to ease the tension between Master & Apprentice. I enjoyed witnessing the pair talk things out, as Kanan mentions that he does not blame Ezra for his run-in with Maul and the loss of his sight. I didn’t feel this was forced or fast-tracked, but that it came rather naturally.
One particular action occurred early on in the episode and was actually seen in its trailer. Maul uses the Force as we have only witnessed Kylo Ren use it so far – to go inside one’s head, to pull out information that isn’t readily given up. We see Maul do this to Hera in Ezra’s private quarters. I enjoyed seeing this, but part of me wishes it would have stayed with Ren because it made him all the more powerful. It was something we hadn’t seen Count Dooku, The Emperor, or even Darth Vader ever do. This, along with the green cross-guard Lightsaber we saw at the end of last season has me thinking there is a Snoke connection abounding. More on that at a later time.
The episode’s climax is quite frankly, fantastic. Ezra is warned of what unthinkable powers could be obtained by opening both the Jedi & Sith Holocrons simultaneously. Maul insists on doing so, for no other reason than “hope,” which gives his character depth. What is his purpose after the Sith cast him aside, after his brother Savage died? Ezra is seeking to destroy the Sith and has taken dangerously dark steps towards the line of good and evil in an attempt to do so. The synchronized Holocrons give Ezra an answer that he did not anticipate when he asks what the key is to destroying the Sith – two suns. My goodness, I was speechless! My anticipation of what is to come in Rebels is through the proverbial roof. The two suns refer to Tattooine, where a 15 year-old Luke Skywalker currently lives. This is a prophetic answer, as we know that Luke eventually balances out the Force by destroying Sith Lords Palpatine and Vader. However, Maul takes this in a different direction; Obi-Wan Kenobi resides there. Maul likely doesn’t know why Kenobi is living there (to watch over Luke until the time is right to train him in the ways of the Force), but it’s a revenge he has been pining for for nearly two decades. Though the two met up during The Clone Wars, it didn’t pack the emotional punch that was intended. It’s safe to say Rebels is heading to everyone’s favorite desert planet (unless Jakku is your thing, I suppose). I am incredibly excited to see if we run into just Obi-Wan Kenobi (voiced by James Arnold Taylor, perhaps?), or we see a young, insignificant Luke (perhaps Ezra runs into his at Toshi Station). Hey, we did see Luke’s twin last season. Either way, Disney has me sold on what’s to come.
Maul is my favorite Sith ever. I’m generally sick of his now overcompensated usage in the new Star Wars Canon. But this was an incredible usage of his persona and a phenomenal portrayal. Next weekend’s episode can’t arrive soon enough!
+ Maul’s arch
+ Ezra & Kanan’s reconciliation
+ Incredible climax with an absolute heart-pounding cliff hanger
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