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Star Wars Rebels

The Holocrons of Fate (Star Wars Rebels - S03E03) - Television

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: The Holocrons of Fate

Season: Three

Episode: 3

Original Air Date: October 1, 2016

Runtime: 22 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Mike Taber; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

"He lives." SPOILERS. 

I was a little surprised that Darth Maul returned to Star Wars Rebels as quickly as he did. I wasn’t expecting to see him until the middle of the season and he’s already back in the second episode. Say what you want about the plausibility of Maul’s survival, but his appearances in The Clone Wars are among that series’ best episodes and his return in the season two finale of Rebels helped solidify that episode as the series’ pinnacle. Which is why I was surprisingly underwhelmed by his return this week. This wasn’t a bad episode by any means though. Sam Witwer was phenomenal as usual and Maul stole every scene, but the bar for Darth Maul appearances is so high that this just felt a little underwhelming. This was the weakest episode from either Rebels or The Clone Wars to feature Darth Maul, and that has more to do with the episode around him than Maul himself.

   

The episode began with Kanan and Ezra investigating the remnants of a rebel ship that had been attacked. The lone survivor warned Kanan and Ezra that a “red blade” is hunting them. It was much worse than another Inquisitor though. Maul returned and had apparently captured the rest of the Ghost crew. I was a little disappointed that the Ghost crew’s capture occurred off-screen. The off-screen capture is one of the many moments that made this episode feel rushed, which has been a recurring problem with Rebels. Maul demanded that Kanan and Ezra deliver the Sith holocron to him or the rest of the crew would be executed. Back aboard the Ghost, Maul forced Hera to give him a tour of the ship. Maul realizing that the ship was the crew’s home was nice moment. Witwer played the scene well and it was an interesting realization for a man who has never had a home himself. I also appreciated that Maul and Sabine addressed that he was once the ruler of Mandalore. It’s clear that Maul’s time as the ruler of Mandalore left a scar on its society, even someone as young as Sabine was affected. Maul isn’t really a humorous character but I couldn’t help but laugh at his “how colorful” line upon seeing Sabine’s room. Maul’s interrogation of Hera and discovery of the Jedi holocron was another great scene. Witwer was once again fantastic as Maul and it’s clear that Maul has been investigating the Ghost crew since he knew Kanan’s real name.

   

Kanan and Ezra went to retrieve the Sith holocron from Bendu, although Ezra didn’t believe Bendu existed at first. Bendu explained that when a Jedi holocron is combined with a Sith holocron, the user can see any secret or destiny through the Force. This is my biggest issue with the episode. The idea that combining holocrons will allow the user to see or learn anything they want feels extremely contrived. The “because the Force” excuse has been used to explain away plot holes before, but this is borderline ridiculous. Force visions have been a part of Star Wars for a long time, but this feels like a stretch even in-universe. Bendu hid the holocron and forced Kanan and Ezra to work together if they wanted to find it. Kanan told Ezra that he never blamed him for what happened on Malachor. It was a nice moment, but once again it felt rushed. I understand they only have twenty-two minutes to work with, but the conflict between Kanan and Ezra was resolved a little too quickly and neatly.

   

Kanan and Ezra were greeted by Maul at his base. I did enjoy Maul’s “just follow the sound of my voice” line. Great delivery from Witwer on that line. Maul tried to kill Kanan again, who managed to survive being jettisoned into space. Maul and Ezra began the process of combining the holocrons. Kevin Kiner’s score in this scene was fantastic. While Ezra was looking for a way to destroy the Sith, Maul said he was looking for hope. Then we got the moment the whole episode was building too. Ezra saw twin suns and Maul simply said “he lives.” Ezra was searching for a way to destroy the Sith and he found it (Luke). Maul’s “hope” appears to be Obi-Wan. Could Rebels be building to a Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi showdown? That is certainly an intriguing prospect but one that admittedly seems like too large of topic for Rebels to tackle. Bringing Obi-Wan into the show is big a deal, and I don’t know if they’ll actually take that step. We’ll see though. They already had just about every other major character make an appearance so you never know. Just don’t bring Han Solo into the show. It’s bad enough we’re getting a movie about young Han Solo. So Maul escaped with a new purpose and the Ghost crew was rescued. In the end, “The Holocrons of Fate” was mostly set up. It quickly patched up the lingering conflict between Kanan and Ezra while setting up Maul’s storyline for the season. Although an enjoyable episode thanks almost entirely to Witwer’s Maul, “The Holocrons of Fate” won’t make any best of lists.

What Worked

  • As Usual, Witwer’s Maul
  • Kevin Kiner’s Score

What Didn’t Work

  • The Holocron Problem
  • Rushed Story that was Mostly Set Up
External Links:
Added: October 6, 2016
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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