Rebels, Season 3, Episode 2: The Holocrons of Fate
OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. OH MY GOD. I…I just. I have no words (this is a lie.)
Full disclosure: I have a TCW recap more than 75% done which I was hard at work on, and I had to sideline it because starting sometime on Saturday evening, I began getting all kinds of tags and messages from friends and blog readers who were like “DUDE. REBELS. You’re recapping this one, right?! YOU HAVE TO,” and I knew in that moment that something related to something (or someone) sad had occurred (I watch via Amazon the day after the original broadcast). I knew Maul was back this week, so I knew, in my heart of hearts, roughly, what we were dealing with here. And I was right. And I may have yelled part of a jubilant curse word aloud upon first viewing of this episode, before catching myself because I was watching with children. (Let no one say I am not the model of a mature, responsible adult.)
Yes, this week’s episode features more Crazy Force Lecturing from our friend the fourth Doctor, an old “friend” returns for the 17th installment of “How Is This Guy Still Alive?” and as usual, I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with Obi-Wan Kenobi.
FINE! OK! Let’s go for it before my nerd euphoria wears off. So, when we left our friends from the Ghost crew, Kanan had given the Bendu the shittiest hostess gift ever in the form of a Sith holocron, Ezra Skywalkered all over the damn place even more so than usual, and we more or less got ourselves situated for another Exciting Year of Pathos and Drama as the team stole a few old Y-wings from the Evil Empire.
Jedi Honor Roll
We open up this week’s installment with Ezra whining at Kanan about the Sith holocron, and honestly, 95% of my job as your recapper could be cut down to: “[Apprentice] says [something whiny or snarky]. [Master] tells him to cram it while [eyerolling or winking] at them.” The Jedi Order was just so bitchy, you guys, I love it. Kanan does indeed tell Ezra that the holocron is safe, but he’s not giving up the location:
They come upon a ship that is disabled, broken, and has smoke pouring out of multiple locations. Ezra brilliantly observes that the ship must have been attacked, and you know what? Sometimes I kind of worry for the people graduating at the bottom of the Jedi Classes if Anakin, Luke and Ezra are among the Top Examples of Gifted Jedi Youth.
Ezra and Kanan board the ship, and amidst the wreckage they find a wounded rebel. He has an Important Piece of Information for them.
Ezra is like OH GREAT, how many fucking Inquisitors did the Empire hire anyways?
The Cockroach of Dathomir
So they go to get a word of warning in to Hera, and at first they think they’ve gotten to her in time, but NOPE: she and the crew have been taken hostage by a Darksider.
Yes, you will all never ever guess who it is OH WAIT it’s GODDAMN FUCKING MAUL AGAIN. This guy. I swear to God.
Ezra, who is a dope, is like “eeehhhhhhh Maul you betrayed me!” and like FFS EZRA would you please wake the fuck up? This is the artist formerly known as DARTH MAUL. HE USED TO BE A SITH. When you think about it, he is indirectly responsible for a pretty hefty chunk of the disaster situation the universe is in. Ugh. It is yet another Skywalker Parallel that I spend much of this show yelling at Ezra for being almost comically dense.
Anyways even Maul can’t help but roll his eyes at Ezra, so he does score a single point in my book here:
Maul continues: “hey dudes I want those two holocrons you guys have, you feel me? Gimme the holocrons and then maybe your friends won’t die” because Maul is a super reasonable and kind person who has never killed any characters I liked. Ezra and Kanan reluctantly agree, and Maul’s on board with this plan. (PS: Nice tight shirt, Maul. LOL.)
Kanan is like OH THANKS FOR TELLING MAUL ABOUT THE JEDI HOLOCRON, EZRA. GOOD JOB. Ezra claims to be blameless, because he’s the apprentice here, and then they discuss where exactly both of these holocrons are at — the Jedi one is still on the Ghost, but the Sith one, well, that might be a bigger challenge.
Back aboard the Ghost, Maul is assessing his surroundings:
Do Not Fuck With Me, Maul
Maul, upon realizing that the Ghost crew actually lives on board their own ship, asks for a tour, to which Hera awesomely says this:
Everyone tries to talk her out of giving him the tour he’s asked for, and then Maul WHO IS THE ACTUAL WORST throws this at Sabine and I swear to God I booed at my television during this part:
You know WHAT, Maul? It is bad enough you got me to care about your life story after you OBVIOUSLY AND DEFINITELY DIED THAT ONE TIME. Then it was worse still that Obi-Wan had to kick your ass again. But the fact that you fucked up Mandalore and are now here in the almost-OT Era basically bragging about it all again is too much. I stand by my earlier declaration that I will arm myself with the fucking Darksaber and take care of you on my OWN if I have to. And in the meantime I will entertain myself with an AU I just made up where hardass Mandalorian Duchesses who die come back as Force Ghosts who can kick people in the face and also in your robotic groin, which in my AU can feel pain.
Zeb is somewhat surprised at Maul’s revelation here, and Sabine sadly confirms the shitty, shitty scene that was the aftermath of ‘Til Darth Do Us Part and that one TCW arc that never got made where Ahsoka and Rex hand Maul his own ass, an arc which I did not plan on mentioning nearly as often as I have.
I Would Be Lying If I Said I Didn’t Laugh At This Part
Hera walks Maul around. First stop: Zeb’s room…
Next stop: Sabine…
And final stop:
And I’m sorry, I should not encourage Maul’s crappy attitude towards the Jedi, but he’s not WRONG here. I laughed out loud at this. Their rooms literally are always the saddest fucking things in the entire universe.
Finally he decides a little Mind Invasion is necessary to get Hera to give up the location of the holocron:
Maul is triumphant, for now:
Take One Part Sith, And One Part Jedi
Back with the Let’s Find The Sith Holocron part of the story, Kanan and Ezra are off in search of the Bendu. Ezra has no clue WTF Kanan is yammering on about, and is also totally freaked out because of those monster spiders.
So eventually the Bendu shows up and they lay it all out for him: they need the Sith holocron back so that they can save their friends. This guy, this Sith (former Sith? whatever) asshole named Darth Maul wants the holocron because he wants it and this Jedi holocron they have to have babies.
The Bendu is like ooooh that’s bad juju:
The Universe’s Toughest Rubik’s Cube
Back on the Ghost, Maul is getting FED. UP. with the Jedi holocron’s refusal to listen to him, and man he’d probably be about 60000 times angrier if he knew Obi-Wan’s Sad Message was what was on that thing:
Shortly after this, while laughing at Maul’s muffled yelling from the room next door, Hera, Sabine, and Zeb decide they’ve had enough — and launch an ultimately unsuccessful, but humorous, escape attempt by using magnets to stick Maul’s robot legs to the ceiling:
Now Maul is decidedly displeased. Oh, he’ll let them continue to live, but…
Recurring Theme: Let’s Go Into a Weirdass Cave
(This might be the top Recurring Theme of the franchise, which is interesting.) OK so eventually Ezra goes off into the Cave of Wonders here and Kanan ends up going in after him because of course he ends up needing help almost immediately, and the Bendu says this and I laugh. There are really a lot of great deadpan moments in this one:
Recurring Theme: The Jedi Order Are Not Huggers Except That They Totally Are
While inside the cave, Ezra and Kanan have a Moment to talk about The Whole Thing With Kanan Getting Mauled in the Face:
…which culminates in THIS, which makes my heart explode and honestly, I love how the Old School Jedi are always super awkward about professions of love and feelings (although you know they all secretly live for it because they are all emotional disasters):
The two of them nab the holocron (for the second time in like 3 episodes,) and emerge from the cave alive and as well as they usually are.
Recurring Theme: Your Journey Has Only Just Begun To Suck
They bid farewell to the Bendu for now, and he gives them another Star Wars Pep Talk, by which I mean he gives them sad words of warning about how things are going to suck:
They head out to go find their friends and confront Maul. Bye bye, Bendu!
Recurring Theme: Take a Chill Pill, My Young Apprentice, Or Evil Will Triumph
En route to find the Ghost Gang, Kanan takes a few moments to impart the Golden Rule of Star Wars at Ezra just before they find Maul. Ezra does not look super confident about his ability to follow this rule, because he is the Young Troubled Guy, but he’s willing to give it the old college try.
Recurring Theme: Darth Maul Kills or Tries To Kill Someone I Like
They arrive in the hangar, and Maul saunters out to greet them. Right off the bat he gets Ezra’s hackles up by saying this to Kanan:
He tells Ezra to go to the control room, and he’ll escort Kanan elsewhere. Don’t worry though everything will be totally fine!
As he walks Kanan away, they have a nice little chat:
…that culminates in this:
He shoves Kanan out the airlock, and walks away, presuming that Kanan’s a goner. Now now, Maul, YOU OF ALL PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW TO CHECK AND BE SURE SOMEONE IS ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY DEAD.
Joke’s on him, as Kanan pulls himself back inside:
The Light Side and The Dark Side Finally Get Together
OK OK OK SO! Having presumed Kanan to be a Jedi Corpse-sicle floating in outer space right now, Maul tells his droids to go ahead and axe Hera, Sabine, and Zeb (no!) and he sidles over to Ezra:
The two of them sit down. Maul asks Ezra if he even understands the MASSIVE POWAH they are about to unleash:
Ezra knows. And he knows what he wants to ask the holocron for for Christmas:
As for Maul? Oh, he’s a man of simple tastes:
(I will admit that it was at this point that I was already like YAAAASSSSS because I could see the ending of this episode from here.)
Anyways, put your sunglasses on, friends, it’s time for the light side and the dark side to finally stop dancing around the obvious and meld together:
Kanan Jarrus, Jedi Knight
Kanan, having collected himself, rushes in to save the day for the rest of the Ghost crew, and I realize that this makes me six years old, but man I love a good Jedi Day-Saving. Yay!
But where’s Ezra, Hera asks? He’s with Maul — onward!
Recurring Theme: Your Author Has a Kenobi-Related Meltdown
Maul and Ezra open the holocrons and they mingle together and all of a sudden a blinding white light takes over the room:
Kanan and the crew arrive and Kanan takes off his mask, using The Force to make out where Ezra is:
Maul, meanwhile, continues to demand to know what Ezra sees — and remember, here, that Ezra wants to know how to destroy the Sith, OK, this is important — and he can see a place. Where might we find, oh, say, two people absolutely instrumental to the success of Anakin Skywalker’s Ultimate Force-Balancing Act?
And I TELL YOU PEOPLE, I literally yelled “YOU GUYS YESSSSSS IT’S HAPPENING” at my family and my husband had to actually shush me while we watched a children’s Star Wars cartoon. (I am a ridiculous person, but this is something I presume my regular readers already knew.)
Kanan pleads with Ezra to back off, and then the light bursts and the holocrons pull apart from each other:
Recurring Theme: Maul Has a Kenobi-Related Meltdown
Maul. Ohhhhh buddy. You guys. Maul is kind of laughing, but the closed captioning here does not do this justice. It’s not a ha-ha laugh. It is a laugh of disbelief and rage. He goes bolting out of the room before anyone can even see he’s left, and he’s repeating one thing to himself as he flies off to, uh, parts unknown:
Oh, be still my heart. You know what? Maul, I get you. I too have lost a lot of productive hours of my life to thinking about Obi-Wan Kenobi. I understand the inclination to obsess here.
And let me just state for the record right now that I have zero idea where they’re ultimately going with all of this but I AM SO READY TO KNOW AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T INVOLVE OBI-WAN HAVING TO WATCH ANYONE ELSE DIE. So help me, writers. SO. Help me.
Recurring Theme: We’ll Not Get to The Bottom Of This
Ezra comes to, and his friends are concerned for him. Kanan tries to get some insight into what he saw:
Not to worry, Kanan says:
And LOL, OK Jedi, you’d think by this point all of you would stop thinking you’re going to uncover the truth about ANYTHING, but whatever you say, buddy. Whatever you say.
…and with that, we’re done with this week’s installment! Are we ready for more? I know I am (maybe). Perhaps, before this season is out, someone will finally give Maul the Last Great Mauling he sorely deserves (and please, for the love of God, aim for his head. AND CHECK TO MAKE SURE HE’S REALLY DEAD THIS TIME.)