Welcome to The Recap Holocron, a mystical device that will provide a breakdown of each Star Wars Rebels episode moving forward. Your Presence in this Holocron is Elisa Ardell, who will also be providing personal thoughts and theories along the way…
“The Holocrons of Fate” is one of those episodes that gives us many, many questions and not too many answers, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad, at all. There’s the compelling story of Maul having captured the Ghost crew, Ezra and Kanan’s mending relationship, and the mysteries of the holocrons being partially revealed. Also of note, this episode has stunning lighting, and one scene in particular stands out to me as not just a beautiful shot from this series but of other animated shows, as well.
It begins: Heading into the episode, we hear Ezra asking Kanan, “You’re not going to tell me what you did with the Sith holocron, are you?” Now, I don’t want to say that him asking twice (once in this scene and once during the last episode) means anything for our teenage Padawan going through some serious growing pains, but I am going to keep a tally of this as the season continues, just in case it does go anywhere.
It is during this scene on the bridge of a CR90 that Kanan and Ezra’s conversation gets cut short when their ship comes out of hyperspace at their rendezvous point and immediately comes across the smoking and heavily damaged Hammerhead.
- The one thing that stood out to me most in this scene is when Ezra asks Kanan why they were sent to Malachor if not for the holocron. Kanan, understandably, does not want Ezra to use it. Kanan then says that they had asked for a chance to defeat the Sith and that they had failed. Now, we, as the audience, know that even if they had killed Vader that they still wouldn’t have gotten rid of the Sith. I cannot imagine that them using the temple as a weapon to wipe out Vader and the Emperor would have even been an option. So I feel that Ezra is right. They were there for the holocron, but what it will ultimately be used for is not something that we have seen yet, despite what happens later in this episode.
It’s so dark in here: Kanan and Ezra dock with the Hammerhead corvette, which has seen much better days. Kudos to messing up the lighting fixtures and the hallway with debris because this set looks perfectly creepy and eerie. Kanan and Ezra make their way, looking for survivors. Upon finding an injured crewman, Ezra asks what happened. He and Kanan are told about a red blade, and how the Ghost crew is in danger. Kanan immediately responds that they need to warn Hera.
- I don’t know if I mentioned it sometime last season, but I love that the most identifiable thing about a Sith/no-longer-a-Sith/Inquisitor is their red blade.
Awkward holo-calls: Back on the bridge, and having gotten in contact with the Ghost, Hera tries to relay to Kanan that no, it is not an inquisitor, but someone far worse. Maul is quick to not only identify himself but to defend himself against Ezra’s upset that he had betrayed him. The logic that he had not betrayed Ezra, who he would have remained loyal to, is showing off some real mental gymnastics. For his part, Maul wants both the Sith holocron as well as the Jedi holocron that he knows Kanan has, and failing to do this would result in the deaths of the crew.
- The facial animation in Rebels continues to get better and better. For this scene, Kanan saying “Fine” is something I could watch forever. Even with half his face covered there is so much distaste in his expression as he says that word, and even without the awesome voice acting, the animation alone would get across Kanan’s temperament.
I would like a tour: With the Ghost crew captured in binders, Maul is busy figuring out that the Ghost is much more than a ship–it is their home. So polite when he wants to be, he actually asks Hera if it would be rude of him to request a tour. After a smart comment about where he can find the airlock, Hera agrees and takes Maul through the rooms on what has to be the most stressful tour ever. Ultimately, Maul discovers the Jedi holocron and reveals to Hera that he knows Kanan’s original name.
- I love that Maul talks to himself, and at the start of the tour, he asks where a man who hides his identity would hide his legacy? I’m very curious to know where Maul learned more about Kanan and his name being Caleb. The idea that he managed to discover it on his own isn’t farfetched at all, given that Rae Sloane found it out and she’s only an Imperial and not a dark side user with a vendetta.
I gave it to a Krykna: Once Bendu reveals himself to Ezra and Kanan, after having remained hidden from them, he questions them as to why they are there and why they want the holocron. Bendu puts together for himself that Maul wants to join them so he can access an unlimited amount of knowledge of the future, saying that any secret, wisdom or destiny can be seen and that anyone armed with such knowledge could create chaos. He tells Kanan and Ezra that the holocron is deep in the labyrinth of tunnels that the Krykna spiders live in, leaving Ezra to head in on his own without his lightsaber and only Kanan to guide him from the outside.
- I find it interesting that Bendu says that he has seen things go bad before with the information one has accessed after the merging of holocrons. Given how ancient he is, I wonder if it’s a more recent occurrence or something from very far back. Or if it’s something that will be referenced again.
I know what I’m doing: Ezra in his rebelliousness is awful about listening to Kanan, and while in the tunnels, he gets into serious trouble that only Kanan can save him from. It is during this scene that Ezra finally has a chance to tell Kanan he’s sorry for everything that has happened. Kanan tells him that there is nothing to be sorry for and that he has to forgive himself. There is a wonderful hug that catches Kanan off guard, and together, the pair retrieve the holocron and head to Maul.
- It’s a very important thing that Ezra wants to listen to Kanan’s advice about the holocon once they’re on their way to Maul. Not that Kanan has a plan beyond playing it by ear, but it’s still something important in showing the trust that’s being re-established.
Welcome: Meeting Maul at the Mandalorian asteroid base we saw in the comic Son of Dathomir, he is quick to separate Master and Padawan. With droids leading Ezra to the command center with the warning that if anything happens to them the others will die, Maul takes Kanan on his own tour. He ends up doing to Kanan what Hera had wanted Maul to do on the Ghost, taking a quick trip out an airlock. Don’t worry, he manages to save himself, and with his freedom, he is also able to save the rest of the crew so they can in turn go save Ezra.
Knowledge: While Kanan has been busy saving himself from the vacuum of space, Maul meets up with Ezra. Sitting across from one another, they unlock the holocrons and bring them together. Both go into this with a desire. Ezra wants to know how to destroy the Sith, and Maul says he is looking for hope, whatever that may specifically mean to him.
Between the two of them Ezra is the first one to start seeing something, while Maul is left with nothing besides oblivion. Demanding to know what Ezra is seeing, they are interrupted both by the Ghost crew and by the holocrons glow intensifying to the point where the crew have no hope of navigating the blinding light. Kanan in this moment can actually see where both Maul and Ezra are sitting. With them partially silhouetted in the intense light, Kanan calls out to Ezra to look away, while Maul tells him to continue to focus and to gain the knowledge he desires. Ezra manages to grab the information, saying, “Twin Suns,” before finally listening to Kanan and looking away.
Ending: Once the violent separation of the holocrons has cleared, we see Maul rushing back to his ship, repeating “He lives” as he then escapes out into space on whatever mission he now finds himself on. Back in the control room, the crew is around Ezra as he comes to, and while we don’t hear too much specifically about what he saw, it seems he saw more than only one thing. Though, he is unsure if it was for what he was after or if it was due to Maul’s desire. He is unsure of what it all means. Kanan tells him that he is certain that they will find out together, and in another ending where there is a theme of unity, this episode comes to a close.
- At first, I didn’t catch the fact that Maul says, “I see him,” before their connection with the holocrons is broken. I only noticed it once he started going on about this mysterious “him” once he was already heading for his ship.
- There’s been a lot of speculation about what Maul and Ezra got in terms of information. Who is this “he” that Maul is after, and what is the significance behind Ezra’s “twin suns” comment? For my part, and to go against the grain, here is my outlandish idea for both of these theories. Savage is alive, and he is involved somehow with the Black Sun. It’s just a fun thought because all the other ideas have been so thoroughly written about that I have nothing to add. For as silly as it sounds, I do actually have reasons for bringing this up. Although it’s not exactly “twin suns”, we do know the Black Sun is present because of Ketsu Onyo. The syndicate also played a part in The Clone Wars with Maul, and it is a detail that will show up in an upcoming novel that will remain nameless, so it’s not like they’ve been completely forgotten about since Ketsu’s mention of it. As for Savage, well, if Maul can be cut in half and survive, surely Savage could also have some luck somehow. He also would be a point of actual hope for Maul, since it was clear he was a bright point for Maul in his otherwise lonely and isolated life. Savage was also imbued and had his body manipulated with Nightsister magic, something we see affecting Maul and members of the Ghost crew in the season 3 trailer. So why would he be there? Maybe to help his brother become great again? I don’t know, but there we are!
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this episode and the many questions that it brought up. I really cannot wait to see how this will all play out later in the season. At this point, while they do have both holocrons, they both look shattered with the coloured glass that decorated them now scattered on the floor. Does this mean that this is the last we’ll see of either holocron? Or will there be some way for them to be fixed or maybe used in another way? If this is the last of them, I am a little disappointed? We know the Presence in the Sith holocron has a name, which hasn’t been shared with us, and that to me felt like it would eventually be something we would learn in the show. I also find it interesting that the only time we’ve heard the Presence speak, it’s been when only Ezra was around. So I imagine Kanan probably doesn’t even know about it and believes Ezra’s been learning from it the same way he’d been learning from the Jedi holocron. It really is a wait-and-see kind of thing.
See you all next week!