‘Star Wars Rebels’ Recap and Reaction: “The Holocrons of Fate”

James Akinaka

Darth Maul has returned to Star Wars Rebels in a huge way. This weekend’s episode, “The Holocrons of Fate,” forced Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus to decide how far they were willing to go to save their friends. Maul ransoms the crew of the Ghost in exchange for Kanan and Ezra’s Jedi and Sith holocrons. What did Ezra and Maul learn from the holocrons? Let’s take a look.

Master and Padawan Once More

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Ever since the end of season two, Ezra and Kanan have faced obstacles in their bond as Padawan and Master. “The Holocrons of Fate” made their personal conflict front and center. To retrieve the Sith holocron for Maul, Kanan and Ezra return to Atollon. There, they visit Bendu, the Force-user who mentored Kanan in last week’s season premiere, “Steps Into Shadow.”

I didn’t expect to see Tom Baker‘s Bendu again so soon, but he was a welcome surprise. Bendu sends Ezra and Kanan into the caves of the krykna spiders, where he has hidden the Sith holocron. The scene has a lot of parallels with the Cave of Evil from The Empire Strikes Back. By forcing Ezra to rely on help from Kanan, Bendu helps Ezra bridge the newfound chasm between him and his Master.

Back in “Steps Into Shadow,” Bendu taught Kanan how to connect with the krykna, which had resisted even Ezra’s natural ability to connect with animals. In this week’s episode, Ezra is filled with too much fear, so he doesn’t try to learn from Kanan how to connect with the krykna. Nevertheless, he does accept Kanan as his Master once more. It was a brief yet touching moment since it forces Ezra to admit that he still doesn’t have all the answers.

Whom Did Maul See in the Holocrons?

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Full disclosure: I think Darth Maul’s story has gone on for far too long. Nevertheless, Maul proved to be a suitable menace in this week’s episode. It was shocking to see Maul capture Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren, and Zeb Orellios so quickly. Still, it was a reminder that almost no character who isn’t Force-sensitive can withstand Maul’s power.

Bendu reveals that the Jedi and Sith holocrons can be combined into a wellspring of unlimited knowledge. As a result, Ezra and Kanan struggle to decide whether they should give Maul what he wants. However, they must do so to save their friends.

Where Ezra hopes to learn how to destroy the Sith, Maul is looking for something surprising: hope. When the two of them combine the holocrons, Ezra sees twin suns. Maul exclaims, “I see him!” However, Kanan convinces Ezra to break off the connection, since Bendu told them, “Once a secret is known, it cannot be unknown.”

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Clearly, Ezra saw the twin suns of Tatooine, the residence of a certain farm boy who is the same age as Ezra. Moreover, right before Maul escapes, he wickedly declares, “He lives.” No one could earn that kind of impassioned response from Maul other than his old foe, Obi-Wan Kenobi. And of course, Kenobi currently lives on Tatooine, protecting Luke from afar until he is ready to begin his Jedi training.

Does this mean Star Wars Rebels is incorporating Obi-Wan Kenobi in the near future? I sincerely hope that’s not the case. A Maul vs. Kenobi rematch might be a suitable end to Maul’s story, but it feels highly unnecessary. Not every single Star Wars character needs to show up on a Star Wars TV show.

Other Observations

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With help from fellow Fan Contributor, Robert Mitchell, here are some other observations about “The Holocrons of Fate”:

  • For all of Hera’s strengths, she isn’t strong with the Force. That’s why it was difficult to watch as Maul probed her mind to uncover the location of Kanan’s Jedi holocron.
  • It was chilling that Maul knew Kanan’s real name, Caleb Dume. Kanan shed his real name during the events of Greg Weisman and Pepe Larraz’s comic series, Star Wars: Kanan.
  • Maul has never shown any inclination for the light side of the Force, which made it impossible for him to open Kanan’s Jedi holocron. It’s nice to know that Maul can’t do everything.
  • The convergence of the Jedi and Sith holocrons had an interesting symbolism. However, hopefully, it will remain a limited plot device, since it seems like it would provide the rebels with easy fixes to their problems.
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  • Maul’s asteroid outpost was originally designed for Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It first appeared in Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir, which was an adaptation of an unfinished story arc from the TV series.
  • Ezra did a terrible job of ensuring that Maul held up his own end of the bargain. Maul ordered his droids to kill Hera, Sabine, and Zeb, but Kanan managed to save them. Maybe Ezra was simply relying on Kanan to complete that part of the mission, but it was still odd.
  • Maul reminded Sabine that he ruled her homeworld of Mandalore during the Clone Wars. It was surprising that Sabine didn’t call out Maul for that since he wasn’t exactly a fair or just ruler.
  • (From both me AND Robert:) Please, let Maul die after this season of Rebels. He’s becoming a veritable Alema Rar, and that’s not a good thing.

For original trilogy fans, a familiar face will appear in next week’s episode of Star Wars Rebels: Wedge Antilles, future Rebel pilot and destroyer of the second Death Star. He will be voiced by Nathan Kress, who’s best known as Freddie Benson from iCarly. Catch “The Antilles Extraction” next Saturday, Oct. 8, at 8:30pm on Disney XD.

James Akinaka
James Akinaka arrives at Fandom by way of Wookieepedia. He covers Star Wars, superheroes, and animation and values bold, inclusive stories. He suffers from a lifelong case of nitpicking and high standards.