While Lucasfim and a slew of celebrities were attending Saturday’s world premiere of Rogue One, the rest of us were tuning into the latest captivating installment of Star Wars Rebels. The mid-season finale, “Visions and Voices,” deepened the tensions between Ezra Bridger and one-time Sith Lord Darth Maul. Dive in with us as we examine the haunting implications of “Visions and Voices.”
A Shrine to a Duchess
When Ezra sees visions of Maul, Maul reveals that both of them possess incomplete knowledge from the events of “The Holocrons of Fate.” Maul thus brings Ezra to Dathomir to sever their connection. Fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will remember Dathomir as the home of the Nightsisters. Maul now resides in the Nightsisters’ fortress, where he stores artifacts from his rise to power during the Clone Wars.
The most striking — and unsettling — artifact in Maul’s trove was a shrine of sorts to one of his victims, Duchess Satine Kryze. During the Clone Wars, Maul murdered Satine since she was once the lover of his mortal enemy, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Maul’s “shrine” includes a Cubist mosaic of Satine, which looks like it’s directly from Satine’s palace on Mandalore. Moreover, Satine’s mosaic has scratch marks across her eyes and throat. Did Maul seriously vandalize her mosaic in an act of petty rage?
When Ezra sees Satine’s mosaic, you can hear composer Kevin Kiner‘s musical theme for her from The Clone Wars. It’s a gut-jerking moment, especially since Maul has also left behind the Darksaber, the weapon he used to kill Satine. Since he apparently chooses to no longer wield the Darksaber, does Maul feel remorse for his actions? That’s unlikely, as Maul isn’t the kind of person with the emotional capacity for that.
“Visions and Voices” ends with Sabine Wren taking the Darksaber. The fact that Sabine now possesses the Darksaber has profound implications, since it’s the status symbol of the Death Watch‘s leader. Stemming from her run-in with Gar Saxon, perhaps Sabine can now unite the Mandalorian clans against the Empire. We’ll have to see where her journey takes her.
Ezra Rejects Maul
It’s taken a while, but “Visions and Voices” finally sees Ezra reject Maul as his potential master. This season, Ezra has flirted with the dark side. But in this episode, he makes strides toward becoming more, well, mature. Ezra prods Maul for more information throughout the episode, and he also makes Maul drink the Water of Life potion first. It’s a sign that Ezra is no longer jumping headfirst into situations.
When Nightsister spirits possess Sabine and Kanan Jarrus, Ezra refuses to abandon his friends. While Maul abandons his coveted apprentice, Ezra saves Sabine and Kanan from the Nightsisters. The Nightsister spirits might sound vaguely familiar to The Clone Wars fans. Voice actresses Anna Graves (Satine Kryze) and Meredith Salenger (Barriss Offee) portray the Nightsister spirits that possess Sabine and Kanan, respectively.
Perhaps this means Ezra’s dance with the dark side has finally ended. Unfortunately, his development hasn’t been as significant as that of Kanan. In terms of story lines, Kanan has barely had anything to do since Bendu helped him overcome his blindness in Steps Into Shadow. It seems that Kanan is now the one who needs a major story line.
The Race to Obi-Wan Kenobi
Well, it looks like Star Wars Rebels has irrevocably decided to bring in Obi-Wan Kenobi. In “Visions and Voices,” Maul realizes that Obi-Wan is on Tatooine. Maul exclaims, “It ends where it all began. A desert planet with twin suns.” Maul’s first major encounter with the Jedi Order was on Tatooine, so he’s certainly familiar with the planet. Over 30 years ago during The Phantom Menace, Tatooine was the site of Maul’s first duel with Obi-Wan’s master, Qui-Gon Jinn.
This season, it appears as though Maul’s story line is hurtling toward Obi-Wan and Tatooine. I can’t say this enough, but Obi-Wan needs to put Maul down. Nevertheless, will Obi-Wan encounter Kanan and Ezra? Technically, Obi-Wan has already met Kanan over 17 years prior, during the Rebels prequel novel A New Dawn. And Ezra, of course, viewed a hologram of Obi-Wan in Kanan’s holocron way back in the series premiere, Spark of Rebellion.
However, in the race to find Obi-Wan, Ezra and his friends are at a disadvantage. Ezra knows Obi-Wan is on a planet with twin suns. But unlike Maul, Ezra hasn’t yet made the connection to Tatooine. Moreover, meeting Obi-Wan will be a Pandora’s box for both Ezra and Kanan, as well as Rebels in general. It’s up to the series to prevent Ezra and Kanan from colliding too much with the original trilogy.
Ezra and Kanan need to somehow leave the picture prior to A New Hope. By that time, Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi-in-training. That means Ezra and Kanan can’t be running around doing missions for the rebellion forever. I’m apprehensive about the series’ inevitable introduction of Obi-Wan, but hopefully it will at least end Maul’s story once and for all.
Fellow Fan Contributor Robert Mitchell is on hand to help me with our final compilation of Rebels observations for 2016:
- As always, it’s nice to see Bendu (Tom Baker). But it was disappointing when he pulled a vanishing act right after Maul appeared on Atollon. Since Bendu is the self-proclaimed “one in the middle” of the Force, his disappearance does reflect that he’s an impartial character. But it still feels like a missed opportunity to not have him interact with Maul.
- Captain Rex has a brief appearance in “Visions and Voices,” but it’s too bad he didn’t have a larger role. Besides the Lothal rebels, Rex is one of the few people who’s actually encountered Maul. He and Ahsoka Tano met Maul at the same time at the end of the Clone Wars.
- It’s too bad that Asajj Ventress and Mother Talzin weren’t among the Nightsister spirits who appeared in the episode. Still, it’s probably for the best, since Ventress and Talzin would have taken too much attention away from Ezra’s struggle to save Kanan and Sabine.
- Now that Rebels is definitely bringing in Obi-Wan, the series needs to develop a new character model for him. When we saw his hologram in Spark of Rebellion, that snapshot of him had the likeness of Ewan McGregor, who portrayed him for the prequel trilogy. Now, however, Rebels is less than two years away from A New Hope, which means he’ll need to look like the original trilogy’s Alec Guinness.
Geonosis Returns in 2017
Star Wars Rebels returns on January 7, 2017 with a one-hour special, “Ghosts of Geonosis, Pt.1” and “Pt. 2“. The series first visited Geonosis in last season’s “The Honorable Ones,” but this visit will be longer — and more important. Ezra, Kanan, Sabine, and their fellow rebels search Geonosis for a missing rebel team and make a surprising discovery. Perhaps it has something to do with a certain battle station?
Since there won’t be new Rebels episode for the next month, now is the time to read Catalyst by James Luceno. Catalyst not only leads into Rogue One (which is out this Friday, Dec 16), but it also tells a significant chapter in the history of Geonosis. It’s a great way to prepare yourself for both Rogue One and Rebels‘ return to Geonosis. Once you’ve read Catalyst, you can check out our recap of the novel’s key revelations.
So far, all we know about the second half of Rebels season three is that it will focus more on Rogue One. Last season, Rebels came back from its mid-season break with a guest appearance from Princess Leia Organa. Leia’s appearance in “A Princess on Lothal” was meant to tie into her appearance in The Force Awakens, which premiered a month prior. But Rogue One will have more of an impact on Rebels than The Force Awakens did, since Rebels is less than two years away from Rogue One, whereas The Force Awakens is over 30 years into the future. Could this mean that Rebels will include some guest appearances from the stars of Rogue One?
Happy holidays from all of us here at Fandom, and come back in 2017 for our next Rebels Recap and Reaction!