Holocrons of Fate

Twitter can be a weird place. Cruising timelines, and live tweeting while watching our favourite shows is an indispensable part of fandom. Whether it’s sports, sitcoms, or Rebels, having twitter at your side makes any spell on the sofa a social experience. So it struck me as odd as I first opened the twitter machine on Saturday morning to the first opinions of “Holocrons of Fate”:

“Meh”

“Predictable”

“Called it”

Those with the Disney XD app get early access to episodes of Rebels (is this a U.S. thing only?), so these early opinions can influence the rest of us who have to wait.

Holocrons of Fate is the second consecutive episode in which we cut right to the chase. We immediately learn that Maul has taken the Ghost crew captive (minus Kanan and Ezra). Unsurprisingly, Maul wants his holocron back. The one he almost got in the season two finale. The one he feels is rightfully his, but that his would-be apprentice, Ezra currently owns and uses. Agreeing to exchange not just the Sith holocron – but Kanan’s Jedi holocron as well – in return for the safety of their friends, Kanan and Ezra walk in to Maul’s trap. We’ve all seen this in previews, so I presumably haven’t ruined you yet.

For those who haven’t seen the episode yet, you might want to tread carefully because it’s about to get spoilery up in here.

During Steps into Shadow, Kanan confiscated Ezra’s Sith holocron and gave it to Bendu for safe keeping. Just one episode later, and we get another visit with Bendu. Hooray! Kanan and Ezra visit him with the purpose to retrieve the holocron. The ensuing sequence harkens to Luke, Yoda, and the tree in Empire Strikes Back. It also gave Ezra and Kanan a chance to mend their relationship which has been strained since Malachor. It’s a touching scene, and we are left with the impression that the old Ezra is back…with some caveats. We’ve seen Ezra’s maturity and growing power, but this was a reminder that he’s still a young man, who without Kanan would be very much alone.

Bendu leaves his mark on the episode by dropping more wisdom and hints; the biggest of which is that merging a Jedi and Sith holocron will answer any question for the wielder. This message comes with a warning that some secrets once learned, cannot be unlearned. Bendu describes having seen this happen before, and of its ensuing chaos. I wonder what he may be talking about?

Maul, of course, has no plans to honour his agreement to free Hera, Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper. Surprising, right? Kanan saves their hides, just after saving his own. Not too shabby for a blind guy who just one week earlier spent months in perma-mope mode. In another clip seen online over the course of the summer, Maul tries yet again to kill Kanan by shoving him out of the space station’s airlock. By the tip of his fingers, Kanan is able to hang on and get back in to the station’s hangar before freezing and/or suffocating.

This episode moves quickly to the main event, which is the mating of the Jedi and Sith holocrons. In a curious juxtaposition, Maul says he’s looking for hope, while Ezra confesses that he wants the power to destroy the Sith. Is Maul to be believed? What does Maul want with hope? Is he still trying to paint himself as a sympathetic character in Ezra’s eyes? Or, as @choprulz suggests on our latest podcast, is Maul looking for hope in order to stamp it out?

Bombarded with visions from the holocron Ezra and Maul come to a startling, if incomplete conclusion. The two participants lose their focus and the merging ends violently and abruptly. Presented with images of “Planets…some familiar, some not”, Maul staggers off, repeating “HE…LIVES!”. It’s a dose of the crazy, incoherent Maul we met way back in his re-introduction in Clone Wars. Who is “he”? Ezra, for his part, stuns viewers with what has to be the final piece of the puzzle: Twin suns. A very familiar setting for Star Wars fans, Tatooine looks like a likely destination in the near future.

If you’re still reading – thanks! But you’ve also now read Holocrons of Fate’s biggest reveal, and what a bolt out of the blue! I think everyone suspected that Obi-Wan would return (I certainly did), but I definitely didn’t see it happening so soon. Reintroducing Obi-Wan opens up all kinds of questions, that I’ll cover in another post. Holocrons of Fate ends with fans desperately wanting the next chapter, which has to be considered a great thing. And in classic fashion, it means that we’re going to have to wait at least two weeks, as next week’s instalment will give us Wedge Antillies’ introduction to the Star Wars universe.

If you have any comments, be sure to let me know in the comments below, on twitter, or facebook!

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