Season Three, Episode Three — “The Holocrons of Fate” 

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

By Jason GibnerStar Wars has a thing about secrets. The connectivity of all these characters in this galaxy far, far away is often obscured by secrets. Oftentimes, when these connections are finally revealed, they’re of such importance that somebody feels the need to get revenge on whoever was keeping the secret in the first place. In Star Wars, secrets are serious business.

Ask Han Solo if it was a good idea to withhold information from his angry son about the identity of his grandpa. Luke had to survive one crazy gauntlet after the other just to find out who his father really was. From a certain point of view, these precious secrets are essential to the entire Star Wars experience. So it’s only fitting that Star Wars Rebels would tease some of the greatest secrets hidden within this pre-A New Hope era. “The Holocrons of Fate” begins with Kanan and Ezra arguing about the secretive nature of their current situation: Where is the Sith Holocron? Why did Yoda even send them to Malachor in the first place? How does Kanan’s blind mask thing stay on his head? All good questions, but it’s nothing compared to the deep sarlaac pit of doubt they’re about to throw themselves into.

Meanwhile, Darth Maul remains on his revenge-quest to unearth a few secrets of his own. A man of very few words but lots of sweet moves, Maul’s rage train shows up and immediately takes the Ghost crew — save for Kanan and Ezra, who are still hanging out with The Bendu. Maul takes the crew hostage and demands both the Sith Holocron they got on Malachor and the Jedi Holocron that they’ve had hidden away be given to him. Why does he want both? Kanan and Ezra ask The Bendu that exact same question. The Bendu explains, in that marvelous Tom Baker voice, that when the Holocrons are put together they’ll offer a “clarity of vision,” that through the Force they will offer up any secret embedded in the universe.

The minor miracle of this episode is the perfect balance between the rousing good-time action found in freeing the Ghost crew hostages, and providing some of the best quiet character moments seen in the show so far. In the episode’s final moments, it leaps off the top rope — Jimmy Superfly style — by expanding Rebels lore into the Star Wars universe in ways we never thought possible before. This balance is something the show had endlessly struggled with in the past, but here goes down as smooth as blue milk.

This week’s absolutely explosive final moments are ones that will make Twitter go supernova with fans theorizing on where this all could possibly go. If Rebels follows through with what they’re hinting at here, then the next few months of Star Wars could have fans’ hair turning white while they breakdance in the streets to the sounds of “Lapti Nek.” (You laugh, but it could happen, people.)


We asked for a chance to defeat the Sith and we failed.” – Kanan.

Red… red blade… after you…” – Rebel Soldier.

Maul: “Captain, would it be rude of me to request a tour of your ship?” Hera : “Well, the airlock is down there if you want to see yourself out.

A dull and dour chamber. These are the quarters of a Jedi.” – Maul.

You know all about Kanan Jarrus. Or should I use his real name? Caleb Dume.” – Maul.

Perhaps master and apprentice will rediscover their balance. Or perhaps they’ll be eaten. Such is the way of things.” – Bendu.

Twin suns…” – Ezra.

He lives!” – Maul.

BEST MOMENT: As Kanan and Ezra make their wave through a spider-filled cave to retrieve the Sith Holocron, Ezra sees his master keeping away the deadly beasts, not with aggression, but by obscuring his fear. The angst-filled, bad-haircut-having Ezra Bridger has a moment here where he realizes that not only has Kanan made changes in himself, but the way he feels about Ezra. The deadbeat dad that was Kanan is gone. Upon seeing this, Ezra takes the time to finally stop whining and say that he’s sorry for everything that’s happened. Kanan tells him that he never blamed him, and it’s time for Ezra to begin to forgive himself. As the two exchange a much needed hug in the darkness of the spider cave, we see The Bendu outside giving a beautiful and knowing smile. Us Star Wars lunatics talk a lot about the balance of The Force and the galaxy-wide implications that concept has, but sometimes that balance hangs directly on the broken relationships between our characters. With this hug, the master and apprentice are back in this story, and it’s been a long time coming.

EPISODE’S MVP: Darth Maul, the spiky-headed Sith that just won’t die. What makes Maul so interesting to me is that he’s like the pissed off Star Wars version of RoboCop — an undead cyborg whose prime directive is to get revenge on those who used him, sliced him in half and left him for dead. He’s not interested in the ways of the Sith or ancient feuds with the Jedi so much as he’s now a rage-filled ex-lover heading to the bar to confront their cheating spouse. The dude is angry, and unfortunately for some in the Star Wars universe, his anger is only making him stronger.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© Copyright & TM 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.


– Before Maul and Ezra combine the Holocrons, Maul says he’s looking for just one thing from them: Hope. It’s a rare moment where the wild panther of a man shows a brief moment of calm and more than a hint of sadness. He was destined to be the apprentice of the greatest Sith in the galaxy and instead he was taken out by spiky-haired Padawan learner on Naboo. Ezra may have seen a new hope in them once they combine, but what Maul found was only more anger to fuel his hatred and revenge. This rage will probably lead to fairly epic confrontation sometime before this season ends, and I, for one, can’t wait to see where this goes.

– The influence of The Force Awakens can be felt this week, as Maul appears to use Kylo Ren’s mind-reading powers to get into Hera’s head to find out what’s up with Kanan Jarrus.

– Nice mention of Kanan’s true name, Caleb Dume. This name first came up in John Jackson Miller’s excellent Rebels prequel novel, A New Dawn, and was later mentioned heavily in the vastly underrated 2015 Marvel comic series, Kanan: The Last Padawan.

– The Bendu sending Kanan and Ezra into the cave to address their fears is a nice touch, as it calls back to Yoda sending Luke into the cave on Dagobah, but in the end delivers a much different outcome.

– Tom Baker as The Bendu continues to be one of the greatest things ever. His little laughs and chuckles after lines are a breath of originality that hearkened back to Frank Oz’s bold risks with Yoda.

– Was I the only one that was hoping when Maul saw Ezra’s room, he would have spotted his sweet Ben Quadinaros poster? “Oooh, so my apprentice likes the legendary Benny Q? He and I have MUCH in common!

– Kanan urges Ezra to turn away from the light of the Holocrons, which echoed Indiana Jones’ telling Marion to keep her eyes shut once the Ark was opened in Raiders. Some stuff us mortals aren’t meant to see.

– Maul is really on point rocking that short sleeve shirt. Sometime in the six months after “Twilight of the Apprentice” he got a paint job on his ship and a new fashion-forward shirt. Well done, Lord Maul.

10 out of 10

Next: “The Antilles Extraction,” soon.

Before: “Steps Into Shadow, Parts I & II,” here.