So much goodness in twenty-two minutes of television.
Episode two of the third season of Star Wars Rebels, The Holocrons of Fate, might have topped the season premiere, and I really enjoyed the first episode of the season. The episode gets off with a fast start as Kanan and Ezra are investigating a Rebel ship that has been attacked. They quickly find that Maul has kidnapped the crew of the ghost. He wants Ezra and Kanan to deliver the Sith Holocron to him in exchange for the crew's lives. Since Kanan left the Holocron with Bendu they must first retrieve it and then go and rescue their friends.
The first part of the episode helped with some of the small problems from the season premier. We saw Kanan and Ezra working together and resolving their issues with one another. It seemed at the end of the premier everything was good between them, but at the start of the episode there is still friction between the master and student. They have to work together to retrieve the Holocron from Bendu and must get past the spider creatures on the planet. Ezra is humbled by the fact Kanan can get past the spider creatures when he can’t. Ezra’s power has been growing fast and has surpassed Kanan on some fronts. It was good for him to be taken down a notch or two during this scene. Having Ezra once again defer to Kanan was really well done and earned in the episode. It was one of the strongest parts of an episode without many issues.
After the retrieval of the Holocron the rescue attempt from Maul was fantastic. Maul of course double crossed and tried to kill both Kanan and the crew to ensure he got everything he wanted. The scene with Kanan being jettisoned out of an air lock and having to launch himself back into the bay was awesome. There was a brief moment where I thought they may actually kill him off, it of course didn’t happen, but just the fact the show made me think this for a few seconds shows how engaging Rebels can be. Then we get to the end of the episode and the bomb dropped by Ezra and Maul joining the two Holocrons together. Ezra wants to know how to bring down the Sith. Maul doesn’t reveal his question, but we can infer what it is by what he and Ezra say during and after the event. At one point Ezra mentions twin suns, which probably means Tatooine. We then hear Maul say as he is leaving the station that “He lives. I’m going to infer that he means Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The big question from this is are we going to see a confrontation between Obi-Wan and Maul during this season of Rebels? Will the crew of the ghost go to Tatooine and meet with the old Jedi Master? This of course brings up the retcon issue of Obi-Wan saying he hasn’t heard his name in a long time from Episode 4, but I could get over this if we get a confrontation between Obi-Wan and Maul. Maybe Maul will only call him Kenobi and the crew won’t know who he is and he will introduce himself as Ben. Either way I would love to see another fight between Maul and Kenobi. I would have rather seen it in an Obi-Wan movie, but I’ll take it in Rebels if I can get it. This was a major bomb to drop at the end of the episode and leaves me extremely excited for the possibilities it could lead to.
I didn’t really have any issues with the episode tonight. One of the small gripes came from not really showing how the Maul captured the crew of the ghost. They really couldn’t have crammed any more content into tonight’s episode, so I understand not being able to show this, but it still would have strengthened the story. The only other minor gripe would be the sudden realization that the Holocrons can be combined together show an answer to any question. It is a convenient plot device to use, but because of what it reveals I don’t have a big problem with the revelation. These are very minor issues for one of the best episodes of the series to date.
This was a fantastic episode, even more so because it was constrained to only the half hour episode length. There was so much crammed into these twenty-two minutes that not a second was wasted to get all of the story points across. This was a master class on good television and I’m already excited for what the next episode will bring. What did you think of the episode? Did you like it as much as me or did you see other problems? Do you think we are going to get a Maul vs Obi-Wan show down? Comment and let me know.