This article contains spoilers for Star Wars Rebels Season 3, Episode 11
Star Wars Rebels heads into its holiday hiatus with an episode full of ancient magic and high-stakes action as Maul and Ezra head to Dathomir in order to see fully the shared vision they glimpsed in “The Holocrons of Fate.”
The Galaxy Far, Far Away may well be filled with desert planets orbiting twin suns, as Sabine’s comment suggests, but even the most casual Star Wars viewer now knows the show must be planning a trip to Tatooine. Barring some major and needlessly complicated plot twist, that’s one big question from earlier this season answered.
But, as a good midseason finale should, “Visions and Voices” also raised a few more.
1) Will the Rebels abandon Chopper Base?
Even though Maul struck a deal with Ezra and Kanan to keep the rebel base on Atollon a secret, I’m guessing this cell’s days at Chopper Base are numbered. If our heroes really are done trusting Maul, as they say, then they shouldn’t trust him to keep his word. As Kanan told Ezra, the rebels can always relocate. (How many comic book and comic strip stories set in the original trilogy era are about the search for a new base for the Rebellion, after all?)
Of course, even if the rebels leave Atollon, the Bendu will still be there—and if Maul didn’t learn about the Bendu from his previous mind-merge with Ezra, Maul has now seen the Force-balanced beast for himself. Will he try to take advantage of this knowledge? The Bendu seems somewhat above or beyond the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith. As “the one in the middle,” is the Bendu bound in any way to keep his knowledge and wisdom from Maul? He did make himself scarce when Maul showed up in this episode—but what’s to say he’d do so again?
2) Should we be worried that Sabine kept Maul’s Darksaber?
I’m guessing we probably shouldn’t be. It’s not as though the Darksaber is the One Ring or something, imbued with the power to twist the one who wields it toward evil.
On the other hand, it is a unique and ancient weapon with a very violent history. Mandalorians stole it from the Jedi Temple ages ago, and Pre Vizsla used it as leader of the Death Watch. According to the (now non-canonical) book The Bounty Hunter Code, the Darksaber was more than a weapon for the Death Watch: It was a “symbol of authority,” carried by “the most powerful” warrior among them. When Maul seized it from Vizsla during the fall of Mandalore, he did so as a sign of his dominance over the Death Watch leader.
Sabine brandished the Darksaber like an expert when possessed by a Nightsister spirit. Is some memory, even subconscious, of that fighting what motivates her to take the saber before leaving Dathomir? Is she, as a member of House Vizsla, simply taking advantage of a chance to get back what Pre Vizsla lost? Does she want, on some level, to be seen as “the most powerful” warrior? I can’t help but feel her choice is an ominous one.
3) Who or what is “the key to defeating the Sith”?
Seem like a dumb question? Well, hear me out.
I’m not asking, “Are Maul and Ezra going to meet up with Obi-Wan Kenobi before this season’s over?” Again, this episode makes that development seem all but certain. But I’m less sure Obi-Wan, in and of himself, is the goal of Ezra’s quest. Obi-Wan isn’t “the key to defeating the Sith.”
How can he be? Sure, he’s watching over young Luke on Tatooine. But at the end of Revenge of the Sith, Yoda and Obi-Wan discuss the hope that “Anakin’s twins” might defeat Darth Sidious. And as it turns out, both Luke and Leia helped bring about the Sith Lord’s downfall.
Had Leia not hidden the Death Star plans in R2-D2 (plans acquired by the heroes of the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Sidious’ ultimate weapon might have terrorized the galaxy unchecked for who knows how long.
Had Luke not resisted anger and hate while fighting Darth Vader on the second Death Star, he would have taken his father’s place as Sidious’ new and more powerful apprentice.
For that matter, Vader took the last and most decisive step in destroying the Sith by throwing his master down that reactor shaft!
If Rebels wants us to believe Obi-Wan is “the key to destroying the Sith,” it will be overemphasizing his importance. But I don’t think the show wants us to reach that conclusion. This “key” language is Maul’s, making it somewhat suspect. Ezra wants to know “how” to destroy the Sith.
That’s a small distinction, but Ezra’s question gets us closer to the philosophy of Star Wars as a whole. No single person is “the key” to good’s triumph over evil. Skywalkers aren’t ultimately special because they have a high midichlorian count! They’re special because they choose to fight for what right. And throughout Star Wars, many other people make that choice—Han, Lando, Ahsoka Tano, Agent Kallus (as we saw last week) – and become special, too.
What will Ezra find on Tatooine? I’m confident he’ll meet Obi-Wan – but he’ll find something else, too… Perhaps, just when he needs it most, proof that he already knows how to destroy the Sith. All he must do is act on it.
What did you think of “Visions and Voices”? Let’s talk in the comments below!
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