Spoiler Warning: If you haven't seen the most recent episode of Star Wars Rebels or don't want to know what happened, turn away now. Or, y'know, go watch and come back so we can talk about it.
If there's one thing Tolkien taught us, it's to be wary of objects that promise power and knowledge. The Sith Holocron even whispers in an incredibly sexy voice (The Presence is my master now) and really does offer insight and power that's tangible and can help people. So it makes sense that Ezra finds himself itching for it at the beginning of the episode.
Ezra does, however, make an excellent point when he asks why Yoda sent them to Malachor. Ezra thinks it was to gain the Sith Holocron. Kanan thinks it was to defeat the Sith, but a rewatch of Shroud of Darkness reveals that Yoda never gave them a reason why they should go to Malachor. Could it have been the Force moving things into place in preparation for what Ezra sees what the joined holocrons share?
As Yoda says to Luke "Always in motion, the future is." I wonder if he learned that lesson thanks to the currently unfolding events. I can't wait to find out.
We discover early on in the episode that we're dealing with Maul, but I'd like to add that the second Hera said Kanan's name that way, I knew things were bad. Kanan's going to have to get used to hearing those variations now that he can't see Hera's face. ("We'll see each other again. I promise." KILLS ME!) Of course, I'm 100% sure he gets what Maul thinks when he calls Kanan "Master Jedi."
Maul has Zeb, Sabine, Chopper and Hera, and he'll trade them (no he won't) for the holocrons. Maul may be evil, but he does have his own specific code of conduct. He easily parses the difference between loyalty to Ezra but not the rest of the crew. He still calls Ezra "our apprentice." I don't think he's remotely done with Ezra. He is, however, 100% done with Kanan, as evidenced by the way he pushes him out that airlock later on.
While he waits for Kanan and Ezra, Maul makes himself comfy on the Ghost. Too comfy. Uncomfortably comfy. The kind of comfy that makes me want to smudge the Ghost with sage. After reminding Sabine that he once ruled Mandalore, he uses Hera's own knowledge and feelings aginst her and finds Kanan's holocron. Bad touch, bad touch!
Hera, Sabine, and Zeb may only escape captivity for a few minutes, but you have to love them for trying. They don't know the meaning of quit. Also, Maul trying to open the Jedi Holocron is "How the hell do I open this jar of pickles" hilarious. I was afraid he was going to pull something.
Meanwhile, Kanan and Ezra head back to Atollon for a little talk with Bendu. Or should I say complete a test for Bendu? The balance between master and padawan is out of whack (as evidenced by Ezra's inability to believe Kanan or listen about the spiders), and it must be restored. That means they'll need to go into the cave (with the spiders) to follow the tunnels (with more spiders) and retrieve the Holocron (literally on the spiders) together. There are so many echoes of The Empire Strikes Back in this scene. Love it.
And yes, I got all sniffly when Kanan and Ezra finally had "the talk" when Kanan remarks that he's been forced to see things differently since Malachor. Also, have you noticed Kanan's ability to be shown something once and then master it? He gets a handle on the spider control pretty quickly and uses it masterfully.
Bendu continues to intrigue me. Sometimes he answers questions, sometimes he makes you figure them out yourself. He's taken an interest in Kanan and his padawan, but for how long? I also love his habit of snapping thumpers (love that they're officially called thumpers. The Force must flow).
Holocron in hand, they make way for Maul's ship. The conversation in the cockpit is short, but Ezra handing that holocron over speaks volume.
So much to love once they land: Kanan's reaction to Maul's dripping condescension, Ezra's attitude towards Maul, Kanan getting shoved out the airlock and then getting back on the ship and rescuing Hera, Sabine, and Zeb (how good was that?!) –– but it all comes down to one thing. The thing we all came here for.
The joining of the holocrons.
They each know what they want; Ezra wants to destroy the Sith, Maul wants hope (dying to know his definition of that). They get so close. Ezra and Maul even see glimpses, but Ezra disconnects at Kanan's urging before the vision goes too deep . The holocrons are shattered with the backlash shockwave of power, and Maul escapes as the Ghost crew tends to Ezra. He's got to have one hell of a headache.
Bendu said this about the holocrons: "Combined, they will provide a clarity of vision beyond your kind. Any secret, wisdom or destiny can be seen through the force. One could bring much chaos with such hidden truths."
Twin suns. Bendu talks about the balance of the force. Prophecy, anyone?
Also, if Ezra sawTatooine, then can we assume Maul was talking about Obi-Wan when he kept saying "He lives"? What planets did Ezra see? How much did he see or will he be able to understand? Are we actually going to get a Maul/Obi-Wan confrontation? How badass would that be? This opens up so many questions and we don't even know what they actually saw!
Bendu said that once a secret is known, it can't be unknown. I'm going to be watching this with great interest.
Like Kanan says, "I'm sure we'll find out together."
Star Wars Rebels airs Saturdays at 8:30 PM ET/PT on Disney XD