OK so I’m super super excited to be writing this one today! Visions And Voices simply has so so much to talk about and think about and theorize on! So I’m thinkin’ I better get started…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, TCW “Siege Of Mandalore” Arc (also virtually any episode pertaining to Maul and Dathomir), and Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Twilight Of The Apprentice, The Holocrons Of Fate, and Visions And Voices
Of all the days for a certain horn-headed darksider to make a reappearance. Ezra had finally gotten the chance to lead a mission for the mini-Alliance again, finally! And then… what starts as quiet whispers and faint glimpses turns to dark echoes and terrifying images, all of Maul. Um yeah that was the most gutwrenching opening I’ve seen in a while. How does Sam Witwer do it, getting his voice that… *shudders* …dark and cold? It’s no wonder Ezra’s out like a light. No one else saw or heard anything, so they’re not sure what to make of it. He tries to shake it off, but he’s not back out on the base for a minute before he starts pursuing Maul again — only to find he was actually about to strike a fellow soldier. It’s nothing short of horrifying, the entire experience. I do love, though, that throughout it all, the Ghost fam is totally there for him. I suppose it’s redundant to point out because I’ve pointed this out a lot, but I truly adore the fact they’re family first and Rebels second, and you see that in a very personal way as all of them, especially Kanan, Hera, and Sabine, are trying to help him during this strange development. Kanan has his suspicions as to why this is happening, but ultimately turns to the Bendu for answers. Apparently something went wrong during that little holocron-joining of theirs, particularly when Ezra cut the whole thing off. Bendu decides to let Maul explain the rest. WAIT WHUT. Kanan and Ezra turn around and yep there’s Maul, the real deal, in the half-flesh-half-machine! They turn back around and Bendu’s disappeared. Wow OK that was mind-blowing because I sort of thought he stayed in the same place all the time, using his branch-like form as a disguise. Well he is rather powerful so I suppose he can come and go how he chooses. But yep Maul is back again! Because of the abrupt end to their holo-Q&A, neither of them got a clear answer. So Maul decides now’d be a good time for him and his apprentice to exchange the last couple fragments of knowledge. Considering he’ll gladly reveal their base’s location otherwise, it looks like Ezra and Maul are gonna be hanging out again. Kanan does not approve. Good thing he gave Sabine Ezra’s com. Because yeah when Maul gets involved… things just don’t have a tendency to go well. Also on a random note can I just say I really love that Kanan doesn’t wear his mask as much in this episode? Not saying I don’t like the mask. His mask never hindered our ability to read his emotions, his voice and mouth expressions portray that wonderfully on their own. But for sure, seeing the eyebrows added a lot of expression there that worked amazingly well in this episode. It’s sort of a small thing, but I felt it was worth mentioning.
We soon arrive on dark creepy Dathomir. Somehow it’d never crossed my mind that Maul would consider this place home, but it really makes sense. It’s his birthplace, and it’s also where Mother Talzin restored him. Plus, he and Dathomir are kind of alike… red, dark, and broken. OMG you guys this episode stirred up so so many more questions about the zabraks and the Nightsisters and Nightbrothers and their world. The concepts they came up with in TCW have never ceased to be fascinating and cool and I honestly I’m thrilled they brought this branch of the mythology into SWR. Maul’s plan is to use some old magick to temporarily merge their minds and finally get the rest of the answers they were given. With the remains of the Nightsisters’ society still standing, it shouldn’t be any trouble far as the Old Master’s concerned. Also wow let’s just spend the rest of the post talking about Maul’s place. I could stare at all the details for hours, pondering and pondering what exactly he’s been doing all this time. What’s that writing on the wall supposed to be if not Aurebesh? Where in the galaxy did he get all those candles? And how’d he make it off Mandalore with all those souvenirs? Of course, that last question brings up a lot of questions, since I’m still in the dark about exactly what Maul was doing during his reign and what eventually got him off the throne. Certainly will need to do my research and read Son Of Dathomir to start with. It is personally very interesting to me that he kept the painting of Satine. I assume he values it because she represents his conquering of Mandalore and possibly his half-victory with Obi-Wan. Though I have to wonder if there’s something more to it that I’m not getting entirely. It’s still incredibly fascinating seeing these connections, though. Of course, truly, the all-around most interesting artifact might be that blade resting beneath the portrait. Yes we’ll definitely come back to that later because OMG THE DARKSABER!! Anyway, all this mind-merging’s gonna take is a quick potion-drinking. I seriously am amazed they could both do it with a straight face ’cause it looks nasty, but it certainly does its job, and they’ve got their questions fully answered at last. Ezra knows who he’s looking for and Maul knows where to look. Now, I was pretty certain at the time that it was Obi-Wan who Maul was giddy to find, but in the time between that episode and this one, I started to sort of doubt my hunch. After all, would he really be happy to see his worst enemy still lived? Probably it was someone else Maul had more respect for. But hehe I was quite proud to see my theory confirmed fact. Interesting that Maul refers to this location as just “a desert planet with twin suns”. He literally doesn’t remember its name? I know he’s a little old now but… eh probably it’s just that the name didn’t matter to him much at the time back in the day. Whatever the case probably good he doesn’t know its name, because once he figures it out, well… old Ben’s quiet life is about to get severely interrupted. Yeah of course Maul’d be happy! It’s not so much that his worst enemy’s alive, but that his worst enemy’s not dead yet… and therein lies his opportunity, his hope. Unfortunately though… that magick ain’t free, far as the NIGHTSISTER SPIRITS are concerned. And they don’t take cash or credit they take FLESH O.O It’s about then when Kanan and Sabine show up and quickly find out blasters don’t work on ghosts. Not that I blame them for trying or anything they be reallll scary. And watching those spirits up and possess Kanan and Sabine is completely spine-chilling. It’s fun when SW does stuff with these vastly different, dark angles of the Force, but it all gives me all kinds of shivers. I love it all, but… yikes, man. Though I imagine the Nightsisters didn’t use such weaponry during their lives, they sure know how to aim blasters and how to slash lightsabers, at least in the hands of their pawns. Maul and Ez are makin’ a break for it. The spirits can’t venture too far from the altar though, so that gives them a little time to figure out their next move. Well, the Old Master already had his next move figured out — with Kanan out of the way, Ezra can finally be his apprentice and they can go merrily on their way to Tatooine and do darksidery things! Ez is absolutely all kinds of “DUDE, NO.” on all accounts, so Maul gets on his ship and flies off. I don’t get the impression he’ll be giving up or anything though. You know how Maul is. Ezra figures all he has to do is get his comrades out of the cave and the possession problem will be solved. And then the Sister in Sabine decides to whip out THE DARKSABER. AHHHH MY GOSH SEEING IT BACK IN ACTION IS AMAZING. Seeing in the hands of a crazy ghost witch though… that’s pretty frightening. It’s still amazing, but… yeesh hearing that voice coming out of Sabine’s mouth… *shudders* that ain’t right. Ezra manages to Force-push Sabine out of the cave and releases the spirit, but he’s still got Kanan to free. And the Sister-spirit who took over his master is pretty darn stubborn. Ezra makes a deal with her, but y’know how these spirits are they’re gonna fight you anyway just ’cause. Finally the Nightsisters take him up on his offer… just as Ezra uses his lightsaber and the darksaber to destroy the altar. THE EPICNESS WOW. GO EZRA! WINNER WINNER NOONA DINNER!! I do sorta feel bad this entire civilization will likely never return, but then I remembered they’re dastardly darksider witches and suddenly I was slightly more OK with that. After all that excitement died down, Ezra finally had a chance to tell Kanan and Sabine what he found out — Obi-Wan Kenobi is the answer to their Sith problem. And they’re gonna make sure they find him before Maul does. I was confused for a couple seconds because I couldn’t remember how it was Ezra knew who Obi-Wan was, but once I was reminded of the message in the holocron, everything made sense. It’s fascinating that ultimately Maul and Ezra had the same answer to each of their desires, like say, I’d originally thought Ezra seeing Tatooine meant someone else, maybe more literally like Anakin or Luke, but this infinitely made more sense. Master Kenobi’s kind of made some major impact on the galaxy, y’know? Then I got all giddy because it fully sunk in that we’ll be getting to see Obi-Wan at some point this season and that is AMAZING. And then, before our three heroes left the darkness behind… Sabine decided to give the Darksaber a good home. Finally, the magnificent blade has found itself a rightful owner :3
Whew that was a lot of writing there! But it turned out really well I think. Again, it’s amazing seeing the connections between these different chapters in the SW galaxy. Hopefully I sparked some interesting thoughts and conversations here. Catch you next week!
Keep The Peace,