Star Wars Rebels Review by John Keegan

Star Wars Rebels 3.11: Voices and Visions

Star Wars Rebels 3.11: Voices and Visions

Written By:
Brent Friedman
Directed By:
Bosco Ng

After letting it sit fallow for much of the season, the writers finally get back to the shared vision that Ezra and Darth Maul experienced within the holocrons.  As one would expect, Maul continues to play on Ezra’s internal conflicts to achieve some unknown agenda, but Ezra also needs some answers.  In the process, we learn more about the unusual dependency that has developed between Ezra and Maul over the course of the series.

 


 

While Maul has turned out to be less compelling as a villain than we might have hoped, especially with Thrawn in the mix, he can be used effectively.  And this episode ramps up the creepy factor, which is more helpful than one might imagine.  This is aided by a side effect of the holocron ritual from earlier in the season; apparently, Ezra and Maul both wound up with pieces of each other’s memories.  One might wonder why this hadn’t been seen earlier in the season, of course.

 

With Maul to carry the heavy lifting of Sith self-interest, Ezra seems to gravitate more towards protecting his friends and “family” than the power that Maul offers.  That seems a bit odd, given that this season is supposed to be exploring Ezra’s struggles with the dark side, and this is far enough into the season that he ought to be struggling more than ever.  Instead, Ezra looks like he’s firmly on the side of the Jedi again.  This isn’t necessarily a problem, but if he whips back in the other direction again in upcoming episodes, it will give his progression a disjointed and ill-planned feel.

 


 

The eeriness slips a bit as well in the second half.  Instead of capitalizing on the early creepiness of the memory overlapping and Maul’s secretive motivations, the possession of Kanan and Sabine by the spirits of the Nightsisters lacks a certain subtlety.  The visuals are all neatly consistent with previous encounters with the Nightsister spirits, but this is a far cry from what was seen when Ahsoka was turning to the dark side under their influence.

 

It looks like those hints about “twin suns” earlier in the season were, as many believed, pointing to Obi-Wan.  This would make sense, given Maul’s obsession with him.  Thankfully, Maul’s reaction skews more towards simmering madness, which is the way it needed to go.  Maul seems very sincere when he refers to Ezra as a “brother”, and that’s just one facet of his twisted perspective.  For those reasons, it might have been interesting to have Ezra agree to continue working with Maul more closely, but that probably would have been a step too far from the writers’ point of view.


Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • There was a very creepy tone to this episode that added a lot to the overall effort
  • It’s about time this subplot was brought back into the limelight!
The Bad:
  • Ezra’s descent seems to have reversed itself all of a sudden, which is a bit jarring

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Star Wars Rebels by - 12/14/2016 8:18 AM164 views

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