Rebels Review: Visions and Voices

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What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: When there’s something strange in the Nightsisters lair, who you gonna call? Ezra Bridger! This show certainly knows how to grab your attention right from the start. The opening scene with Ezra being haunted by visions of Maul during a briefing was genuinely creepy and chilling, and so was the following scene where Ezra is nearly tricked into killing a rebel trooper because of those visions. Unfortunately, the rest of the episode wasn’t able to keep up this level of horror despite featuring ghost witches. Maybe that’s just me as I prefer psychological horror over actual ghosts, witches, and monsters. It was nice to return to the Maul story arc, although the plot here was fairly basic. I liked how it was clear that cooperating with Maul wasn’t going to end well for our heroes, but you didn’t know what the catch was until the ghosts showed up. However, the episode was predictable from then on as it was obvious how Ezra was going to defeat the ghosts after Maul dropped a certain bit of exposition halfway through the episode. We don’t learn much new information either, although it is good to have it confirmed that it is indeed Obi Wan Kenobi that the vision was pointing Maul and Ezra to.
BEAVeR: Both of the mid-season finales we got before were really good episodes with major character development and interesting stories. Sadly, the third season breaks that pattern a bit. You wouldn’t say that in the beginning of the episode, with Ezra’s Harry Potter-esque vision making you feel genuinely uncomfortable and curious at the same time. I loved the buildup in this and the climax with Ezra almost killing that Rebel. Interesting concept, you think. But what happens to it in the rest of the episode? Absolutely nothing, and that disappointed me. It made the intense opening of the episode seem pretty irrelevant to the rest of it, only something to give the audience something new. Instead of delving into this interesting concept, we get a basic and pretty predictable part about joining the holocrons and defeating Nightsister ghosts without a lot of trouble and with quite some conveniences. Luckily there were some great moments as well, like actually seeing what Maul is about through a location and of course the great moment between Maul and Ezra where the latter finally says no to the former. Still, it didn’t feel like that was the focus of the episode with it being sandwiched in between the ghostbusting action so that again it didn’t reach its full potential and you’d almost forget that moment happened after watching the episode.

What are your thoughts on the Characters?
Oky: There seemed to be a lot of trust issues in this episode. While Ezra trusted Maul perhaps a bit too much (although granted, he didn’t have much of a choice), Kanan and Sabine didn’t trust him enough. While it makes sense that they would be worried about him, it probably would have been better if they would have stayed behind and trusted him to take care of himself instead of following him which almost caused them to kill Ezra. It almost seemed like they were only in this episode to cause conflict. None of the characters seemed to have grown much by the end, so it remains to be seen whether any of them have learned anything from this incident. Maul was intimidating and scheming as always which was great, and I think he finally realized that his attempts to make Ezra his apprentice are futile. This scene seems like it should have been pivotal for both Maul and Ezra’s characters, but it was so brief that it felt unimportant.
BEAVeR: As I said, the best moment in this episode probably was the moment where Ezra finally says no to Maul. Still, it was a pretty strange moment. It was great to realize that, however trivial it may seem at first sight, Ezra’s no was quite meaningful. Because we hadn’t heard it from him before. Before, Ezra always had at least a certain tolerance for Maul and maybe even looked up to him because of his knowledge. It shows how much he really was leaning towards the Dark Side. But this simple no showed that Ezra came back from that. But why? Ezra didn’t undergo a whole lot of development in the last couple of episode, so this change of heart felt a bit strange to me. I felt as if more could be done, maybe by putting his relationship with Kanan in a new light since he is there as a ghost anyway. The Maul side of things was handled a bit better. I love how he kept assuming Ezra was going to be his apprentice and that his refusal seemed to really hurt him. It was also remarkable how he didn’t cause a lot of harm in this episode and actually didn’t do a lot of bad stuff. Maybe it’s because he has hope now? Anyway, I think that confrontation between Maul and Ezra with all of its consequences and nuances should have been the central point of this episode, but for some reason it wasn’t which makes it feel poorer.

What is your opinion of the vehicles and locations?
Oky: There wasn’t really anything new here except for the chamber within the Nightsister lair in which Maul kept a shrine to Duchess Satine and some other artifacts from his past which nicely matched the dark and creepy tone of the episode and perfectly reflected the methodical madness that has become Maul’s life.
BEAVeR: The Nightsister temple was fairly standard, but all of the statues and carvings were executed very well to give that creepy feel. Maul’s chamber was even better with the eerie lighting and all of those relics. It was the perfect way to really show how Maul clings to the past and how it keeps pulling him in the dark, how it burns in him. Everything was so fragmented as well, showing how his mind seems to have broken. The cubist painting was a nice illustration of this. Also interesting to have Picasso references in two consecutive episodes… A final note on the Nightsister ghosts. I liked the real Ghostbusters quality they had to them. But the most interesting aspect about them is that they make your realize once again there are multiple ways to look at the Force by making you see there are multiple types of Force ghosts it seems.

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Oky’s Rating: 3.5/5 – I really liked the creepy and mysterious first half of the episode, but was let down by the predictable climax and lack of new information regarding Maul and Ezra’s vision. Kanan and Sabine were more of a hindrance than a help and none of the characters seemed to have developed much. So, while it wasn’t as good as the previous episode, it was still a solid one, and I am excited to see where their quest for Kenobi will take them.

BEAVeR’s rating: 3.5/5 – There were some really nice elements in this episode, such as the visions in the beginning and the confrontation between Maul and Ezra. But those weren’t the things I recalled when the end credits rolled. I thought about the basic ghost plot and of course the “reveal” of the holocrons. This episode lacked focus on the important stuff because it had to do the Kenobi setup in a somewhat acceptable way which led to mediocre character and action moments in comparison to what it could have been. It is these kinds of episodes that make me wish they’d do more two parters so they really can tell the story they’d like to tell.

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