The Holocrons of Fate marks the villainous return of the former Sith Lord, Maul (Sam Witwer) to Star Wars Rebels Season 3. He blinded Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) in their duel on Malachor over the Sith Holocron. He was last seen escaping the planet in a TIE fighter. We were introduced to Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelson) in the premiere episode. Now we see that the rebels have to fight the dark side of the force on two fronts: the Sith-led Empire and the renegade Maul.

Episode two of the Disney XD series opens with Kanan and Ezra (Talor Gray) rendezvousing with a rebel transport ship. They drop out of light speed to find the ship heavily damaged after an attack. A dying fighter whispers that a "red blade" was after them, that the Ghost was in danger. The Jedi wrongly assume a new inquisitor. They contact Hera (Vanessa Marshall) and find a nasty surprise. Maul has captured the Ghost and her crew. He threatens to kill them all if the Jedi don't deliver both the Sith and Jedi Holocrons they have attained. Maul refers to Ezra as "our" apprentice.

Maul forces Hera to show him every part of the Ghost. He realizes that the ship is not just a vessel, but their home. He leaves armed droids to guard Chopper, Sabine (Tya Sircar), and Zeb (Steve Blum). Maul stuns Zeb by revealing that he ruled the Mandalorians, a truth that Sabine must admit. This was a key development in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Maul uses the force to read Hera's mind. Up to this point we've only seen Kylo Ren use this power in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He uncovers where Kanan hid the Jedi Holocron and his real name, Caleb Dune.

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Kanan and Ezra return to their hideout planet of Atollon. Ezra has been wondering what Kanan did with the Sith Holocron. Kanan takes him to meet Bendu (Tom Baker), the gigantic creature that sits between the dark side and the light. Bendu has hidden the holocron in a cave crawling with spiders. He tells them that he feels the conflict between master and apprentice. Kanan orders Ezra to retrieve it from the cave. He will guide him. He takes Ezra's lightsaber. Bendu warns them that Maul wants to combine both holocrons, but he can only open the Sith device. The joining of the two will grant an awful clarity of vision. Some truths are not meant to be known, as they have the power to destroy.

Back on the Ghost, Maul is infuriated by his inability to open the Jedi Holocron. The crew sees a chance to fight him. They disable the droids. Maul, having been sliced in half by Obi Wan Kenobi, is part machine. They try to trap him by magnetizing the ceiling. A weak move against a powerful adversary, Maul easily beats and recaptures them. His patience wears thin.

In the cave, Ezra struggles against the spiders. Kanan rushes in after him. He shows Ezra how to see the spiders in the force. That they are not a threat. Ezra is incredulous. He admits to Kanan his guilt for Maul taking his sight. Kanan has never blamed him. They embrace and recover the Sith Holocron. As they leave the cave, Bendu says their conflict has ended. But he warns that combining the holocrons will have dangerous consequences.

Ezra and Kanan fly to Maul's base in an asteroid field. Maul beckons to his "apprentice", he tells Ezra to wait on the bridge. He then leads Kanan to an airlock and shoots him into space. Kanan uses the force to pull himself back into the hangar. Maul has instructed his droids to kill the crew of the Ghost.

On the bridge, Maul and Ezra kneel in front of the holocrons. Maul asks Ezra what question he wants answered. Ezra wants to destroy the Sith. Maul has a stunning, but simple question. He wants hope. Maul opens the Sith Holocron. Ezra opens the Jedi. They combine into a blaze of light.

Kanan destroys the droids before they kill his shipmates. They race to the bridge. They are confronted by a blinding light that disables everyone except Kanan. He can see Maul and Ezra in the force. Ezra is being consumed by the power of the objects. Maul at first sees nothing. But Ezra sees deeper, a vision is coming to him. Kanan begs him to look away. Maul screams to keep looking for the answers. Kanan reminds him of Bendu's warning. Maul exclaims that he can see "him". Ezra responds, "the twin suns". Kanan finally reaches him. Ezra breaks his gaze. The holocrons explode and are destroyed.

As the light fades, Sabine realizes that Maul is gone. Maul stumbles to his ship. Muttering repeatedly that "he lives". He tears out of the hangar and into space. Kanan revives Ezra. Ezra saw pieces. He doesn't know if he was seeing what Maul wanted. He saw planets, different places, some seemed familiar. Kanan says they will find out the truth together.

The game is indeed afoot. Maul wanted hope. Ezra wanted to destroy the Sith. What they both saw must have been connected. The groundwork for this season of Star Wars Rebels is being laid. Maul said "he lives". Ezra saw by "the twin suns". Someone has survived that could accomplish both of their goals. Who else could it be but Darth Plaguis? The Emperor thought he had killed his master. It seems logical that Plaguis hid to recover from the attack. It's all conjecture, but to take this thought a whole lot further, it's logical that Snoke has to be Darth Plaguis. I also don't think it's a coincidence that Maul used the force like Kylo Ren. I repeat, we have never seen this in the animated cartoons. It's highly doubtful that was just a coincidence.

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Julian Roman at TVweb
Julian Roman