Star Wars Rebels, Episode 44 “Visions and Voices”
Written by Brent Friedman
Directed by Bosco Ng
On Lothal, Ezra and the gang are getting a mission to go on some recon for Hera when the young Jedi hears a familiar voice whispering his name. He tries to focus on Hera’s plans, but the whispering continues and grows louder. In the distance Ezra sees Darth Maul standing among some men. He blinks and the Sith is gone, yet he continues to hear the villain’s voice. Ezra’s nerves are so on edge, even Kanan asks his apprentice what’s wrong. Everywhere he looks, Maul is there, until Ezra is overcome and falls onto the holographic display table. Cue first commercial break.
Having Darth Maul on this show is great. He’s a terrific character that’s been expanded ever since he got his robotic legs on The Clone Wars cartoon, and he’s a nice foil for Ezra. He’s on a search to find “him” and Ezra has the key to locate this missing individual. That said, Maul is way too smart in this episode. So much so, he comes off as a completely different character. Even his speech, provided by Sam Witwer, has him sounding almost English. Yes, the character does go maniac verbally a few times, but he always pulls back; he’ll do whatever it takes to get the information he wants, but that’s not Maul — ever. His arc in this episode came off poorly. And speaking of English voices, is AP-5 supposed to sound that much like Alan Rickman? Thankfully, the episode has several pluses going for it. First and foremost, the return of Tom Baker as Bendu, one of the most interesting new characters in this show from one of the greatest voices in entertainment (Yeah, I’m biased). The location that the episode ends on is also sweet, as it’s a planet that was visited often towards the end of The Clone Wars. There’s a lot of history given about this location, filling in the missing years since that show finished, and the inhabitants are pretty cool. The pair of characters shown at this location have a really creepy scene where they interact with two cast members and their exit from this episode is really smart.
Fun lines: “Well that’s not good,” “Then don’t turn around,” “…yet,” “Trust me, Ezra,” “Where is he?!” and “It’s time to pay our debt.”
The good: Continuing Ezra’s link to Maul, more Maul, more Bendu, the last setting and its history, some very strong animation and action for the two denizens on this world, and the promise of “his” return to cartoons.
The bad: Maul being too smart and too calm.
The final line: This is building to the return of an iconic Star Wars character. I really want this to happen! Hopefully, Maul is acting more in line with his past self by then. Overall grade: B