"Visions and Voices" is the eleventh episode and the winter finale of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels' third season. It is the forty-eighth episode of the series overall. It aired on December 10, 2016 on Disney XD.
The shadow of Maul
Hera Syndulla briefs the Spectres, Rex, and members of Phoenix Cell on a windy day at Chopper Base on the planet Atollon. Hera is discussing a recon mission in preparation for their planned strike against the Imperial factories on Lothal. They need only a small unit, not the full squadron. Ezra Bridger is listening to the briefing when he hears Maul whispering his name, and sees him standing behind two Rebel troopers in the distance.
Hera notices that Ezra is distracted, and reminds him to join the briefing. Ezra tells her he saw something, and she responds that this is his mission and she needs his full attention. Hera tells Ezra that his mission involves slipping into the Lothal system and studying the Galactic Empire's orbital defenses. She adds that the rest of the team will wait for not more than a day. Ezra's mission is to collect intelligence on Star Destroyer positions, TIE fighter patrol routes, and transport movements. While Hera is speaking, Ezra sees Maul walking among a group of rebel soldiers.
Kanan Jarrus senses his apprentice's unease and asks him if something is wrong. Ezra insists that he is alright, but says he saw something. Hera then informs Ezra that the recon team leaves as soon as they have loaded up. When Hera asks for questions, Sabine Wren asks if Thrawn is on Lothal. Hera reports that there has been an increase in capital ships but says they have no confirmation on Thrawn's presence. At that point, Ezra hears Maul's voice growing louder and sees Maul walking behind a pilot.
When Kanan asks Ezra what's wrong, Ezra sees Maul sneaking past Rex. When Garazeb Orrelios notices that Ezra is unwell, Ezra sees Maul walking past the Lasat and points in that direction. Zeb turns and, seeing nothing, asks Ezra what he's looking at. Hera and Kanan remark that Ezra is not looking very good. When Kanan asks Ezra what he sees, the boy hears Maul saying his name, and turns to see the darksider right behind him. Frightened, Ezra faints and falls onto the conference table. Kanan and Zeb attend to him. When Hera asks Kanan what is wrong, he replies he doesn't know.
Illusions and voices
Later, Ezra awakes in Zeb's bunk in their cabin on the Ghost. He is startled by Kanan, but his master reassures him that he is safe. When Hera asks Ezra to explain what is going on, the boy explains that he saw Maul among them. Sabine is perplexed, and asks if he saw Maul at the briefing. Ezra recalls that Maul uttered his name and was standing right behind him. Zeb tells Ezra that he was standing right beside him and saw nobody else there. While Hera thinks that it is a Force vision, Zeb suggests that the kid is working too hard.
When Chopper jokingly tells Ezra to get up, Hera chastises the astromech droid. Ezra says that Chopper is right to say that naptime is over, and that it is time to get back to work. When Hera asks Ezra if he is sure that he is alright, he insists that he is, but doesn't know what troubled him. Ezra insists on getting ready for his mission, and tells Sabine to come along. After Ezra and Sabine leave, Kanan and Hera talk in private. Kanan thinks that Ezra was affected by their last run-in with Maul, and that it's not over yet.
Later, the inventory droid AP-5 walks off the Ghost. He stops Sabine from loading a shipment of explosives aboard the ship because he reasons they have enough. Sabine retorts that according to her, the weapons expert, they need two more crates of proton torpedoes. AP-5 grumbles about the changes to the supply schedule, but complies with her orders. When Sabine comments that AP-5 and Chopper act like they were made on the same assembly line, Chopper hoots that Sabine needs an attitude adjustment.
While Sabine and Chopper quarrel, Ezra sees Maul walking among the rebel troops and rushes to confront him. Sabine tells him to stop, and orders Chopper to get Kanan. Ezra runs past several Phoenix Squadron personnel, pushing a few aside, as he searches the starship landing pad for Maul. He keeps hearing the darksider's cackling laughter. Ezra, seeing Maul's feet on the other side of a starfighter, leaps over it and attacks a rebel trooper he sees as Maul. Before Ezra can kill the false "Maul," Sabine and Kanan intervene and force him away. Ezra attempts to strike Maul with his green lightsaber, but Kanan uses the Force to restrain Ezra's arms. Ezra demands that Kanan let him go, but the older Jedi snaps at Ezra to look, as it's not Maul. The terrified trooper says that Ezra is out of his mind before running away, as Ezra attempts to apologize. A distressed Ezra asks what's happening to him.
Meeting with Bendu
Outside the Ghost, Hera and Kanan meet to discuss Ezra's plight. Hera proposes delaying the mission and staying behind with Ezra. Kanan assures her that he has a plan, and that Ezra will be fine. Hera decides to proceed on the mission without Ezra, and departs aboard the Ghost. Sabine expresses surprise that Hera left so quickly, and Kanan tells her that he told Hera that he has a plan. Leading Sabine to the Phantom II, Kanan retrieves Ezra's wrist comm from the shuttle and hands it to Sabine, asking her to put a tracker on it without Ezra knowing.
Kanan and Ezra ride a speeder bike into the wilderness to see the Bendu. The Bendu has been expecting them, and remarks that they are not very quiet creatures. Kanan tells Ezra to explain what has been happening. Ezra recounts that the darksider who wanted to join the holocrons has resurfaced on Atollon. Bendu replies that he warned Ezra that joining the holocrons would bring great wisdom and danger. Ezra admits that he knew this was the price of this power, and tells Bendu that the vision was incomplete because he let go before the holocrons could reveal all their secrets. Ezra adds that the holocrons were destroyed by the blast.
The Bendu says this is not good. When Kanan tells him to clarify, the Bendu responds by asking Ezra what he wants. Ezra says he wants to stop seeing Maul. The Bendu warns them not to turn around. Kanan and Ezra turn around to find Maul standing on top of the hill, watching them. As Maul makes his way down, Kanan asks the Bendu what they should do next, only to discover that the Force-wielder has vanished.
Striking a deal with Maul
Maul remarks that this is a strange place, and that the Empire will have a difficult time finding them due to Atollon's remoteness. Ezra and Kanan ignite their lightsabers, and Maul says that he did not come to fight, but to talk with "his" apprentice. When Kanan emphasizes to Maul that Ezra is not his apprentice, Maul replies, "Yet." Ezra asks Maul how he found them, and he explains that when Ezra abruptly severed their connection to the holocrons, both of them were left with fragments of the other person's memories and knowledge, including the location of Chopper Base.
Ezra says that he can't help Maul with the information he is looking for. Maul replies that this is why he must come with him. When Ezra asks Maul what he would get from sharing the information with him, Maul offers to keep the location of the rebel base a secret. Kanan, not wanting to deal with the darksider, threatens him with his lightsaber. Undaunted, Maul dares Kanan to strike him down and informs him that he has planted a homing beacon nearby. He warns Kanan that the homing beacon will alert the Empire to their rebel base should he die.
Maul then tells Ezra that he has knowledge that is rightfully his, and offers to trade knowledge that will allow Ezra to destroy the Sith. Kanan and Ezra discuss Maul's offer. Kanan advises Ezra to reject the darksider's offer, but Ezra points out that Maul will reveal the location of Chopper Base should they reject his terms. When Kanan replies that they can always find another base, Ezra reassures his master that Maul will not hurt him because he needs him. Ezra adds that this might be their last chance to learn how to defeat the Sith. Despite disagreeing with Ezra's idea, Kanan reluctantly accepts it because they have no other choice.
Ezra departs with Maul in his Gauntlet fighter Nightbrother. Kanan then rides his speeder bike back to Chopper Base, where he finds Sabine working on the Phantom II. Sabine reports that she has been tracking Ezra's signal, and that Maul's ship has made the jump into hyperspace. Kanan and Sabine depart Atollon on the Phantom II.
Journey to Dathomir
Meanwhile, the Nightbrother arrives above the planet Dathomir, which Maul tells Ezra is his homeworld. Maul's ship lands on the grounds of the ruined Nightsister lair. When Ezra asks Maul where his family and people are, Maul responds that he is the last survivor and that his family were killed. Maul describes the Nightsisters as masterful witches who posed a threat to the Empire. The two walk among the ruins.
When Ezra asks if these witches used the Force, Maul explains that the Nightsisters' power came from their connection to Dathomir, and that they have to perform old magick. Ezra refuses to follow Maul into a nearby cave until he tells him how it works. Maul explains that the only way to gain the knowledge they seek is to merge their minds together. Maul tells Ezra to trust him, because he only wants the answers that he deserves and nothing more. Maul leads Ezra into a room littered with objects that Maul has gathered to help him restore his old memories.
Ezra remarks that it looks like junk, and Maul warns him to touch nothing. He explains that these are artifacts from the past, when his power was almost absolute. Ezra notices a defaced portrait of a woman, with what appears to be a lightsaber placed beneath it, like an altar. Ezra is about to touch the weapon when Maul tells him to get away. When Ezra asks if the weapon is a lightsaber, Maul confirms it, but states that it is of a kind Ezra is unfamiliar with and that his Mandalorian friend could explain better if she were there. He then hands Ezra a pair of goblets. Meanwhile, the Phantom II arrives above Dathomir. When Sabine asks Kanan why Ezra is willing to trust Maul again and again, Kanan replies that he doesn't think Ezra is, but is taking a big risk for them.
Back in the cave, Maul tells Ezra he has studied the ways of the Nightsisters and come up with a spell that suits their needs. This spell involves mixing magick water that focuses their power on an altar, and pouring the potion into the goblets. Maul explains that they have to drink the potion in order to access this knowledge. Ezra insists that Maul go first. Maul complies, and tells Ezra that he must drink all of the magick water for the potion to work.
The water causes Ezra and Maul's eyes to glow a radiant green. Meanwhile, Kanan and Sabine land the Phantom II outside the cave. Sabine tells Kanan that Ezra is inside the cave, and the two run in. Back in the cave, Ezra and Maul's eyes shoot out radiant green beams of light. Maul asks where "he" is, while Ezra petitions for the knowledge to destroy the Sith. The beams of light form a green cloud. Maul says that he now understands, while Ezra sees a familiar figure but can't remember his name. The magick cloud briefly forms into the shape of a planet with two suns. The visions stop, and Ezra and Maul collapse from their exertions.
Maul remarks that it ends where it began: the desert planet with twin suns. Ezra can't believe that the person is still alive. Suddenly, the cave descends into darkness and Maul explains that it is time to pay their debt. The altar glows green, and the spirits of two fallen Nightsisters emerge. Maul explains that the spirits demand their flesh and blood as payment for their services, something that he neglected to tell Ezra earlier. Ezra is shocked at the price.
At this point, Kanan and Sabine enter the room and run into the spirits. Despite Ezra's warning to stay back, the two fire their blasters at the spirits, who overwhelm and take possession of them. Sabine and then Kanan kneel before the altar and rise to face Ezra and Maul. Maul warns Ezra to stay back but the boy approaches Kanan, who removes his visor. Ezra sees that his eyes are glowing green. The Nightsister spirits possessing Kanan and Sabine attack Maul and Ezra with a lightsaber and blaster respectively. Ezra deflects Sabine's blaster bolts with his lightsaber and tries to reason with her.
The possessed Kanan and Sabine force Maul and Ezra into a corner, and Ezra warns Maul that he had better not hurt Kanan. Unable to defeat the Nightsister spirits, Maul tells Ezra to follow him on the pretext of showing him how to save his friends. Maul and Ezra flee to the cave entrance with the possessed Kanan and Sabine in pursuit. Ezra and the possessed Kanan engage in a brief lightsaber duel, and Ezra is knocked to the ground. Once Ezra and Maul exit the cave, Ezra asks why the possessed Kanan and Sabine aren't following them out. Maul explains that the spirits are unable to leave the cave, because the altar is the source of their power. Maul apologizes for the state of Ezra's friends, but tells him that this is the opportunity to embrace his destiny as his apprentice.
Ezra rejects Maul's offer, prompting an enraged Maul to tell Ezra to forget the past and his memories and attachments. He tells Ezra that their futures converge on a place with twin suns, and that they can walk that path together as friends and brothers. Ezra retorts that his friends are trapped inside the cave because of their actions, and refuses to abandon Kanan and Sabine. Maul dismisses Ezra as a "disappointment," and departs in his ship.
Battling the fallen spirits
Ezra returns to the cave hoping to rescue his friends. A possessed Sabine creeps up on him, and tells him that it is unwise to enter their sanctuary. Sabine attacks Ezra with the Darksaber, and he deflects her blows with his lightsaber. Ezra tells the spirit that the blade doesn't belong to her. The spirit dares him to take it from her. Ezra leads the possessed Sabine towards the entrance, but the spirit leaps after him and hurls him to the ground. Ezra uses the Force to push Sabine out of the cave. As the spirit is exorcised from Sabine's body, she taunts Ezra that he will not defeat them. Ezra then tends to Sabine, and picks up the Darksaber. She remarks that she hopes what he got out of Maul is worth all the trouble they got into. Ezra warns her not to enter the cave because the spirits will possess her again, and runs back into the cave. When Sabine shouts after Ezra, asking if the spirits won't possess him too, Ezra replies that he's counting on it.
Ezra charges into the cave to find Kanan kneeling on the altar, surrounded by green mist. The possessed Kanan tells Ezra that Maul promised them flesh and blood so that they can rebuild the Great Clan of the Nightsisters. Ezra replies that it is his debt as well, and offers himself if the spirits release his friend Kanan. The spirit possessing Kanan accepts Ezra's offer provided that he can prove he is stronger than Kanan in combat. Ezra and the possessed Kanan engage in a lightsaber duel.
Ezra tells Kanan he knows he is in there, and vows not to lose his master. The spirit insists that the debt must be paid. Ezra manages to use the Force to push Kanan to the ground. He then offers himself up, and the spirit exits Kanan's body. The spirits then rise from the altar as Ezra helps Kanan up and tells him to get out of the cave. The spirits demand that Ezra honor his pledge to surrender his flesh and blood. Instead Ezra tells them he'll have to owe them one, and uses the Darksaber and his own lightsaber to destroy the altar. This destroys the Nightsisters' power, and Ezra is knocked back by a shockwave as the spirits vanish, screaming.
Ezra comes to, picking up Kanan's visor where it had fallen, before running over to check on his master. Kanan insists that this is the last time they ever work with Maul, and Sabine, approaching, adds that she hopes so. When Ezra tells Sabine that he told her to stay outside, she responds that she never listened to him before, so why would she start now? When Kanan asks Ezra if it was worth it, Ezra tells him that Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi holds the key to destroying the Sith. Kanan asks Ezra if he thinks that Kenobi is still alive. Ezra says that he must be, and also warns Kanan that Maul is looking for Kenobi as well.
When Kanan asks where he is, Ezra explains that the holocrons told them that he was hiding a planet with twin suns. Sabine remarks that hardly narrows it down. Kanan knew their next mission was to figure out which planet it is because if they don't find Master Kenobi before Maul they are going to lose their chance of learning how to destroy the Sith again but this time it will be for good. The three rebels then leave the Nightsisters' cave. Before leaving, Sabine finds the Darksaber, a symbol of Mandalorian leadership, and takes it with her.
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
Notes and references
- Dawn of Rebellion dates the events of Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY; therefore, the events of Steps Into Shadow must take place in 2 BBY. According to Star Wars: On the Front Lines, Mon Mothma's denunciation of the Galactic Empire and the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance take place 2 years before the Battle of Yavin or 2 BBY. As "Visions and Voices" is set between Steps Into Shadow and "Secret Cargo," it must also take place in 2 BBY.