Some thoughts on the interactions and burgeoning relationship between Darth Maul and Ezra Bridger.
In the season 2 finale of Rebels, as Maul and Ezra are separated from Ahsoka and Kanan, something very important happens. Actually, several very important things happen. Maul has very clear intentions with Ezra, and he does a great job of seeing them through. Ezra has a natural inclination to the dark side due to having lost everything (parents, home world, etc.) By the end, Ezra is a dark side user, which is part one of what Maul wanted. Part two is getting Ezra to be his apprentice, which I feel confident we will see in season 3. The only other thing Maul wanted from Ezra was for him to get the Holocron and activate the Battle Station with it. And well, that didn’t work out quite as Maul intended.
So, in trying to climb the temple, the 4 of them had to go up the lifts, and this leads the group to split. Maul says, “Only 2, no more no less” and it’s a bit foolish for Kanan to just accept that, but he does. So then Ezra and Maul have alone time. Maul gets right to it and says to Ezra, “The dark side fights without mercy, without remorse. If you want to be victorious, you need to find the same strength within you.” Maul’s message clearly is very different from Kanan’s, and if Ezra were a loyal student of the Jedi ways, then he would have known then and there to disconnect from Maul. But Ezra does not. Ezra continues to listen to Maul, and is very intrigued by what he has to say. Yes, Ezra does say, “Kanan always said fighting is a last resort, not a first.” But we all know Ezra is interested, he states what Kanan says….not what he believes. If Ezra believed in the Jedi Code enough, he would not have said that line. Maul counters Ezra’s quoting of Kanan with, “Ezra you were given your gift for one reason: to use it.” Maul does not give Ezra the chance to respond, he instead makes his most ingenious and manipulative move yet. He asks Ezra, “Can I count on you?” Ezra hesitates, then nods. And so, we see the door open just a little wider for Ezra to use the dark side. He has that natural inclination, Maul sees it. He exploits it. And what comes next is for Ezra to denounce the dark side….momentarily.
So they come to the top of the lift, things happen, and then Ezra engages the 7th sister. Maul stands back and yells to Ezra as he fights the inquisitor, “That’s it young one, use your anger, use your pain!” Ezra cocks back to strike her down, fury in his eyes…then….then his face shifts to empathy, sympathy…pity. He knows it is not what is right. It is not his way. Ezra screams, “I can’t!” Instantly the seventh sister grows a sinister face and plans on taking advantage of this moment of weakness. But Maul reaches into the force, and throws his activated saber into the 7th sister, killing her. Ezra is afraid. He looks back to Maul. Maul says, “the next time you hesitate like that, it may cost you your life.” Maul sees that his statement doesn’t effect Ezra much, so Maul’s most manipulative self sets in with his puppy dog eyes and brainwashing serpentine ways. He softly says, “Or the lives of your friends” (long pause). And so Maul succeeds. He convinces Ezra that hesitation could cause the death of the ones he loves. To reinforce Ezra’s transformation, the next thing we hear is Kanan grunting while being beaten by the other 2 inquisitors. Maul knows this is another chance to gain influence. He says, “we must hurry, I fear our companions are in danger.” And then they run off.
The next thing we see is Kanan and Ahsoka fighting the 8th and 5th Brother. We see Maul looking down on the battle, and he feels victorious. It doesn’t last. Maul looks up at the pseudo-surface above the temple, and he knows who is casting shadows through the gaps: it is Vader. Vader is who Maul was meant to be, Maul thinks. That is a great topic unto itself, but I digress…. Ezra ends the episode by opening the Sith Holocron. No Jedi could do that. Now, that doesn’t mean he is a Sith, or that he will be one. It just means, I think, that he will not be a Jedi. I think he will give into the dark side. He will be a dark side user, and a creature manipulator. As of now, he has only used the light side to communicate and influence creatures. But I am confident that he wants to experiment with dark side manipulation of creatures, such as the 6 legged spider creatures from ‘Mystery of Chopper Base’. Ezra is going to be back at that base in the beginning of Season 3. That is going to be Ezra’s next dark side move I GUARANTEE it, anyone wanna bet me?
RANDOM END THOUGHTS: Will Sabine be the FOIL to Ezra in season 3? I think she may rise in importance to the show in season 3. He will most surely be going down the dark side. Se it Ahsoka, the lost years. She’s not going to see the Rebels again….not for a while. Is Ahsoka’s Force Ghost trapped in the Sith Temple? Is the Mortis Daughter the owl creature? We have seen the owl creature look over Ahsoka in the Clone Wars and in 2 episodes of Rebels. We also saw the owl in the last scene of ‘Mystery of Chopper Base’ looking over Ezra, circling him and then Ahsoka too. What does it all mean Bazil?
Written by: Alex Chellberg
Edited by: Krystee Anidem