It may just be an animated show, but Star Wars: Rebels has proved itself to be every bit a part of the #StarWars saga — and often, its storytelling rivals even that of the movies. One of Rebels greatest strengths is how showrunner Dave Filoni uses the show to fill in the blanks the movies left, developing popular characters like Darth Maul who were discarded before their time.
The latest #StarWarsRebels episode — "Twin Suns" — saw Maul finally confront Obi Wan Kenobi, journeying all the way to Tattooine for a final showdown. Although the battle between the two was shockingly brief, proving how far Obi Wan has come while Maul was held back, this was nonetheless one of Star Wars' most tense and emotional fight sequences. And as Maul finally fell, the entire scene played out as a heartwrenching parallel to Qui-Gon Jinn's death — right down to their last words.
This was entirely deliberate on the part of Dave Filoni, who later explained why the fight was so short — and why Maul failed because he tried the same move twice. But it's really impressive how every beat of the battle paralleled Qui-Gon's death, in a heartbreaking homage to Obi Wan's fallen master. There's a poignancy in how these scenes mirror each other, showing that ultimately, Maul was not that different from Qui-Gon or Obi Wan himself.
Perhaps the best thing about this is their final words echo the other's, each asking about the Chosen One...
"He is the Chosen One. He will bring balance." — Qui-Gon
"Is he the Chosen One? He will avenge us." — Maul
Rebels has never shied away from showing its villains' complexity, and Season 3 has really explored Maul's motivations, how he went from being loyal to the Sith to hating them. In that way, Maul is almost aligned with Obi Wan — although he blames the Jedi for his troubles, the two share a common enemy. This explains Maul's "he will avenge us" line, as he is hoping the new Chosen One (Luke Skywalker) will defeat the Sith, bringing balance and avenging those the Sith killed.
Which is why, in his dying moments, Maul seems at peace with Obi Wan. This death scene was perfect because of the lack of hatred on Obi Wan's part, revealing the true difference between the dark side and the light — as Obi Wan was able to let go of his hatred — while bringing the two together. And really, that was the best way to honor Qui-Gon's memory.
Tell us in the comments: Are you disappointed that Maul died in "Twin Suns"?