The Twin Suns of Tatooine provide a picturesque backdrop for the climax of the Obi-Wan Kenobi vs Darth Maul blood feud
The Star Wars Rebels episode “Twin Suns” marked the culmination of a thirty-year rivalry between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul and its finale spilt opinions in the Star Wars fan fraternity. Some were delighted with the symbolism involved with its conclusion whereas some expected the ultimate lightsaber duel to bring the rivalry full circle, but this could never be the case.
There have been many feuds in the Star Wars universe…some trivial, some personal but none can compare to the bitter and twisted hatred shared between Obi-Wan Kenobi and the sinister Sith Darth Maul. The enmity between Boba Fett and Han Solo, as eluded to in Return of the Jedi was one of respect, originating from their regard of each-others characteristics and abilities. During the events of The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi proved to be the thorn in the side of General Grievous and their relationship spiralled into that of one of respectful opposition. Mace Windu found a nemesis in the form of the best bounty hunter in the galaxy Jango Fett, but their rivalry lasted less than two minutes of screen time in Attack Of The Clones.
Anakin Skywalker’s ultimate nemesis was revealed in the guise of his former master in the gripping finale of Revenge Of The Sith, a duel that resulted in his comprehensive defeat on the planet Mustafar. That feud came to a fateful end aboard the first dreaded Death Star, but in sacrificing himself for the cause Obi-Wan elevated to a spiritual form…one even the incredible abilities of Darth Vader could not best.
In any universe, these feuds could be considered the pinnacle of conflict, the utmost of rivalries…but in the Star Wars universe they are superseded by the greatest blood feud of all time…
Obi-Wan Kenobi vs Darth Maul
In a time where the Jedi were a peacekeeping force for freedom and justice and the sinister Lords of the Sith struck from the gloomy shadows, The Phantom Menace provided the perfect platform to propagate a rivalry that not only transcended the expanse of time, but would defy the end of The Clone Wars television series and the original Star Wars Saga before contaminating the narratives of Star Wars Rebels. The stage was set, the battle lines had been drawn and the lightsabers had been ignited to spark the confrontation within the confines of the pristine palace of the sovereign of Naboo.
The ultimate duel between good and evil was set to commence, one that featured Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi mentor Qui-Gon Jinn against the ruthless and sinister Darth Maul. The sinister Sith would go on to expel the kind hearted Qui-Gon whilst Obi-Wan Kenobi, flirted with the power of the dark side as the obvious undertones of hatred consumed his traditionally rational façade. The greatest lightsaber duel in Star Wars history would conclude with the resilient Jedi Knight slicing his adversary in half before his body toppled into a metallic abyss from whence there would be no return.
Or so we thought…
With Maul vanquished, Obi-Wan Kenobi was catapulted into the upper echelons of the Jedi Order and in doing so went on to be an instrumental figure in events that would consume the galaxy. However, set against the backdrop of the gripping finale of Star Wars The Clone Wars season 4, the infamous Darth Maul would be resurrected from the ashes to haunt Kenobi’s legacy once again. Barely alive and living upon the planet Lotho Minor, Maul had descended into madness…consumed by his bitter hatred for his adversary that had ended his ascension to the heights of power alongside his Sith master. His missing legs had been replaced with an arachnid exoskeleton that allowed him to move…but only facilitated his animalistic deterioration.
After a period of spiritual re-adjustment facilitated by Dathomir high priestess Mother Talzin, Maul’s mind was returned to sanity and his arachnid legs were replaced with robotic limbs but his hatred for Kenobi refused to renounce its hold upon him. Forever consumed by its bitter and twisted effects, Maul slaughtered hundreds of innocent civilians just to illicit a response from the Jedi Master who was quickly dispatched to investigate the travesty by the wise leaders of the Jedi Council.
What he found was nothing short of a nemesis…a seething phantom from his past intent on unleashing a level of suffering comparable to the amount he had been forced to endure. He intended to rip the very heart from him, crush it at will and watch the anguish consume him before ultimately taking his life in the decisive demonstration of revenge. Only the interruption of Asajj Ventress thwarted his plans and in the aftermath of a brutal lightsaber duel, Kenobi barely escaped with his life…but the scars of the conflict had wounded him deeply and Maul could only rage uncontrollably and await his next encounter.
Once recovered, Kenobi would go in search of his opponent in a vain attempt to bring him to justice, but against the backdrop of The Clone Wars that continued to wage beyond even the scope of the Jedi, the mission was a half-hearted affair. With Jedi Master Adi Gallia, along for the ride Kenobi managed to track the fugitive Sith and his evil brother, Savage Opress to the planet Florrum where the conflict continued. Outmatched and overpowered, the Jedi were swiftly overwhelmed by the brothers and Gallia was vanquished by Savage, who used his sharpened horns to puncture several holes through her chest.
Alone against their raw power, Kenobi was almost certainly doomed, but his incredible strength and resolve in the force aided his defence and Savage was relieved of an arm and suffered a broken leg. Once again forced into a retreat Maul, supporting his brother escaped aboard an escape pod and was rescued by a Death Watch salvage vessel whilst Obi-Wan returned to the Jedi Council with the tragic news of Gallia’s demise.
Under the instruction of the Jedi Council, Kenobi was forced to drop the issue and focus upon the pressing matter of bringing an end to The Clone Wars and restoring peace and justice to the galaxy. However, with Kenobi’s attention focussed elsewhere…Maul found his greatest allies in Death Watch, a Mandalorian faction devoted to the warrior principles of its people and in turn built an army capable of overthrowing their home world. Mandalore itself was under the rule of Duchess Satine, a highly regarded and influential political figure who was a constant advocate for peace for her people. Whilst her career was in its infancy, she found herself in need of Jedi protection and found it in abundance in the guise of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Being in such close proximity for any length of time propagated an emotional reaction between them and despite the Jedi code forbidding such frivolities, the courageous duo fell in love. However, in the aftermath of the mission, both parties went their separate ways…Satine went on to take her rightful place as Duchess of Mandalore whilst Kenobi was elevated into the highest order of the Jedi ranks.
With Maul’s goals coinciding with Death Watch’s political ambitions, the factions gathered their forces and swiftly absorbed the Black Sun crime syndicate into their ranks giving them a lethal force capable of overthrowing the government. Within days, and in the aftermath of invading Jabba The Hutt’s Tatooine palace, the invasion of Mandalore began and all too soon, both Maul and the Death Watch commandant, Pre Vizsla had taken control of the planet. It was an ingenious political coup, one that had the support of the planet’s hard working population that secretly yearned for a return to their powerful warrior like ancestry.
But Maul wasn’t invested in Death Watch’s politics. In his grasp was the ultimate instrument of his revenge, one he could use to draw Kenobi into yet another confrontation…his beloved Satine. The rouse worked and Obi-Wan, acting against the orders of the Jedi Council executed a daring rescue mission to save his beloved Duchess Satine. Whilst he was infiltrating the parliamentary building, Maul challenged Vizsla to a duel that would decide the leadership over the Mandalore people and after a gruelling confrontation, Maul held his opponent’s head aloft in victory.
Kenobi facilitated Satine’s escape and was in the midst of his daring rescue when Maul’s forces caught up with and detained them…leaving them at his mercy. A fact that he revelled in and embraced wholeheartedly. Our gallant Jedi, was forced to watch as Maul ploughed his lightsaber through her chest and rejoiced as she perished in her beloved suitors loving embrace. The loss affected him profoundly and despite being rescued by a rival Death Watch faction, her loss would have an everlasting affect upon him.
Maul in the meantime, was overthrown by his former master Darth Sidious and was discarded into the wasteland of the galaxy as the Republic fell and the Empire arose in its place. Despite the extermination of the Jedi, Obi-Wan survived and found solace amongst the sand dunes of Tatooine but Maul was left to languish in the back alleys of the galaxy wondering if his arch rival had survived. A fortuitous meeting with a Rebel faction provided a means to acquire the knowledge he so desperately sought and with the help of Ezra Bridger, discovered the whereabouts of his greatest nemesis.
This discovery set the stage for a gripping final showdown between Maul and his nemesis who had retreated to the desolate sand dunes of Tatooine to act as guardian for galaxy’s new hope, the chosen one Luke Skywalker. In drawing the Jedi icon out into the open…the stage was set for their final confrontation. Under the beautiful night sky and a warming camp fire…they came face to face one last time…the culmination of a three-decade rivalry that had consumed them both.
Lightsaber’s drawn they squared off…Maul taunting his opponent in his traditional fashion…bitter, twisted…and bent on revenge. Obi-Wan on the other hand had grown older…wiser and more seasoned. Maul mocked his choice for hiding like “a rat in the desert” until Obi-Wan returned with a comparison of their fates since their last fateful meeting. Kenobi had risen above the petty hatred that still festered within the fallen Sith, a driving fury that had tainted his thoughts for far too long. Obi-Wan served a far grander purpose in the galaxy’s fate, whereas the putrid hatred that infested his soul was all Maul had left to live for…and as he grasped the reality of Obi-Wan’s true purpose, it served as the perfect spark to ignite the feud.
A rash and brazen lunge later and the duel had begun, but with time…Kenobi had grown into a far more knowledgeable opponent than the one he left on Mandalore all those years ago. The wily Jedi Master swiftly disarmed him of his weapon and in doing so drew his laser sword along the length of his exposed chest.
The duel was over…bringing an end to the bitter blood feud that had consumed them both for so long. Maul’s strength abandoned him and he toppled into the embrace of his opponent…just like Satine had all those years before. In that fleeting moment, their rivalry crumbled away and they embraced as brothers in arms. Maul took solace from his demise, safe in the knowledge that Obi-Wan was guarding the chosen one who was destined to fulfil the age-old prophecy and bring an end to the Sith and restore peace to the galaxy…avenging them both.
Maul’s fate was sealed and he passed away…not only the arms of his greatest foe, but in the embrace of the closest thing he had to a friend.
In summary, it was a fitting conclusion to the bitter feud between the greatest rivals in the Star Wars universe. From their first confrontation on Naboo, they had tested each other to their limits…both scoring victories and both suffering unimaginable defeats but had built a relationship unrivalled in our beloved galaxy far, far away. Many fans had expected the ultimate showdown to be a duel of epic proportions…the contest to end all duels but that could never be the case. From their first meeting, every confrontation had been bigger and bolder than the last culminating in the heart-breaking loss of Obi-Wan’s intended soul mate Duchess Satine. With every confrontation growing in intensity, it was symbolic that their final duel would be one of simplicity.
It was a testament to their core values…Maul desperate to fight…Obi-Wan reluctant to oblige him, but in the end…the values of their respected stables won over. The Sith always on the attack, driven by hatred and an insatiable need for power and the Jedi, maintaining peace and only engaging when all other avenues fail. It was fitting and heartfelt, even more so as Maul expired in the arms of his ultimate rival, the man who had inflicted unimaginable pain upon him. As he perished, his anger and hatred disintegrated, replaced by a satisfaction that he had attained his desired destiny from his brother in arms.
It was the end he was longed for, and the symbolism was both appropriate and gracious.
As the twin suns arose over the dunes of Tatooine, Kenobi would remain where he belonged…keeping watch over Luke Skywalker, A New Hope in the struggle against the empire and leaving the ghosts of his past to fade into the sands of the Jundland wastes.
Darth Maul’s legacy has been well earned and he will be remembered as the greatest foe to our beloved Obi-Wan Kenobi…but one who singlehandedly crafted the pain and suffering that made him into the Jedi we know and love. He was as influential as he was visceral and his legacy will fade into the historical pages of the saga as one of the greatest Sith Lords to ever wield the customary red lightsaber.
Darth Maul can finally rest in peace.
May The Force Be With You