Obi-Wan’s greatest adversary meets his destiny beneath the Twin Suns of Tatooine…
Ah, Maul. Once Darth, now just Maul. He has endured a great deal through the course of his short life. As I sit typing this, I cannot help but fight back tears, least those around me, think I’m crazy.
From the moment he was introduced to the audience way back in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace until now, he was some what of a hit. There was just something about this black and red painted character with a circle of horns atop his head, that resonated with the fans. Maybe it was the music that helped to heighten his character even more, his fighting style, Obi-Wan’s “defeat” of him or something else entirely. Regardless of what it was though, the character somehow found his way into many people’s hearts.
Going solely off what I remember in that movie, it appeared as though he was only supposed to be a token, one off character, a foil for Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to face off against. Over the years however, that changed. He began to grow more and more of a following. With the release of Star Wars The Clone Wars season 4, his fan base only intensified.
Little over a decade later, he made his debut in the season 4 episode “Brothers”, when his sibling Savage Opress, was compelled to locate him amidst the wilds of space. While at first Dave Filoni was hesitant to use to this character (as he had already died-via being sliced through the middle-in The Phantom Menace), he did eventually relent. In an October 2013 interview with him on StarWars.com, he stated, “…when we said we were bringing Maul back, [the fans] were just beside themselves with the logic of that. But our fans evolve and change quite dynamically.” In essence, while he knew that followers of the show would initially question him about how it was possible, in the end they would grow to like and appreciate it.
Appreciate it they did. Following his animated debut on March 9, 2012, he continued to appear in five more episodes over the course of the series. In each, it gave the audience a chance to better know and discover the history of this once one dimensional character. More to the point, he was so beloved that like several characters before him, he also managed to survive his original series and resurface in Star Wars Rebels.
He made his debut on this show in the episode titled “The Holocrons of Fate” on October 1, 2016. After using Ezra to help merge both his Sith holocron and the young man’s Jedi one, he utters two famous words, “Twin suns,” that have come to be associated with only one planet, Tatooine. From here, fans could only count down the months, weeks, hours, days and seconds until we actually saw him on this planet, facing off against his original adversary, “Ben” Obi-Wan Kenobi. It was here where the story as we knew it, began and ironically for him, would also be where his story ended…one the threshold of A New Hope.
While he didn’t last long in the show (only one season), he still managed to leave his mark. Due to his long journey from the big screen to the small, and how long he persisted there, this is a legacy that will not soon fade. It is only helped by how it concluded. Unlike how many expected, it didn’t conclude with an epic lightsaber duel to the death. No, due to Obi-Wan’s unwillingness to fight him, yet needing to do so in order to protect the information about “The Chosen One” leaking out, Maul’s death was as swift, painless and honourable as the ageing Jedi could make it.
Despite the bad blood between the two, Obi-Wan was able to take the high ground, put their terrible history behind him and give the Sith Warrior an honourable death. Even though we obviously don’t see what he did with Maul’s body, chances are Obi-Wan gave him a just as honourable funeral. After all, in the end, he was a worthy adversary.
So now, please join me as I wish this beloved character a fond farewell and saying a final May the Force be with You…Always.