STAR WARS REBELS Travels the Jundland Wastes Lightly
Episode 320 “Twin Suns”
Written by Dave Filoni & Henry Gilroy
Directed by Dave Filoni
It’s the moment so many of us have been anticipating for a long time: the final confrontation between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul. And while it doesn’t disappoint, it also doesn’t deliver 100 percent.
On the planet Tatooine, with the twin suns burning the desert, Darth Maul (Sam Witwer) is searching for his nemesis and the answers to everything he’s gone through in his life. And he figures out that he can use the Sith holocron to draw out the hidden Jedi, using it to activate the Jedi holocron on board the Ghost.
Ezra (Taylor Gray) wakes up to catch pieces of the message Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) sent as a warning to all Jedi. Combined with his hearing Maul’s voice in his head, Ezra is convinced the Jedi Master is still alive and being hunted by Maul. If they can rescue Kenobi, they can enlist his help in the impending attack on Lothal.
Hera (Vanessa Marshall) needs Ezra to stay at the base and help plan the attack, because he knows Lothal better than anyone, and Rex (Dee Bradley Baker) would love to know that Kenobi is still alive, but Senator Bail Organa confirmed the Jedi’s death (ahem), and so it’s likely just a trap set by Maul, something Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) reminds Ezra has done before.
So Ezra goes anyway, stealing a ship just like Captain Kirk… oh, wait. Wrong franchise.
There are plenty of parallels to Star Wars in this story (and I mean Star Wars, not Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope… get off my lawn): Obi-Wan (now voiced by Stephen Stanton) finding young Ezra in the desert, the attack by the Sand People (complete with gaffi sticks waving in the air) and a hint about truth and perception and how destiny has a way of taking our lives and dumping them to the ground over our own plans…
After sending Ezra on his way, Obi-Wan’s final confrontation with Maul is almost painfully brief. But it seems that perhaps the show is giving us the transition into Obi-Wan holding back his full use of Jedi power. Maybe to remain in hiding? Maybe because he’s of an age where he doesn’t quite have a lot of fight in him? Maybe he’s focused on the bigger picture and doesn’t want to complicate things with a long drawn out battle that someone could see?
Whatever the reason, there’s an opportunity missed here: explaining how Obi-Wan could look so aged and weathered when he rescues Luke Skywalker and helps destroy the Death Star. It’s likely the use of the Force to mask his and Luke’s presence on Tatooine from other Force-sensitive beings like Maul and Ezra. Perhaps this is the incident that makes him use the Force for concealment, and that sends him on that path of wearing down?
Not every question needs an answer. This episode isn’t for that question, anyway. It’s a payoff for an arc that began all the way back in The Phantom Menace when a young padawan named Obi-Wan Kenobi sliced Sith apprentice Darth Maul in half and sent him spiraling down to his doom. A doom that plays out over several years of pain, torment, agony, twisted logic, finally to end on Tatooine, where that same Kenobi ends Maul’s suffering once and for all.
Star Wars Rebels airs Saturday nights at 8:30/7:30c on Disney XD.
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