Like the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars before it, Star Wars Rebels is an excellent addition to the franchise that just happens to not be live-action. Geared at fans from two to one-hundred-and-two, the adventures of Kanan, Hera, Erza, Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper give fans a ground view of what the nascent rebels looked like before the Battle of Scariff coalesced the Alliance into a full-fledged Rebellion. The show has also reintroduced several fan favorite characters. Darth Vader returns as an immovable object, and downright terrifying in his brute control over the Force. Darth Maul — now just Maul — has reappeared as a frenemy of the Rebellion and with an axe to grind against both the Jedi and the Sith. And, of course, Rebels re-canonized Thrawn, the tactical Chiss genius who broke through the Empire’s xenophobic glass ceiling with cunning and ruthlessness.
What more could fans hope to see? How about a showdown between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Maul? Because it looks like that’s what we’ll be getting when Star Wars Rebels returns on January 7, 2017 at 8:30/7:30c.
Of course the clip cuts away before any battling actually happens, so there’s a possibility Maul and Obi-Wan will settle their differences for a common cause. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, as they say. Then again, Maul did once say to Obi-Wan “You may have forgotten me, but I will never forget you. You cannot imagine the depths I would go to to stay alive, fueled by my singular hatred… for you.” And Maul did kill both Obi-Wan’s beloved mentor, Qui-Gon Jinn, and the love of his life, Satine, right in front of him. But yeah, I’m sure they’ll just hug it out and make s’mores over that campfire, right? Regardless, we know Obi-Wan lives so the real story is in how this confrontation will unfold instead of whether or not Maul can destroy his old nemesis. Though if Maul could at least injure Obi-Wan, it would go a long way towards explaining Kenobi’s lackluster performance when fighting Darth Vader in A New Hope.
While the showdown between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul is the biggest surprise of the trailer, I’m personally excited the Darksaber will continue to play a role Star Wars Rebels. Now that canon has established Sith lightsabers are all a uniform red because bending them to the dark side causes them to “bleed” (per Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston), I’m extremely curious what the story is behind a lightsaber made out of darkness. Why did the Jedi Order have it to begin with? Where did they get it from? Why is there only one of its kind in existence? These are the questions a lore nerd asks. I am that lore nerd. Hopefully, I’ll get some answers when the season starts back up next week!