*Warning* Massive spoilers to Star Wars Rebels (and the Star Wars universe at large) are below. Don’t skip ahead unless you want to know the fate of a major character who has been pulling strings behind the scenes since the prequel trilogy.
The penultimate episode of season three of Star Wars Rebels has finally ended, and as the credits rolled, Star Wars fans were left digesting the end of Darth Maul at the hands of old rival Obi-Wan Kenobi. His death itself wasn’t shocking — having Darth Maul out in the galaxy far, far away as Luke and Leia did there thing would be tough to accept — it was how Obi-Wan took out Maul on the sands of Tatooine that left the mouths of viewers agape.
It happened fast. Obi-Wan, knowing young Luke Skywalker was compromised as long as Maul was alive, finished his foe in three precise moves, cutting him down as Maul went for the hilt bash that led to Qui-Gon Jinn’s defeat decades earlier. It was as if Obi-Wan was preparing for this second conflict his whole life. But, it’s what happens next that shows the true difference between a Jedi and a Sith.
After Maul falls to his knees, Obi-Wan cradles him, and puts Maul at peace (kinda), confirming that Luke is the Chosen One (which is confusing because I’m pretty sure Anakin is still the chosen one but I digress).
Maul’s ending was expertly pulled off, and he was given an end worthy of his character (unlike the first time we thought he died). Dave Filoni, the executive producer of Rebels, discussed the episode with i09 and explained how the characters of Maul and Obi-Wan were true to themselves up until the very end.
“It really is to express the difference between the Jedi and the Sith. Which is the Jedi become selfless and the Sith remain selfish. When pressed, because Obi-Wan is protecting someone else in the end, he does fight. But because he is so true and knows who he is in that moment, you can’t defeat that. So Obi-Wan is going to strike down Maul because Maul is such a broken and lost person, which I think is why in the end you see Maul being cradled by Obi-Wan.”
Even as he breathes his final breaths, Maul is saying the chosen one will get revenge, and his hate drives him like so many sith. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan is making his way towards everlasting consciousness in the form of a transparent, light blue version of himself, so he’s got that going for him. Sith don’t change, they’re motivated by the anger and fear, while the Jedi are evolving. What advances to force-wielding and wokeness will Luke have made in The Last Jedi?
Disney is doing a fantastic job of adding to and slightly changing, theStar Wars canon while remaining reverent to the source material, warts and all.