The long-awaited Star Wars Rebels episode teased at the beginning of the year is finally here. This weekend we’ll get to see the long-awaited rematch between Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi after several battles in the Saga and in the Clone Wars series.
This looks to be the last battle between the characters due to it’s place in the chronology, as well as some recently made comments by Rebels producer Dave Filoni.
After showing up with some sleek robotic spider-legs in the Clone Wars, Maul orchestrated his revenge on Kenobi by uniting various crime lords in an attempt to seize control of Mandalore with the means of luring his Jedi rival into a trap. It didn’t work out, thanks to his former Sith Master Darth Sidious, but Maul lived to see another day.
It wasn’t clear if Maul would show up in the new canon after Disney/Lucasfilm excised most aspects of the Extended Universe, but Rebels has slowly revealed certain aspects as having existed, especially with the Season 1 Finale reveal of Ahsoka Tano as the mysterious Fulcrum.
And when they brought Maul back at the end of Season 2, having the character attempt to lure Ezra Bridger to the Dark Side, it was almost the end of the character then and there.
Speaking with io9, Filoni said Maul was originally supposed to die in that same episode.
“Originally Maul perished in the season two finale where he returned,” Filoni revealed. “It was a one-off appearance.”
While the series seems to have benefitted from the change, the reasons why are just as surprising.
“So originally in that episode you were gonna get Vader fighting Maul, Vader would have killed Maul, and then fought Ahsoka,” said Filoni. “It just became unwieldy. There were too many storylines, and there isn’t enough emotional material between Vader and Maul. It’s more of a fan fiction fun thought that they fought. The emotional drama was really between Vader and Ahsoka. So we decided to let Maul live.”
While seeing Maul’s life end at Vader’s hands would be somewhat fitting, allowing the Sith Apprentice to truly ascend by offing his predecessor, it wouldn’t have the emotional resonance as, say, yet another Kenobi/Maul battle.
So if those plans were in the works at one point, could this possibly point at Maul’s fall in the forthcoming episode? We won’t have to wait long to find out.
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Star Wars Rebels airs Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Disney XD, and follows the adventures of Hera (Vanessa Marshall), Sabine (Tiya Sircar), Zeb (Steve Blum), and the Jedi Kanan (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) and Ezra (Taylor Gray), a small crew that's finding their way in the nascent Rebel Alliance a few years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.
Executive produced by Simon Kinberg and Dave Filoni, the in-canon series helps to connect the worlds of the films and the previous animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, with guest appearances so far by characters like Lando Calrissian, Ahsoka Tano, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Leia Organa, Wedge Antilles, and more.