A new video from Disney XD and Lucasfilm Animation is teasing Darth Maul's imminent return to Star Wars Rebels. The video shows close-ups of the lightsabers of Kanan, Ezra (his second, after his first was destroyed by Darth Vader), and finally, Maul's double-bladed saber. Maul's laugh, as voiced by Sam Witwer, can be heard in the closing seconds of the teaser.
The character made a splash when he made his first appearance on the series last season, revealing that he had survived the Clone Wars, the Force user purge, and the majority of the "Dark Times" of Imperial rule over the galaxy (Rebels started about 4 years before Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, and about 15 years after the end of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith). Hiding out at an ancient Sith Temple, Maul started the seduction of Ezra to the dark side of the Force, something the young Padawan struggles with still.
In season 3, Maul returned almost immediately, seeking to combine the Sith Holocron with the Jedi Holocron, opening a direct vision path to the living Force itself, and allowing him the knowledge he needed to fulfill his mission. Interestingly, Maul was looking for "hope" when he opted to stare into the Force, while Ezra looked for "the means to destroy the Sith." They both saw what they were looking for, even if they didn't quite know it, when Ezra saw Twin Suns - indicating he was looking right at Tatooine; where both a new hope and the means to destroying the Sith was growing up, probably about 15 or 16 at this point (we're talking about Luke Skywalker here, people). Of course, if Maul also saw Tatooine, he may have seen Obi-Wan Kenobi hiding out there. He did, after all, say "He Lives," and has a bit of history with Obi-Wan.
Of course, fans paying attention have already discovered when Maul will return, thanks to the release of the next few episode titles and descriptions. The last episode of the first half of season 3, "Visions and Voices" will not only deal with Maul's return, but has the potential for other returns, as well.
3×11 “Visions and Voices”
Haunted by visions of Maul, Ezra has to journey across the galaxy. Upon arriving at his destination, he has to participate in a strange ritual to sever his connection to Maul.
Indeed, the description, coupled with the earlier season trailers, means this is probably where we'll see the return of Maul, the return of Force magic as introduced to the world of Star Wars by the Nightsisters and Mother Talzin on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and finally, the return of the Darksaber, an ancient black-bladed lightsaber that has historicaly belonged to the Mandalorian House Viszla, of which Sabine Wren is a member. That should all add up to one heck of a mythology-laced episode of Rebels, but fans shouldn't expect that to be the end of Maul's arc, either.
Star Wars Rebels returns to Disney XD Saturday November 5 at 8:30 p.m.