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Star Wars Rebels

Twin Suns (Star Wars Rebels - S03E20) - Television

Series: Star Wars Rebels

Title: Twin Suns

Season: Three

Episode: 20

Original Air Date: March 18, 2017

Runtime: 22 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Mike Taber; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

“I am lost.” SPOILERS. 

Even before I checked the credits, I could tell that Dave Filoni directed this episode. Filoni has a distinct and cinematic directorial style and he understands that you can say more with images than you ever could with words, which is evident in the long-awaited duel at the end of the episode. Filoni’s skill as a director was on full display in this episode which he filled with spectacular imagery. The opening scene with Maul wandering the desert is a perfect example. The abundance of wide, establishing shots make you feel Maul’s isolation and desperation. After the brief introduction with Maul, the episode shifted focus to Ezra. That’s where this episode’s problems begin. Ezra heard the voices of Obi-Wan and Maul coming from the Holocrons and plead with Hera to let him search for Obi-Wan. I thought it was interesting that Bail Organa had told Rex and the rest of the Alliance that Obi-Wan was dead. Ezra disobeyed orders, stole an A-Wing, and traveled to Tatooine in search of Obi-Wan and Maul. This brings me to one of the problems with this episode, the Holocrons. How did Ezra know that he had to go to Tatooine? Maul had that half of the information. The Holocrons have been given whatever ability they needed to move the plot forward this season. It seems like they are only used to get characters from point A to point B. The use of the Holocrons felt clumsy here.

   

Once Ezra arrived on Tatooine, he realized that Chopper had secretly joined him on this mission. When they landed, Ezra and Chopper were attacked by Tusken Raiders who destroyed the ship. The Tusken Raider attack was well handled and the Tatooine environment was perfectly recreated in this episode. Without a ship, Ezra and Chopper began wandering the desert. I may not be a huge fan of Chopper, but I couldn’t help but smile when Chopper thought about leaving Ezra behind but reluctantly decided to follow him. It was a nice moment. Chopper eventually lost power and Ezra passed out. Ezra and Chopper’s journey through the desert highlights my main issue with this episode. Way too much time was spent with Ezra. Honestly, I don’t see why he needed to be in this episode at all. Although Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka were the main characters in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, they didn’t have to be in every episode. We might go four or five episodes without seeing them. This allowed the series to create a more expansive universe and as a result the series had time to develop characters like Maul, Ventress, Cad Bane, and Fives. The tunnel vision focus on the Ghost crew and Ezra in particular is restrictive to say the least. I think this episode could have been even more impactful if we had just followed Maul wandering through the desert leading up to his reunion with Kenobi. I was excited by the connection between Maul and Ezra at the end of season two, but that storyline feels like a missed opportunity. In the end, Maul really didn’t impact Ezra’s storyline or help develop his character. Ezra was the excuse to bring Maul to Obi-Wan. Despite having the vast majority of the screen time, Ezra felt like an afterthought in this episode. The duel is perfect as is, but I wish we had spent more time with Maul in this episode. He earned that much. Kenobi found Ezra and nursed him back to health. The Clone Wars and Rebels regular Stephen Stanton was great as Obi-Wan in this episode. It wasn’t a perfect match, but he successfully evoked Alec Guiness’ portrayal. Obi-Wan’s words of wisdom to Ezra perfectly captured the spirit of the character we met in the original Star Wars. Obi-Wan saying that Maul had altered the course of many things by bringing Ezra to Tatooine has me wondering if we might see the lasting repercussions of Maul’s actions in future episodes.

   

Obi-Wan sent Ezra home when Maul arrived and said he would mend “this old wound”, which was a nice reference to the Old Wounds comic. I know some people will be disappointed by the brevity of the climatic duel between Maul and Kenobi, but I thought it was perfect. So much happens in those few moments. Obi-Wan starts with his two-finger pointing stance, but then he shifts to a stance used by Qui-Gon. Maul recognizes this and tries to kill Obi-Wan by hitting him on the chin, the same move he used to kill Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan knew that’s how Maul would respond and cut down his old adversary. He baited Maul into making that move. Obi-Wan took no pleasure in killing Maul, but once Maul mentioned Luke he knew what had to be done. This wasn’t an acrobatic, physical duel but a cerebral one. Obi-Wan had found balance and peace within himself, but Maul was a broken man and a shell of his former self. Maul’s mind and body were long past their prime. By this point, Maul had nothing. It goes back to the opening line of the episode, Maul was truly lost. He was never going to rebuild his empire or regain the family and childhood he had lost to Sidious. Maul knew he couldn’t regain the power he had lost or defeat Sidious and Vader. He wanted closure and peace. Maybe Maul thought killing Kenobi would bring him some kind of peace, but deep down I think he wanted Kenobi to finally finish it. He wanted Kenobi to put an end to his decades of misery. Just like the duel, Maul’s final moments were perfect and reveal the true tragedy of his character. Maul asked if Obi-Wan was protecting the chosen one, and Obi-Wan confirmed that he was. Obi-Wan lied to Maul in that moment. He knows that Anakin, not Luke, is the chosen one. Despite all of the pain that Maul had caused him, Obi-Wan never took revenge. He granted Maul a moment of peace before his death. Maul’s final words were, “He will avenge us.” Maul realized, in the end, that his life and hatred of Kenobi were pointless. Maul finally accepted that he and Kenobi never had to be enemies. Sidious was the true source of all of Maul’s pain and he took solace in knowing that the chosen one would defeat him someday. Yet, the dark side is all Maul ever knew. It consumed him. Even at the end, vengeance was the only thing that could bring him comfort. Despite all the hate and animosity, Maul and Kenobi went out as kindred spirits. They were relics long forgotten. Sidious betrayed them and the galaxy had cast them aside. Obi-Wan held the dying Maul the same exact way that he held Qui-Gon when he was dying. In addition, both Qui-Gon and Maul used their final words to talk about the chosen one. All of the parallels to Qui-Gon’s death make perfect sense. Maul had been reliving that day for thirty years. The tragedy of Darth Maul is that his life was pointless. He was discarded by the galaxy time after time. Unlike Vader, Sidious, and even Dooku he will probably be forgotten by the galaxy. In the end, Obi-Wan may be the only one who remembers him. This was a beautiful but tragic end to Maul’s life, which seems fitting. Bringing Darth Maul back after being cut in half may sound ridiculous, but I’m glad they did it. Filoni and Sam Witwer took one of the prequel’s biggest missed opportunities, and created a truly complex and memorable villain. Maul is more than a cool design. Now, he is one of the best characters in the entire saga. Sam Witwer was fantastic through it all, and I will miss his portrayal of the character. The episode ended with Ezra returning home and Ben watching over Luke. I never wanted to see Luke in Rebels, but it was handled perfectly. It was a beautiful way to end the episode. Despite some issues, “Twins Suns” gave us a perfect end to Maul’s journey.

   

What Worked

  • Maul’s final moments
  • The duel
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Witwer’s performance and Filoni’s direction
  • Ben watching over Luke

What Didn’t Work

  • WAY too much time spent with Ezra
  • The Holocrons
External Links:
Added: March 23, 2017
Category: Star Wars Rebels
Reviewer: Mike Taber
Score:
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