Disney, Lucasfilm Animation, Reviews, Studios, Television, TV

“Twin Suns” ‘Star Wars Rebels’ S03E018 Review

Share on Pinterest

Well, I guess that’s finally the end of Maul. In “Twin Suns” we finally see the long awaited rematch between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul, and it is… anti-climactic? The episode was good, but the battle we’ve been waiting for for most of the season was over almost too quickly. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning

The Story

The episode begins with Maul, lost somewhere in the deserts of Tatooine. He seems to be going insane, not that he already wasn’t, and says he can feel Kenobi’s presence. He says he needs to draw Kenobi out, and he opens his hand to reveal a corner of the Sith holocron from Malachor.

Back on Atollon, Ezra awakes in the middle of the night when Kanan’s holocron comes to life, repeating Obi-Wan’s message to any Jedi that might have survived Order 66. He also sees the holocron briefly glow red, and hears Maul’s voice. Ezra takes this to mean that Obi-Wan is calling for help, and tries to convince the rest of his team that they need to go after him. Hera does not believe that Kenobi is still alive, and tells Ezra that there’s too much at stake for them to leave. They are planning their attack on Lothal, and they need his help.

The next day Ezra delivers some munitions to a Trooper and, while he is distracted, he jumps into one of the ships and takes off, hoping to himself that Hera can forgive him. However, unbeknownst to him, Chopper has been following him and when he saw that he was going to steal a ship he jumped in right before he took off.

When Ezra arrives at Tatooine, he is surprised to find Chopper on board, but he’s even more surprised when they land where his holocron seemed to be leading him, and he finds the piece of Maul’s holocron. Just then they are attacked by Tusken Raiders who destroy the ship, stranding them in the desert. Ezra and Chopper escape, not realizing that they were saved by Maul.

They next day they find themselves at the edge of a vast empty desert. Chopper wants them to go around by way of the ridge, but Ezra sees a vision of Maul out in the desert and heads in anyway. Chopper reluctantly follows him, but after a particularly brutal sandstorm he can’t take it any longer and completely shuts down. Alone under the blazing suns, Ezra realizes that this is all his fault. Suddenly he sees another vision of Maul and charges at him with his lightsaber, but Maul isn’t there and Ezra collapses to the ground unconscious.

Later that night Ezra awakes in front of a campfire. Chopper has been restarted and there is a dewback nearby. Across the campfire is a cloaked figure, who takes off his hood revealing himself to be Obi-Wan Kenobi. Ezra tries to warn him about Maul, but Obi-Wan already knows. He had no intention of fighting him, but it looks like a fight will be inevitable now. Ezra tries to convince him to come join the rebellion, telling him that the holocrons must have led him there for that reason, but Obi-Wan tells him that it was Maul who led him there in order to bait them into fighting.

Suddenly Maul is standing before them. Obi-Wan tells Ezra that he has to leave and gives him and Chopper his dewback, telling them to ride north to find their way home. Ezra tries to protest, but Obi-Wan tells him it’s not his responsibility, and he must mend this old wound himself. As Ezra leaves, Maul tells him that he will see him soon.

When Ezra has gone, Maul tries to bait Kenobi with insults, but he responds to them all calmly until Maul gets angry igniting his double bladed lightsaber and kicking out the fire. Maul asks him why he’s hiding in this place and wonders if he has a purpose, if he’s protecting someone. Obi-Wan ignites his own lightsaber in response and stands at the ready, while Maul spins his around threateningly.

The fight ends almost before it begins, as after a couple of blows, Obi-Wan chops Mauls lightsaber in half, and inflicts a fatal wound all in one swift motion. As he falls to the ground, Obi-Wan catches him, and as he holds him in his arms, Maul asks if the person that Obi-Wan is protecting is “The Chosen One.” Obi-Wan replies that it is and, as Maul dies, he says, “He will avenge us.”

Back on Atollon, Ezra and Chopper arrive in Maul’s ship. He tells the rest of the Ghost crew that they won’t be seeing Maul again, and apologizes for running off. They are his family and they have to go home.

Back on Tattooine, Obi-Wan is riding his dewback through the desert, toward a distant, familiar moisture farm. He hears Beru Lars faintly call, “Luke, Luke!” and sees the tiny silhouette of Luke Skywalker race across the landscape toward his home.

Review

This was a very good episode that at first seemed like a little bit of a letdown, but the longer I sit on my thoughts the more I actually like how it ended. I watched the episode and did the recap a few hours before I did this review. In the meantime, I rewatched the pivotal scene a few times, read an interview with Dave Filoni, and thought about it more than I usually do for most episodes.

According to Filoni, the final showdown was never meant to be a huge epic fight to rival their first battle. They are both quite old at this point, Maul is exhausted from wandering the desert, and Obi-Wan is ready for him and far more experienced than he is. To have a massive lightsaber battle would not be genuine to the characters. So, as much as I was disappointed the first time I watched it, I’ve come to accept it and actually like how it went down.

However, all that being said, I still had one big gripe with the fight scene. The death blow was NOT clear enough. I am well aware that this airs on Disney XD, and they likely have massive restrictions on what they can and cannot show on TV, but the first time I watched it it was not at all clear that Obi-Wan’s blade even hit Maul. When he collapsed I initially thought it was because he was tired and exhausted and was just giving up. Then I didn’t know what to make of him actually dying.

It took me looking it up online to realize that they blow that hit the lightsaber hit Maul at the same time. Then I rewatched the scene and realized that his clothes were smoking as he died, so the lightsaber had to have hit, despite me not seeing it. Whatever restrictions Disney XD has placed on the creators, it would be nice if they could have found a way to make it more clear that he was struck by the lightsaber, because I doubt I’m the only one who was at least a bit confused by that scene.

Aside from my confusion, I really liked the rest of the episode. It was great to see Obi-Wan again, it was great to see Tatooine and the twin suns again, and I LOVED the very brief scene with Luke and his Aunt Beru.

I’m glad to see the continuity concerning the pending attack on Lothal. it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out in tonight’s episode. I can’t imagine it’ll end very well, considering the Rebellion doesn’t start winning any major victories until the time of the films. Still, whatever happens is sure to be epic.

Final Thoughts

This was a great episode, with great callbacks to the past, and some tantalizing nods to the future. I really liked how they were able to strike a good balance between subtle hints about the surrounding franchise and outright fan service. Despite how quick everything happened, I still really enjoyed the episode, and it really made me look forward to the future.

What did you think of the episode? Did you like the final showdown, or were you confused as well?

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes

Share on Pinterest

About Jonathan North

Jonathan North is an advertising and design student at Iowa State University. He has been an animation fan since he was a kid watching Fantasia at his grandparents' house. He is a huge fan of animated television, and his current favorite series’ are Steven Universe and Adventure Time.
  • aquapyro

    The fight is one of the greatest moments of all of star wars lore. The fact that Kenobi goes from his form 3 to form 4 (referencing Qui-Gon) is the result of truly how much he is part of the force. He let Maul convince himself that he could take out Kenobi the same way he got rid of Qui-Gon, which led to his demise. Just 3 moves from Kenobi explained it all.

    • I agree, Obi-Wan’s certainly delved into the Force during his time on Tatooine and honed his skills, growing in wisdom and in lightsaber moves. It also reminds me of what Kanan said earlier on, “Less is more”. Knowing that Obi-Wan used a form from his former master excites me to no end.

  • I agree with your review how at first this episode felt anti-climactic and the fight too short. But watching it again and listening to the Rebels Recon made me realize how careful the writers had to be in this episode not to upset the events leading into “A New Hope”. Fans know that Obi-Wan cannot leave Tatooine to join the Rebellion because he is guarding Luke; but Ezra doesn’t know that. When Maul finds out, he has to die so that he cannot harm anyone else. The Bendu was right earlier on, “Once a secret is known, it cannot be unknown.”

    What fascinates me is Ezra’s role in this episode. I’m sure some people think he didn’t belong here but as the protagonist of “Rebels”, his journey includes making mistakes and learning from the experiences. So Obi-Wan wasn’t just protecting Luke when he advised Ezra to go home, but he was reminding Ezra of his own mission that he has committed himself to. If Luke is the Chosen One, then I think Ezra is meant to be the Spark of Rebellion. Much like “Return of the King”, everyone in “Star Wars” has a role to play.

  • Matthew Latham

    I’m sorry, but if they can bring back the guy who got his head cut off, then they can bring back padme. smh.