Warning: spoilers for Star Wars Rebels season 3, episode 20, ‘Twin Suns’.
The age old rivalry between Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi has finally been laid to rest. When The Phantom Menace released in 1999, Star Wars fans naturally assumed that Darth Maul was dead and there was no rivalry, but it turns out Maul was very much alive and would reappear in The Clone Wars animated series a decade later.
Dave Filoni and George Lucas brought him back at the end of season 4 of The Clone Wars and Sam Witwer was brought in to provide his voice. The former Sith apprentice would face off against Obi-Wan several times in his quest for revenge, but he ultimately disappeared into the galaxy and he wasn’t heard from again until the Star Wars Rebels season 2 finale, again voiced by Witwer. This set up Maul for his final arc, his last quest to find Kenobi once more, which he does in ‘Twin Suns’.
The long time enemies square off for an epic battle, but it’s over almost before it began. Maul had underestimated Obi-Wan in his exile. Knowing the old Jedi had a purpose on Tatooine, he asks as he dies in Obi-Wan's arms, “tell me, is it the chosen one?” to which Obi-Wan responds “he is.” With his dying words, Maul utters “he will avenge us.”
This simple exchange has been much cause for debate amongst fandom. Is Luke actually the Chosen One? Was Obi-Wan just wrong, having lost faith in Anakin after he became Vader? While discussing his tenure as Maul on the Full of Sith podcast, the voice of Maul and Star Wars superfan Sam Witwer offered his own opinion on how this exchange should be interpreted:
"...There was a lot of things that Dave [Filoni] did that made it a lighter touch and let people really kind of debate what they thought everything meant. I mean, one of the things that I think is interesting is people have debated for a long time 'is the Chosen One Anakin Skywalker, or is it Luke Skywalker?'”
Witwer recalls the Clone Wars arc that originally got him working with Dave Filoni on Star Wars animation when he played the mysterious Force Wielder, The Son:
“but if you watch the Mortis episodes [in The Clone Wars] it would certainly point to it being Anakin Skywalker, but what's cool is A: maybe Obi-Wan is right. Maybe Luke is the Chosen One. B: Maybe they're both the Chosen One, as the ‘Twin Suns’, right? Anakin and Luke. Or, C: Obi-Wan's wrong. He can't imagine that it's Anakin after what he's been through. He just knows that he has to protect the kid. Obi-Wan certainly doesn't know how it's all going to play out yet."
Witwer certainly provides a variety of options here, but each has its own merit and could certainly enhance the story in its own way. That’s one of the greatest things about the Star Wars franchise, there’s not always a definitive answer to some of these questions, and ones like this might just be better off without a concrete answer.
If there are two main questions Star Wars fans like to debate, the first is “who is the Chosen One”, and the second is “what does it mean for the Force to be balanced?” Having covered the first, Sam jumps right into the second:
"Here's the thing to keep in mind, though, um, which some people, they sometimes talk about how 'maybe balance of the Force means there's too many Jedi, the light side is too strong, and the Sith need to balance it out by making an Empire' and that's one way of looking at it that's certainly how the Sith would look at it, but honestly, the way the Sith approach the Force is from a place of imbalance. Lor San Tekka says 'without the Jedi there can be no balance to the Force' sort of what he means is there's a power out there that's so seductive that without someone policing it, without someone keeping an eye on it and treating it with respect, someone is ultimately always going to get their hands on it and use it for their own gain, which is a very imbalancing thing."
This theory states that, the Force isn't balanced by creating equal quantities of power or equal numbers of Force users on the dark side as the light side. He’s saying the Force itself is supposed to be approached in a balanced manner, and maybe it’s the role of the Jedi to ensure it isn’t being thrown into imbalance by a power hungry Force user.
This is certainly a theory that fits with what we know about the Force so far, but again, we may not ever have a clear answer on this topic. With The Last Jedi approaching this winter, though, there’s a good bet the concept of balance will get at least another look before the year is out.
Source: Full of Sith
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017