Here's What Happened The Last Time Ben Kenobi And Darth Maul Had A Rematch

Star Wars Rebels' third season is building towards a do-or-die standoff between Darth Maul and the opponent he's been hunting for nearly two decades: Old Ben Kenobi. It's the first time we'll have seen something like it told in Disney's new canon... but it isn't the first time Star Wars has ever pondered such this fight.

First published back in 2005, Dark Horse's anthology collection Star Wars Visionaries saw 10 Lucasfilm concept artists who had worked on Revenge of the Sith write and illustrate their own spin-off tales in the Star Wars universe — all part of the former Expanded Universe, of course. These stories covered all sorts of minor and major characters from across the entire time period of the prequels and the original trilogy — including "Old Wounds" by Aaron McBride, which imagined a vengeful Maul hunting down Obi-Wan three years into his self-imposed exile on Tatooine by striking out at the Lars homestead, and putting the life of Luke Skywalker in danger to lure the old man out.

Unlike in the Clone Wars cartoon, which turned the bisected Sith into an ongoing threat for Obi-Wan (and later Kana and Ezra in Rebels), this is the first time Obi-Wan had seen Maul since the young Jedi sliced him in half in The Phantom Menace.

That was apparently not for a lack of trying on Maul's part. While "Old Wounds" never tells us how Maul actually survived the events of Naboo, like his animated version later would, it's clearly established that he's driven to survive by sheer hatred for Obi-Wan. He comes to Tatooine after decades of searching, but after learning about the young Luke Skywalker, knew exactly where the old man would be.

Which leaves Obi-Wan to make his grand entrance, by bursting out of the sand dunes like a goddamn sarlacc or something.

It's amazing. Also, Old Ben doesn't muck around when it comes to making threats about lopping body parts off, does he?

Sadly, the story has to keep Maul and Ben's fight relatively short, but seeing the older Ben fling himself around like he does in the prequel movies is equal parts hilarious and awesome. And little Luke got to watch!

For all the severity of this new Maul design, the giant robot legs and the big bone horns, it's Ben who is the badarse. From his sandy reveal, to punching some of those horns off, to fulfilling his promise as he literally disarms Maul:

As effective as Ben is, though, when he finally has Maul on the ropes, he can't bring himself to perform the death blow. The temptation is there as memories of all of Obi-Wan's losses thanks to the Empire's rise come flooding in, but even after everything he's gone through, Obi-Wan Kenobi is still a Jedi Knight. I bet we see a similar scene when the two go toe-to-toe on Rebels soon as part of the new canon.

Something we won't see on Rebels, however, is Maul's fate in the comic — Owen Lars firing a smoking blaster bolt into Maul's head. There are a lot of badarse old men in this short story.

As Ben promises to dispose of Maul's corpse, Owen is understandably pissed at the fact Ben's presence nearly got his family killed by a crazy half-robot Sith warrior. Much like the Marvel series has covered Ben and Owen's rocky relationship, the fight has the same result: Owen forbids Ben from being anywhere near Luke, and he and the old man part ways. The only difference is that comic Ben has to take Maul's corpse with him when he leaves.

"Old Wounds" could give us some insight into how Rebels will show us the duel between old Ben and Maul, but even it doesn't, one element of the comic has eventually made its way into canon — McBride's design for the reborn Maul is what inspired the character's first re-appearance in Clone Wars in 2012. So even if Rebels is giving us a definitive version of the rematch, part of McBride's tale will live on in canon forever.


Comments

    You're telling me Darth Maul survived getting chopped in half and falling down a bottomless pit in the middle of a power plant on a hostile planet?

    Space Wizards I can handle, but that's really stretching my suspension of disbelief.

      He was a sith, it's quite well known he survived that fall, you'd be surprised how hate and anger can keep a being alive.

      Not to mention plenty of jedi and sith have fallen huge distances and survived as well as severe injuries like Mauls.

      That's Disneys Star Wars for you - safe (and boring and disappointing and messy) rehash of what was popular instead of actually making something good like Star Wars.

      Last edited 04/02/17 10:13 pm

        Except it wasn't Disney, it was Lucas, as he came back in the Clone Wars CGI series.

      I mean Luke did get his hand cut off and then fell down a bottomless pit in the middle of a floating mining city and survived..... Not as serious an initial injury but the fall has some surprising parallels I had never considered before.

      Also @madadam81, this comic predates the Disney buyout as does Maul's appearance in the Clone Wars series.

      Yet we've had Force Users in the Star Wars EU do exactly that well over a decade before, with Maw from Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (1997) that got a similar cut in half across the middle, except he came back with floating capabilities. So there is definitely precedent for them surviving those injuries, which Lucasfilm acknowledged prior to the return of Maul.

      Yeah. I know the justifications. I know that it's not without precedent. I'm the sort of guy that tries to twist every plot hole until it works. Darth Maul is also the guy I point at to show that Phantom Menace had good parts. However he had a definitive death scene.
      Bringing him back is a perfect example of what caused the EU to spiral out of control. Death was meaningless and everyone was at the centre of everything. By connecting everything then having all these instances where they don't mention these now key events it eats away at the foundation the universe is built on. It sacrifices credibility for a cheap thrill.

      Also most of the reasons why he was able to survive are also reasons why the Jedi would have definitely checked for a corpse. I mean even if they don't think he survived they're going to want to check out the corpse of the first Sith they've encountered in centuries.

        Exactly this. I'm aware of the EU precedent for this sort of thing but it also always tends to be when the EU is at its weakest. There's no drama if everyone and their mother can come back from being sliced in half.

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