How Star Wars Rebels' 'Twin Suns' changes the way we look at A New Hope

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Mar 19, 2017

SPOILER ALERT! Spoilers for this weekend's episode of Star Wars Rebels, "Twin Suns."

It all came down to this. Finally, we got the one-on-one rematch between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Maul (formerly Darth) that's been building since Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The two had met again with others by their sides during Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but this saw just Maul and Old Ben in what turned out to be a final showdown on Tatooine.

For Maul, it was an ending, but also a sweet release. He had abandoned his Sith Lord title, and it seemed had even learned some compassion. When Maul looked into the Force through the combining of the Sith and Jedi holocrons, he was looking for hope, and he may have not even known what hope for which he was searching. Even his dying words, "Tell me, is it the chosen one? He will avenge us," tell you that this is not the stalking Sith Lord of the films or the impetuous and dangerous leader of The Clone Wars. His kinship with Obi-Wan Kenobi in that moment is breathtaking. But that moment, indeed the whole episode, told us much more about Kenobi himself, revealing how and why he acts the way he did in Star Wars: A New Hope.

For Obi-Wan 'Old Ben' Kenobi, when Luke Skywalker finally gets his call to action, he knows immediately that his own journey is coming to an end. The zen nature in which he meets his fate, at the hands of Darth Vader and in front of Luke, is a little easier to understand now. Yes, Vader (and Anakin in his other life) was an incredibly accomplished lightsaber duelist, but from the scene in "Twin Suns," it's clear that Obi-Wan really never lost a step. Certainly his abilities didn't change drastically in the remaining two years or so between these events and those in A New Hope, if they hadn't changed much in the 17 years prior. Thus, this helps to compound that his actions in A New Hope, turning off his lightsaber and accepting his bodily death, were truly a sacrifice, designed to make Luke into the hero - the chosen one - that he knew him to be.

Kenobi's views on life and death, on when to fight and when to give up resistance, and on the Force's ultimate, unquestioned guidance are all brought to bear in "Twin Suns," and the episode enriched A New Hope in all of those. Even the final scene, which many may view as a simple "just for fun" bit of fan service, is careful and thought out. Kenobi watches Luke and his home, yes, with a pensive look, and one of careful planning. The look says "It's not time yet, but soon."

The idea that Kenobi knew about the Rebellion, knew about other Jedi that had been alive (which unfortunately, again, seems to spell bad things for Ezra's eventual future), also changes things ... in the events of the film, he believes so fully in the Force's guidance and in Luke's status as the Chosen One that he knows any and all others are only secondary.

Ultimately, that's what you hope any use of a character as beloved as Obi-Wan Kenobi in something outside the films will do, and Star Wars Rebels delivered once again. From now on, when I watch Star Wars: A New Hope, I'll be thinking of Kenobi's words, and even more so his actions, in "Twin Suns." His sacrifice will always mean even more to me now, and fans should look at him as a more complex, powerful and guiding figure than ever before.