Star Wars Rebels S3 Blu-ray reveals new insight on Obi-Wan's Tatooine exile

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Mar 25, 2021, 12:00 PM EDT (Updated)

The Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Blu-ray is available in stores today, and it has more special features than any previous Lucasfilm animation season. While the entire set, with multiple episodes of audio commentary and special featurettes, is a great watch, many fans will likely gravitate to two in particular: the Dave Filoni (executive producer) commentary on the episode "Twin Suns," and the special feature that dives deeper into that same episode.

SPOILERS for Star Wars Rebels Season 3 and "Twin Suns" in particular ahead!

"Twin Suns" is the final story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul. The longtime rivals have a final confrontation on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan has been serving out a self-imposed exile while watching over Luke Skywalker as he grows, hopefully, into a New Hope to take down the Sith. It's an emotional, and deep episode, and the episode itself, as well as Filoni's comments, can certainly be looked at for insight into the rumored Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars Story film in development.

“I never thought we’d go to Tatooine on Rebels," Filoni says toward the start of the episode. "It was something Simon [Kinberg, EP] and I and Kiri [Hart, head of Star Wars Story Group] were really kind of worried about. Only when the characters reveal something about the characters on Rebels could we ever do it. You’re influencing those characters from the originals, and you have to not violate who they are. That’s why on episodes like this I try to take a much closer eye because I spent a lot of time with George [Lucas, Star Wars creator], and I try to look at it with ‘is this something he would believe.’”

In the episode, Ezra finally follows the clues revealed to him through the joining of two holocrons half a season earlier, to go seek out Obi-Wan Kenobi for help in destroying the Empire. What he doesn't know is that he's being manipulated by Maul in his journey. Filoni explains that Kenobi is so deeply attuned to the Force and so well-hidden at this point that, "Maul or Ezra could not have ever found Obi-Wan" if he didn't want to be found.

Obi-Wan comes to Ezra when he's in peril, dying in the desert, something meant to parallel his first on-screen meeting with Luke in Star Wars: A New Hope.

"Luke's peril calls to Obi-Wan, it's not like it's a chance meeting," he says, explaining the corrolation. Kenobi has, in a sense, become the ultimate Jedi in his time in exile. When he was in The Clone Wars, he had some emotional attachments (Satine, Anakin, Ahsoka, even some of his Clone Troopers he was close to), but now, he's just out there in the desert meditating alone.

“Obi-Wan is in a state of selflessness at this point. He doesn’t have anything for himself. He’s out there almost in penance in the desert for all the mistakes they made in the Clone Wars," Filoni explains. "This last thing he can do, helping Ezra and helping Luke is what’s lasting in the future. He needs Ezra to understand that should he become a Jedi, this selflessness is what he must learn to do.”

The fight itself, of course, is a very short one, three strikes by Maul, all deftly deflected, and but a single strike by Obi-Wan that proves to be Maul's deathblow. It's all very much on purpose, drawing from samurai films and to show the growth in Obi-Wan. Something Filoni says about Kenobi's desires in this scene particularly stood out.

“Obi-Wan has grown, he’s become wiser, and Maul is stuck where he was at the end of Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan would want to see change in Maul, to see that he’s grown as well. When it becomes apparent that he hasn’t, he’ll fight because he has to, because he has to protect those who can’t protect themselves.”

This is the key to what Lucasfilm would have to pull off in any Obi-Wan Kenobi live-action film. Most likely, the film would take place during these "Dark Times" when he's exiled on Tatooine, watching Luke grow up from afar, and learning from his old master Qui-Gon Jinn through meditation. But Obi-Wan's desire, and in fact need to protect those who can't protect themselves would only grow during this time. He can't sit idly by, not when there's something he can do. While Luke's well-being is his absolute first goal, that need is his potential call-to-arms in a film about this time in his life.

It would be a completely different look at Jedi than we've ever seen on screen. One who's moved past the events of the prequel era, one who has truly given up on doing anything for himself and fully understands that the future, and the galaxy, are all that matters. This of course, would likely preclude Obi-Wan from having any sudden new romantic entanglements on Tatooine - and that may kill dead the popular fan theory that Rey is somehow related to the Jedi master.

Dave Filoni, as the current member of the Lucasfilm staff that arguably spent the most time directly with George Lucas (they had constant meetings together during production of The Clone Wars, discussing every major story beat, character development, and the deep background and history Lucas had in his head but hadn't necessarily written down), has a knowledge of the facts, but also has a knowledge of the emotion and reasoning behind those facts that is likely unmatched, even amongst the other incredible members of the Star Wars Story Group. His insight into the Kenobi of just a couple years before A New Hope helps to color the character for this episode, for his time in the Original Trilogy, and maybe, just maybe, even beyond into his own solo feature film.