A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels: “Twin Suns” – Part 4 – Tatooine

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JUST… BREATHE

In our last installment, we left off with an in-depth discussion about The Hero’s Journey and a touch of Force theory, and a lot of the past three installments have been analyzing parallels to other pieces of Star Wars media. So, before we dive back into literary theory, parallels, and symbolism, I want to take a step back and just acknowledge “Twin Suns” as a story that stands on its own.

Granted, Rebels is a highly serialized show, but even with Maul and Obi-Wan being “legacy” characters, you don’t need to know the movies or The Clone Wars to understand what’s going on. On the most basic level, you just need to know Rebels in order for the “Twin Suns” story to work. And I think that is significant, especially with all the callbacks and parallels and symbolism.

If you’ll allow me this small librarian metaphor:

Transcript of video here

At the most basic level, “Twin Suns” is about Ezra regaining perspective. It’s about him learning to pull his focus off the Sith and back to Lothal, where his true responsibilities lie. It removes the influence of Maul and the Dark Side, letting Ezra put both behind him and move forward.

And “Twin Suns” works on that level. In this episode, we see Ezra pursuing his obsession to destroy the Sith, what that would cost for Lothal and his friends, and his willingness to at last simply turn his back on Maul and leave. Sure, there aren’t any Rebellion-changing revelations here – Ezra only brings back news of Maul’s death and a Mandolorian starfighter, small potatoes to the fact that a Jedi Master is alive – and the cast is so small for most of it that it almost has the feel of a bottle episode. But that surface level story of Ezra’s need to regain perspective is just as essential to the whole of Rebels as “Secret Cargo” and Mon Mothma’s call to action.

Think of “Twin Suns” as a reverse-Canto Bight sequence.

Spoilers for The Last Jedi Incoming…

The Canto Bight portion of The Last Jedi has been widely claimed as being superfluous, though many movie critics defend it for being critical in demonstrating the theme of failure and the importance of the “nobodies” in Star Wars. I personally find it important for the sake of Finn’s character development. Like Ezra, Finn has an issue of perspective. While Ezra’s focus is to a problem well beyond his responsibility, Finn’s focus is too small. At the start of The Last Jedi, Finn is primarily concerned with making sure Rey is safe, and that one person influences many of his decisions.

However, on Canto Bight, Finn begins to see the bigger picture: even outside the First Order, the strong and wealthy prey on the weak and downtrodden. Rose pointing him to that fact gives him the perspective of what the Resistance is truly about. That what makes him stop running.

Likewise before “Twin Suns” aired, fans were overall uncertain about what the point was of Ezra looking for how to defeat the Sith, especially via Obi-Wan Kenobi, as both the means and Kenobi had to remain out of play until A New Hope.

[I]f Ezra and Kanan do meet Obi-Wan, what then? He will never leave Tatooine, he has a sacred charge while he is there and leaving that charge to fight a battle he has already lost once, long ago, is not something I can see him doing.

Ezra’s search is, to use the TV Tropes term, a Shaggy Dog Story: “a high level of build-up and complicating action, only to be resolved with an anti-climax or ironic reversal, usually one that makes the entire story meaningless.” Even if he searches, and hunts, and finds, and no matter what he sacrifices to find Tatooine, to find Obi-Wan, we as the audience know that his search will end without bearing any meaningful fruit. Not the fruit that Ezra expects, anyway. Obi-Wan might hold the secret that will destroy the Sith, from a certain point of view, but it is not something for Ezra to commandeer for his own fight. (Ben Wahrman, Rebels Revisited: Revenge and Hope, Eleven-ThirtyEight.com)

Ultimately it comes back down to the same thing it meant for Finn. Even though Finn and Rose’s trip to Canto Bight was a part of a failed plan, it’s what makes Finn the hero the Resistance needs by the movie’s end. For Ezra, the adventure of “Twin Suns” is what puts Ezra back on the path to be the Jedi Lothal needs.

Ezra’s shift in focus could also be summed up in a single quote from Rose Tico:

“That’s how we’ll win. Not by fighting what we hate (Sith), by saving what we love (Lothal).”

And in telling this very basic, almost “Shaggy Dog” story, “Twin Suns” works like a charm.

End The Last Jedi Spoilers

Now who’s ready to get back to some symbolism?

 

BACK TO THE WALL

Two items get put up on the wall this time – first is the twin moons of Tatooine. Establishing them as Ezra approaches the planet is a good way to make sure we still get the visual call backs to the suns even at night.

The second are the Tusken Raiders.

I was actually shocked to discover that this episode marks the first appearance of the Sand People in the animated canon of Star Wars. There was a plan for Boba Fett and Cad Bane to go up against a tribe in The Clone Wars, to the point of the vocals already being recorded and some base animation being constructed, but the episode itself never aired and it was not released in-full to the public like the unfinished Utapau and Bad Batch episodes were. So, thanks to the cancellation of The Clone Wars, this is a bit of a landmark appearance.

There are certain parallels to established canon here. The shot of the canyon walls as the Tusken cries echo from Maul’s assault calls forward to A New Hope when a similar cut happens after Luke is beaten into unconsciousness. The brief glimpse we get of Maul slicing at the Sand People calls back to Anakin’s slaughter of the Tusken village in Attack of the Clones. If Legend’s Kenobi by John Jackson Miller was still canon, it would have been confirmed that the Sand People, as a whole, are aware of a lightsaber’s power, due to news of Anakin’s assault on the one village spreading across the different tribes. Miller’s From a Certain Point of View story, “Rites,” which stars the lead Tusken of Kenobi, does suggest – though less explicitly – that this is still the case in the new canon.

This of course gives greater meaning to the brief cower we see from the Tuskens before the camera cuts away from the slaughter. While definitely a fascinating connection, this not the sole influence of Kenobi that I wish to discuss in regard to “Twin Suns.” I’m moreso interested in a different story of the Tusken culture, one of the suns themselves. And so we’re putting these folks up on the wall as well.

HERO’S JOURNEY REVISITED

It’s time to dive back into our examination of the Hero’s Journey in “Twin Suns” and Maul’s manipulation of it.

We come now to the Road of Trials in Ezra’s false Journey here, called in Vogel’s The Writer’s Journey as “Tests, Allies, and Enemies.” This is now the Special World, sharp in contrast to the Ordinary World, that the hero must learn to survive in and through.

“The most important function of this period of adjustment to the Special World is testing. Storytellers use this phase to test the hero, putting her through a series of trials and challenges that are meant to prepare her for greater ordeals ahead.” (Vogel, The Writer’s Journey, p 136, third edition)

“The greater ordeals” referred to are the “Approach to the Inmost Cave,” where the hero faces not just another ordeal but “The Ordeal,” that which will result with acquiring the elixir to save the Ordinary World. “Twin Suns,” being as short as it is, combines the Tests and the Approach in a sequence of four trials:

  1. The Tusken attack
  2. Maul’s temptation
  3. The sandstorm
  4. The empty wastes

According to the audio commentary of the episode by Dave Filoni, each of these trials tests Ezra’s conviction for why he came to Tatooine. According to Sam Witwer, these trials are a means to purify Ezra; he has to earn the right to see these two mythic individuals by walking in their shoes (Podcast interview, 3/24/2017). The connection to Maul’s story is, again, a deliberate construction on Maul’s part, to draw Ezra into the cycle Maul lives in. The connection to Obi-Wan’s story, however, is not something intended by the Journey’s architect. It’s the Force pushing back against Maul’s manipulations through the medium Maul has chosen.

THE TUSKEN ATTACK

When Maul returns to power in The Clone Wars and Son of Dathomir, he raised an army – the Shadow Collective – and thinks himself prepared to take on the Separatists and Sidious himself, especially with Mother Talzin’s backing. However, at the climax of this grand chess match between Talzin and Sidious, in which he himself is little more than a pawn, Maul finds he was never prepared for this. His supplies are swiped out from under him, the only allies he has left from the Collective and Talzin’s authority are the Mandalorian Death Watch, and his home is lost.

Here on Tatooine, Ezra has brought supplies from Atollon and considers himself prepared for the path ahead. However, as Maul sets the conflict into motion, Ezra’s supplies are destroyed, he only has Chopper at his side – the Jedi Master nowhere to be found, and he has lost his means to return home.

Here is also where we see Obi-Wan’s story rising alongside Maul’s in the Journey:

[T]here’s something that feels right about Ezra getting attacked, going, “Whoa, this is a trap, Chopper, this is a trap, but now we must go into the desert anyway.” Why does that feel right? You go, “Oh, because that’s what happened to Obi-Wan.” …Obi-Wan coming under attack, realizing it’s a trap, and fighting anyway, and moving on anyway, it’s the Clone Wars. The Jedi go, “Wow, we’re screwed and we know we’re screwed. And we know this is all a trap set by the Sith, but we can’t see our way out of it, so we have to fight this war.” (Witwer Interview, ComicBook.com)

Critically, the mindset Ezra displays here after the fallout of the trap is not that of Maul’s, but of Obi-Wan’s.

After the fall of Dathomir and the Shadow Collective, Maul goes back. He returns to Mandalore and begins his cycle anew – rising to power, having it torn away again, and scrambling to pick up the scraps of what he once had. Obi-Wan and Ezra however, look ahead.

“Do not return to the Temple,” Obi-Wan says in the Holocron’s message. “That time has passed.” And his actions speak to this. Instead of wallowing in his loss, Obi-Wan chose to look to the future, watch over it, and guard it.

In “Twin Suns,” Ezra’s path is more literal, but it carries that same spirit of Obi-Wan decision: “What else can we do? We move forward.”

MAUL’S TEMPTATION

If we did want to split the Tests and Approach portions of the Journey, this would be the ideal place, as Ezra crosses as literal a Threshold that Tatooine can offer, which is usually an indication that the Approach has begun.

This is the only trial in here that does not fit with either Maul’s or Obi-Wan’s story, as it is a moment that Maul inserts himself directly into the narrative again, to draw Ezra out into the desert. This is the moment that Maul needs to act directly again to set his Journey back on track. Ezra has seen that this whole thing was a set-up, a trap, and he’s following the advice of his Ally – Chopper – to find a way out.

But of course, Maul doesn’t see any of Ezra’s friends as Allies, so by his appearance, Maul deliberately recontextualizes the scene as he did with Kanan and Hera back on Atollon. Chopper goes from an Ally figure – a sidekick specifically, providing levity to an otherwise grim tale – to another Threshold Guardian. And Ezra is set back on the course Maul wants for him.

THE SANDSTORM

Once again, the parallels to Maul’s Journey are constructed by Maul himself. He goads Ezra on to “Draw [Kenobi] out,” a tactic Sidious used in Son of Dathomir, attacking Maul again and again until Talzin was forced reveal herself so the Sith could kill her. Maul also makes Ezra go in literal circles, as we see the Holocron no longer pointing straight ahead in Ezra’s palm.

The parallels to Obi-Wan’s story, however, are entirely beyond Maul’s control. The sandstorm, it’s blinding particles whirling past, only gives Ezra a glimpse of the Sith he’s trying to find. The Sith who has constructed this conflict as a trap for the Jedi. It’s an embodiment of the Dark Side clouding everything in the Clone Wars, never letting Obi-Wan or the others see clearly the Sith right in front of them.

THE EMPTY WASTES

First things first – let’s put two more moments up on our wall: Maul and Obi-Wan appearing to Ezra.

What a lovely collection we have.

The final parallel to both Maul and Obi-Wan is the loss of Chopper. Chopper here is a stand in for the ones Maul and Obi-Wan have lost along the way, both individuals and their very people. With the Obi-Wan parallels, this is a painting of everyone he has lost to Sith machinations, all the way back to Qui-Gon Jinn, through Satine, and concluding with Anakin and the Jedi Order itself. For Maul’s parallels, this also becomes a warning for Ezra.

Maul lost his family to his single-minded pursuit of his enemies, and he lost his entire planet. Dathomir is barren; he is the last of its children. This is exactly the threat Ezra has brought upon Lothal itself by pursuing Maul to Tatooine.

But again, Ezra’s response to losing Chopper instead parallels Obi-Wan’s, not Maul’s. He begs Chopper to stay with him and when Chopper doesn’t respond, he takes responsibility for the loss.

But Maul isn’t through with Ezra yet. At Ezra’s lowest point, Maul comes back around to taunt him further, in a dialogue that mirrors that of the Grand Inquisitor in Season 1, “Gathering Forces.”

“The Darkness is too strong for you, orphan. It is swallowing you up, even now.”
“No…”
“Your Master will die.”
“No!”
“Your friends will die, and everything you’ve hope for will be lost. This is the way the story ends.”
“NO!”

“He is dead. He is dead!”
“…No…”
“You led me to him!”
“No…”
“You failed your friends!”
“No!”
“You will die!”
“NO!”

Not only is the repetition of “No!” a parallel to Maul’s own denial at the start of the episode, but the scene with the Grand Inquisitor is tied directly to Ezra’s connection to the Dark Side. With the Inquisitor’s taunting, and Kanan and the Ghost at risk, Ezra taps into it for the very first time, summoning a monster with his anger and fear.

Part of the torment is meant to increase Ezra’s emotions to draw out Kenobi (Ranking Rebels, StarWars.com), but it’s also intended to push Ezra farther into the Dark Side, to where he has no choice but to join Maul. But still present is Obi-Wan’s Journey, guiding Ezra down a different path, that of atonement. And the moment Obi-Wan finds Ezra is the moment that the false Journey is hijacked by the Force entirely, completely slipping out of Maul’s hands.

Both Filoni and Witwer in multiple interviews and commentaries (the audio commentary, ComicBook.com interview, for two examples) have said this about Obi-Wan Kenobi: Tatooine is a state penance for him. In the Clone Wars, he took on the role and title of a General. He became a warrior. He made mistakes and did things that were antithetical to the Jedi Code. To now remove himself from the Galaxy, to watch over Luke Skywalker as a hermit, is a form of purification for his sins.

This is where he learns from Qui-Gon Jinn again. This is where he visits in his vision in “Time of Death” (From a Certain Point of View) and ascends to become one with the Force. This is where he becomes a true Jedi again.

The beating that the elements bring upon Ezra is also that sort of purification. His path shifting from Maul’s to Obi-Wan’s is a shedding of the Dark Side influence that has been weighing on him since “Gathering Forces” and which only increased since “Twilight of the Apprentice.” This is what has transformed him from the hopeful youth of Lothal into the bitter teenager we find in Season 3. And it’s telling that in Season 4, the influence of Maul and the Dark Side gone, Ezra gets his bounce back:

Tatooine, walking Obi-Wan’s path, meeting with the Jedi Master, this is where Ezra becomes Lothal’s Jedi again.

There is yet another function of Ezra’s trials reflecting the lives of Maul and Obi-Wan, and that is to provide the viewer with a recap of the old foes’ journeys.

THE TRAP OF THE RECAP

The primary reason, it appears, that more in-depth backstory on Maul and Obi-Wan was not provided in “Twin Suns” was this:

We had to avoid the temptation to bring a lot of [Maul’s] Clone Wars story into Rebels, not only because of the amount of time that has happened in the galaxy, but also out of a courtesy for these new viewers who may not be familiar with that. (Lucasfilm creative executive Pablo Hidalgo)

The cast and crew of Star Wars: Rebels have done their best to treat the show as if it was the first introduction to Star Wars that someone would have. We get small hints of the past and future, but only so much as is needed to drive forward our characters, the crew of the Ghost.

I will grant that some details have gotten lost without the context of the broader Star Wars franchise, such as the “Chosen One,” which was never mentioned before in Rebels, and the fact that Maul’s and Obi-Wan’s rivalry goes back to Maul’s bisection. Ultimately the latter isn’t entirely necessary; that detail is along the same sort of glossed-over lines as the exposition dump discussed in Part 2. Noticeable, but not story-breaking. The Chosen One we’ll get to in a future installment.

So now that I’ve established how the lack of recap failed “Twin Suns,” let’s get back to how it elevated it.

For one, it avoided the stale recapping that many shows and adaptations fall into. On the show side of things, there is of course the extreme in the clip episodes. Now some writers and producers have found ways to integrate clip shows into their stories in a meaningful manner, such as Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Others, however, use it just to spin their wheels (Transformers Prime, I love you and owe you a lot, but “Grill” was just one big reset button on an intriguing development). Of course, in some cases, clip shows are unavoidable due to budget constraints. Famously, The Legend of Korra ended up with a clip episode because the only other option was to lay off team members, and the show’s creators refused to take that option.

Now Star Wars has a big enough budget to avoid clip shows, so whenever it wants to convey certain information, we get it through exposition. That’s how the Rebels viewers learn of who Ahsoka’s Master was before the showdown in “Twilight of the Apprentice,” or of Rex’s backstory and the chips of Order 66. This is also how we learn both of Maul’s original status as a Sith and his current disillusionment with the Order that abandoned him.

The writers of Rebels have placed all these moments in places that make emotional sense for the characters revealing this information and the characters receiving them. Maul’s exposition on Malachor isn’t just to update the audience on where he’s at, it’s to start putting Ezra off-balance by manipulating his empathy. That’s part of why the return of Maul in Rebels works so well. He’s not just there for fanservice; he’s there in service to the Ghost crew. Not only does he embody the influence of the Dark Side on Ezra, but his assault forces Kanan to grow deeper in the knowledge of the Force, and his presence kicks off Sabine’s arc of reclaiming her family and her planet.

…Recaps. We were talking about recaps.

Recaps in exposition or adaptations do carry the threat of dulling the emotion of the original story. The much-maligned Halo: The Flood is a book I will defend until my dying day, but even I have to admit that parts in which author William C. Dietz is recapping the events of Halo: Combat Evolved drag on painfully long. Halo: New Blood also has this issue in which Matt Forbeck needs to contextualize the events of Buck’s team falling apart by recapping Halo 3: ODST’s story, but the style loses all the atmosphere that made the game interesting in the first place.

The absolute worst recapping I’ve ever seen comes in the Star Trek novel McCoy: Provenance of Shadows. This is a book that’s halfway to being a masterpiece, exploring the what-if of the famous episode “The City on the Edge of Forever.” The half of the novel that explores McCoy’s life if he had saved Edith Keeler is well-written, engaging, and occasionally adorable. It gave us time to walk through life with McCoy and spend time with the characters, making their choices feel alive and carry real emotional weight.

In contrast are the parts of the novel that follow the actual Star Trek canon, exploring the effects of the episode in the normal timeline, where Edith Keeler dies. Here, it feels like the author is just listing off events, hoping that our familiarity with the episode or movie referenced will carry the emotional punch for us. I didn’t think it was possible to make Spock’s Wrath of Khan sacrifice devoid of heart, but this book somehow did exactly that.

I shouldn’t be too hard on that book though; recapping is a difficult thing to make spark with life, but like in New Blood, sometimes a recap is necessary to give context to the story you’re attempting to tell. So what do you do? Well, there’s no one solid answer – to each their own way, to live properly in the style of story they tell – but “Twin Suns” chooses Ezra.

Remember, this story already functions on the basic level of Ezra regaining focus on his responsibilities, so we don’t need to know the in-depth rivalry between Obi-Wan and Maul for the surface-level story to function. Therefore, the recap is not for brand new viewers who are here for an Ezra Bridger Adventure™; it’s for the long-time fans of the two legacy characters.

The parallels of Ezra’s trials to both of these characters reminds us of the points that are important to their final meeting. Reminds us that they have both lost someone, that they have both been so very alone for so long. Even the words that Maul and Obi-Wan use to describe the effect of the other on Ezra is really describing their relationship to each other.

Obi-Wan: Maul used your desire to do good to [manipulate] you. He knows your fears, your heart…

Think of how Maul draws Obi-Wan out in The Clone Wars by preying on his desire to do good. “Come alone or I’ll slaughter this whole colony.” And then in his display of revenge, he targets Obi-Wan’s fear (losing someone in the same way he lost Qui-Gon) and heart (that someone is Satine).

Maul: Your pain, your sorrow, it calls to him.

This… this is part of a theme will be discussed extensively later, but for now let’s just touch on one thing:

The cradle.

The sheer gentleness that Obi-Wan shows to Maul, his old tormentor, in his final moments. The way he responds to Maul’s desperation for closure. His “noble heart” is specifically responding to the pain and sorrow of Maul’s life and his current, dying state.

Through Ezra’s experiences, we are given a recap of the emotional context we need for the final showdown between Obi-Wan and Maul. And because we see how these things affect Ezra, in real time, we understand again how it affected the legacy characters in their time. “Twin Suns” is a recap that maintains its emotional impact because we get to see it anew through Ezra Bridger.

 

DO WE ENTER AS A THIEF?

Exploring the idea that Ezra has to earn the right to speak with Obi-Wan Kenobi, also raises the question: could Maul have earned that right too?

The Holocrons didn’t speak falsely; the hope Maul is looking for will be found on Tatooine, tied closely to Obi-Wan Kenobi. But again, the manner in which he pursues this, this instinctual return to his mindset on Lotho Minor, is what bars him from meeting Kenobi as he should: humble and willing to learn, not violent and vengeful.

On the site TVTropes, a user had described “Twin Suns” through the lens of a classic chivalric tale:

[T]wo knights go on a quest across a desert, braving physical and mental trials and using enchanted compasses to find their way, in order to meet a wizard. One is humble and good-hearted and returns home unharmed and enlightened, while the other is arrogant and violent and dies by the wizard’s hand. (TVTropes)

Maul refuses to be humbled by Tatooine, instead using a cheat to bypass his own trials by drawing Ezra into danger. Ezra of course passes these trials by admitting his mistakes and thus is welcomed into Obi-Wan’s confidence by a campfire’s light.

This refusal to pass through by the proper path also carries a touch of similarities to a parable of Jesus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” (John 10:1), which was referenced in C. S. Lewis’ The Magicians Nephew.

In this Narnia tale, the main character of Digory and the villainous Witch Jadis are both seeking a fruit that will grant them some boon, and both encounter the warning inscribed on the gates:

Come in by the gold gates or not at all,
Take of my fruit for others or forbear,
For those who steal or those who climb my wall
Shall find their heart’s desire and find despair
.
(The Magician’s Nephew, Chapter 13)

Digory heeds these words and thus brings back protection for Narnia. Jadis heeds the wrong part of the words, and steals a fruit to grant herself eternal life. Digory is granted healing for his dying mother but Jadis is cursed with a hollow existence until she is overthrown in another Narnia tale.

In this case, Ezra is of course Digory, and the parallels of Maul to Jadis become ever stronger as Jadis tries to win Digory over to her side by demeaning Digory’s companions and invoking guilt as a weapon. But of course, it’s Ezra and Digory who truly gain what they need through the trial of Tatooine and the Garden, while Maul and Jadis are left empty. Well, mostly empty. We’ll be getting back to Maul on that later.

This also ties back into a previous scene in “Twin Suns.” Recall in the second installment of this close read when we looked at Ezra’s entrance into Kanan’s room. Who enters as a thief and who enters as a friend? The growth of Ezra from thief to friend is again what sets him apart from Maul in how he chooses to approach Obi-Wan Kenobi. He faces trials set ahead for him, not trying to bypass it by dragging another into the danger with him (recall how he actively tries to keep Chopper out of the danger he puts himself in). Maul on the other hand, seeks a way around the trials, for his own selfish gains, and puts another into danger for it.

 

THE SKYBROTHERS. IT IS THE LEGEND.

Now, before we conclude this installment, let’s pause and connect a few dots on our “Twin Suns” wall here, as we have all the pieces for one interpretation for the title.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the suns or “sons” referring to Obi-Wan and Maul, the “orphaned children” of the Jedi and Sith Order (Sam Witwer, Rebel Force Radio, 23:00), and already we’ve seen the broken Holocrons act as a visual representation of that. The placement of Obi-Wan and Maul over each of the suns as they appear to Ezra only reinforces this interpretation, though there is easily more interpretations than one.

To me however, it’s which suns that Obi-Wan and Maul are associated with that is even more interesting.

With the Holocrons position, again the camera angle and movement and the source of light are at an angle. Obi-Wan is projected above the Holocron, Maul originates from the Holocron itself. Like the suns of Tatooine, one is above the other.

This association is again found in Ezra’s brief glimpses of them. Maul takes the place of the lower sun, Obi-Wan that of the higher.

This positions them as the skybrothers of Tusken legend.

While the skybrothers themselves, the Tusken name for Tatooine’s suns, has been recanonized in From a Certain Point of View, this particular legend is still… well… Legends. But as Ahsoka has told us, there’s always a bit of truth in legends, and Filoni and Co. has always been willing to take pieces from Legends to flesh out the new canon. And this legend fits oh so well.

Everything casts two shadows.
The suns had determined this at the dawn of creation. Brothers, they were, until the younger sun showed his true face to the tribe. It was a sin. The elder sun attempted to kill his brother, as was only proper.
But he failed.
Burning, bleeding, the younger sun pursued his sibling across the sky. The wily old star fled for the hills and safety, but it was his fate never to rest again. For the younger brother had only exposed his face. The elder had exposed his failure.
(Kenobi, Chapter 1)

“You have a duty.”… She spoke quietly but quickly. “[Novel’s antagonist] showed his true face. You kills him now, or he pursues you forever!” She pointed to the suns. “It is the way of skybrothers.”
Ben stared. “This – this is another legend?”
“It is the legend.”
(Kenobi, Chapter 43)

Miller himself has noted that the skybrothers were made to parallel Obi-Wan and Anakin, and they certainly fit certain aspects of the story far better, and within the context of the Kenobi novel, this is the allegory we are meant to draw. Like Ezra in “Twin Suns,” this legend in Kenobi is supposed act in place of the recap; provide the emotional context through metaphor. However, just as the title of “Twin Suns” can be applied in multiple manners, I feel the skybrothers can also refer to Obi-Wan and Maul.

Obi-Wan has been placed as the elder sun, the one higher in the sky. Maul is the younger sun: red, burned, and bleeding, and in pursuit of the elder for a blow struck against him. Even the reveal of the “true face” can still be applied here to Maul. It’s through Maul that the Sith are revealed to have survived, and it’s upon this reveal that Obi-Wan first strikes him down.

But, as we have seen, and like the elder sun, this strike failed. Maul rose again and has been at Obi-Wan’s heels for decades. There is even this sense in canon that Obi-Wan has to be the one to end Maul’s threat, one way or another. “Finish what he started, Obi-Wan must,” Yoda says of Maul’s return in The Clone Wars, “Revenge.” This is Obi-Wan’s responsibility.

He must heal this old wound.

Up Next: Fireside Chats


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6 Responses to A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels: “Twin Suns” – Part 4 – Tatooine

  1. Pingback: A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels “Twin Suns” – Part 5 – Fireside Chats | DilDev's Blog

  2. Pingback: A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels: “Twin Suns” – Part 3 – Departure & Arrival | DilDev's Blog

  3. Pingback: A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels “Twin Suns” – Part 9 – Did You Ever Hear the Tragedy of Darth Maul the Lost? | DilDev's Blog

  4. Pingback: A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels “Twin Suns” – Part 10 – Suns and Moons | DilDev's Blog

  5. Well, this chapter brought a huge grin on my face after you have mentioned C.S. Lewis (a childhood staple) and Star Trek. So the McCoy novel can distort one’s perception of Spock’s sacrifice in “Wrath of Khan”?

    Tatooine is such a grim desolate place that I find it hard to find anything good about it in itself as a planet, once you take out the fact it was home to two Skywalkers. And yet you pointed out that it’s meant to purify Obi-Wan. It’s fascinating how Obi-Wan was introduced as a Mentor role in “A New Hope” but thanks to the novels, TV shows, and comics, we get to see him in other roles: apprentice, friend, brother, general, and enemy. His personality is also as adaptable as his character.

    And oooh, brilliant how Ezra goes from thief to friend. I’d say he was a bit like Maul in season one by being stuck in the past but Kanan helped Ezra to move on. Poor Maul…whatever he builds just collapses around him. There’s a scene in “Clone Wars” when he and Savage find a fortune and use it to buy out Hondo’s crew and all I could think was, “What, you guys don’t want to start your own business? Have some brotherly bonding at a nightclub?!” No, Maul just has to be utterly serious all the time!

    P.S. It’s me, Stella. Got my blog up and running. Haven’t gotten to Ezra Bridger yet but I’m having fun writing about the Boy Wonder in the meantime. Thank you for inspiring me to get on top of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • DilDev says:

      The McCoy novel doesn’t really distort Spock’s sacrifice, but it lists the scene like some clinical report, a basic transcription of the scene. No insight into how the characters felt. Which is so strange because the other half of the book, the “what if?” portion, is absolutely soaked with diving into how the characters feel in every situation.

      As a Christian Biblical reference, one of my favorite things about Tatooine is how it (and Jakku actually) can have the same vibe as Nazareth: “What good can come out of there??” But despite being backwater planet(s), or perhaps because of it, we get some of our greatest heroes. And I’m including Ezra and Finn on this because “Twin Suns” was so formative for the former and Jakku was where Finn broke free of the First Order.

      You’re right, Maul reaaaaally needed to find other outlets for his creativity…

      EEEEEEE SO GLAD YOU STARTED YOUR BLOG!!!!!

      Like

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