“Twin Suns” Close Read

The best stories encourage exploration. This iconic episode of Star Wars Rebels is no exception. So let’s take some deep dives into Star Wars lore, filmmaking techniques, and literary themes. Welcome to the “Twin Suns” Close Read.

Part 1 – Cold Opening

“Always remember… I am nothing.” All the themes of Maul’s life are coming together in this fateful encounter.

Part 2 – Atollon

Ezra isn’t being stubborn for arrogance’ sake. He’s responding out of an over-inflated sense of responsibility.

Part 3 – Departure and Arrival

Ezra finds himself on a Hero’s Journey, but it’s the wrong one. It’s one where Maul has carefully crafted every detail to fit his own goals.

Part 4 – Tatooine

Maul’s constructed, false Journey for Ezra continues, but Ezra’s experiences start to match someone else. Also: our first interpretation of the suns’ symbolism.

Part 5 – Fireside Chats

Our three leads have finally come together, two legends and one legend-to-be, and it’s all about purpose and relationships.

Part 6 – Overtime: Sudden Death

Kurosawa, camera cheats, and old wounds. How the briefest of lightsaber fights tells a story all on its own.

Part 7 – It All Comes Down To This

Knighthood was bestowed upon Obi-Wan after violently defeating Maul on Naboo. Now immortality is made his by following the example of the pacifist Duchess Satine Kryze.

Part 8 – Sympathy for the Devil

Maul probably wouldn’t be the first choice for a character whose arc demonstrates the power of compassion in Star Wars, but here we are.

Part 9 – Did You Ever Hear the Tragedy of Darth Maul The Lost?

The final shot of Obi-Wan and Maul is an extreme long shot, used to convey the idea of something bigger at work. Which is fitting, because Maul’s story finds redemption three decades on.

Part 10 – Suns and Moons

Ezra’s transformative empathy is key. Luke becomes the Ultimate Jedi. Maul and Obi-Wan are what they both grow beyond.

Part 11 – The Lesson Animation Taught Me

A collision of the kindest and the cruelest that Star Wars had to offer. It left me grasping at something inexplicable.

Additional Readings

Good Science Fiction: An Examination Through the Lens of ODST

Science fiction is best when its story cannot be disconnected from the trappings of the genre. That’s what makes Maul’s story good science fiction.

A Story is Like a Database

Pardon the librarian metaphor…

#SWRepMatters: Mental Health

A conversation-starter regarding the representation of mental disabilities/mental illness in Star WarsContent warning for discussion of suicide