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.
This journey began as a blog post, travelling through the episode scene-by-scene. In 2019, I restructured and rewrote the close read. By bringing topical elements together into their own, new essays, By The Light of Twin Suns became a collection of film analysis, literary criticism, and even a touch of memoir.
If you would prefer to read it in that format, follow the above link to the PDF. If you would prefer to read the close read in its original blog format, please continue on below, and thank you for joining me on this journey!
Additional Note: In the final essay, I tell a story about my heart, likening it to a house I had walled off out of pain and fear. I’ve been on a journey re-exploring this house of mine, and one of the rooms was called “gender.”
Though the story describes a woman with she/her pronouns, I discovered that I am nonbinary transmasculine, pronouns they/he.
I do not wish to alter this work, but since it is such a heavily gendered metaphor, I wanted to make this distinction clear.
“Always remember… I am nothing.” All the themes of Maul’s life are coming together in this fateful encounter.
Ezra isn’t being stubborn for arrogance’ sake. He’s responding out of an over-inflated sense of responsibility.
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.
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.
Our three leads have finally come together, two legends and one legend-to-be, and it’s all about purpose and relationships.
Kurosawa, camera cheats, and old wounds. How the briefest of lightsaber fights tells a story all on its own.
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.
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.
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.
Ezra’s transformative empathy is key. Luke becomes the Ultimate Jedi. Maul and Obi-Wan are what they both grow beyond.
A collision of the kindest and the cruelest that Star Wars had to offer. It left me grasping at something inexplicable.
There was one element of Star Wars Rebels‘ “Twin Suns” that eluded interpretation. With every ridiculous theory I crafted for the episode’s name, I could not place it. Why were there so many shots of eyes that looked like the suns?
The Best Swords – Elements of Kurosawa’s ‘Sanjuro’ in Ahsoka Tano and Satine Kryze
Whenever Obi-Wan finds himself on Satine’s turf, he’s forced to play by her rules, much in the same way the chamberlain’s wife made Sanjuro play by hers. ..By the time Obi-Wan is forced to kill his old rival, his actions deeply reflect Satine’s. (Formerly posted on Team Ahsoka, but it has since been removed per my request due to the transphobic assault lawsuit around Ahsoka’s live action casting. Will be reposted here eventually.)
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.
Pardon the librarian metaphor…
A conversation-starter regarding the representation of mental disabilities/mental illness in Star Wars. Content warning for discussion of suicide