How Rebels and Obi-Wan Kenobi took inspiration from Old Wounds

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in Lucasfilm's OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

The duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul in the halls of Theed Palace on Naboo would spark an animosity between both Jedi and Sith alike.

Seen on Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, It was a duel that has scarred both Kenobi and Maul in different ways. Maul was physically wounded by being cut in half by the hands of Obi-Wan wielding his fallen master Qui-Gon Jinn’s emerald green lightsaber blade. In contrast,  Kenobi was emotionally wounded seeing his Jedi Master, who was the closest thing to a father, get impaled by Maul.

Dave Filoni would bring Maul back from the dead in The Clone Wars animated series. After the duel at Theed Palace, the former Sith Lord would survive and  end up on the junkworld of Lotho Minor and become insane. Maul would be found by his brother Savage Opress who would bring him back to the planet Dathomir to have his mind and body rebuilt by the Nightsister Mother Talzin. Maul would have a new set of new robotic legs and a hot-blooded quest for revenge against Obi-Wan.  This thirst for revenge would span for years until their final showdown on Tatooine where Obi-Wan would come out victorious, as seen on  Episode 20 of Star Wars: Rebels Season Three, titled Twin Suns.

Maul’s restored appearance in Clone Wars and the duel on Tatooine as seen on Twin Suns would take inspiration from a short story comic from the graphic novel anthology Star Wars: Infinities which came out a little bit before Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. According to J.W. Rinzler, the author of the books The Art of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and The Making of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the graphic novel was derived from ideas that never made it to the movies or were rejected by George Lucas. Under Feloni, Maul’s radical appearance and the duel on Tatooine as seen in the comic would become canon.

The comic is titled Old Wounds and it was written and illustrated by  Aaron McBride.

The duel between Kenobi and Maul in this comic has the same whirlwind of emotions as the duel seen on Rebels. However, in addition to those emotions, the duel itself retells the story of the animosity between Kenobi and Maul in a brutal and violent fashion. In Twin Suns, Obi-Wan references the comic’s title when he tells Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger that “he would mend this old wound,” before confronting Maul.

Unlike the duel seen in the  Rebels episode however, the duel in Old Wounds also involves Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru, and a three-year old Luke Skywalker witnessing the clashing of lightsabers that was years in the making. And unlike in Rebels, the duel does not have a swift end.

At the start of the comic, the comic’s panels show Maul approaching Lars Homestead and attacking Owen who bravely tries to defend his family. As Maul is about to attack Beru and Luke, Maul senses Kenobi and mentions how over the years he has followed him throughout the galaxy so that he can have his revenge.

McBride’s art shows flashbacks of  Maul appearing in places where Kenobi has been including the cloning facility on Kamino, the battlefield of Geonosis, the Sepeartist holdout on Mustafar, the medical facility on  Polis  Massa, and Watto’s junk shop on  Mos Espa. The images also show Maul overlooking  the former Anakin Skywalker-turned Darth Vader’s burning body and slaying the Polis Massa medical workers. The most chilling and grotesque image is that of a beheaded Watto.

Obi-Wan learns that Maul is after Luke and questions if Palpatine knows about the boy which Maul answers to the contrary and that he is on Tatooine to only fight the Jedi Master. Suddenly, several panels show Kenobi erupting from the sands of Tatooine ready to fight Maul.

McBrides’s art shows a very brutal duel where Maul is seen using his robotic legs to choke Obi-Wan. The former Sith Lord tells Obi-Wan that after his defeat in Theed, all he wanted to do was get his revenge.  Kenobi manages to break free and land a punch on Maul which breaks his horns. Like in their first duel and the duel in Rebels, the Jedi also dissect Maul’s double-bladed lightsaber but also cuts off his arm.  Maul  kicks Obi-Wan which causes him to collide with the Lars’ landspeeder.

As the wounded Maul reaches for his lightsaber, Obi-Wan has his lightsaber pressed onto Maul’s temple. A panel what ensembles a glow from a red lightsaber shows images of Qui-Gon getting stabbed, Mace Windu falling to his death at the hands of Palpatine and Darth Vader,  Padme dying in childbirth and Vader expressing his hatred for Obi-Wan. The panel also shows a terrified Maul and another showing an Obi-Wan hesitant to kill the Sith with his lightsaber. However, a recovered Uncle Owen ends the tension by shooting  Maul in the head with his blaster. Obi-Wan offers to take Maul’s body out to the Dune Sea and Owen tells the Jedi that he said that he would protect Luke safe, even from him. Owen then tells Obi-Wan to never come back to the homestead.

The comic ends with Obi-Wan telling Luke that he will always be close by, even if he cannot see him.

In Rebels, after Obi-Wan defeats Maul, he and his former enemy have some closure in which they acknowledge Luke being the Chosen One. In his dying breath, Maul would tell Obi-Wan that Luke would avenge both him and Obi-Wan. With a saddened expression, the Jedii looks down at his fallen enemy who inflicted pain on him by first killing Qui-Gon and  his beloved Duchess Santine Kryze. In contrast to Old Wounds, Obi-Wan was a little more forgiving to Maul and knew that he had to let go of this part of the past like he did after his duel with Vader in the Disney + Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series.

Fans who have read Old Wounds can probably argue that the creators behind the Obi-Wan Kenobi tv series might have taken inspiration from the comic. In the show, the Second Sister Reva, like Maul, attacks the Lars Homestead while looking to kill Luke as revenge against Vader. The Lars’ protect Luke while the future Rebel hero and Jedi Knight runs for safety. However, Reva has a change of heart and brings Luke back to the Lars family and forsakes the Dark Side.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Star Wars: Rebels are both streaming on Disney+.