In The Clone Wars, Maul was a force to be reckoned with (also in the first film).

Obi-Wan and Maul have had prolonged fights... even sometimes Anakin and Obi-wan vs. Maul. And in the film Obi-Wan and his master vs. Maul. He always held his own there easily.

But in Rebels,

he was cut down during the first strike of the battle. With absolute ease as it seemed.

Thus it looked like

Obi-Wan's abilities grew exceptionally compared to Mauls.

Is there any reason given for this? As Maul surely didn't sit on his behind without any training during the years between the war and Rebels.

  • Related: Why did Maul's power fail this time? Mar 24, 2017 at 6:49
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    Maul is reckless, angry, and unprepared. Obi has been preparing and is careful. This is discussed in an interview, but I do not have the time to find it.
    – Adamant
    Mar 24, 2017 at 6:52
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    I also think historically we've been shown that Kenobi has a flair for the dramatic and enjoys showboating a bit w/ his lightsaber tactics. By this point, he is older, wiser, and has no time for games (physically or mentally) when it comes to protecting Luke. There is no question of disabling and bringing to justice (which is something that happens frequently in The Clone Wars series) - Maul is a threat that must be eliminated.
    – NKCampbell
    Mar 24, 2017 at 18:23
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    @NKCampbell also bringing to justice exposes himself and his location as maul is a strong force user and turning him in brings inquisistors or worse vader there
    – Thomas
    Mar 24, 2017 at 19:52
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    “Maul surely didn't sit on his behind” — he sure didn’t after Obi-Wan chopped it off! Mar 25, 2017 at 0:46

3 Answers 3


The important narrative beats are that Obi-Wan changes to the same stance used by Qui-Gon, and then Maul attacks with strikes similar to those he used against Qui-Gon. Then Maul moves to block Kenobi's overhead strike, just as he did against Qui-Gon. This was the move that created the opening that Maul used to kill Qui-Gon. But Kenobi strikes the hilt of the doublesaber and cuts through it and Maul. So the fight is a recreation of when Maul killed Qui-Gon but Kenobi has figured out how to beat Maul's technique.

You can read more into this, such as that perhaps Maul wanted to lose, or that it's a metaphor for Kenobi having learned from the past while Maul is trapped by it.

  • the last part I think is reinforced maybe by how maul took to him loosing. it almost seemed to me as if he expected it to end that way.
    – Thomas
    Mar 24, 2017 at 20:37
  • I've rewatched the scene in Ep1, I found it cool that those three strikes kind of resembled the last three in Ep1. High blow, low-side blow, hilt-push.
    – Petersaber
    Mar 24, 2017 at 21:03

Maul is a tragic character both in-universe and out-of-universe.


Maul had great expectations of life, he was apprentice to Palpatine, one day he would become Sith Master and rule the galaxy. Of course, we know now that was not what Palpatine planned, but Maul only found that out later, when he was defeated and abandoned. Maul did manage to rebuild himself (literally and figuratively) with the help of his mother and brother. He was again on path of acquiring power when he created the Shadow Collective, and even got some mesure of revenge on Obi-Wan Kenobi when he killed his love Satine Kryze. But yet again, it was all destroyed in a flash, Palpatine almost effortlessly killed his brother, defeated him and later destroyed his organization. Maul also lost his mother and even his clan (Nightsisters and Nightbrothers).

In the Age of Empire we have a lonely and broken half-man desperately searching for hope. Everything he tried in life went to ruin, and he is desperately trying to find some meaning in life. He would want revenge against the Sith and he would want some legacy, but even that is failing, he cannot even persuade Ezra Bridger to join him. When he found out that Kenobi was still alive, that suddenly seamed like a hope to him. He and Kenobi are of similar age, Kenobi also had some bad breaks in life yet he managed to remain calm and dignified. In the last dialog before their duel you could feel Maul's envy ("And what do you have?"). Maul is sensing that his old adversary protects someone (the Chosen One) and would want to take Kenobi's place but inside he knows that is impossible. As a Dark Side user Maul draws on his hate, but his hate is failing him. Kenobi really doesn't have anything except his purpose to protect hope for the galaxy. And Maul cannot hate that, because he knows this is the only path to his revenge. So, Maul attacks half-heartedly, unable to let it go because it is the only thing that keeps him alive. And yet again, unable to focus it entirely on Kenobi. Kenobi is now just a "desert rat", a mirage. So the only path left for him is death - he subconsciously wants to end it where it begun, on Tatooine under the Twin Suns.


Maul originally appeared only in one movie, The Phantom Menace. He was resurrected in the Clone Wars TV series because they needed some major and interesting antagonist that was not a one-dimensional villain. Clone Wars came after Revenge of the Sith, so other major characters were already predestined (except maybe Asajj Ventress). Therefore, Maul gave the creators of The Clone Wars a certain freedom, but it also meant he would have to be kept from altering the main storyline. Therefore, he would never achieve much significance, and because he knew major characters (Palpatine, Kenobi, to a lesser degree even Anakin) he could not be left alive during the timeline of A New Hope. Even the creators of Rebels hinted that he was too big to be kept alive. It is a shame Rebels is more of kid's show, so instead of some rather silly filler episodes they didn't work on Maul's story more elaborately, but we got what we got.


It's not often that someone just stands by and watches a duel, with nothing more to do but focus on that one thing. Due to those doors closing in Episode 1, that's all he could do.

In addition to this, it was the most important duel in Obi-Wan's life up to that point... the death of his master. Something he'll never forget.

Therefore​ it truly stuck in his head. Maul is an excellent fighter. He has a move and counter move for almost everything. This is how he continues to improve.

Obi-Wan baited him into that same move, the one thing he could remember about Maul's fighting, above all else. A flaw he saw all those years ago... which he could now exploit... and exploit he must, since the fate of the chosen one and therefore​ the galaxy hangs in the balance. No mistakes can be made.

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