By kbroskywalker 120 Comments
An issue of contention recently has been about how rebels Maul compares to his TCW incarnation which many assume is inferior. IMO, Rebels Maul is the superior version combatively
Growth as a Duelist
First off let's establish that rebels Maul is canonically more skilled thanks to Feloni's(someone with authority over sw rebels as the head of all animation) statements on Rebels Recon which is Officially released Star Wars material that is published on starwars.com episode guides and hence is Canon:
The reasons for the short depiction of maul's duel with Kenobi were
A. for storytelling purposes it was supposed to be symbolic of their respective growth as characters
B. Because maul and Kenobi and Maul had fought each other multiple times
C. Given the more realistic kind of fighting they styled this after, the shorter fight was chosen partially because the duo improved as duelists and in real life, very good fighters have short fights:
"The actual duel is very short, how did you come to the conclusion it had to come this way?...(feloni) If you talk to a lot of people who sword fight, they'll tell you people who are So that scene, its a homage to the 7th samurai. I think on one level people would be excited to see . But I just never really saw the confrontation that way because to do that is to say
Even if you want to interpret growth to not refer to Maul's skill as duelist(even though the context is clearly about his ability as a combatant), Him being "very good" swordsman as a reason for the shorter fight compared to his and Kenobi's longer "prolonged" fights in TCW clearly indicates growth.
To demonstrate what I mean:
"The actual duel is very short, how did you come to the conclusion it had to come this way?...(feloni) If you talk to a lot of people who sword fight, they'll tell you people who are So that scene, its a homage to the 7th samurai. I think on one level people would be excited to see fight."
In addition to making clear what "growth" refers to, this alone indicates that Maul grew as a duelist back from when they had "prolonged lightsaber duels". So there's no getting around this, Maul, like Kenobi, is a better swordsman than he was during TCW/SOD.
Many have argued that Maul could have grown in some ways while declining as a duelist overall. However, Maul being a "very good" swordsman compared to his TCW counterpart indicates overall improvement. And as physical ability is a factor in sword fighting, this would also be considered for in the quote.
Maul is canonically a better duelist as of Rebels than TCW.
Growth as a Force User
While there is nothing explicitly stating maul grew more powerful(disregarding sw.com blogs of questionable continuity), we can logically infer this.
For one thing, force users grow over time, and Maul had 15 years to grow. Additionally, Maul was active during this time period.
A. collected artifacts:
"I have gathered many things...these are artifacts from my past, from a time when my power was almost absolute"
Now many have taken "my power was almost absolute" to indicate Maul was more powerful back during his TCW days. But this is completely ignoring the context of the quote. Maul's power being "almost absolute" would be referring to his rule of Mandalore and his challenging of the cis and the republic for almost absolute power
B. Was looking for holocrons(the whole reason he came to malachor in the first place)
C. Was menacing the empire, hence why he was referred to as a "shadow" and inspired fear in the inquisitors:
Additionally during Star Wars celebration, when talking about Maul's personal growth, feloni said the following:
"Maul hasn't experienced any personal growth, he hasn't gotten over anything. He hasn't grown, except in his "
This is relevant because Darksiders combatively grow stronger when they more heavily draw on anger and hate. And this was a source of TCW Maul's growth from his TPM incarnation:
Jedi Salmara : '' I imagine this hatred-- This rage-- Fueled him and kept him alive. Coming back from near death may have made the .''
Source : Darth Maul: Death Sentence #01 (2012)
Anger sustained Maul during TCW:
So Vader holds on to life at the edge of the lava flow, because he is such a condemned for Obi-Wan, such an anger for whose happens in his life. And that same type of focus, hatred what sustains Maul.''
Source : Star Wars Celebration Clone Wars Season Five Premiere
If anger and hatred are sustaining and making maul stronger than logically maul's anger and the need for growing for revenge would only serve as sources of combative strength.
And of course there's Maul showcasing new abilities he's never shown before, like
-creating visions of himself from across the galaxy(or from across a planet) for other force users:
So given Maul improved as a duelist, has had 15 years to grow in power, has been collecting knowledge and holocrons, has been active, and has learned new abilities, and has more of the emotions that have driven his past versions and drive Darksiders in general. I think it's fair to say that Rebels maul is prime maul.
There've been misconceptions brought from quotes that have been taken out of context. For example:
Dave Filoni : “I felt strongly Obi-Wan, if he could help it, would really rather not kill Darth Maul. He’s not that young brash kid that went into a fight with Maul out of anger for the fact his master was killed. It can’t be that same situation this is so many years later. ”
Filoni hopes the duel, and the moments after, are the perfect representation of one of the most important conflicts in all of Star Wars.
“It really is to express the difference between the Jedi and the Sith. Which is the Jedi become selfless and the Sith remain selfish. , which I think is why in the end you see Maul being cradled by Obi-Wan.''
Yes, Maul was broken and lost...
As a character/"person"
the quote is talking about light vs dark side and how Kenobi as a lightsider as a representation of the lightside being the better path. This would also apply to TCW/TPM Maul.
For another example:
Witwer: He has this ambition that still exists inside him and that ambition is eating him up –.
yet again, context. Maul is past his prime and his "glory years" and is a "sadder character". This isn't talking about maul's combative abilities.
Regardless. Even if people want to say, "we don't know, not enough info", fine. But arguing or acting as of TCW maul is superior or lowering characters who get scaling off of rebels maul(Ahsoka/Kenobi etc.) on the basis of rebels maul being post prime when all the evidence points to the opposite is completely illogical and is only diminishing a great character.
Rebels Maul is prime Maul