Henry Gilroy added, “Most of the fighting is being done in their head before they actually ever fight.” Indeed, both Obi-Wan and Maul had years and years to map out this moment in their heads, unlike the first time they clashed. Not only that but the battle had much more thematic resonance to it that needs to be taken into account — it’s not purely about lightsabers smashing into one another. Sure, that must be part of it, but it has to be about more than that. If it was purely about spectacle and lightsabers, “Attack of the Clones” would probably be considered to be the best “Star Wars” movie out there.
The way the duel unfolds brings this loop to a close in poetic, “Star Wars” fashion. Yes, the actual fight is swift, with Obi-Wan using his wits and slightly less flashy fighting style to best Maul. All of those years of rage, in the end, didn’t help Maul when the time came. Yet, even after all of the bitterness between them, the whole thing concludes with an oddly touching moment. It’s not only resonant, but it’s deeply unexpected. For those who can embrace the jarring nature of how short the actual fight was, it’s a chef’s kiss moment.
For all of the praise the episode has received over the years though, Gilroy is pretty humble in speaking about his contribution. “I don’t think about my part in it so much. I’m glad that people are touched by this and like it,” he said.
“Star Wars Rebels” is currently streaming on Disney+.