After what seems like eternity, Star Wars has finally revealed why Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi had to struggle to beat Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Darth Maul was under the limelight during the film’s marketing back in 1999 when George Lucas launched the prequel trilogy. “At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi,” said George Lucas, speaking for the Sith. “At last we will have revenge.”
Darth Maul Confronted Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan
Darth Maul finally had a face-off with Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his fellow apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, thus concluding The Phantom Menace. This encounter was called the “Duel of the Fates,” and unsurprisingly, the entire Skywalker saga‘s future depended on its result. “[Qui-Gon] is fighting for Anakin Skywalker,” explained Lucasfilm’s Dave Filoni in a recent Star Wars documentary. “That’s why it’s the Duel of the Fates; the fate of this child, and depending on how this fight goes, [Anakin’s] life is going to be dramatically different.” The Duel of the Fates scene showed Darth Maul’s power and prowess, as he successfully battled against not just one but two skilled Jedi.
Claudia Gray’s Star Wars novel Into The Dark Clears Things Up
Fans wondered how Darth Maul could fight two Jedi. Now, Claudia Gray’s Star Wars novel Into The Dark finally explains it. The novel is set at the peak of the High Republic Era, about 200 years before Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Into The Dark explains that at the time of the setting the Jedi had stopped focusing on lightsaber dueling. Only a few Jedi had fallen to the shadows over the last few centuries and the Sith were thought to be extinct. Jedi had ceased training in the forms of lightsaber combat, since they were viewed as unneeded. Presumably, this attitude lasted until the beginning of the prequel era. Consequently, neither Qui-Gon Jinn nor Obi-Wan Kenobi would have focused on training with lightsaber. It’s obvious that they were out of their depth.
Who did Darth Maul Kill?
The fact is Qui-Gon Jinn wasn’t actually Darth Maul’s first victim. The comics revealed that a Sith Master challenged their apprentice to prove themselves. The challenge was to acquire the kyber crystal from a Jedi’s lightsaber to corrupt it and forge their own blade. And Darth Maul’s double-bladed lightsaber seemed to have integrated more than one kyber crystal. This suggests that he had defeated many Jedi from the dark side over the years. He triumphantly killed Qui-Gon but ultimately slipped off his own hubris as he underestimated Obi-Wan.
Undoubtedly, the news of the return of the Sith forced the Jedi to adjust their training. They began tutoring pupils in other lightsaber forms which were far more suited to blade-to-blade combat. For instance, Anakin Skywalker’s favorite form was Form V which was devised to give an aggressive edge while fighting against a Sith. The irony was that it was Obi-Wan Kenobi – Master of the defensive Form III – who turned out to be dangerous to the Sith. To add to his laurels, he defeated Darth Vader himself on Mustafar!