Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) was written and directed by George Lucas, produced by Lucasfilm, distributed by 20th Century Fox and stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Pernilla August, and Frank Oz.
Set 32 years before the original trilogy, during the era of the Galactic Republic, the plot follows Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi as they try to protect Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo in hopes of securing a peaceful end to an interplanetary trade dispute. Joined by Anakin Skywalker—a young slave with unusually strong natural powers of the Force—they simultaneously contend with the mysterious return of the Sith.
During the Invasion of Naboo at the climax of The Phantom Menace, saw Obi-Wan Kenobi and his master Qui-Gon Jinn taking on the titular hidden threat, a genuine dark lord of the Sith, Darth Maul. Maul was at his peak, and angry.
Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi engage in a two-on-one battle against Darth Maul. Together, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan seem evenly matched against Darth Maul, with both sides getting in an occasional punch or kick against the other party.
Darth Maul gains the upper hand by temporarily knocking Obi-Wan out of the fight, causing him to fall several levels beneath himself and Qui-Gon. Then Darth Maul begins to fight in a more defensive manner, giving ground and luring Qui-Gon away from Obi-Wan and towards the laser walls.
The dark side of the Force so coursed through Darth Maul’s veins, he couldn’t stop moving. When separated from the Jedi by force fields, he paced back and forth while Qui-Gon sat and meditated. Maul then kills Qui-Gon Jinn but is defeated when Obi-Wan Kenobi bisects him with a shockingly non-fatal blow.
Obi-Wan lashes out from an impossible situation and cuts Maul in half, sending him falling down a near-bottomless-looking shaft. It turns out that Darth Maul didn’t die, and was kept alive for years in a dark side rage in a literal pile of garbage, living solely off dark side energy fueled by his hatred of Kenobi.
The rivalry between him and Obi-Wan Kenobi dates all the way back to both men’s days before the fall of the Republic and decades passed since their first showdown in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace when we finally saw their conflict to a satisfying conclusion in the Star Wars Rebels animated series.
Disney’s got a whole lot of Star Wars shows coming to its Disney Plus streaming service, and one will star an iconic hero: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Ewan McGregor is returning to the role of the venerable Jedi Master he played in all three Star Wars prequels.