Continuing on in my Darth Maul exploration project, after Darth Maul and Savage Oppress are able to escape after being wounded and losing any potentially allegiant pirates on Florrum, Obi-Wan Kenobi discusses what happened with Yoda, Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker, and Chancellor Palpatine. We hear Palpatine trying to conclude the matter: “I think we have closure on this matter, Master Kenobi.”
Yet, Obi-Wan Kenobi protests:
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “I disagree, Chancellor. Everything we’ve learned from this is that the Sith are persistent. They will not die.”
Chancellor Palpatine: “I understand your reservations, Master Kenobi, but I am afraid we can no longer allow this personal matter of yours to be a Republic concern. It does not appear that this Darth Maul is a direct threat to the Republic. We need to redirect your efforts to the cause at hand. Stopping Count Dooku and, thus, ending the Clone Wars.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Maul was trying to build an army of pirates.”
Chancellor Palpatine: “So let him. Let him play with the rabble. They’re just petty crooks. It is of no relevance to the Senate compared to the Separatist threat. Good day, gentlemen.”
It is fascinating that Chancellor Palpatine really wants to focus on the Clone Wars and not mess around with “just petty crooks.” He is saying that he sees them as being incomparable to the Separatist threat. So what if they’re Sith? What’s really fascinating, however, is that Chancellor Palpatine frames it as a “personal matter” of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s and not a matter that is part of the broader Jedi-Sith issue. And even when Obi-Wan Kenobi tells him that Darth Maul is trying to build a small army, Palpatine still thinks it is a small issue, not worthy of their attention.
Chancellor Palpatine then leaves, leaving the four Jedi to confer:
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Something is stirring in the underworld. The crime families have had too much free reign since the Jedi have been distracted by the Clone War. I fear it is a fertile place for Maul to flourish, if he has, indeed, survived.”
Yoda: “Right you may be, Obi-Wan. But heed the words of the Chancellor, we must. A personal matter this is for you. Clouded your judgment may be. In time, if he lives, reveal himself again, Maul will. And then, swiftly, we shall act.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi certainly has a great feel for what is going on and the possibilities for Darth Maul “to flourish”, that is, provided he survived, which is unclear. Yet, Yoda advises him to heed the words of the chancellor, but does acknowledge the danger that Darth Maul provides.
We then see a closing shot of a smiling chancellor at the end. From his smiling, it’s clear that the interactions above were not just some powerful politician unwilling to listen; but rather someone with other intentions. It’s not clear, however, why he’s smiling, but here are some possibilities:
- He is glad that Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is Anakin’s master, is upset and distracted by Darth Maul
- He is glad that his former apprentice, Darth Maul, is so powerful
- He is glad that he was able to focus the Jedi on dealing with the Clone Wars (which works into his larger plan (Darth Maul’s shenanigans do not))
In any event, due to Chancellor Palpatine’s influence, the Jedi do not pursue Darth Maul and Savage Oppress (and it’s perceived as a “personal matter” of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s and not something that pertains to the Republic), leaving them to be (until they pop up again).