It was a terrible episode for me. I don't mind Obiwan winning easily (dispelled a lot of notions versus-fans seemed to have about "power levels"). I don't mind Maul's death either (granted, I would've kept Maul around another season and had him killed off by Vader instead). My issue is that the entire episode didn't really feel like it served any purpose to flesh out the larger narrative. As the OP pointed out, it felt like the writers were simply trying to tie up loose ends. As if they had no idea what to do with Maul's character.
Maul should've been used as a constant catalyst for Ezra's character development. At the beginning of the season, we saw an Ezra who becoming more and more willing to do anything and everything to defeat the Sith. Somewhere along the lines, this subplot simply fizzled out and Obiwan's little speech about Ezra's vision being entirely fabricated by Maul felt like such a lazy copout. As a result, Ezra has been status quo'd back to his season 1 self as far as personality goes. No crisis of faith. No moral ambiguity. Nothing. There was so much potential with this Ezra/Maul dynamic. All wasted.
Yeah, Filoni states that in this particular case, he made the duel short to showcase how 'very good sword wielders usually have short duels'. So basically, he's saying Obi-Wan was so better than Maul that he didn't require a long fight to beat him.
^ But geez come on, it's not like this was Palpatine vs Plo Koon, or Yoda vs Ventress. There's no reason whatsoever why this couldn't and shouldn't have been a good fight, regardless of who was the superior combatant in the end.
Kenobi has grown whereas Maul is broken and hasn't moved past his own past. Kenobi is at his best in this moment and Maul is at his worst. This doesn't comtradict anything I've previously said or argued.
Oh my God. Give up already. Filoni literally just said he doesn't believe Maul is as good as Obi-Wan. That's it, the end.
You've previously argued that the only reason why Maul was beaten by Kenobi is because he's 'broken' and 'hasn't moved on', etc. Filoni stated Maul is not as good and Obi-Wan and that's why the duel was short. There's no room for misinterpretation.
Considering this is the exact same Maul who was taking on three Inqs at the same time and fighting on par with Ahsoka, it couldn't be clearer that Obi-Wan > Maul in every sense of the word.
Due to him being broken and Kenobi being justified who he was in the moment. That's the same reasoning I've cited since the beginning. Both are master swordsmen and the same tactic he used he tried again which is what was countered.
Kenobi won because he was broken and lost. Broken and lost he was still able to hold off Tano and show up inquisitors. That's how amazing he still is far past his prime.
He did use his past familiarity, and it did aid him, but that's certainly not the sole reason why he defeated Maul, lol. As much as you're familiar with your opponent, beating him in just three moves proves how far and above you are. If you think Obi only won because they are familiar with each other, you'd be mistaken. Besides, familiarity works both ways. Maul should've been less stupid and understand the opponent he was facing was extremely familiar with his combat moves.
And lmao, Maul at hist best certainly is not better than Kenobi at his best. Come on, provide evidence for your claim, please. A 'broken' Maul is not so far below a prime Maul, as evidenced by his superiority over Kanan, all the Inqs and his parity with Ahsoka Tano, who's far superior to any iteration we saw of her during TCW. His psychological state is far from good, but his combative prowess hasn't reduced to the point where you can say that if this was prime Maul, he would've defeated Obi, especially due to the extreme ease with which he did so.