Solo: A Star Wars Story is a surprising movie for a lot of reasons, but it's the unexpected cameo appearance of Darth Maul that has people talking most. And for good reason, seeing as the last time most movie-goers saw Darth Maul he was cut in half and sent plummeting down a reactor shaft, leaving audiences to assume he died (he didn't).
For fans of Star Wars animation, Maul surviving his bisection at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi is old news, and in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Maul reemerges from the shadows, seeking revenge. In fact, Maul's role in those series (as well as the comics) is where the bulk of his character's journey is explored, finally giving fans the look at the villain they've been wanting ever since he first shrugged off that cloak and ignited his double-bladed lightsaber.
With his cameo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, a new chapter is added to Darth Maul's story, but some viewers may still be unclear about when this cameo appearance falls in his personal timeline. For that, we've outlined Maul's history, explaining when this cameo falls and what it might mean for the character's film future.
- This Page: Darth Maul's Origins & "Death"
- Page 2: Maul's Survival, Rebirth, & The Clones Wars
- Page 3: Maul in Solo & Real Death
Last Updated: September 13, 2018
Maul: A Darth in Training
Well before he was a Darth, he was simply Maul. Born on Dathomir to Mother Talzin - leader of the Force-wielding witches, the Nightsisters - Maul and his brothers, Savage Opress and Feral, were trained from an early age to be warriors. Talzin was a close ally of Darth Sidious, and often the Sith Lord would come to Dathomir to learn new and dark Force powers from the witch. She had hopes of one day becoming his apprentice, but when Sidious noted the great potential in her son, he chose Maul instead.
Maul quickly became deeply entrenched in his Sith training, even visiting Malachor - home to an ancient Sith temple - where Sidious made him inhale the ashes of Sith warriors slain by the Jedi so he could experience their anguish and pain. From that moment on, Maul carried a deep hatred for the Jedi that was so powerful, Sidious needed to repeatedly reign him in lest he reveal the existence of the Sith too soon. To satisfy his bloodlust, Sidious sent Maul on a mission to kill pirates who were attacking Trade Federation ships, but Maul soon learned of a captured Jedi padawan and jumped at the opportunity. Hiring a group of bounty hunters (among them Cad Bane and Aurra Sing), Maul was successful in locating and killing the padawan in combat, satiating his revenge for at least a moment.
Maul "Dies" In The Phantom Menace
Come Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Sidious - or rather, Senator Palpatine of Naboo as he was known publicly - began putting his plan to bring down the Republic into motion. He secretly conspired with the Trade Federation to establish a blockade of Naboo, forcing then-Queen Amidala to seek assistance from the Senate. Palpatine manipulated Amidala into calling for a vote of no confidence in the Chancellor, enabling himself to then be voted in as the new leader, consolidating his power within the Republic.
While this political scheming was taking place, Sidious dispatched Darth Maul to eliminate the Jedi - Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi - who had been sent to accompany and safe-guard Amidala. Maul tracked the Jedi to Tatooine, where they had stopped to repair their ship (and coincidentally pick up a young slave boy and potential Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker), briefly fighting with Qui-Gon before they could escape.
Later, during the climactic showdown between the Trade Federation's droid army and the combined forces of Naboo, Maul got his chance to duel the Jedi in The Phantom Menace's now iconic "Duel of the Fates" sequence. It's during this duel that Maul kills Qui-Gon, but in retaliation, Obi-Wan gets the upper hand on Maul, slicing him in half and kicking him into the seemingly bottomless pit of Naboo's reactor shaft.
And, for years, the image of Maul's bisected body plummeting down that shaft was the last anyone saw of him - until Lucasfilm Animation found a way to bring him back.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019