The full Maul scene from Solo: A Star Wars Story has been officially released online. For the most part, critics felt the spinoff, while an entertaining ride, played things relatively safe in its depiction of young Han Solo's origins. Even those who enjoyed Solo would admit it didn't offer much in the way of surprises - until the very end, that is. In the film's third act, it's revealed none other than Darth Maul is the mastermind behind the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate, marking the villain's first big screen appearance since 1999's The Phantom Menace.
Unsurprisingly, the decision generated a fair amount of controversy, splitting the fandom as viewers debated the pros and cons of Maul's return. Given the character's popularity, Lucasfilm has leaned into his comeback to market Solo's upcoming home media release. Earlier today, two new promotional stills of actor Ray Park in costume were unveiled. Now, for those who can't wait a few more weeks until the movie comes out on digital, the full Maul sequence is now available to view online.
Coming courtesy of IGN, the clip starts at the moment Qi'ra places a call to the mysterious Crimson Dawn leader. The details of the duo's conversation are well known by now, but if one is in the need for a refresher (or simply wants to watch it again), the clip can be viewed in the space below:
Maul's path to Solo was quite interesting, as the Crimson Dawn kingpin was referred to as "boss" in the script (a list of possible candidates was developed). Co-writer Jonathan Kasdan always hoped to use Maul, and director Ron Howard advocated for the former Sith Lord as well. Perhaps things could have played differently if original helmsmen Phil Lord & Chris Miller stayed on board, but that's something viewers will likely never know. One does have to admire the choice the creative team went with, as it demonstrated a commitment to unifying the canon across all mediums. Whereas the Marvel Cinematic Universe maintains a division between its film and TV properties, Maul's cameo was the latest instance of the Star Wars movies paying respect to their small screen brethren.
Despite that, some people can't help but see the Maul scene as nothing more than empty fan service, distracting audiences from Han's character growth at the end of the film. Speaking of the MCU, the scene also had the feel of a stinger that plants seeds to be explored later. With Solo unlikely to spawn any sequels or spinoffs of its own, the onus will be on the Lucasfilm story group to find a proper conclusion for this story thread. Yes, the scene does work as an ending of sorts by illustrating Qi'ra's dedication to the criminal underworld she's a part of, but she certainly has unfinished business with Maul. A novel or comic series could be in order.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019