The climax of Solo took viewers by surprise when Lucasfilm revealed that the man behind Crimson Dawn was actually the former Sith Apprentice, Darth Maul. As far as general moviegoers were aware, Maul was killed years before the events of Solo back in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. George Lucas had regretted that decision, however, and resurrected him in the animated Clone Wars series. Lucasfilm took the unprecedented step of bringing him back to the big screen in Solo, proving that their Star Wars mediums really are closely woven together.
The return of The Clone Wars series gives Lucasfilm the perfect chance to wrap up Maul's story, positioning him for the role he'll play in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Showrunner Dave Filoni has always been fond of tying plot threads together, and this is one he'll surely find irresistible.
Darth Maul May Have A Key Role in The Clone Wars Revival
In Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 5, the resurrected Maul became leader of a vast criminal organisation known as the Shadow Collective. Maul used the Shadow Collective to launch a coup on the planet Mandalore, successfully overthrowing Duchess Satine Kryze. The Mandalorian terrorists known as the Death Watch were split by Maul's coup, half siding with him, and half refusing to serve a non-Mandalorian. Unfortunately for Maul, his attempt to gain power earned the attention of his old master, Darth Sidious, who captured him.
The Clone Wars season 6 would have continued Maul's story, with the former Sith Apprentice rescued by his agents. Maul swore vengeance on both the Jedi and the Sith, and reclaimed control of Mandalore. Moving into the final season, Filoni had planned to present the "Siege of Mandalore," with Ahsoka Tano leading an attack upon Mandalore to capture Maul. The Siege of Mandalore would have been concurrent with events in Revenge of the Sith, culminating in the horror of Order 66.
It looks as though The Clone Wars season 7 will stick to the "Siege of Mandalore" plot. The teaser showed a holo-image of Ahsoka, standing next to Bo-Katan of the Death Watch - one of the Republic's key allies in the attack on Mandalore. That means Darth Maul will be a major antagonist, and Dave Filoni will have a unique chance to tie some important plot threads together.
The Formation of Crimson Dawn
Clearly, Maul's defeat at Mandalore will see the end of the Shadow Collective. But smart writing from Filoni's team would allow him to set up Maul's next criminal enterprise as seen in Solo, Crimson Dawn. This could be done simply by ensuring some of Maul's power-base survive, most likely members of the Pyke Syndicate, a powerful and dangerous spice cartel.
Solo confirmed that, after the Siege of Mandalore, Maul established his base on his homeworld of Dathomir. This is a remote world populated by powerful Force-sensitives, and - crucially - it's known for its red sun. A perfect way to end the Star Wars: The Clone Wars revival would, perhaps, be to show Maul staring up at the sky, swearing that there would be a "crimson dawn" across the galaxy - the rise of a new, brutal and bloody power, one that he commanded. From there, the former Sith Apprentice's story would naturally flow on to the events of Solo, by which time his new criminal empire had become a force to be reckoned with across the galaxy.
Given Solo: A Star Wars Story's poor box office performance, it's sadly possible that the Maul reveal will never be explored on the big screen. Thankfully, Lucasfilm truly do believe that everything they do is connected, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars would be the perfect opportunity to reveal the story of Maul's fall and rise.
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