When FilmEdge attended THE CLONE WARS Season 3.5 preview screening in Hollywood recently, a theatrical edition of the upcoming three-episode story arc of the series’ new Dark Side threat Savage Opress opened the door to numerous exciting surprises. One of the most intriguing and perhaps controversial revelations is that Opress has a rather famous brother in STAR WARS mythology: none other than EPISODE I’s vicious Sith apprentice Darth Maul. With the latest issue of Star Wars Insider magazine arriving in fans’ mailboxes this week, the other shoe has finally dropped and we can report the other half of this story: this issue confirms that Darth Maul is alive and “living in exile in the Outer Rim,” waiting to complete his brother’s training! While Maul’s expanded universe fate has been continued, this is the first time he returns in on-screen mythology.
How is this possible? That we can’t tell yet but the answer is bound to be addressed sometime after the first three episodes to air in January 2011. Details can only be speculative at best, but the brief comments in Issue #122 and official word from our Bothan spies indicate that this is the actual Darth Maul character from THE PHANTOM MENACE, last seen cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber and tumbling down a shaft on Naboo. But STAR WARS characters have survived worse, especially Anakin Skywalker who loses an arm and burns alive at the edge of a river of molten lava by the end of the Prequel Trilogy yet gets put back together to continue his terrible ways as a Dark Lord of the Sith through the Original Trilogy films. Those medical droids can work wonders so it’s quite possible the cauterized top half of Darth Maul could be salvaged too.
So where has Maul been all this time during and after his recovery? Who, if anyone, got him back on his feet? Why has he stayed hidden in exile considering he was assumed to have died in his duel with Kenobi (at least according to on-screen feature film and CLONE WARS canon)? We’ll have to await specific answers about Maul’s history after EPISODE I in THE CLONE WARS universe and timeline, but expect continued surprises and shocking secrets revealed as George Lucas continues to keep the STAR WARS universe a dynamic and dramatic place as good and evil remain locked in conflict to bring balance to the Force and save the galaxy from total destruction.