No Force Users, Please
As we mentioned earlier, the end of Solo has a big cameo, which reveals that Darth Maul is the secret leader of the Crimson Dawn. The one-time apprentice of Emperor Palpatine is shown to make dark and ominous arrangements with Qi’ra before the film’s end. Given that she’s Han’s ex (and that he still has feelings for her), Solo clearly posits a potential rivalry between the two outlaws. But please Lucasfilm, don’t make Maul into a villain for Han to personally vanquish. Keep him as an enigmatic, shadowy string-puller. A phantom menace, if you will.
We have no problem with Maul as an antagonist by any means. He’s unarguably intimidating, and ripe for future films to embellish. Moreover, the chance to see him involved in the growing conflict between criminal syndicates sounds like an intriguing prospect. But let’s be honest, if he reappeared in a Solo follow-up, Han would be completely outmatched by the ferocious dark side user.
Pitting him against Maul runs the risk of including somewhat contrived situations. After all, neither can significantly impact each other, given that they need to survive until Star Wars Rebels and The Force Awakens, respectively. Plus, since Maul is a Force-user, it would kind of undermine Han’s limited knowledge of (and disinterest in) the Force that we witness in A New Hope.
And then there’s the fact that it would go against the premise of the “A Star Wars Story” brand that’s been established so far. Sure, we’re only two spinoffs into the Anthology series, yet the whole point of these movies was that they’re adjuncts to the main narrative thread of the saga. Moreover, with Rogue One, it’s clear that they’re here to embellish the galaxy and explore smaller characters and stories.
No one’s suggesting that the conflict between the Jedi and Sith doesn’t have huge implications for the galaxy. But by foregrounding mystical warriors in adventures which don’t necessarily need them (like Han’s), the galaxy could begin to feel more insular rather than more expansive.
Then again, that doesn’t mean that Solo’s sequels should shun every aspect of Star Wars thus far. It’s a case of being savvy and selective where the narrative is concerned. And there’s one area that’s ripe for a revisit.