The expansion of Star Wars canon over the years in various movies, TV shows, video games, comic books and novelizations has added countless layers of mythology onto the franchise, often leading to elaborate and complicated backstories for characters that have only been glimpsed fleetingly in live-action.
It’s often used to give more depth to those that quickly become fan favorites but don’t factor heavily into Disney and Lucasfilm’s big screen plans in a major way, and Darth Maul has turned out to be one of the biggest beneficiaries. Maul almost instantly ascended to iconic status following his debut in The Phantom Menace, and despite being killed off by the end of the movie, he hasn’t lost any of his popularity in the two decades since.
As well as playing a featured role in the critically-acclaimed latter seasons of The Clone Wars, the Sith also made a cameo appearance in Solo, while his origins have been explored in detail across numerous forms of Star Wars-related media. However, one thing that nobody seemed able to explain was why Darth Maul had his left ear pierced – but now we finally have our answer.
It turns out it has absolutely nothing to do with Star Wars at all, and is purely down to late 1990s accessorizing. Ray Park simply forgot to remove his earring when it came time to get into the makeup chair during shooting of The Phantom Menace, and as a result, it ended up staying in the movie because nobody seemed to notice that Darth Sidious’ apprentice also happened to be a bit of a fashionista.
Even the minutiae of the Star Wars universe has a reason behind it thanks to the expanded universe, but in the case of Darth Maul, it was just a case of an actor forgetting to remove his earring and George Lucas letting it slide.