Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story hit theaters this weekend and came packed with easter eggs, nods to the franchise’s past and a whole bunch of fun cameos for audiences to spot. The biggest one, however, was an appearance from a fan favorite character who we first met back in The Phantom Menace.
Paul Bettany’s Dryden Vos mentions earlier in the movie that he answers to a dangerous boss. But it’s not until Qi’ra betrays him that we find out who the real puppet master of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate is: Darth Maul, the Emperor’s former apprentice!
Yes, the Sith Lord is back in action and it’s a pretty big deal, as this is the first time a Star Wars movie has followed up on a major development that happened in a different medium. Of course, some fans might be left scratching their heads as to how Maul is alive at this point in the timeline, as he was cut in two by Obi-Wan back before the Clone Wars. Rebels reveals, though, that his top half survived that ordeal and, now equipped with robot legs, he based himself on his homeworld of Dathomir and ingratiated himself into the criminal underworld.
In case you haven’t yet seen the shocking cameo that’s got everyone talking, a photo of Maul’s appearance in Solo has leaked onto the web today and you can check it out in the gallery below. It’s not much, but for those who’ve yet to catch the film in theaters, it should definitely whet the appetite.
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It’s also worth noting that Ray Park portrays Darth Maul once again in Solo, which is nice for fans, as the actor hasn’t touched the role in almost two decades. Furthermore, in an excellent preservation of continuity, the evil Zabrak is still voiced by Sam Witwer, who gave Park’s character new life in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.
Though he’s only seen briefly in the movie, one wonders how exactly Maul will come into play in the future. Whether it’s in a comic book or second film, the Anthology pic definitely suggests that the villain has a larger role in all this, and we’re intrigued to see where he pops up again.
Whatever the studio decides to do with him from here, the decision to bring Darth Maul back is as exciting as it is unexpected, and is yet another reason to go check out Solo: A Star Wars Story in theaters.