The highlight of Solo: A Star Wars Story for many fans was the shock return of Darth Maul for a brief cameo at the movie’s end, revealing him to be the secret head of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate. This was pretty surprising, as the last time we saw Maul was when he was apparently fatally injured by Obi-Wan Kenobi at the climax of The Phantom Menace, chopped in half and thrown down a reactor shaft.
As viewers of animated series The Clone Wars – and its follow-up Star Wars Rebels – know, however, Maul managed to survive. To replace his absent bottom half, the horn-faced villain got himself a pair of cybernetic legs. Turning away from the Sith, Maul then dropped the “Darth” prefix and became a fearsome crime lord, hence his change in career in Solo, alongside his brother Savage Opress (Mr. and Mrs. Maul really knew how to name their kids).
If you’re not familiar with the TV shows, though, you might have been confused as to how Maul could still be alive. The rather key fact that he has robot legs was not made explicit in Solo due to the character only appearing via hologram while sitting. This cool concept art for the movie, however, reveals what the Dathomirian’s cyborg limbs could have looked like in the film.
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Maul’s Solo: A Star Wars Story appearance was clearly opening the door for a return in a more substantial sense in a potential sequel, as he was seen calling Emilia Clarke’s Qi’Ra to meet with him so they can work more closely in the future. However, the disappointing box office returns for the pic likely mean that Solo 2 isn’t high-up on Lucasfilm’s agenda. In any case, it doesn’t matter too much for Maul’s overall arc, as Rebels already saw him die for good, once again at the hands of Obi-Wan.