Say what you will about the Star Wars prequel films, but even haters of that particularly divisive era in the saga’s history have to admit that these three George Lucas films have their merits. Sure, the Anakin and Padme love story is fraught with problems, and the overuse of CGI does rob some of the action sequences of the more visceral feel of the other films. However, Episodes I-III did develop fan-favorite characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Palpatine as well as add a few more memorable characters to the mythos.
Chief among these is undoubtedly Darth Maul. The double-blade lightsaber wielding Sith apprentice was a scene stealer in the marketing campaign that preceded Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and serves as the central figure in arguably one of the best battles in the entire saga. Alas, this mysterious Dathomirian Zabrak warrior made a relatively brief appearance in the films, as he was literally cut down — or in half, to be more specific — by young Obi-Wan in his film debut. Still, with Star Wars being the fantastical world it is, Maul was reintroduced into the canon with Star Wars: The Clone Wars and has become a mainstay of various other projects since. Here are a few of the ways he could pop up in the future.
1. More Star Wars Rebels
Late in Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels, Jedi-in-training Ezra Bridger came across a hooded figure that was ultimately revealed to be Maul himself. On a path for revenge against his former Sith brethren, the character proclaimed “he lives” before episode’s end. Presumably, this means he has discovered that Anakin Skywalker has taken up his place at Palpatine’s side in the guise of Darth Vader. If Star Wars fans are lucky, perhaps someday soon Maul and Vader could cross blades in an epic showdown featuring two of the saga’s most notorious villains.
2. A Maul standalone film
Actor Ray Park brought Maul to life in The Phantom Menace, and while Peter Serafinowicz — currently starring in the Amazon pilot, The Tick — provided the character’s unforgettable voice, Park himself has kept rumors alive about reprising the role in a live-action standalone film. Now that Maul is an established presence and has been extended to other stories, there’s little reason that Park couldn’t slip back into the signature red and black makeup once more. After all, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett spinoffs are rumored to be in the queue following the upcoming Han Solo film. Why not give Maul his chance?
3. A new in-canon novel
Since decades of Star Wars extended universe projects were swept away following Disney’s 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm, there’s a real opportunity for some of today’s most acclaimed sci-fi authors to explore Maul’s backstory in a new novel (or even a comic book). Such a move would be a far less costly way for the execs at Disney to test the fanbase’s interest in a Maul-centric story before moving into a more elaborate endeavor featuring the character in the lead.
4. Reappearance in the new trilogy
As of now, none of the in-canon material has nailed down Maul’s fate during or after the original trilogy. Now that The Force Awakens has pushed the saga a full 30 years or so after Return of the Jedi, Maul could easily re-emerge as either part of the First Order, a reluctant ally to the Resistance, or a wild card of his very own. Seeing the former Sith apprentice share the screen with Rey and Luke would also help connect all three trilogies together, a sensible decision since Maul is largely considered a bright spot of the prequels.
5. A limited web series or television show
Since establishing more family-friendly fare with its Avengers-related films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has embraced darker stories with its Netflix series. Since both Marvel and Star Wars are Disney-owned multimedia shared universes, the latter could take a similar approach. Talk of a live-action Star Wars series has been ongoing for over a decade. Why not develop a Netflix show or mini-series out of the widely beloved Maul as the first entry into the sinister underbelly of the Star Wars universe? Such a project would be cheaper — and therefore less risky — than a film. Bonus points if Park gets the chance to return to the role.
Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable
Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!