‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’: The Wild Story Behind That Unforgettable Cameo

Solo: A Star Wars Story ends in a way no one could have possibly predicted. (Spoiler alert!) We get a surprise cameo, but it’s not Jabba the Hutt or Boba Fett; it’s Darth Maul.

If you only watch the Star Wars movies, this was probably confusing considering Maul was cut in half in The Phantom Menace. So how did he survive? That question has actually already been answered in the tie-in shows The Clone Wars and Rebels.

Here’s the crazy story behind how Darth Maul returned to life in Star Wars and what he ends up doing after the events of Solo (page 8).

Maul ends up in a junkyard after his duel with Obi-Wan

Darth Maul survives on this junkyard planet

Darth Maul survives on this junkyard planet. | Lucasfilm

In The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan Kenobi cuts Darth Maul in half, and we see him tumbling to his death down a reactor shaft.

But what we didn’t see in the movie was that Maul used the Force to grab onto an air vent as he was falling. He ended up in a trash container and was ultimately dumped onto Lotho Minor, a junkyard world.

Next: How Maul lived for so long

He survives for years with spider legs

Darth Maul with spider legs

Darth Maul survives for years with spider legs. | Lucasfilm

After being dumped on Lotho Minor, Maul survived for years fueled by anger and a desire to exact revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi.

During this time, he had the bottom half of his body replaced with robotic spider-type legs. He also made a deal with a talking snake named Morley who agreed to bring him food.

Next: How Maul gets off the planet

Maul’s brother finds and rescues him

Savage Opress and his brother Darth Maul

Savage Opress and his brother Darth Maul | Lucasfilm

It turns out, Darth Maul has a brother named Savage Opress. Once Opress finds out that his brother is still alive, he sets out to find him and ultimately does so.

Opress brings Maul back to their home planet of Dathomir where Talzin, a Force-sensitive witch and Maul’s mother, uses a spell to repair Maul’s mind and give him new robot legs made up of droid parts.

Next: How Maul gets involved in the crime world

Maul and his brother form a criminal alliance

Maul's Shadow Collective

Maul forms an alliance known as Shadow Collective. | Lucasfilm

Soon, Maul and Opress form a criminal alliance known as the Shadow Collective. This consists of a bunch of different groups, including the Pyke Syndicate. You should recognize the Pykes from Solo; they profit off of the sale of spice from the mines of Kessel.

The goal of this alliance is to take down both the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Galactic Republic. Maul himself hopes to exact revenge against Darth Sidious and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Next: Maul eventually duels this character

Maul eventually faces Palpatine

Maul fights Darth Sidious

Maul fights Darth Sidious. | Lucasfilm

After growing stronger and successfully toppling the Mandalorian government, Maul eventually gets to face Darth Sidious, a.k.a. Sheev Palpatine. But Sidious is far too strong for Maul; he ends up killing Savage Opress and taking Maul prisoner, wanting to use him in order to draw Talzin into the open and kill her.

Sidious lets Maul go, hoping that he’ll lead him to Talzin. Maul and his forces proceed to battle against the Separatists as Talzin, who has sensed Sidious and Dooku’s plot, goes into hiding.

Next: What happens with Maul’s criminal alliance

Maul loses control of his criminal alliance

Darth Maul faces Grevious

Darth Maul faces Grevious. | Dark Horse Comis

Eventually, the Shadow Collective begins to lose faith in Maul, feeling that his personal vendettas against Palpatine and Obi-Wan are interfering with their plans and forcing them to suffer heavy losses in battle.

His time with the group essentially comes to an end after many of his forces are lost in a battle with Sidious, Dooku, and General Grievouss, and during one of these battles, Grievous kills Talzin. Some of the other members of the Shadow Collective abandon Maul.

Maul’s remaining troops go to Mandalore, where they come under attack by the Jedi and Maul flees.

Next: How this brings us to Solo

In Solo, Maul is again leading a criminal organization

Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos in Solo: A Star Wars Story

Maul is revealed to be Dryden Vos’ boss. | Lucasfilm

We next meet Darth Maul in Solo: A Star Wars Story, where he is once again the head of a criminal organization. One of the last scenes in the film reveals that Maul was Dryden Vos and Qi’ra’s boss, and she reports to him after Dryden’s death.

Clearly, elements from Maul’s Clone Wars storyline have been carried over, as he’s seen in the movie with the same robot legs he had in the show. Presumably, Maul formed Crimson Dawn with the remaining men who were still loyal to him from the Shadow Collective.

Next: What Maul does next after Solo

Maul eventually goes after Obi-Wan Kenobi

Darth Maul - Star Wars Rebels Season 3

Darth Maul’s next target is Obi-Wan Kenobi. | Lucasfilm

You may have assumed that the Solo cameo was meant to set up the standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi movie, in which Maul can be the main villain. But actually, the confrontation between Maul and Obi-Wan was already covered in the TV show Star Wars Rebels, which takes place years after Solo.

In that show, thanks to the help of Ezra Bridger, Maul finds out that Obi-Wan survived Order 66 and is living on Tatooine, so he goes after him.

Next: How Maul’s duel with Obi-Wan plays out

Obi-Wan kills Maul on Tatooine

Obi-Wan faces Darth Maul one last time

Obi-Wan faces Darth Maul one last time. | Lucasfilm

This all culminates in one final duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul. But the duel only ends up lasting about three seconds; Obi-Wan strikes down Maul almost immediately.

In his final moments, Maul asks Obi-Wan, “Tell me, is he the chosen one?” He’s referring to Luke Skywalker, who he has deduced Obi-Wan is there to protect. Obi-Wan says, “He is.” Maul replies, “He will avenge us.”

Next: What’s next for Darth Maul?

The film’s writers explain Maul’s presence

Darth Maul in Star Wars Rebels

What’s next for Darth Maul? | Lucasfilm

In an interview, the film’s writers, Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan, have explained why Maul ended up in the movie.

It sounds like it was mainly Jonathan Kasdan’s idea; he says he wanted someone big and scary that Dryden Vos needed to answer to, and it made sense within the canon for it to be Maul.

So will we see Maul again, and if so, where? One obvious conclusion is that his cameo is meant to set up the rumored Obi-Wan movie. But the Obi-Wan vs. Maul plot was already done on Rebels. It could also be that Maul is being set up for a Solo sequel, or perhaps the Boba Fett movie. A third option is that it was just a fun cameo meant to tie into the TV shows and we’ll never see Maul again.

But let’s hope that’s not true and that Lucasfilm has something interesting planned for him going forward.

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