Let’s Talk About That Extremely Confusing Cameo In ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

If you've seen the film, you'll know who we are talking about.


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If you’ve seen Solo: A Star Wars Story, you’ll know that a surprise character rears his long forgotten, tusked head, and it’s extremely surprising and baffling. Is it a g-g-ghost?

*Obviously spoilers ahead*

Solo is set in an indeterminate time in the Star Wars universe, somewhere between Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One, making it bang smack in the middle of the horrible prequels and the classic trilogy. This means a few things — the film is framed against the Empire at the height of its power and cruelty, crime is rampant, and the film’s titular hero, Han Solo, is a sweet baby angel.

We get a whole bunch of fresh-faced versions of classic Star Wars characters along with Han — Young Lando, Jung Chewbacca, Millennium Falcon 1.0 — but we also get the surprise return of someone who we thought had died over twenty years earlier.

Old spike-face himself, Darth Maul.

You might remember Darth Maul being chopped in half by Obi Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace, and toppling to his certain death down some kind of fancy hole. Darth Maul was a very silent, red-faced Sith Lord whose greatest hits include using a two-sided lightsaber to drive a smoking hole through Liam Neeson’s beautiful chest.

In Solo, he appears to Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), after she kills her crime-lord boss, inferring that he was the guy in charge of the galaxy’s big-bad criminal underworld. He does so via the favoured medium of Sith lords everywhere, the wavery hologram thing. He’s definitely meant to be a surprise, unanticipated cameo in the film — a little nod to the fans.

However, to most people he’s a baffling inclusion. How on earth did he manage to survive being bisected? Isn’t he really old by now? Is it his twin brother, Marth Baul? Did they get the timing really wrong, and accidentally set Solo back in the Old Republic, making Han an old man by A New Hope?

It just seemed like a big mistake.

Turns out it wasn’t a mistake exactly, but rather a long throw to the animated Star Wars series The Clone Wars, in which it was revealed that the top half of Maul survived his dismemberment through the strength of his hatred (sure, ok?), and he got some fancy mechanical clip-clops instead.

There’s a whole bunch more about Maul, including his career-shift out of evil disciple into criminal mastermind, but honestly, the point is that the majority of Star Wars fans have no concept that Maul survived, or that the animated TV shows even exists.

So, yeah — there’s a reason Darth Maul is in Solo, you’re not going mad. Is it a good reason? I dunno.