That Unexpected Cameo In 'Solo: A Star Wars Story,' Explained
Major Spoilers Ahead For Solo: A Star Wars Story
The Star Wars prequel trilogy famously introduced a visually striking villain that was could’ve been just as memorable as Darth Vader, if he hadn’t met an untimely end at the hand of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Rather than yet another sickly-pale man in black robes, the satanic Darth Maul oozed style and personality; killing him so quickly felt like a waste of good character design.
Thus, his appearance in Solo: A Star Wars Story was a most welcome surprise, and undoubtedly the best bit of fan service the film gave us, and they gave us rather a lot.
But if the last time you saw the guy was in The Phantom Menace, then you might be wondering how the heck he got there, considering that Solo is set long after the prequel trilogy.
Why is he still alive?
Darth Maul had a deceptively small part to play in The Phantom Menace, killing Obi-Wan’s mentor before Obi sliced him in two and tossed him down a gaping reactor shaft. But this is sci-fi, and if you don’t see a dead character’s body being obliterated into atom-dust, chances are, they’re still alive.
Thus, the canonical (and surprisingly decent) series The Clone Wars (set between Episodes II and III) plucked the wasted character out of the ether and breathed new life into him. Darth Maul did indeed fall down that reactor shaft in two pieces, but he utilized the power of the Force to guide his top half into a trash container, and ended up dumped on the hellish wasteland of Lotho Minor.
There, Maul managed to acquire creepy, spiderish robotic legs, and lived a Gollum-esque existence, muttering to himself and crawling around the dark tunnels of garbage. He was stranded on that garbage-dump planet for years, and, understandably, fell into insanity.
Eventually, he was rescued by his yellow-tinted brother, the subtly-named “Savage Opress,” who brought Maul to their mother, who happened to be a shaman. A few seconds of magic cured Maul’s insanity, and she even gave her son a new, socially acceptable pair of robotic legs.
After his rebirth, Maul and his brother went on a series of adventures, primarily fueled by the desire for revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi.