Cartoons, Movies

Darth Maul, 1999-99… and 2012+

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Maul dead.jpg

?From USA Today:

Star Wars fans felt the shaft in The Phantom Menace when Darth Maul
was introduced and quickly killed off — and so did the spiffy-looking
Sith lord, who fell to his death after being sliced in two by a
lightsaber.

You
can’t keep a great villain down, though. And that’s why Darth Maul will
be resurrected this spring, making his grand re-entry into Star Wars mythology in episodes of the Cartoon Network animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Filoni was as surprised as anyone during a Clone Wars story meeting when Star Wars creator George Lucas
asked Filoni to figure out a way to bring Darth Maul back.

I almost decided to post a video of me shaking my head in sadness and mild contempt, because that’s all I really want to say on the matter. But god forbid you be denied my insight, so:
? Of course it’s Lucas making the request. In 2011. 12 years after he decided to arbitrarily kill the most popular character in the first prequel. Seriously, I think George Lucas has some ind of disability where he has a good idea, but can’t execute it — he has to wait until enough time passes that it becomes a spectacularly bad idea, and only then does he act on it. Keeping Darth Maul alive in TPM to be the main antagonist throughout the prequels? Good idea. Adding Darth Maul to the fourth season of Clone Wars, which is set just before Revenge of the Sith, where Darth Maul doesn’t exist? Dumb. Late and dumb.
? Also:

[Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni] had
introduced a similar warrior, the powerhouse Savage Opress, in the third
season of Clone Wars because of the lack of a Maul-type antagonist.

…except for Count Dooku, General Grievous, Asajj Ventress, and yes, Savage Opress, who looks exactly like Darth Maul because he’s Darth Maul’s fucking brother. Other than that? It was a total void only arbitraily resurrecting Darth Maul could fill.
? Here’s the money quote for me:

“He is such a dynamic and exciting character,” says Dave Filoni, supervising director for Clone Wars.
“He made such a huge impression in that first film that when you go
back and look at the prequels, you forget he’s not in all three.”

I don’t, because I saw Darth Maul cut in half, and Lucas kept adding villains in the other prequels, none of which were as cool as Maul. And yeah, Darth Maul stands out, but that may be less to his credit than the fact that no other character in the three prequels made any kind of impression.

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.