With Luke Skywalker delving into the past of the Jedi in Star Wars Episode 8, could another shadow from the past, the Sith Lord Darth Maul, also return?
Mark Hamill has confirmed that filming on Star Wars Episode 8 will wrap on July 22, and surprisingly, there haven't been that many leaks from the set. As a result, the film remains relatively unspoiled even for those who are actively searching for details on the film, so could it be that a hugely significant character return is being hidden from us? Samuel L. Jackson has teased that he thinks Mace Windu is alive, but he's not the one we're talking about! No, the man we're talking about is Darth Maul, the apprentice to Darth Sidious who seemingly died in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. If you haven't watched the animated shows you may be a bit confused right now, so if you want to avoid spoilers for Star Wars Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, look away now!
In Clone Wars, it's revealed that despite being cut in half and despite the fall down that rather deep shaft, Darth Maul survived the events of Episode 1. He lived in a junkyard and had the body of a robotic spider for awhile before his brother took him to someone who gave him robotic legs, and his arc on the show was about his quest for vengeance against Obi-Wan Kenobi. He survived the events of the show, and more recently appeared on the finale for Star Wars Rebels Season 2, where he attempted to corrupt Ezra but was ultimately foiled. While he was unable to carry out his plan though, he managed to escape the planet alive.
So what relevance does this have to Star Wars Episode 8, we hear you ask? It's just some animated TV show, right? The significance of Maul's survival is the fact that while the old Star Wars comics are considered non-canon, both animated shows are officially considered to be lore, and are therefore canonical with the Star Wars films. Therefore if Maul is alive in Rebels Season 2, what's not to say he's still alive in Star Wars Episode 8? He could even be behind the First Order!
Think about it: after the fall of the Empire, a mysterious First Order comes out of nowhere and immediately fills the power void. Maul was shown to be wary of Vader in the Rebels Season 2 finale, but now he's out of the picture, he could be coming out of the shadows once more. He's shown he can build empires because he formed the Shadow Collective (an alliance of the biggest criminal organisations including the Hutts and Black Sun), so building the First Order could be well within his capabilities. For regular updates on Star Wars, click the green subscribe button below. What do you think? Would you like to see Darth Maul return?