Solo and the Secret History of its Big Bad Evil Guy
Major Spoilers Abound
Solo: A Star Wars Story is a wild, thrilling ride and a great addition to the saga’s big screen legacy. The movie is filled with Easter eggs and they are fun to see, hear or otherwise identify. Solo is faithful to the tried and true idea that someone darker, more powerful, and more secretive is pulling the strings in the background. And wow, does this movie deliver a huge surprise at the end when that big bad evil guy is revealed. I heard a few gasps and exclamations when Qi’ra contacted her boss in the movie’s final moments. Most notably, people said, “I thought he was dead.” Not everybody has kept up on Solo’s big bad evil guy and his appearance via hologram on Dryden Vos’s ship was a genuinely shocking and confusing moment to some movie goers. Here is a guide to what’s been going on with Dryden and Qi’ra’s boss – the ultimate big bad evil guy in Solo. Hopefully, the timeline below helps you understand how Maul fits into Solo as well as other Star Wars media. Read-on below the timeline for more details.
The Maul Chronology in years before the Battle of Yavin IV
32 BBY – Darth Maul five-part comic from Marvel, February to July 2017
32 BBY – Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace motion picture, May 1999
20 BBY – Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3, episode 14 “Witches of the Mist” January 2011
20 BBY – tar Wars: The Clone Wars season 4, episode 21 “Brothers” March 2012
20 BBY – Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 4, episode 22 “Revenge” March 2012
20 BBY – Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 5, episode 1 “Revival” September 2012
20 BBY – Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 5, episode 14 “Eminence” January 2013
20 BBY – Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 5, episode 15 “Shades of Reason” January 2013
20 BBY – Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 5, episode 16 “The Lawless” February 2013
19 BBY – Darth Maul Son of Dathomir four-part comic from Dark Horse, May to August 2014
19 BBY – Ahsoka young adult novel, October 2016
10 BBY – Solo: A Star Wars Story motion picture, May 2018
3 BBY – Star Wars Rebels season 2, episodes 21 and 22 “Twilight of the Apprentice” March 2016
2 BBY – Star Wars Rebels season 3, episode 3 “The Holocrons of Fate” October 2016
2 BBY – Star Wars Rebels season 3, episode 11 “Visions and Voices” December 2016
2 BBY – Star Wars Rebels season 3, episode 20 “Twin Suns” March 2017
The last time we saw Maul on the big screen was in the closing minutes of Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace in 1999. We knew him as Darth Maul, the apprentice to Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Darth Maul was an instant and enduring fan favorite. To the disappointment of many Star Wars fans, Obi-Wan Kenobi killed the sith at the end of The Phantom Menace.
His popularity never diminished and interest in the horned villain from the planet Dathomir intensified after his untimely demise. It took twelve years until it was revealed in January 2011 in Star Wars: The Clone Wars season three, episode fourteen “Witches of the Mist” that Maul lived. “You have a brother,” Mother Talzin explains to Savage Opress. A broken image of what is unmistakably Maul comes into fractured focus in a living force globe on a nearby table. “He lives in the Outer Rim, in exile,” she says. This revelation occurs, in the Star Wars timeline, twelve years after the events of The Phantom Menace and about twenty years before the Battle of Yavin IV (when Luke Skywalker destroyed the Death Star in A New Hope).
Mother Talzin provides Savage with the means to find the exiled Maul. Months later Savage arrives at the planet Lotho Minor, a galactic dumping ground in the Outer Rim. In March 2012 at the end of season four of Star Wars: The Clone Wars in episode twenty-one, Savage discovers the fallen sith, but Maul has sunken deeply into madness. Maul has attached his body to the legs of a mechanical spider. While Maul maniacally gibbers nonsense and laughs and cries simultaneously, he remembers one thing clearly: his desire for revenge against the Jedi who took his legs.
Savage takes the weakened and profouondly disturbed Maul home to Dathomir where Mother Talzin restores most of Maul’s mind and fits him with more practical legs. From there Star Wars: The Clone Wars explores Maul’s deliberate plans at revenge Against Ob-Wan in seasons four and five. Maul solidifies a galaxy-spanning criminal syndicate called the Shadow Collective involving the Hutts, the Pykes and the Black Sun. Yes, fans of the 1996 Legends novel Shadows of the Empire, that Black Sun. Maul uses the influence of his criminal organization to establish himself as the secret ruler of Mandalore and plots his next steps.
A year later near the end of Star Wars: The Clone Wars season five in episode sixteen "The Lawless," Maul exacts his revenge on Obi-Wan. Maul does not kill Obi-Wan, but the Jedi pays a terrible price nonetheless. At this time the dark lord of the sith and Maul's former master, Darth Sidious, discovers Maul. Sidious kills Savage and rips Maul from his leadership of Mandalore and brings his former apprentice to heel.
Some weeks later Sidious uses Maul to lure Mother Talzin into the open and kills her in the four-part comic series from Dark Horse Comics, Darth Maul Son of Dathomir. Maul is rescued by Mandalorians and returns to Mandalore for a short time. While Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker rush off to save Emperor Palpantine at the beginning of Star Was Episode III Revenge of the Sith, former Jedi knight Ahsoka Tano and Clone Wars veteran Rex chase Maul off of Mandalore. Since Ahsoka no longer has dealings with the Jedi, news of her encounter with Maul never makes it off planet.
Almost ten years go by and the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story occur. And there Maul is at the end of the movie, as menacing, frightening and angry as ever. He is again the secretive head of a dangerous, shadowy, galaxy-wide criminal organization.
The story of Maul does not end when the credits roll in Solo. While Maul’s story does definitively end, his tragic finale comes eight years later. In March 2016 at the end of season two of Star Wars Rebels, in the two-part season finale "Twilight of the Apprentice", Maul is discovered lurking in an ancient Sith temple on the planet Malachor. Jedi padawan Ezra Bridger encounters Maul in the shadows of the temple and they work together to obtain a sith holocron. Maul, with Ezra’s help, uses the holocron to discover where his old enemy, Obi-Wan, is hiding.
A year later in the March 2017 near the end of Star War Rebels season three in the "Twin Suns" episode, Maul travels to Tatooine and faces Obi-Wan again in the twilight of the desert planet. Obi-Wan quickly wins the duel. As Maul lies dying he comes to understands who Obi-Wan is protecting and finally dies peacefully in Kenobi’s arms.
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