Darth Maul is one of the most misused characters in Star Wars history. Here is how he should have been used in the prequel trilogy.
Darth Maul is undoubtedly one of the coolest characters in Star Wars history. Though he had just six minutes of screen time in the movies, he certainly made his mark. His red and black tattoos, acrobatic fighting style and, of course, dual-bladed lightsaber made him a fan-favorite character.
Though he was defeated in The Phantom Menace by Obi-Wan Kenobi, his resurgence in The Clone Wars is incredible and made him one of my favorite characters in Star Wars. Despite how great of a character he was on television, I can’t help but think his character’s potential was wasted when he was cut in half by Kenobi at the end of Episode I.
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One big mistake I believe the prequel trilogy made was its misuse of some of its characters. Qui-Gon Jinn was a great mentor to his padawan Obi-Wan and was set up to be a major influence on Anakin. But after his death in Episode I, he became a non-factor for the rest of the trilogy.
Count Dooku had a lot of potential, but his motives for joining the dark side and his impact on the Clone Wars were somewhat unclear. General Grievous was another awesome character, but he made his debut too late in the trilogy.
These characters also were not around along enough for fans to become attached to and form an emotional connection with them.
Darth Maul is no exception, and I believe he could have been used better in the prequels. Rather than dying at the hands of Obi-Wan near the end of The Phantom Menace, I think Darth Maul should have been used as Obi-Wan’s main adversary in Episodes II and III.
This is how Maul should have been used in the prequel trilogy, beginning with Episode I.
After killing Qui-Gon Jinn on Naboo, Obi-Wan and Maul’s fight should have progressed like it did. However, rather than Maul gain the upper hand only to have Obi-Wan chop him in two, Obi-Wan should have been saved by his allies on Naboo, forcing Maul to retreat and setting up a rematch in the future.
As he lay dying, Jinn would have requested that Kenobi train Anakin, but should have reminded his padawan to not let his outrage over his death cause him to lose control over his emotions when he next encounters Maul.
With his master’s last lesson in his mind, Obi-Wan would use the principle of “minimal emotions” while training Anakin, which would give a little more depth into Anakin’s internal emotional conflict that we see in Episodes II and III.
Not wanting to disappoint both Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, Anakin would struggle to keep his emotions in check while slowly falling for Padmé and losing his mother in future movies.
In Episode II, Maul would have filled the role that Count Dooku originally played. When Maul captures Obi-Wan on Geonosis, it would have added an extra layer of tension, and made their interaction and the proceeding Battle of Geonosis much more captivating.
While still on Geonosis, Anakin would defy Obi-Wan’s orders and go save Padmé when she falls off of the ship. Anakin would be defying not only his master’s orders, but also Qui-Gon’s wish to not indulge in his emotions. When he goes to rescue her, Anakin should save Padmé’s life in some way, strengthening their bond and making their romance not as forced.
He could still lose a hand here to fulfill the requirement that each movie needs to include at least one severed hand.
This would leave Obi-Wan to face Maul alone.
In the original duel, Anakin and Obi-Wan fought Dooku. In this situation, Maul would use Qui-Gon’s death and his victory in Episode I to taunt Obi-Wan, but Obi-Wan would control his emotions and show Maul that his combat skills are improved.
The battle would proceed with both Maul and Kenobi matching each other’s strength and skills until Yoda arrives, forcing Maul to go on the defensive versus the two Jedi masters until help arrives and he is able to retreat to his master, Darth Sidious. This would set up a much-anticipated finale to their feud in Episode III.
Finally, in Episode III, the original scene where Anakin decapitates Count Dooku would be different. Perhaps with a new character or number of expendable bad guys, Anakin and Obi-Wan would have still rescued the Chancellor during the Battle of Coruscant, and Chancellor Palpatine still would have convinced Anakin to take the life of a defenseless being.
Then, while they are trying to escape the ship, Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Palpatine would have been captured like they originally did.
However, rather than encountering General Grievous for the first time, the trio would have encountered Maul, and the outcome of the battle would still be the same, with Maul retreating from the sinking ship. Later on in the movie, Kenobi would have still made his way to Utapau to battle Maul and finally defeat him, giving the fans a satisfying ending to a feud that had three movies to develop.
Among all of the characters in the prequel trilogy, Darth Maul was by far the most misused. Giving him three movies to develop and fight with Obi-Wan would have made Maul not only one of the best characters in Star Wars history, but would have developed Obi-Wan and even have some effects on Anakin’s development.
What do you think of Darth Maul? How should he have been used in the prequel trilogy?