Jonathan Kasdan, one of the men responsible for writing Solo: A Star Wars Story, has opened up about that amazing prequel era character who makes a cameo in the movie. As with any Star Wars movie, there is a lot to look out for and a whole to discuss after seeing Solo, but this particular cameo is no doubt going to be one of the most highly-discussed reveals. And rightfully so. Now, Kasdan is here to break down how it came to be.
Warning: major spoilers ahead for Solo: A Star Wars Story. The prequels are not exactly the most beloved part of Star Wars history, but there are certain elements of those movies that fans truly adore. Namely, in this case, Darth Maul, who George Lucas killed off far too soon at the end of The Phantom Menace. Now, nearly twenty years later, director Ron Howard brought him back to the big screen. Confused on how Darth Maul could even still be alive? Don't worry. We've got you covered in an extensive video we created you can watch below.
Jonathan Kasdan, who co-wrote the script with his dad and Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan, had this to say about bringing Darth Maul back to the big screen.
"So it was something that I'd been subtly laying in hopefully early on. I always sort of thought that's ... a character I adore from the prequel trilogy I felt like was underutilized in the prequel trilogy. So it was something that, when we realized that we wanted someone in the crime world above Dryden, we wanted it to feel like there were bigger fish than even the ones we get to meet in this movie. There was no one more lethal and more in the spirit of the ultimate villain that we could identify in the trilogy than him. That's something that I sort of always wanted, and Ron was very supportive of. Sort of intuited that it's what I wanted, and we made it happen."
Darth Maul, despite seemingly kicking the bucket after being cut in half by Obi-Wan, went on to live a very long time in the official Star Wars canon. He was brought back in both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels and lived nearly up to the events of the original trilogy. So his appearance in Solo actually makes a good deal of sense. Especially considering that he actually has a history with crime syndicates and, as we come to learn in the movie, Maul is the head of Crimson Dawn. Jonathan Kasdan went on to discuss his love for what was done with the character of Maul beyond the events of The Phantom Menace and how that opened the door for this cameo.
"I loved that they took him and went an interesting place with him in Rebels, and in Clone Wars, and just sort of to expand on the myth of that character, and the idea that he survived. Rebels set us in a timeframe where we were sort of in the clear, and they were allowed to sort of do what they wanted with the Shadow Collective, with the whole, you know, backstory that they were playing with, and his movement into crime that would leave us in a clear zone, so that, by the time this movie happened, it was gray where he was. And so it opened it up for us, and certainly, I think there's room to go back and forth with that character and know more because he's a rich, rich opportunity."
Despite George Lucas' best efforts, Darth Maul lives in Solo. Or at least lived on for a time and fans finally got to see him back in the world of live-action in Solo, even if it was just as a hologram. Still, it's a very cool and unexpected cameo that may very well be the definition of the term fan service, but doesn't conflict with the narrative of the movie.