Star Wars: The Force Awakens has created a new generation of fans, some of whom may be revisiting the first six films in the Star Wars franchise or watching them for the first time. The 1999 prequel Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace introduced the iconic Sith apprentice Darth Maul (Ray Park), although his appearance in the franchise was short-lived after he was killed off by Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi. Many fans were disappointed that this villain didn't get much screen time, so filmmaker Shawn Bu set out to rectify that by creating a fan film entitled Darth Maul: Apprentice. Here's what the filmmaker had to say about this project on his YouTube page.
"We worked incredibly hard on this film for almost 2 years! We always felt that Darth Maul should have had more screen time. So we wanted to create a film just for him with the best lightsaber fights we could do! This is not based on any books, comics etc."
The 17-minute fan film opens with Darth Maul scrolling through data while we get voice over narration from the Emperor himself, who tells his apprentice that he must protect their secret at all costs. We also see snippets of footage of Darth Maul's training, when a Jedi ship is seen landing on the Sith apprentice's planet. The Emperor tells Maul that any intruder "must be destroyed immediately," which lead to an epic lightsaber duel.
While this fan film clearly takes place before the events of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, it isn't known how long before that movie this story is set. The action is quite impressive, with Ben Schamma playing Maul, and the fight choreography handled by Vi-Dan Tran. It isn't known where exactly this film was shot, or how much it cost to shot this epic production.
Darth Maul: Apprentice debuted on Saturday, and it already has over 1.2 million views on YouTube thus far. The fan film comes just weeks after the Star Wars Fan Film Awards were announced by J.J. Abrams, but it isn't known if the filmmakers plan on submitting Darth Maul: Apprentice for consideration. Though, it's runtime currently exceeds what is acceptable to enter the race. Take a look at the film below, along with a behind-the-scenes video that takes us inside the production.