You may not have noticed, but the #StarWars prequels don't tend to get a lot of love. In fact, while Star Wars: The Force Awakens paid countless homages to the Original Trilogy, it pretty much ignored the prequels. The same is true of the tremendously successful tie-in comics. That's about to change, though, as #Marvel embraces one of the most popular characters in the Prequel Trilogy — Darth Maul.
Why Darth Maul?
As you can see from that incredible fan-film, the character of #DarthMaul is one who's always fascinated Star Wars fans. Introduced in 1999's Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Maul was the very image of Satanic evil; he embodied the Dark Side in a way that only Darth Vader had done before. Lucasfilm knew exactly how potent a character they had on their hands, using Maul liberally in merchandizing and carefully building up his mystique in the trailers.
For all that Maul only appeared sparingly, he's easily one of the best elements of The Phantom Menace; he casts a dark, brooding shadow over the film, and his scenes are remarkable. Of course, you can never keep a good villain down; The Clone Wars found a way to resurrect him, and he's been one of the major characters in the Star Wars animations ever since.
Here's the catch, though; where the Maul of The Phantom Menace is brooding and powerful, the Maul of Clone Wars and Rebels is more of a cunning trickster. There's something about the two portrayals that doesn't quite work.
Enter Marvel With The Darth Maul Comic!
In February 2017, Marvel with launch a five-issue Darth Maul miniseries. USA Today reports:
"The comic finds Maul an untested warrior under the training of Darth Sidious, who would later become the Galactic Emperor. Told to stand down from engaging with Jedi yet, Maul hunts down the worst of the worst in the cosmic underworld to vent his frustration.
After learning a young Jedi Padawan named Eldra Kaitis has fallen into the hands of a crime lord, Maul seizes an opportunity to test his skills against a real Jedi but also maybe turn someone else to the dark side."
The book will be written by Cullen Bunn, whose Darth Vader series has easily been among the best Star Wars comics to date. Bunn has already proved his ability to create emotionally powerful, psychologically complex plots starring Dark Siders, and he's trying to meld the two different versions of Darth Maul. He'll be joined by fan-favorite artist Luke Ross. This looks set to be a miniseries Star Wars fans can't miss!
The visual appeal of Darth Maul lends itself perfectly to a comic book format. Where the old Expanded Universe told a version of Maul's origin in prose, this time round Lucasfilm has had more sense; it's Maul's look and feel that haunts us, his aesthetic that fascinates us. There's something brutal and dangerous about Maul, and that can only be accurately conveyed through imagery. I'm definitely looking forward to this book.