Darth Maul is alive.
Darth Maul, who Obi-Wan sliced into two pieces, is alive.
How? And more importantly, why?
I know! To attract more attention to the Clone Wars and the 3D release of The Phantom Menace.
Darth Maul was a fantastic, one-shot villain. Fans thought Maul was cool because of his fighting style, not because he had an interesting back-story or amusing sense of humor. The Maul-Kenobi-Jinn lightsaber fight is amazing. It never loses its luster.
Oh wait, with this announcement, it just did.
Think about the latter part of the fight. Obi-Wan, Maul and Qui-Gon are separated from each other. Maul paces like a caged beast. His nostrils flare with anger. Qui-Gon appears worn out and tries to regain strength. The timers then turn off and he and Qui-Gon engage in an exciting duel. We watch as Maul puts one of his blades through Qui-Gon and hear Obi-Wan’s anguished scream.
At that moment, many of us wanted to see Darth Maul pay for what he did to Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan rushes forward and assaults Maul in a frenzy. Soon Obi-Wan is hanging on for his life while Maul swings his lightsaber like the smug Sith Apprentice he is.
And then…then Qui-Gon’s lightsaber moves, Obi-Wan leaps up and slices Maul in half. A spray of blood appears and Maul tumbles down the shaft. Obi-Wan has defeated the Sith. It’s one of his greatest moments.
Regardless of your opinion of The Phantom Menace, that entire sequence is amazing and moving. Knowing that Maul survived and that Obi-Wan didn’t defeat a Sith kind of kills it.
This action brings another question to mind. How? The man was cut in half. His body bounced off the sides of a metal shaft. I find it hard to believe that his skull wasn’t at least fractured. It’s not as if he was caught on fire like Vader or lost a limb. He was cut into two definite pieces. No humanoid lives through that.
With the release of The Phantom Menace 3D poster, I am even surer that this move was tied in. Darth Maul is the predominant picture, yet Anakin is omitted. You know Anakin? The character the entire saga is about? At least Darth Sidious made it in the shadows, a placement that’s rather appropriate.
Oh wait. Anakin’s in his podracer. Probably. Let me get the magnifying glass.
I mulled the news around in my head for a day before writing this blog entry. I didn’t want to fall into a fit of rage or illogical ranting. Obi-Wan is such a crucial character to the Star Wars saga that any change that dramatically alters his character needs looked at. While I applaud the staff of the Clone Wars for keeping people talking about the series, I can’t get behind this plot decision. Give Maul a brother. Why not? Bring in Chewie? Sounds like a plan. Bring back a dead character? No thanks. Bringing back the dead is a horrible plot device. It’s up there with time travel. Overused, cliché and cheap. Bringing in Maul’s brother and Chewie didn’t harm other characters.
The cartoon should not take precedent over the movies. Period.