“The Dark Side of the Force can be a pathway to many abilities some consider to be…unnatural,” Chancellor Palpatine once said. He was talking about Darth Maul, right?
It’s been 13 years since The Phantom Menace, when a bisected Maul fell down that reactor shaft on Naboo. But last night, in The Clone Wars’ epically dark season four finale, the fans finally got what they’ve been waiting for ever since. Maul’s wits, legs, and anti-Jedi bloodlust were restored at the very beginning of “Revenge,” setting the stage for “Duel of the Fates, Part II,” or as the Sith Lord’s voice actor Sam Witwer prefers to simply call it, “Live from the Outer Rim! Obi-Wan vs. Maul: The Rematch.” A huge Thank You to both Sam and James Arnold Taylor for trading verbal barbs last night during our EW.com live chat as their characters traded blows onscreen.
Before we dive deep into the canon-shattering revelations of “Revenge,” a bit of housekeeping is in order, first, for the more
literal continuity-minded of you. Some nagging questions have popped up surrounding Maul’s return that need to be addressed. First, how did Maul survive being cut in half? See the epigraph from Palpatine that opened this recap. But also, as I mentioned last week when Savage Opress first discovered Maul as a spider-creature in a cave on junk planet Lotho Minor, other Sith Lords like Darth Nihilus, Darth Sion, and even Darth Vader, have used their hate to keep their physical selves intact, when by all reasoning they should have died. Second, how do the Jedi know Darth Maul’s name? Um…easy. The Republic took Nute Gunray into custody following the Trade Federation’s defeat on Naboo and during the course of his trial, he, not being a particularly strong-willed soul, spilled the secrets behind everything that happened there. The identity of the assassin who killed Qui-Gon Jinn might be something they’d ask him, don’t you think? Third, how does Darth Maul know Obi-Wan’s name? His master Darth Sidious was pulling all the strings behind the invasion of Naboo! You don’t think he would have told his apprentice the names of the two Jedi he needs to eliminate to achieve his goals?
As “Revenge” opened, Savage had decided to fly Maul back to Dathomir to experience some of Mother Talzin’s rejuvenating green magick mist for himself. She really needs to bottle that stuff! It puts bacta to shame, and she could really use the credits to rebuild her planet after Grievous turned it to molten slag.
Poor Maul was raving like a lunatic in the cargo hold of Savage’s stolen freighter, muttering things like “Far above, far above, we don’t know where we’ll fall. Far above, far above, what once was great is rendered small!” Witwer tells EW that supervising director Dave Filoni imagined Maul pondering riddles in the dark like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. There’s really nothing like one-off rhyming couplets to make you seem crazy, is there?
NEXT: “Why would you want to go to Dathomir? There’s nothing there but fog…and witches.” “Precisely.”