It might be time to finally let one of the most adored bad guys finally just rest for good. Of course, a lot of fans aren’t going to agree with this, but then again, a lot of fans don’t agree with a lot of points that are made and implemented in the Star Wars franchise. When it comes to Darth Maul it does feel that he has enough personal history to keep pushing forward with a series that could show his different adventures as a Sith apprentice to Darth Sidious, but moving forward might just be prolonging the final goodbye to this character in terms of keeping him as a part of any future Star Wars projects. There has been mention of how he could be brought back to life, and while it might be rumor and gossip, such things have a way of building toward the actual implementation that can make or break a character within a franchise. For many years now, Darth Maul has been one of the favorite characters within the Star Wars franchise and he’s earned his spot in many ways, but it does feel as though it might be time to focus on his past, and not so much his future.
Part of this has to do with the believability of bringing a character back to life more than once. Granted, Maul was revealed to be alive but in a maddened state when he was revived the first time, but following his ending in Rebels, it feels as though he should be allowed that final rest since he’s served his purpose and is best left as a part of the story that people can revisit when they feel the need. Otherwise, Maul becomes another relic to be rolled out again and again until he becomes more of a running joke than the fierce warrior that he entered the franchise as, which sounds a little melodramatic, but in the realm of Star Wars is kind of important. Bringing him back for stories that occur in the past and, hopefully, don’t collide with other tales that might cause a massive lack of consistency sounds like a great plan, but it’s fair to state that this isn’t always the desire.
When he first came in during The Phantom Menace, Maul’s popularity was an uncertain thing that was quickly fanned into a warm welcome as fans marveled at the double lightsaber and the ninja-like skills that the Sith displayed as he took on not one, but two, skilled Jedi, even if one was still a Padawan. To that date, many people had read the books and understood that Jedi could be killed, but seeing two of them handled in such a manner on the big screen was even better since it meant that Maul was for real and that his skills were nothing to be laughed at. As the stories progressed however and Maul was reduced to half the being he used to be, his popularity only grew as many thought he was cheated when Obi-Wan Kenobi cut him in half. When he was brought back as half-Zabrak, half-machine, Maul was given even more credit as a character for being so tough to kill. In this manner, he became the type of character that was a nightmare to his opponents and an unstoppable killing machine as well.
That was until he faced off against Emperor Palpatine in the animated series of The Clone Wars when it was made apparent that Darth Sidious, his former master, was still stronger than Maul and his brother combined. This was one of the few times that the character of Maul was ever forced to show weakness, and it was likely a little jarring for some Maul fans since up until that point it was kind of obvious that he was one of the most dangerous Sith in the history of the order. But in a way, it almost feels as though each time Maul was defeated, or even challenged in terms of his power and ability, his character softened just a bit. It could be argued that this hasn’t hurt his chances of still being seen as one of the toughest characters in the franchise, but it has changed him in ways that make him a little less effective now that he’s been figured out a little better in terms of his limits and his powers.
So, perhaps it’s time to simply let Maul stay in the past and explore his other adventures instead of finding ways to keep him relevant in the franchise by coming up with ways to keep him alive. At least in the past, he was someone to be feared and even avoided at all costs. In the current era, he’s still a favorite character, but when contending with any new Jedi or Sith it feels as though his time is up.