When thinking about Darth Maul as the main villain for the last three Star Wars movies it does feel as though it would have met with more fan approval than the puppet show that was Supreme Leader Snoke, who was being controlled by a decaying Emperor Palpatine. However improbable it might be that Maul would survive the Clone Wars, it does appear that George Lucas had a plan to continue his story into the last trilogy and even take on another apprentice, who would be named Darth Talon. Talon was actually the name of a Twi’lek Sith that was found in the Star Wars Legacy comics featuring Cade Skywalker, the descendant of Luke Skywalker, who would eventually battle Darth Krayt and his Sith order. But to think of Maul being the main bad guy it does kind of make one think that the machinations and games inherent in the trilogy wouldn’t have been nearly as convoluted since Darth Maul has been more about ruthless aggression than manipulation since he was first brought into the franchise. Plus, there’s the idea of what might have happened with the main characters had this happened, since it does sound as though Lucas had his own ideas for what would occur within the galaxy.
Leia would have become Supreme Chancellor, Luke would have opened his Jedi Academy, and things would have continued to progress as by the end of the trilogy and Maul would have been defeated. But it’s fun to think of what might have happened had Maul and Luke met in battle, since many people have chimed in on this hypothetical duel and many have their own opinion of what would occur. There are a lot of folks that think that Luke wouldn’t stand a chance if he met Maul after Return of the Jedi, since they tend to think that Luke won the fight only because of Vader and his reluctance to fight his son, plus the fact that Vader tossed Palpatine down the nearby shaft. But there are many others that believe in 30 years that Luke would have learned enough that he would have dominated Maul and that it’s very possible that any apprentice he had would have taken on Talon quite easily as well. When you get right down to it, this would depend on the kind of story that Lucas had wanted to tell since Maul would have been a marauding villain no doubt since he didn’t have Palpatine’s patience or skills when it came to subtlety since he was trained as a weapon to be aimed at the Jedi, and his subsequent foray into the criminal underworld was built off of fear and not much else.
One has to think that Maul as the main villain would have been kind of strange simply because he’s more of a warlord and not so much of a ruler, someone that operates on fear and naked aggression rather than the type of planning that his former master was known for. But it would have still been interesting since under his rule a great deal of criminal activity in the galaxy would have likely become far more ruthless and not quite as prone towards becoming something such as the First Order. Something definitely indicates that the First Order would have been either quite a bit different or would have not existed in the first place under George Lucas’ guidance. But oh yeah, what Disney gave us was so much better. Too bad sarcasm is hard to convey in written text, but trust me, it’s there. At this point, it’s so much complaining about nothing since the trilogy has been filmed and what we’ve been left with is a heroine that’s not terrible but somehow still isn’t as capable of uniting fans as the Mouse House might have liked. Plus, the constant complaints from John Boyega haven’t helped and the call for more diversity and for Rose Tico have been huge detractors that have taken away a lot of the love that Disney might have thought would be pouring forth from the fanbase. In many ways, it feels as though Lucas gave up his story, for his own reasons obviously, but learned too late that it would be one of the worst decisions he could have made for the franchise. But that’s been done and over with for a while now, and whatever plans Lucas had for the franchise have been laid to rest at this point since unless he’s willing to come back and try to convince Disney to let him in on another project, his time has come and gone.
Maul as the main villain doesn’t feel as though it would have been entirely balanced, but it would have been a return to good vs. evil in a much simpler manner and one that would have been more like the original trilogy.