Star Wars fans are a forgiving bunch that know how to roll with the punches. Amongst the warts and black eyes that cover Episodes 1-3, most die-hards can at least accept the fact that the three prequel films by George Lucas spawned a never-ending stream of wonderful memes and one of the baddest characters to ever utter 31 hushed words — Darth Maul.
With his devilish good looks and double-bladed lightsaber, Darth Maul was such a hit, and much of the marketing around The Phantom Menace was built around his brief appearances. Too bad Obi-Wan sliced him in half (spoiler) and he wasn’t seen again for almost a decade until he reappeared in animated series The Clone Wars and later on, Rebels (where he finally met his end). Needless to say, most Star Wars viewers were upset to lose the coolest part of Phantom Menace beyond spinning, which everyone agrees is a good trick.
Count Mark Hamill as one of the fans of Maul who couldn’t believe he took such an early exit from the prequel trilogy. Here’s what he told reporters at Disney’s D23 celebration:
“Darth Maul was just the coolest looking. I couldn’t believe they disposed of him so quickly. I thought he would last through all three movies!”
Darth Maul’s early exit from Episode I truly is a tragedy. It’s not quite as devastating as the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise, but that reference may not land. It’s not a story the Jedi would tell you.