'Star Wars Episode 8' filming is underway in the United Kingdom.
As of now, [Star Wars: Episode VIII](tag:711868) is currently under production at Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom. In the past months, reports have been coming in indicating which actors are joining the Star Wars cast for the new film.
One of note(unconfirmed) is that of Frank Oz. Frank Oz is the master puppeteer and voice behind the iconic "Yoda". Oz has been seen in the United Kingdom, and MakingStarWars, has confirmed that Frank Oz is in the U.K. to work at Pinewood Studios, and the major production currently underway is that of "Star Wars Episode 8". It doesn't take much deciphering to figure out that Frank Oz is indeed on the set of Star Wars 8, but Frank Oz may not be the only addition from a prequel, to return to the Star Wars universe. A new development in the tie-in animated series, Star Wars Rebels may have laid out the foundation for a former 'Sith' to return alongside 'Yoda'.
Recap of Star Wars: Rebels Season 2 Finale.
The season finale of Star Wars Rebels concluded a few weeks ago, and the repercussions of the finale may have left some lasting effects on the Star Wars universe. The season finale took place on the planet of Malachor, where a Sith Temple was said to be hidden. Ahsoka, Ezra, and Kanan were on the planet to learn of the knowledge that could help them defeat the Inquisitors and Darth Vader. On their mission, the team becomes separated, wherein Ezra meets an unlikely companion, hiding within the Sith Temple. Ezra's companion can't be clearly distinguished at first, but his identity is very crucial towards the continuity of the Star Wars universe. His mysterious companion guides Ezra through the traps of the Sith temple to a chamber containing an Ancient-Sith Holochron. Ezra's companion explains that the Holochron has many uses, and one of those is the containment of masses of knowledge. Ezra is immediately intrigued and wants to see the Ancient Holochron put to use, without a measure of precaution. Upon retrieving the Holochron, Ezra and his companion make their way to the top of the Sith Temple, to activate the Ancient-Sith Holochron. When the two arrive at the Sith's top tier, the mysterious figure is fully revealed. Ezra had been accompanied all along by the former Sith prince, Darth Maul. Maul had convinced Ezra that a Sith or a Jedi may revert to one side of the Force or the other, if they feel they are caught in between the two. And to where Darth Maul explained to Ezra that a Sith may change just as a Jedi can, but it's not likely to happen. Eventually that theory was put to the test. And sadly, Maul failed. Darth Maul reverted to his Sith ways, as was always his intention from the moment he spotted Ezra. Maul needed Ezra's help to get into the Sith temple, and used Ezra to get the Ancient-Sith Holochron for his own nefarious purposes. The Season Finale concluded with a few more notable events occurring, but the more important aspects to take note of was the return of Darth Maul to the Star Wars universe.
Impact of Star Wars: Rebels on the entirety of the Star Wars Universe.
At the conclusion of the Season Finale of Star Wars Rebels, we don't clearly see what happens to Darth Maul, but we can expect that his presence in the Star Wars universe isn't just a coincidence. It's more than plausible that Darth Maul will play a larger role in the developing Star Wars universe as it sits, despite not being included in Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens. However, Darth Maul may be set to return to the Cinematic world of Star Wars in Episode 8 or Episode 9. Hell, possibly even in Star Wars: Rogue One; which is slated for release later this year. The last time we saw Darth Maul, he was cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi, but his story didn't end there. He was found and repaired with a mechanical body, to return during the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series, and he eventually returned in the aforementioned, Star Wars Rebels: Season Two Finale. For now, we can speculate as to when Darth Maul may return, again.
Potential for Darth Maul to return.
In the current cinematic Star Wars Universe, we have Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke, and Captain Phasma to contend with in terms of antagonists for the universe. It's likely that these three characters will have pivotal roles in future Star Wars films, but they may need assistance from a wise Sith to become Kylo Ren's master. We don't know if Supreme Leader Snoke is Kylo Ren's master or if he is just in command of the First Order. But if Kylo Ren doesn't have a master, then Darth Maul could fit perfectly into the role of a Master for Kylo Ren. We've witnessed Kylo Ren's shoddy skills when it comes to the use of a lightsaber and the Force, in Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens. The idea of Kylo Ren developing into a full Sith would be an excellent development for his character, if he has someone to guide him along the way. Which is why Darth Maul would fit perfectly into the current, cinematic Star Wars universe.
The inclusion of Darth Maul in the Season Finale of Star Wars Rebels probably wasn't coincidental either. There's likely more for Darth Maul to do, other than a simple cameo appearance. He may even be currently allied with Supreme Leader Snoke, unbeknownst to the audience. From the audience's viewpoint of Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: Episode 7, the image doesn't give the audience much to breakdown in terms of where Snoke is, and whose by his side. A general or Supreme Leader like Snoke would likely have enforcers to protect him. One of those could already be Darth Maul. Apart from the speculation of Darth Maul's theoretical place in the current Star Wars universe, there's cause for him to return if he isn't an existing character already.
Another potential plot thread to be explored with Darth Maul at the head.
Aside from his potential role as a mentoring Master to Kylo Ren, Darth Maul could have another storyline to explore in Star Wars: Episode 8 or Episode 9. In another plot twist, Darth Maul could be the Sith connection to the rest of the Star Wars universe. Now, I didn't state Kylo Ren as a Sith because he isn't necessarily a Sith or a Jedi, he's simply a Force-user. From what we can gather of Kylo Ren's action during Star Wars Episode 7, Kylo Ren hasn't been taught the ways of the Force(dark or light), nor has he been taught how to use a lightsaber, efficiently. As well as Supreme Leader Snoke mentioning aspects of the Light and Dark side of the Force in Star Wars: Episode 7, we know that Kylo Ren clearly isn't on either side. However, Kylo Ren does have a lightsaber, with a signature hilt from Ancient times. That fact could coincide with Darth Maul's appearance in Star Wars Rebels. It wasn't mentioned earlier, but during the Season Finale of Star Wars Rebels, wherein Ahsoka, Ezra, and Kanan arrive on Malanchor. They arrive to find an ancient battlefield of Sith and Jedi whom once fought, in front of the Sith Temple. Along with these corpses, there were lightsabers scattered all over. And every lightsaber was fitted with the "Cross-guard" hilt, which is identical to the lightsaber that Kylo Ren uses in "Star Wars: Episode 7, The Force Awakens". That being said, there has to be some further connectivity in the Star Wars universe for Kylo Ren to have obtained such a lightsaber; he may have received it from Darth Maul himself, highly unlikely though. The likeliest scenario for how Kylo Ren attained the Ancient 'Cross-guard' Lightsaber probably had a Sith capable of reclaiming one of the ancient lightsabers, giving it to Supreme Leader Snoke. And as of now, one person in the Star Wars universe whom has access to a battlefield, riddled with ancient lightsabers was that of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Rebels.
Darth Maul is guaranteed a return, he hasn't died yet.
In accordance with story continuity, Star Wars Rebels happens some time before "Star Wars: Episode 7, The Force Awakens" but Darth Maul could have outlasted the galactic conflicts surrounding him until his presence is necessary in the future. The theory is very plausible, in terms of having Darth Maul reappear in a future, Star Wars film. To have Darth Maul return to the Star Wars universe would be a major event, and plenty of fans would be critical of the character's return but it would be even more interesting to see what kind of lasting effect Maul's character will have on the Star Wars universe. Darth Maul has outlasted death, as well as practically being eviscerated, he's cheated death several times. With that being said, it's gives the theory credibility, in determining if Darth Maul could return in a future Star Wars film. "Star Wars: Episode 8" and Episode 9 probably have all the antagonists that the films can stand to hold on to, and Darth Maul would be overcrowding the situation. Although there's still room for Darth Maul to return in Star Wars: Rogue One.
Maul, more likely to appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Star Wars: Rogue One is closer in time, to the events of the Season Finale of Star Wars: Rebels. The theory of Darth Maul joining that cast of Star Wars: Rogue One, rather than the main scope of the Star Wars universe could also plausibly make sense. Darth Vader is set to be the main antagonist in the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One, but Darth Maul could easily be his competition for Sith-Lord. Not only could Darth Maul fit into a competing role for dominating the galaxy, he could also factor into several other plot threads, disguising himself just as he did in the Season Finale of Star Wars: Rebels.
There's lots of potential for the character of Darth Maul. And it can be easily argued that his character was underutilized in the prequel trilogy of Star Wars. Ray Park did a fantastic job portraying Darth Maul, and could easily return to the Star Wars universe if his talents were required once again to bring the Sith, Darth Maul back to the big screen. Darth Maul hasn't made a cinematic appearance since his debut in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and it's about time that he does. There's also the possibility that Darth Maul is currently dead in the Star Wars universe, as he may have been one of the Knights of Ren. That theory is a stretch in itself.
What do you think? Would you be excited to see Darth Maul return to the Star Wars Universe? And does the inclusion of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Rebels quantify a more affluent presence in the cinematic world of Star Wars? You Decide.
Leave your thoughts below.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to premiere December 16, 2016. Here's the teaser trailer for the film. Follow me on MoviePilot.com. At www.moviepilot.com/paulswall