I am still upset by it. It was simply, plain stupid.
The creation of a wonderfully creepy villain like Darth Maul was genius. Of course, this was countered with the introduction of Jar Jar Binks, one of the crassist marketing ploys in the history of cinema.
“The kids will love this quirky fella! He’s gonna sell a lot of merchandise.”
But then wasting the creative stroke of luck with Maul on his premature demise and a crappy storyline limited to one movie, the first of the prequels, The Phantom Menace, only to be resurrected in a futile attempt to correct the grievous error in The Clone Wars and Rebels TV series. Ugh! Sadly, they never recaptured the magic of the character, though I admired them trying.
Maul could have rivaled Vader. Maul could have been a menacing force throughout the prequels, even a threat to Sidious and Palpatine. This complication in the Emperor’s rise to power would have been much more entertaining and realistic.
The problem that George Lucas had was the rule of two, the master and the apprentice. But the solution was simple. It did not need to involve a fight to the death with Obi-Wan.
Instead, Maul should have killed Qui-Gon in a more dastardly way, more treacherously, as if he was cheating, not in some noble light saber duel. And then Maul could run off into the night laughing as Kenobi seeths in anger, unable to exact to revenge, which, of course, a Jedi isn’t supposed to do anyway.
These types of emotions and conflicts, internal issues, are what drive good drama. And George Lucas utterly failed.
It’s so frustrating and sad. He became the very thing that the original Star Wars trilogy was fighting, inept storytelling bogged down by bloated budgets with studio executives in charge. Except all of the bad was wrapped up into one man and his controlling ego.
Then, in the next movie, when Sidious wants to ally with Dooku, it’s a prime opportunity to show conflicts among the baddies. He orders Dooku to kill Maul, but can’t get the job done, so Sidious tries himself. Can he or can’t he?
I’d prefer that Maul is also too slippery for Sidious, but perhaps gravely injured. Then, the story of his seething anger and vow to avenge his downfall could complicate the Emperor’s plans throughout the films, perhaps coming to a resolution in Episode III.
This popped into my head today for some reason. It’s been bothering me for years. So here I am writing. I am thinking up ways of correcting George Lucas’s mistakes. Of course, I don’t own Star Wars.
But what I want to do is create my own world, diverting from the terrible storylines, making new ones with new characters in a different universe, correcting the blunders along the way.
Maybe someday I will have a shot at redoing the prequel trilogy. Now that would be fun.