Ron Howard Pushed for SPOILER's Cameo in 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'

Star Wars fans knew that Solo: A Star Wars Story would feature appearances from iconic characters like Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and Chewbacca, though the film also offered some surprising appearances from characters many audiences thought were long gone. Director Ron Howard recently shared that he pushed for a certain role to be fulfilled by a familiar face in the franchise as opposed to conjuring an all-new character to embody the narrative duties.

WARNING: Spoilers below for Solo: A Star Wars Story

After Han, Chewie, and Qi'ra vanquish Dryden Vos, Qi'ra tells her cohorts to board the Millennium Falcon without her and that she'll catch up with them. Instead, Qi'ra calls Maul to explain that she had successfully killed Dryden, revealing that she had been working with the former Sith Lord in secret the whole time.

Maul's last live-action appearance was in 1999's The Phantom Menace, which saw Obi-Wan Kenobi cut the character in half with a lightsaber. As depicted in various animated series, Maul earned himself some replacement legs and formed a crime syndicate with his brother.

“They had a list of a few candidates, and they even talked about just inventing a new gangster boss because there are five Syndicates,” Howard explained to Empire. “I said, 'Maul, what happened to him?' I hadn't seen the animations but I knew more had happened with him. They told me the story and I said, 'Well, wouldn't that be cool?' My 30-year-old son thinks that’s the coolest guy, and so I admittedly lobbied. It wasn't entirely my decision but I thought that was a pretty scary way to go and a way to give our third act a nice twist and a jolt of recognition and excitement. The first time I saw it with fans, I saw that it was a good call."

While Maul ran a crime syndicate in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels saw the character driven mad with anger, attempting to sway budding Jedi Ezra Bridger to the Dark Side, only for Obi-Wan to reemerge and finish the job he started years earlier.

Maul wasn't the only iconic character considered, with Howard detailing that Jabba the Hutt almost appeared in this role.

"Jabba was on the list,” Howard noted, “but they kind of knew they didn't want to go that way because it would be sort of funny, and maybe a little bit too much like sequel-baiting."

Instead, Han and Chewie set their sights on Tatooine to meet a famous gangster, with Jabba never mentioned by name.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now.

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[H/T Empire]