Hardcore Star Wars nerds received a shocking surprise at the end of the Han Solo spinoff movie, when a character who hasn't appeared in the films since 1999 made a major cameo.
Warning: Spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story below.
When we spoke with the screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, they admitted that the script was very secretive and vague about the appearance of Darth Maul. They even redacted the planet's name Dathomir from the script, for fear of the surprise being leaked.
But Howard's comments reveal that Maul's role wasn't yet finalized while they were in production.
"I will say that was scripted and there was a lot of uncertainty as to who that character would be," Howard told /Film. "So it was sort of initially written in a rather generic way. It just sort of said 'Boss'. And I thought when I came in, I assumed they knew who it was and they were just keeping it under wraps. And they didn’t. But Maul was listed as one of the candidates. And I lobbied hard for that. I thought that made a lot of sense to me."
Jon Kasdan said that the film was loaded with hints, from Qi'Ra being a master of Teräs Käsi to the organization's name Crimson Dawn. Heck, even Dryden Vos uses a double-sided weapon with red energy blades. And Howard's instincts were confirmed when he spoke with one particular Star Wars geek — his own son, Reed Howard.
"I found [Maul] to be really effective," Howard said. "And I knew for a fact, without asking directly and giving anything away, my son Reed who just turned 31, who’s a dedicated Star Wars fan, he’s a golfer. He’s not in the business. Dedicated Star Wars fan. I just whispered that possibility and he just thought that would be incredibly cool. And so for that generation, I thought, well that was gonna be a pretty interesting idea.
"And doing a little more research and understanding sort of how the character had worked elsewhere, I thought it was good. And the Kasdan’s were on board with that. And but then we actually shot it twice. Because we did it once. And then we realized we, it wasn’t quite Maul enough yet."
Editor Pietro Scalia said they reshot the scene to make it more impactful, to make Maul more terrifying and add more nuance to Emilia Clarke's performance.
So even if Jon Kasdan had wanted Maul in the script since Day 1, it wasn't actually confirmed until Howard came on board.0comments
Solo: A Star Wars Story is now playing in theaters.
What did you think of Maul's appearance in the film? Let us know in the comments!