Star Wars: The Force Awakens marked the theatrical start of a new era of Star Wars stories. As Lucasfilm kicked things off under Disney with the first of a new sequel trilogy, their partners at Disney Publishing, Del Rey, and Marvel Comics had already been laying the groundwork with their novels and comics set in the new canon. Now, the movie has been able to give back - way back - to a new series starring Darth Maul at Marvel Comics. With a fun opening sequence to the first issue, which hit shelves this week, Darth Maul and the prequels got a fresh conneciton to the era of The Force Awakens.
In the first several pages of the book, we find out Darth Maul, restless apprentice to Darth Sidious in the time before even Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, needs some release for his anger, his rage, and his power. With that in mind, he heads to the planet Twon Ketee for a hunting expedition. In the ensuing pages, we discover this is the (or at least a) homeworld of the monstrous beasts, the Rathtars.
The large, tentacled, man-eating ball like monsters made their debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as fearsome creatures Han Solo and Chewbacca were transporting to try to make good on debts to at least two different organizations. When they got loose, they wreaked havoc on their freighter, rolling and eating their way through both gangs and terrorizing the heroes of the film. A narrow escape later, it seemed it would be the last we'd see of these creatures.
But a fun part of the Star Wars universe now is it's not just all connected, it's willfully connected by the Star Wars Story Group, who help make sure those links are viable and noticable. In the new Darth Maul comic by Cullen Bunn and Luke Ross, then, when Maul needed to take out some aggression, it made sense for him to do it against the Rathtars; after all, it's not like they magically appeared out of nowhere sixty years later! The creatures knack for "hunger, viciousness," and their "relentless" nature made for a nice parallel to Maul himself, who in this era was little more than a tamed beast himself.
It's a fun nod and connection between the Prequel and Sequel eras, and a good use of what could have easily been a one-and-done creature to instead help tell a larger, more cohesive story. Check out a couple of the pages in the gallery below, and pick up Darth Maul #1 now for the full story.
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