A few days ago, we shared with you what Solo: A Star Wars Story writers Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan had to say about the surprising cameo towards the end of the movie. Now, director Ron Howard has spoken with Slashfilm, giving even more details about the unexpected appearance as well as discussing the chance of seeing any Solo sequels in the future.
When asked about the cameo by Slashfilm Ron Howard responded:
Ron Howard: I will say that was scripted and there was a lot of uncertainty as to who that character would be. 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. I found that character to be really effective. 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, it wasn’t quite Maul enough yet.
Slashfilm: Let me guess, you added the lightsaber?
Ron Howard: Added the lightsaber. And intensified it. And definitely took a big jump.
Howard also talked about the possibility of Solo sequels and whether or not Maul’s inclusion was a deliberate hint at future stories:
Slashfilm: … when that [the scene with Maul] came on, I was like this is kind of like a Marvel thing where they’re like hinting to where they’re going. It was fun.
Ron Howard: That wasn’t really the intention, but I’m glad it did that because maybe it’ll suggest more. Who knows?
Slashfilm: Yeah. Would you come back for more if they–?
Ron Howard: I would never say never, I just don’t know what’s going on at Imagine. And by the way, there’s no plan. So that wasn’t a step toward sequels. I love this cast. And I had so much fun in this sort of the filmmaking playground that is this universe. And so if the answer is I’d be very, very open to it. I have no idea, you know, whether they would, you know?
Maul’s surprise entrance may have been confusing to some, but it did make a lot of sense to fans of Star Wars animation and comics given his return on the Clone Wars series, his subsequent story arc in a comic mini-series, and his later appearance on Rebels. The Solo era is at an untapped point on Maul’s timeline, and given his dubious activities at other times, he fits into the story quite nicely.
Whether you liked the idea of bringing Maul back to the big screen or not, it was really neat to see that they are really sticking to their plan of executing a larger cohesive narrative across all Star Wars media. Maul was “resurrected” back in 2012, so his appearance in Solo shouldn’t really be that big of a game changer. I guess the shock factor comes mostly from the fact that movie-only audiences have been unaware of his survival after his confrontation with Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace.
Having been conditioned in the Marvel Studios era of filmmaking, many viewers probably assumed that a bigger plan was being devised behind the scenes, and the idea of a crime trilogy via Solo, Boba Fett, & Kenobi sharing Maul as its villainous connective tissue has already been speculated by fans. While anything is possible, it definitely seems like Lucasfilm is playing it by ear at this point concerning any sequels or spin-offs related to Solo.
A Boba Fett movie is certainly happening, but whether or not it will have any connection to Solo is yet to be determined, let alone whether or not Maul will be involved. The idea of seeing Boba Fett, Han, and Chewie working for Jabba and going up against Maul’s Crimson Dawn crime syndicate sounds very plausible given the conclusion to Solo. But what do you think – should the Boba Fett film tie-in to Solo or should it be its own thing? Do you want to see Maul in future Star Wars movies?