I believe “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” is one of the best things to happen to “Star Wars.” Premiering in 2008, the seven-season-long series revitalized the franchise following the mixed reception to the prequel trilogy. In fact, it made the prequels better by deepening the characters, making Anakin Skywalker a truly tragic figure, turning the clone troopers into actual people, and expanding the lore and mythology of “Star Wars” in exciting ways.
While the show was full of surprises — including the fact that it gave Anakin a Padawan — nothing compares to the time “The Clone Wars” brought back the menacing Darth Maul and turned him into an almost tragic figure.
A big development like that must have come after lots of planning, right? Well, not exactly. During a recent interview with /Film, Henry Gilroy, who helped develop “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” talked about how George Lucas had spent years saying he’d never bring Maul back. And to ensure no one else could do it too, Lucas decided to have him sliced in half when he was killed.
And then, one day, Lucas just changed his mind. (Not that he’s never done that before — Lucas was opposed to Wookiee Jedi, but reversed his decision years later. He pulled a similar heel turn with his involvement in “The Clone Wars.”) The story goes, Lucas went up to supervising director Dave Filoni and told him to figure out how to bring back Maul. While Filoni and his team worked on how Maul would come back into the fold and become a threat to the Jedi again, Gilroy was charged with explaining how Maul survived being cut in half and thrown down a shaft.