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PT Was Darth Maul really Necessary?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Polydroxol, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Polydroxol

    Polydroxol Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 27, 2014
    I love Maul. However, I feel his "cameo" as a silent adversary in Episode I hurts both him and Dooku as characters. I feel a big problem with Episode II was the sudden introduction of Dooku as the main antagonist. Look at Palpatine, he is introduced as a mild-mannered Senator, than Chancellor, before his true nature is finally revealed. Darth Vader is developed from a boy, to a Jedi and finally to a Sith. Both take three films to develop. Dooku just appears out of nowhere in one film as an old man. He has no backstory; motives, experiences, nothing. This level of detteachment is made even worse by the fact that he commits no hate-mongering crime except to lead a rebellion against a corrupt government. Who is this Count Dooku? Why do we fear and dislike him?

    I think placing Dooku in TPM achieves a few objectives. First, it makes him a more established character that is known better to the viewer, thus giving his betrayal by Palpatine, and death at Anakin's hand, more weight. Second, it shows his backstory, provides time for an on-screen view on what caused his disillusionment with the Republic and departure from the Jedi order. Finally, it makes the Duel of the Fates even more iconic. Yes, Darth Maul's intimidating presence and appearance gets points in the "mystery warrior" category, however, a Master vs. Apprentice duel, Dooku v Qui-Gon, would have been even bigger and would be in keeping with the iconic duels of the Classic Trilogy.

    Now there is a big Elephant in the room. It's Darth Maul's predicament at the end of TPM, namely: he's dead. I think Dooku killing Qui-Gon would have given Dooku an act heinous enough to make him more dangerous and hate-worthy in Episode II. The ten years between Episode I and Episode II allow for Dooku to survive an almost certain-death experience and recover. This would make his surprise appearance in Episode II from a "who's he?" to a real surprising "he survived?".

    In summary, I am arguing that Darth Maul's character however impressive, was not needed and that, Count Dooku should have been used in Phantom Menace instead of Darth Maul. Again, this is not because I do not like Maul, I would have enjoyed if he was the antagonist for The Attack of the Clones, however his limited one-movie role, basically just to kill Qui-Gon, is somewhat useless and wastes valuable time that could be used to develop Dooku's character into an iconic Sith of the Star Wars Saga.
    Messi, Thuro, kubricklynch and 5 others like this.
  2. Loupgarou

    Loupgarou Jedi Knight star 3

    Jan 19, 2010
    Dooku has too much of a leadership, nobility vibe to function in Maul's place. How about we make him the face of the TF, planted there by Palpatine? His Sith status wouldn't be revealed until AOTC, through the course of TPM he'd be more the Tarkin. Maul would still act as the silent killer and tracker, perhaps not even knowing himself that Dooku is being trained.
    So we'd know Dooku as an oristicratic villain willing to starve a planet to get what he wants, though he'd pepper his rhetoric with political sounding speech and would obviously have greater aspirations than trade issues. And then very early on in AOTC we'd learn he's a Sith, see him made the leader of the CIS. This would give them some time to address his deeper motivations if desired.

    And really, Maul would be a better character this way because he wouldn't need to be more developed. A warrior full of quiet rage is enough for an ultimately disposable assassin.
    sarlaccsaurs-rex, CoolyFett and Thuro like this.
  3. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Dictator star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 25, 2013
    I like his role as it is, but I certainly would not call it useless. Yes, Dooku could have replaced him and been the one to kill Qui-Gon, but I just don't think it fits him. Maul was a savage beast, nothing more than that. The only emotions he knows of are fear and hatred. Dooku, on the other hand, would have felt remorse. He has a sense of honor. Whereas he request Anakin and Obi-Wan to draw their lightsabers before engaging in combat, who's to say Maul would not have just wildly ran at them? It makes Qui-Gon's death more shocking. There's something about Maul's lack of words and the fact that he doesn't even blink....
  4. markdeez33

    markdeez33 Jedi Knight star 3

    Jan 25, 2013
    I agree that Dooku should've had a role in Phantom Menace, even if it was a 5 min little cameo
  5. Beezer

    Beezer Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 5, 2013
    I honestly don't think Lucas anticipated how popular Maul would be which, IMHO, was pretty shortsighted. I think it might have worked better if Maul and Tyranus were merged into a single character. Obviously they'd have to throw Dooku's backstory out the window, but it could have worked if Maul remained Sidious' top lieutenant up to the beginning of E3.
  6. WAC-47

    WAC-47 Jedi Youngling

    Feb 8, 2014
    Well, killing him provided a hero moment for the young ObiWan Kenobi but I think the villains were all botched in the prequels anyway, just like the heroes.
    You can really ask similar questions about a lot of things regarding EP1, 2 and 3 because from a film making perspective, the entire prequel saga is a mess.

    To have Maul in EP1 and Dooku take over in EP2, the best way to do it would probably have been to showcase Dooku as a Jedi in a larger role in EP1 so when Maul is struck down by Kenobi, the next villain doesn't just come out of nowhere.
  7. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    Actually, the point was that you weren't supposed to know if Dooku was a Sith Lord or not, which was the mystery of the film. Was Dooku an independent agent trying to fight the Sith and having to go against his former comrades, or was he involved with the Sith fighting his comrades.

    The point of Maul was to show that Palpatine had a master plan which involved his training an Apprentice from birth to do what he wanted out of him. Then the unexpected happened, he was killed by a Padawan. This shows that Palpatine has to adjust his plans and gives him a reason to focus on Anakin. It also serves as an example of the Sith relationship.

    "After Darth Sidious' first apprentice is killed, he has to come up with a new apprentice, and rather than coming up with some baby that he trains from birth, which is what he should have done--well, he shouldn't have gotten himself in a position of getting his apprentice killed anyways--he's decided to make his move, so he needs somebody that was already trained. The point is to set up that he turned this one Jedi, so that he could turn another Jedi. It has to be set up that way."

    --George Lucas, AOTC DVD Commentary.
  8. Master Jedi Macen Arren

    Master Jedi Macen Arren Jedi Knight star 2

    Apr 16, 2013
    Maul's role was very necessary to show the new and improved Sith, mystery, surprise, knowledge, raw power, intelligence and planning. I believe that GL made the same mistake that a lot of films make, in which they chop and change bad guys meaning that these characters usually turn out under developed and under used.

    Maul was the mysterious face of this new Sith threat that faced the Jedi. I believe that Maul should have been the villain throughout the prequel films, his raw energy, surprise and mysterious nature in TPM, his intelligence, knowledge and planning in AOTC and then his demise in ROTS leading to Anakin's turn.
  9. Phoenix267

    Phoenix267 Jedi Youngling

    Feb 8, 2014
    Macen Arren makes a great defense for Darth Maul. The design and idea behind Darth Maul is the perfect recipe for evil villain. Thinking back at the ending of TPM both Yoda and Mace Windu were discussing the reemergence of the Sith. That would have been a great way to bring back Darth Maul in the sequel and have him challenge Obi Wan and Anakin to a rematch. Imagine having plot twist where the heros are wondering if Darth Maul is the sith master or the apprentice.

    I know in the animated series Darth Maul survives and the audience is introduced to his background. But we should of had him return in the movies. That would be awesome! I'm still a fan of Count Dooku, but I wouldn't mind seeing Darth Maul in the movies.
    Darth Maul Apprentice likes this.
  10. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    Having Maul keep coming back from the dead kinda undermines the whole point of eliminating the Sith to bring balance to the Force.
  11. DRush76

    DRush76 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 25, 2008
    I never understood this belief that eliminating the Sith brings balance to the Force, especially since the Jedi and the Sith are two sides of one coin. Couldn't one describe good and evil in the same manner?
  12. miasma

    miasma Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 29, 2013
    I have no problem with Maul being there, but I do think Dooku should have at least been MENTIONED in The Phantom Menace. Even if we never saw him, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan could have had a scene or two in which they talk about him, just enough to make the audience curious about him so that when we hear about him at the start of AOTC it's like, "Oh yeah, that guy!" instead of "Huh? Who dat?" It makes for a more rewarding and less random viewing experience.

    Same thing with Grievous. He should have been mentioned in AOTC so that when he turned up ROTS, it was satisfying, not random.

    Bascially, both characters should have been handled the way Jabba was handled in the OT (before they added him into ANH.)
    sarlaccsaurs-rex likes this.
  13. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 7, 2009
    The Sith' exploitation of the dark side is what causes imbalance, while the Jedi's use of the Force is benign.
  14. DRush76

    DRush76 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 25, 2008

    I had no problem with Dooku's character being introduced in AOTC. But I found his appearance in ROTJ a bit too limited for my tastes.

    I don't buy it. I'm sorry, but I don't. This sounds more like wishful thinking for the elimination of evil, instead of any acceptance that good and evil exists together. I regard the existence of one and the elimination of the other as an example of the extreme.
  15. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Sep 2, 2012
    He doesn't appear at all in RotJ- due to having been dead for the past 23 years. RotS, I think, may be what's meant.
    Force Smuggler likes this.
  16. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 7, 2009
    But again, it's the balance of the Force, not the balance of the Jedi and Sith (or good and evil). The Jedi's relationship with the Force is benign, but the Sith exploitation bring the Force out of balance. The dark side still exists, but it's not being exploited anymore.
  17. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    But they're not. The Jedi work with the Republic and the Force to create a symbiant circle. The Sith are parasites or cancer cells, both of which Lucas uses to describe them. The Sith work to counter that circle by forcing their will onto others, because they believe that might makes right. You have to destroy the cancer cells in order to be healthy again. Same with removing a parasite like a tapeworm.
  18. SithStarSlayer

    SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 23, 2003
    Talk about wasting time.... why bother with Skywalker's story, at all? :rolleyes:
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  19. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 3, 2013
    If anything, I think fleshing him out is what was unnecessary.
    Sudooku and Force Smuggler like this.
  20. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Apr 3, 2002
    Maul was like Boba Fett. A mysterious character meant to awe for a bit then get dealt with by a hero. In Maul's case Obi Wan needed to be given a victory to illustrate his ability and that was further enhanced by having his own master killed by the person he defeated.
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  21. Darth Nerdling

    Darth Nerdling Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 20, 2013
    I think he was necessary. Think how silly Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon would've looked if they were just swinging at thin air during the Duel of the Fates!:)

    I do think an undeveloped Maul was okay. I agree that he was more like Boba Fett and that he was cooler for being a little mysterious, and I think it was wise to kill him off b/c he would have become the PT's Vader, and he was not a good enough character to fill that role.

    I think it would have been helpful to have Count Dooku appear as a Jedi in TPM, and perhaps address some of the discontent he had with the Jedi and the Senate (some feelings he shared with Qui-Gon). If GL had written all three screenplays for the PT before starting in 1999, then I think he might have realized that having Dooku appear in TPM would be helpful, but GL for some reason GL would only write a script for an episode after the release of the previous one.
    jbyrd1245 and VadersLaMent like this.
  22. purplerain

    purplerain Jedi Knight star 4

    Sep 14, 2013
  23. Padmes_love_slave24

    Padmes_love_slave24 Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 24, 2003
    I liked that their were multiple villains in the prequels for a reason that nobody has brought up, I like it that it shows us how Sidious regards anyone as dispensible and replaceable and that he always has a plan. Sidious is the one pulling all the strings. The apprentices Maul and Dooku or only pawns for Sidious for him to achieve his goal. If a sith apprentice would have survived all 3 films it would have showed that they had more importance than they did. Darth Maul served his purpose he was a excellent assasin for the sith to deliver the news to the Jedi that the sith are back and that they mean business. Did sidious want maul to die? Probably not...Did he prepare for the possibility of Maul dying and having to move and find another to carry his plan, ABSOLUTELY!
  24. DRush76

    DRush76 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 25, 2008

    Still not buying. Again, this strikes me as a black-and-white view on good and evil. Considering that a rogue Jedi created the Sith Order and at least two former Jedi became Sith, I still view the Jedi and the Sith as two sides of one coin, just as I view good and evil as two sides of one coin. Nature dictates there are both positive and negatives aspects of the universe. One aspect without the other simply strikes me as off balance. And I feel that both the Jedi and the Sith were too extreme in their views to truly understand the Force.

    By the way, I feel that Darth Maul was just as necessary as any other SW character in a particular point in the story.
    SithStarSlayer likes this.
  25. Garrett Atkins

    Garrett Atkins Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 11, 2013
    What about making Dooku a respected member of the Council in Episode 1 to make his fall more enticing? You could still keep both characters.