Toys and money. Nah I’m kidding, but hey it certainly made Maul more popular again to casual fans and regular movie goers. (In fact you could go as far to say one of the faces of Star Wars, as he’s that iconic) But similar to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story a famous villain appeared at the end of the movie. Vader slaughtering the Rebels surprising the audience and in Solo Maul’s return via hologram, the true ruler of Crimson Dawn, which also surprised audiences.
Solo Director Ron Howard has previously said that there were other candidates in contention to appear in the hologram, though who those candidates were has not been revealed yet. At the time of Howard taking over the film from Lord & Miller it had not yet been decided on who the “Boss” character would be, as the script only said Boss. Though by the time Maul’s voice actor, Sam Witwer was contacted, the character had been primed to go for a while. Sam Witwer during an interview with CinemaBlend said that the character’s return had already been established in Dryden Vos’ Office, amongst the relics in this collection. Such as a Sith Holocron, his desk with a stone base from from the Sith temple of Exar Kun, along with a red Mandalorian armour.
“I will tell you that [Jon or Lawrence] Kasdan told me that this was always the plan. That’s what he told me. So I don’t mean to be putting out any information that isn’t consistent with anything else, but I was told, ‘Hey, there’s red Mandalorian armor on that set for a reason.’ Crimson Dawn! Crimson Dawn for a reason. You know, like all of these little hints. There’s I believe an old, Sith-looking hologram among Dryden Vos’ collection, and all manner of little, nod-of-the-head [things] just nudging you towards who’s in control of this criminal empire. And the way that he explained it to me was, ‘Look, we were telling a story about a criminal empire. You don’t necessarily have a lot of screen time to do that in a movie, you could only give sort of a thumbnail, so why not use the criminal empire that had already been established in many, many episodes of The Clone Wars that Maul established? Why not use that? That makes sense.”
– Sam Witwer
Solo: A Star Wars Story marked Maul’s first cinematic appearance since Episode I: The Phantom Menace nearly 20 years ago, with Witwer handling the voice of Maul while Ray Park was brought back to physically portray the character once again, (no Brian Butterfield this time). While the Anotholgy films was largely Force-free, (apart from that force pull Maul did for his new lightsaber) Witwer noted that there were hints dotted around Dryden Vos’ ship, connecting to Maul and what he went through during the Clone Wars and after.
What happens now with both Solo’s and Maul’s story is unknown (Okay I know we know what happens to both Characters, I’m talking about the gaps between what we know) due to Solo’s disapointing Box Office performance. As Solo writer Jon Kasdan isn’t holding his breathe for a sequel, as much as he would like one. Saying maybe with a smaller budget, it might be more possible……