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How Star Wars Fans Think The Book Of Boba Fett Connects To Darth Maul

On November 1, Disney released its first trailer for "The Book of Boba Fett," a "Star Wars" TV series that will serve as a direct sequel to "The Mandalorian" Season 2 and detail the activities of longtime franchise staple Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) in the wake of the Galactic Empire's defeat. Timeline-wise, this means that — just like "The Mandalorian" before it — "The Book of Boba Fett" will take place between Emperor Palpatine's defeat in "Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi" and the introduction of the newest generation of heroes in "Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens."

While "Star Wars" TV series and comics alike have filled in many gaps between the first six "Star Wars" films, the period of time between "Episode VI" and "Episode VII" is largely unexplored territory on TV and in film (Disney cartoon "Star Wars Resistance" is perhaps the most notable exception). Because the canonical events of this time period have only seldom been revealed, they remain a source for fan speculation, in contrast to the well-trodden territory of past eras in "Star Wars" fiction.

Some fans, therefore, have begun to theorize that a criminal organization once led by none other than "Phantom Menace" villain Darth Maul might resurface and play an important role in "The Book of Boba Fett," based on the story teased in its latest trailer.

Darth Maul's survival

While it's been widespread knowledge among attentive "Star Wars" fans for years now, viewers of the mainline "Star Wars" films alone might not know that Darth Maul (Ray Park) survived his defeat at the hands of a young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," despite losing the lower half of his body.

"Star Wars: The Clone Wars," which is a cartoon that mostly fills in "Star Wars" canon between Episodes 2 and 3, begins to details Darth Maul's return in its fourth season. In short, Maul — technically his new name, given that he's no longer officially a Sith apprentice — takes over the planet Mandalore and commands multiple criminal organizations from throughout the galaxy. Already, then, this positions Maul as an important figure in Boba Fett's lineage, given that he at one point served as official leader to the Mandalorian people, from whom Boba Fett is descended. In a discussion thread on Reddit about the "Book of Boba Fett" trailer, one fan even directly likened Boba Fett's takeover of Jabba the Hutt's empire to Maul's takeover of Mandalore, further linking these two storylines.

Darth Maul is defeated and retreats underground

"The Clone Wars" Season 7, which takes place more-or-less concurrently with "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith," details, among other things, Maul's defeat by the Grand Army of the Republic on Mandalore, losing him control of the planet and forcing him into hiding. While some comics fill in details of this period of his life, the next on-screen chapter of his story occurs in "Star Wars: Rebels," the sequel cartoon to "The Clone Wars," which takes place in between "Episode III" and "Episode IV." In Maul's first "Rebels" appearance, he's leading a criminal enterprise from the shadows rather than attempting to wield power publicly as he did upon overtaking Mandalore.

Technically, though, Maul's first chronological appearance in the wake of "The Clone Wars" is a cameo near the end of "Solo: A Star Wars Story." Though Maul is on-screen for only a roughly minute-long conversation, it's this moment that's key to his potential involvement in the story of "The Book of Boba Fett."

Maul once led Crimson Dawn

The primary antagonist group in "Solo: A Star Wars Story" is a criminal organization called Crimson Dawn. At first, its leader appears to be a seasoned criminal leader named Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany). Near the film's end, Vos is betrayed and killed by Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke), a childhood friend of Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich)'s, who alternatively serves as both hero and villain throughout the film. After killing Vos, she video conferences with Maul (Ray Park, reprising his "Phantom Menace" role), thus revealing that Vos was never the Crimson Dawn's true leader, but merely served as its figurehead while Maul ruled from the shadows.

Qi'ra ultimately survives the events of "Solo: A Star Wars Story." Furthermore, Qi'ra has yet to return in a "Star Wars" movie or TV series, so her character's future is very much up in the air. Some fans think she might be primed to officially resurface in "The Book of Boba Fett," especially given that the series appears to detail the rise of a new criminal enterprise led by Boba Fett.

Darth Maul is dead, but his influence pervades

Darth Maul's death comes at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars: Rebels" after Maul tracks down Obi-Wan, on whom he wants nothing more than to exact revenge for his bisection in "The Phantom Menace." Obi-Wan defeats Maul in seconds, making Tatooine his final resting place.

Theories about Maul factoring into the story of "The Book of Boba Fett" hinge on the fact that Boba Fett, as revealed in the final shot of "The Mandalorian" Season 2 as well as the series' latest trailer, will graduate from bounty hunter to leader of a criminal empire upon the premiere of his starring vehicle. Presumably, then, if the Crimson Dawn still exists, Boba Fett will serve as a galactic rival to the syndicate once led by Maul. In fact, Reddit user No_Advance6273 proposed that Maul might return as a force ghost if this ends up being the case. While traditionally only Jedi can return from the dead, meaning that Maul should be incapable of using this power, the theory nevertheless speaks to the fact that some fans expect that Maul might come return to the mortal plane in a similar manner to characters like Obi-Wan and Yoda before him.

Qi'ra could be key in The Book of Boba Fett

Multiple users in the discussion thread in the StarWarsLeaks Reddit about the "Book of Boba Fett" trailer, like user TheLouisvilleRanger, have proposed that the Crimson Dawn might factor significantly into the series' story. In response, user PaleozoicChicken suggested that, were this to be the case, Qi'ra could return in a manner similar to Darth Maul in "The Clone Wars" — presumed dead, but amassing power in the shadows.

Given that Maul's connection to Qi'ra has yet to be explored on-screen in a significant way, this is the most likely path toward Maul's involvement in "The Book of Boba Fett." If Emilia Clarke ends up reprising her "Solo: A Star Wars Story" role, and Darth Maul is indeed dead for good, the relationship between Qi'ra and her Crimson Dawn superior could still be further explored in flashbacks to help establish Qi'ra as antagonist to Boba Fett. Maul's live-action return is thus most likely contingent on Qi'ra too making an appearance, but should this be the case, some mention of Maul, at the very least, would become likely.

Fans will get an official verdict on Maul's return when "The Book of Boba Fett" premieres on December 29.