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What You Likely Never Noticed About Darth Maul's Scenes In Star Wars: Episode I

No matter your stance on the "Star Wars" prequel with a surprisingly high Midi-chlorian count, there's no denying that the one perk "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace" gave us was the debut of super cool Sith Lord, Darth Maul. The horned apprentice that was one part Ray Park, one part Peter Serafinowicz (in voice, at least) made for not just a brilliant-looking villain, but one of the best lightsaber fights the franchise has ever seen.

Squaring off against Liam Neeson's Qui-Gon Jinn and Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi in the legendary Duel of the Fates, the scene is a moment of cinematic splendor, amplified by John Williams' hair-raising score. Of course, there's build-up leading to that Force-powered moment, with Maul having all the presence of a red and black spectre as the intimidating apprentice to the then-unknown Master Sith, Darth Sidious. Interestingly, though, even after all these years and the limited seven minutes of screen-time Maul has in "The Phantom Menace," there's one unusual trait he has that's literally a blink-or-you'll miss-it moment.

Darth Maul proves to be a staring contest champ in The Phantom Menace

While he's not necessarily a prominent figure in George Lucas' initial prequel, Darth Maul spends a lot of time lighting up the screen with his intense stare and fire-like eyes whenever he appears on the screen. What's "most impressive" about one of the franchise's most terrifying foes, though, is that he only blinks on three occasions in the entire film. The reason for the intense dry-eye was actually down to the contact lenses Ray Park was forced to wear for the character, which made blinking very painful. As a result, you only see Maul do so when his lightsaber gets halved by Obi-Wan, and twice more when he himself suffers the same treatment at the end of their duel.

It's an easy thing to overlook in between Maul's twirling techniques and him scaring the Sith out of audiences when he first appeared on screen. Even so, that intense glare is an iconic one that not even Vader himself could compete with (of course, that's mainly because we can't see his eyes). When it comes to a "Star Wars" stare down, Maul beats them all.