I have to say, I think Maul’s reintroduction last week was so much creepier than anybody could ever have imagined.
Through his grief, anger, despair, and the power of the dark side, these spider legs have grown out of his torso. He’s literally turned into a giant spider-creature! So that’s why it was so important to nail the psychology here. His physical appearance reflects his mental state. In “Revenge,” he’s put back together, but he’s still not what anyone would say is a stable or healthy individual. He and Savage need some major family therapy.
Dave Filoni said he wanted a Gollum-type version of the character, at least at first, when we discover him again. And then when I finally had the script (written by Katie Lucas, George’s daughter) I saw that there were also some Col. Kurtz similarities. You had Savage looking for this guy and it turns out he’s hidden away in a cave saying crazy things. And I thought it might be an opportunity to do a little Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now stuff. I mean, Marlon Brando does some crazy stuff at the end of the movie. And that’s basically what we went for in the vocal booth.
Can we expect Maul to recite “The Hollow Men” in the near future?
Almost! The script was really well written, but it only said that Darth Maul was “mumbling things.” It didn’t say what he was saying. So when I was preparing for it I started jotting down ideas, like, “What would this guy being doing in this cave for 10 years? How would he maintain his sanity and his health?” And I started thinking that he’d be constantly remembering his training with Darth Sidious, he’d be fantasizing about revenge scenarios, he’d be fantasizing about success scenarios where he goes off into the world and is reestablished and everything’s fine.
Back to the idea of “the party” (i.e. the Clone Wars) having started without him. Wouldn’t Maul feel resentment toward Darth Sidious for pretty much just forgetting about him?
He’s not brave enough to acknowledge that resentment. He definitely feels it. But the Sith are fearful people. If Darth Vader wasn’t so fearful, it wouldn’t have gone down like that. They’re all about themselves, all about accumulating power to protect themselves. Everyone’s always out to get them, everyone’s always limiting them and they want to break through their limitations. But the person they could point to — if they had any logic or reason — who has done them the most harm is their master. Maul takes all that resentment he should have toward Darth Sidious, who put him in that terrible position to begin with, and places it on the most convenient target: Obi-Wan Kenobi. He has this Ahab-type thirst for revenge, but when he finally has a chance to live that out, it’s not as satisfying as he thought it would be. And that leads to a pretty interesting new direction after that…