That’s right. As unlikely as it may seem, Darth Maul, the glowering Sith warrior who fell to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s blade at the end of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace actually survived being cut in half and will return to George Lucas’s still unfolding space saga on Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars (read our recaps here!) in spring 2012.
With his red-and-black tattooed face, Bronson-esque stoicism, Dervish-like mixed martial-arts moves (courtesy of Ray Park), and legendary double-bladed lightsaber—the coolest birthday present for 10-year-old boys in the summer of 1999—Maul was easily the most striking character in The Phantom Menace. (TPM is due to be released in theaters with a 3-D facelift February 10, 2012). And he only had three lines in the movie! Maul was a blunt instrument, a weapon of pure aggression to carry out the bidding of ūber Sith Lord Darth Sidious (a.k.a the future Emperor Palpatine), when he wasn’t yet ready to emerge from the shadows. Think of Maul like the Star Wars equivalent of Daniel Craig’s Bond. Only, did we mention he had a frickin’ double-bladed lightsaber?
When he was vivisected courtesy of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Maul immediately took his place among pop culture figures who’d also been cut in half: Bishop in Aliens, Quint in Jaws, Tony Goldwyn in Ghost, the Black Dahlia. Needless to say, we never expected to see him again, right?
Wrong! Last January a Clone Wars arc featuring a relative of Maul’s, the duped, sympathetic Nightbrother of Dathomir Savage Opress teased a hazy image of Maul in a crystal ball. Did this mean the former Sith Warrior was still alive? Indeed, and EW’s got an exclusive video first look at Maul’s animated form. Take a walk on the Dark Side and check it out after the break: READ FULL STORY