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Maul wasn't stoic in TPM. He didn't have a personality. Lucas literally told Ray Park to eschew any characterization behind the character and be evil as possible and - according to Park - prevented him from making the character anything other than a big, dangerous attack dog.
We're just lucky that Park, a martial artist himself, saved it by focusing on entirely on the physically intimidating aspects of his performance, giving Maul his distinctive style of motion, but it wasn't characterization that made Maul quiet initially, it was a lack of it.
And basically every other piece of continuity to feature Maul - even before the Purge - has tried to circumvent that in more or less the same way: by asking the question, "if Maul was born and bred to be nothing but an attack dog, what does the dog do when the leash is cut?" and answering "lash out indiscriminately, because he knows nothing else."
It's a writing cheat to make a lazy character's utter lack of depth or motivation work while still letting him win second act fights every now and then so that he doesn't start to look helpless. That way, when he flies into the distance crying, "I'll get you next time, KENOOOOOBIIIIIIII!!!" he can at least claim some small credibility because he's actually won a fight or two.
I didn't really want to spoil the parts of the series you haven't seen yet, but if you're going to be going on like this until you do then I'm just going to say that none of this is actually accurate. Maul does things. Revenge is a primary motivation for him, but not his only one. He has entire arcs dedicated to developing him across two different series, of which you've only seen the first episode of a single one.
You're entitled to your opinion about that episode, but we're here trying to inform you that your early perception of the character is inaccurate and you're just ignoring that in favor of ranting. So my advice is just to keep watching. If you want a Maul that's more of a Soft-Spoken Sadist, I suggest you skip The Clone Wars entirely and just jump to his Older and Wiser portrayal in Rebels, but you'd be missing out on - among other things - what might be one of the greatest lightsaber battles in the entire franchise.
But just to say in general, a character having revenge as a motivation does not make them identical to every other character who has revenge for a motivation, nor does it make them into a Saturday morning cartoon failure. Just keep watching the show.
Given how quickly and immediately you jumped to those conclusions, however, it's really starting to feel more and more like like you're projecting your dislike of other characters from different series onto this one.
Edited by KnownUnknown on Aug 8th 2018 at 8:16:46 AM
Ignoring that I feel your being way too harsh on him (seriously heís not that boring, it sounds more like you hate revenge driven villains in general) I donít think heís that different necessarily.
As you said yourself he acted like a restless animal but maintained some control because he had discipline back then, & when he talked he was somewhat verbose. Sidious trained him well on all fronts.
Only after being bisected & going mad he no longer desires to control his emotions. Itís a somewhat sensible evolution really.
Huh well thank God for Ray Park. Bless the man for trying as hard as he could with nothing Lucas gave him.
Edited by slimcoder on Aug 8th 2018 at 8:10:47 AM
You're entitled to your opinion about that episode, but we're here trying to inform you that your early perception of the character is inaccurate and you're just ignoring that in favor of ranting. So my advice is just to keep watching.
I'm aware that there's still a lot of show ahead of me. I'm just speaking to my impression of the character's return four-parter (two in season four's finale, two in five's premiere). He's not a very good or interesting villain in those episodes, and a lot of the time I was left feeling like he was saying or doing Generic Bad Guy Things because he's The Bad Guy, rather than because any of it fit the character I'd seen in "The Phantom Menace".
It's really starting to feel more and more like like you're projecting your dislike of other characters from different series onto this one.
I admit, there is some of that. I read Marvel Comics, so I've seen about a million different flavors of the Revenge Villain. I've never seen one actually be interesting, short of a writer coming up with a better idea for the character and having them go do that instead. Doctor Doom is never less interesting than when he's trying to murder Reed Richards.
There's only so much you can do with "Kill my favorite superhero" as a motivation. And then as soon as the opportunity presents itself and the villain fails to take it, as Maul does in this four-parter, even that much falls apart. I've heard "I'll let him live SO HE CAN SUFFER" so many times. So, so many. It's meaningless garbage that writers think will make the villain look cool while he's belligerently refusing to accomplish his one shallow goal, because if he actually did it, then the story would have a bad ending.
Revenge Villains often take me out of the story, because they're such a shallow and paint-by-numbers archetype that it's impossible to see any of their actions in a Watsonian light. They're just going through the motions. Growl, snarl, look threatening, ONLY I MAY KILL HIM, growl, fight scene, DON'T KILL HIM BUT MAKE HIM SUFFER, growl, snarl, growl, growl, I'LL GET YOU NEXT TIME.
There's only so many copies of that Stock Character you can see before it just gets old. After a while, it just starts to look like an Excuse Plot to make two characters fight without giving them any real reason to. Maul wants to kill Obi-Wan and Obi-Wan wants Maul to kindly not do that please, so a fight must occur. Rinse and repeat.
But if Maul finds new and interesting stuff to do in later episodes, that will certainly change my opinion of him. I thought Ventress was pretty bland in the first season, but now that she's got this ex-Sith mercenary dynamic going for her, I'm super excited to see what happens to her next.
Only after being bisected & going mad he no longer desires to control his emotions. Itís a sensible evolution really.
And if he talked like a raging beast who can no longer control his emotions, that would make sense. Like, if he was on Broly rampage screaming Obi-Wan's name to the wind, I'd feel more comfortable with the idea of this being an extension of the stoic monster we saw in "The Phantom Menace".
But he talks like a calculating and cunning man who is entirely in control of his emotions and carefully plotting out each and every step of his master plan. At no point does he feel like an attack dog set loose from his chain. It's a really weird behavioral choice for a character whose game plan is to just murder a bloody path through the galaxy until Obi-Wan faces him and then gut Obi-Wan like a fish. He's too contemplative and too chatty for the brutal beast-man they're going for.
Setting aside my personal distaste for Revenge Villains, Darth Maul in this four-parter is a bizarre contradiction of a character. He feels like the dialogue from one villain got stapled to the motives of another completely unrelated villain.
Edited by TobiasDrake on Aug 8th 2018 at 9:46:27 AM
Known: Excuse you. Two of the best lightsaber fights in the franchise. The one in The Lawless is so good that it overshadows the one in Eminence a lot, but let's not forget about that one either!
All that stuff about Maul like his Shakespearean dialogue can be explained away by the simple fact that Sidious was just that damn good of a teacher & a father.
I mean I read the Maul comic that was out a while ago that took place well before TPM which had a lot of introspection & narration by him & he was as verbose & passionate even then. Its especially made clear that Sidious taught everything about Sith history & Maul took it all in going on grand flowery monologues about how the Jedi will pay & how the Sith will have their ultimate revenge, all in his head of course. He really wanted to hurt people too. He is also very self-sufficient able to track & spy on Jedi, hire top of the line bounty hunters with his own money, & in general did stuff completely alien of Sidious' input.
Even though all he was was Sidious' attack dog the old man apparently still made sure he had a good education while stroking the flames of hatred & blood-lust throughout his growth.
Maul was most likely always like this, only tempered by being Sidious' Apprentice at the time.
Edited by slimcoder on Aug 8th 2018 at 10:53:52 AM
I don't see anything out of place about Maul's fixation on revenge (and note that he tells Savage "we will "start" with revenge", so he has other goals beyond it, right from the start). He was horribly crippled, should have died, was left for dead and spent probably a decade trapped on a nightmarish trash dump planet slowly losing his mind. That he's angry about that and wants payback makes sense. Maul is not the type to forgive and forget.
Edited by andersonh1 on Aug 9th 2018 at 6:21:42 AM
There's nothing necessarily out of place about that. The revenge fixation is explained well enough within the text; it's just not very interesting to me when a villain's single and only purpose for villainy is revenge. Like I said, I've seen a million flavors of it and they're all just boring to me and I feel that it frequently necessitates extremely visible periods of bad writing. Often to justify the hero surviving situations where killing him is literally the only thing the villain wants.
Villains often win in the second act. With many villains, that's okay because they aren't actually trying to kill the hero. They don't care about the hero at all, past what the hero's defeat can do to accomplish their goal. Thus, a lot of motives have reasonable workarounds for Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?. "Put him in chains and we'll trade him for the MacGuffin that I want," for instance.
But Revenge Villains have no good reason not to shoot a person when shooting them is literally the only thing in the entire universe that they want. Plot Armor forbids them from succeeding at the one and only thing they desire, even though they are literally seconds from achieving it and nothing can stop them. So they often wind up going back to the "Don't kill him! I want him to suffer!" well. And then 50 episodes later, they're still saying that even though it's blown up in their face 49 times already.
For instance, dumping Obi-Wan harmlessly on the ground to go chase after Ventress when Maul doesn't care about Ventress and only wants to kill Obi-Wan. It's a classic Revenge Villain move to forego vengeance when it's right in front of him for no good reason.
When Darth Maul finds a real motivation, then I'll be interested. Something complex enough to give him reasons not to just be trying to murder Obi-Wan all the time and then stopping whenever the chance arises, other than "Because I just suck at being a villain."
It's the rest of his character that I consider out of place, but we've argued in circles about that and I don't want to just rehash the same old criticisms from yesterday.
I will note that Savage Opress is a lot more in line with what I would have expected Darth Maul to be like. He is rocking the "brutal attack dog off his chain" dynamic. He's curt, laser-focused, and utterly merciless. Unlike Maul, who kills in service to his master plan, Savage kills entirely without reason. Like that pilot who Savage chucked out of his own ship on the trash world just 'cause.
Shit, in the 2v1 fight with Obi-Wan, Savage was even wielding the movie's famous double-bladed lightsaber while Maul went for a more disciplined and patient single-blade style.
There's a bit of tragedy to Savage's character that I find fascinating. He was put through brutal trials that killed several of his peers by Ventress in order to pick out an attack dog. Then he was tortured both physically and emotionally to convert him into the attack dog she wanted. And then they made him murder his brother as a show of loyalty.
Savage's motivation is one I can get behind: he's driven to connect with his other brother. This feels like a direct extension of his relationship with his younger brother, who he protected and shielded. Savage has always been driven by family, and now he's a brutal beast-man still driven by family. But his new brother is much more horrible than his old innocent brother and has no apparent love for him.
There's so much writing potential in that.
Edited by TobiasDrake on Aug 9th 2018 at 8:20:26 AM
Unrelated to all of that:
Watching episode 05x06 - The Gathering right now. Ahsoka took a bunch of Jedi younglings to find their lightsaber crystals. This is some nice development of the Order and exploration of how they train the kids, mixed with the overwhelming shadow of tragedy that permeates this show so effectively.
Like. I'm really invested in these kids and their trial. One kid's worried that there might be monsters down a hall he has to go down alone and the others are like, "You're a Jedi! You're tougher than monsters!" to try and amp him up. It's so sweet.
And at the same time, in the back of my mind while I'm watching them confront their fears and grow, it's like, "Anakin is going to murder each and every one of these kids." They don't get to grow up to be great diplomats and scholars and serve the Republic. Their fate is sealed in stone by the impending genocide to come.
That juxtaposition is a really unique element that the show has. It's something you don't really see in other shows: the burden of knowing that the good guys do not win. Clone Wars is a tragedy in motion, and every victory is tinged with the sour aftertaste of knowing what's to come. It's fascinating.
Edited by TobiasDrake on Aug 9th 2018 at 10:41:53 AM
Two interesting things about that arc. One, some of the kids reappear in Yoda's visions in the series' final arc, and it's like a punch to the stomach.
Second, it could have been much worse. You get four episodes with these kids and knowing they're all going to be slaughtered within a year is awful. Now imagine having an entire series with them. Because that was the plan. The Young Jedi arc was originally a movie-length pilot for a series about the kids. It never went anywhere though, and they split it up to air as part of The Clone Wars.
It was originally shown at...I want to say Celebration, but it could have been SDCC, and the plan was for it to be a special event just for the people in attendance. It was so well-received that they inserted it into Season 5 (knocking the Clovis arc out of the season, and into the Lost Missions half-season).
Is that so? That's interesting. Not sure how that would work timeline wise though. The show already stretched the three year time span to the breaking point.
Oh, man. That would have been great in a tragic way. I would totally watch a series about these kids prior to being butchered by Anakin. It's gut-wrenching and heartbreaking in a way that adds emotional context to his brutal crime of massacring the Younglings.
Like, before, we knew it was a bad thing. We could feel bad about it because he killed children. But there's still a level of detachment to the deaths of nameless extras. This arc humanizes the kids. It gives them names and faces and personalities and dreams, making the same atrocity resonate on a more guttural emotional level.
In general, that's one of the best things about the show: the way it makes the fall of the Republic come across less like a featureless passage in a history book and more like the genuine tragedy and horror that it's meant to be. It's heartbreaking to know that, for all intents and purposes, the bad guy wins.
Obi-Wan has a line in "Revenge of the Sith" that's always haunted me when I think of the Republic. Facing off against Count Dooku, Palpatine urges him to go get help against the Sith Lord. Obi-Wan snarks, "Sith Lords are our speciality."
He means it as a Badass Boast, but he's saying it to the very Sith Lord that is actively undermining everything he stands for as he speaks. The Sith Lord who will, in like a week's time, utterly exterminate his entire Order and bulldoze democracy. And then that's it. End chapter. Close the book. Story's over.
Palpatine will not face comeuppance for thirty years. He'll outlive Obi-Wan. He'll outlive Yoda. Not a single Jedi alive today will ever see him brought down minus some Force Ghost shenanigans. He will accomplish every terrible thing he set out to do, and then only be thwarted when he's already like 80 years old anyway and thus isn't really losing much by dying.
The Order will be destroyed from within, a fascist state will unmake everything the Jedi fought for, and Darth Sidious will live like a king for decades. "Sith Lords are our speciality" indeed.
Edited by TobiasDrake on Aug 9th 2018 at 1:04:38 PM
Your story can move slower when your characters don't have to go rocketing across the galaxy every few episodes. And the spin-off doesn't need to keep the same rate of time as the parent show. And even if it did, TCW was in 19 BBY by Season 5, with three seasons still in the works afterward.
Quick nitpicks: Episode III's timeframe is significantly more than a week. It's probably closer to three months, at the low end. Padmť starts the movie not pregnant enough that Anakin notices just by looking at her, and ends it giving birth to viable babies.
Palpatine is Emperor for 23 years. Not quite enough that you can get away with rounding up to 30.
And one Jedi will see him brought down. The one who does it, Anakin Skywalker.
Edited by BadWolf21 on Aug 9th 2018 at 2:09:01 PM
I might also have the timeframe on Palpatine's comeuppance wrong in retrospect. Like, in the back of my mind, I want to say thirty years. Thirty years is significant in some way, I think? I feel like there was something important about thirty years.
But I don't think Luke was actually thirty years old at the Battle of Endor and, like, you can measure time since the fall of the Republic in Luke's age on account of him being born that same f*cking day.
Edited by TobiasDrake on Aug 9th 2018 at 1:08:25 PM
Every moment with the Jedi is a tragedy knowing they will all die.
I've neven the movie yet but wasn't Khan from Star Trek: Wrath of Khan a revenge driven villain & a very calm & cultured one at that?
30 years is the time between Episodes VI and VII.
It's also approximately how long before the Battle of Yavin that Episode I takes place (32 years, to be precise).
Yes, but Khan is driven for revenge against a third party, not against the hero. This gives him more flexibility in his relationship with Kirk and the Enterprise, since they aren't the exact people he wants to murder.
That they are also against the third party he wants to murder adds further complexity.
And then Khan also has a secondary motivation of protecting his crew and ensuring that they remain unharmed, which further drives his actions when interacting with the Enterprise crew.
And then he also also has a tertiary motivation of eugenics which drives his love for his "genetically superior" crew.
EDIT: Wait, my bad. Wrong Khan movie. I've only seen the reboot stuff. <.<
Aha! That explains my confusion. I got my trilogy gaps mixed up.
EDIT EDIT: Man, I suddenly feel bad for Luke. Imagine finding out that your birthday is also the anniversary of Nazis taking over your country. That cake is never going to taste the same again.
Edited by TobiasDrake on Aug 9th 2018 at 1:14:44 PM
If you're interested in when specific things take place, check out Wookieepedia. Pretty much every work page there tells you the year the story takes place. They also have a handy Timeline of Canon Media.
All years in Star Wars are measured from the Battle of Yavin (pretty much just because it's the original movie). For reference:
EDIT: Luke and Leia were actually born shortly after the day the Empire took over, anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks.
There is actually an early episode of Rebels where Ezra reveals that he was born on Empire Day, however. And you pretty much nail his thoughts on it.
Edited by BadWolf21 on Aug 9th 2018 at 2:18:28 PM
I believe ROTS to ANH has a gap of 19 years. ANH to ROTJ is around 4 years do the emperor only ruled for a little over twenty years.
It's interesting how the major films only cover a span of sixty some years. That's pretty short when you consider there are aliens that live for centuries.
Ezra being the same age as Luke and Leia is weird to think about. She seems older than him for some reason.
Edited by Kostya on Aug 9th 2018 at 3:20:31 PM
What's even more interesting is that that's currently the entire extent of the timeline in canon. The earliest events are the main comic's Yoda's Secret War arc, which is set shortly before Episode I, and the most recent is Episode VIII.
Edited by BadWolf21 on Aug 9th 2018 at 2:26:39 PM
Unless I'm mistaken the Darth Maul miniseries(not Son of Dathomir) takes place a few months prior to Episode 1 as well. But aside from various flashbacks that's true. Everything in canon occurs over that same 68ish year time span.
Is The Old Republic not canon anymore? I thought that MMO's story was still ongoing.
It's ongoing but noncanon. They've alluded to some KOTOR events and characters but nothing concrete is established other than there being a massive battle on Malachor.
Kostya: It does, but I believe it's placed after Yoda's Secret War.
And Leia seems older because she's a princess being raised to take her father's seat in the Senate, and Ezra is a kid from a backwater planet. It reminds me of the meme that says something like:
Anakin Skywalker, age 19: one of the most power Jedi ever, and a general in the Clone Wars Padmť Amidala, age 19: former queen of her planet, and Senator of the Republic Leia Organa, age 19: Princess of Alderaan, Imperial Senator, and highly-placed member of the Rebel Alliance Luke Skywalker, age 19: sitting in his garage, making vroom-vroom noises with his toy spaceship
Drake: It's not canon. It's still ongoing, but it still falls under Legends.
Edited by BadWolf21 on Aug 9th 2018 at 2:26:22 PM
Khan explicitly wants revenge on Kirk for marooning him on a planet, which would later have its orbit altered and thus become a wasteland where his wife and many of his followers would die. He spends half of Wrath of Khan trying to kill Kirk. Now he also wants Genesis, (because Genesis does what Nintendon't,) but he has a raging hard-on for Kirk murder. Or, better yet, Kirk-marooning-on-a-lifeless-planet.
I think the kids from that particular arc aren't younglings by the end of it. That is to say, I think completing the lightsaber crystal quest is the thing that shows that you are no longer a youngling and are now ready to become a Padawan. Kids are still going to get killed though. Unless one of them decides to become a n Inquisitor.
I have to disagree with that interpretation. Ahsoka is 14 at the start of the series and is considered young to be a Padawan. The kids are significantly younger than her.
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