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The 30 Greatest Star Wars Characters
From Admiral Ackbar to... Yoda - we count down Lucas' best creations

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8. DARTH MAUL

Darth Maul

When he stepped from the shadows of a murky hologram, we knew little about Darth Maul; the inhabitants of the Star Wars galaxy - bar one - knew even less. We wouldn't discover much more: he was a force of pure malevolence, hellbent on destroying the Jedi. Even in the Expanded Universe, despite a novel devoted to him, there was precious little background on this Sith apprentice.

A Zabrak from Iridonia, he was brutally trained to perfection from a young age by Sidious, never questioning his master, exacting every order to the letter. Even his strange hue was no help in identifying him - the red and black design on his head is part of a Sith body tattoo.

But Maul managed to be the highlight of Episode I, simply by virtue of being the darkest thing in a very bright, innocent movie. And of course, he had the coolest lightsaber ever. "The double-ended bit was pretty much set when I got there," says the man (if not the voice, which belongs to Peter Serafinowicz) behind the tats, wushu blackbelt Ray Park. "The only difference was that the handle was going to be the size of a standard lightsaber.

It would have been virtually impossible to move something that small around my body and keep it balanced, so I asked George if I could have it bigger." Other elements of his outfit were the usual carefully orchestrated mash-up, a mix of original cuts from Star Wars designer extraordinaire Trisha Biggar, and existing materials; the boots are from famous motorcycling brand Frank Thomas.

The knee-jerk instinct when waxing nostalgic about Maul is to claim he was a wasted opportunity, that he should have been used further into the prequels. In truth, this isn't the case. Badass beyond words he may have been, but having such an essentially submissive personality, and being a character who needed to be removed from the spotlight early on (to get the Sith attentions onto Anakin), he couldn't stay for long, and Lucas' decision to kill him at the end of The Phantom Menace was a wise one.

People may quibble over the specifics of how he was dispatched, but there's no question he had fulfilled his requirements to the story. Less is Maul, if you like...

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Your Comments

1 RE: I Agree
To paraphrase Palpatine, likeable is a point of view. More

Posted by Litshttam on Wednesday July 9, 2014, 20:47

2 I don't agree.
'George Lucas's 30 worst creations'...? Nah, it's just going to be slagging him off, for the sake of it... AGAIN! Its really good to see more appreciation (and fairness) in articles towards George. Just check out 'The Guardian online', they take every opportunity to slag Star Wars off, including loads of unqualified opinions and non-truths. The film critic even started a recent post saying 'Star Wars isn't known for its creativity...' - its farcical. As a character from another space franchise said "...its easier to destroy than create". More

Posted by Funk_Knight on Thursday July 3, 2014, 10:17

3 I don't agree.
'George Lucas's 30 worst creations'...? Nah, it's just going to be slagging him off, for the sake of it... AGAIN! Its really good to see more appreciation (and fairness) in articles towards George. Just check out 'The Guardian online', they take every opportunity to slag Star Wars off, including loads of unqualified opinions and non-truths. The film critic even started a recent post saying 'Star Wars isn't known for its creativity...' - its farcical. As a character from another space franchise said "...its easier to destroy than create". More

Posted by Funk_Knight on Thursday July 3, 2014, 10:17

4 I Agree
A WORST Star Wars Characters list will be more interesting. Jar Jar obviously would be No. 1. Though I also agree he had a good character arc (But that doesn't make him likable) More

Posted by Darren47 on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 23:50

5 RE: Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
Or Boris Johnson. Or Bush Jr. Take your pick, really. More

Posted by Litshttam on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 22:04

6 RE: Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
L: Litshttam Jar Jar Binks starts off as mythic-archetype - the fool / jester the hero meets by the roadside - and becomes a commentary on the nepotism in politics; his befriending of Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace leads to his appointment as Gungan-representative in the senate by Attack Of The Clones. The unfit-for-purpose-but-sincere plonker inadvertently starts the Clone Wars, too, falling for the Hegelian-machinations of Palpatine hook, line and sinker. Sure, Yoda he ain't, but I like him. o, Jar Jar Binks is... Tony Blair? (How wude.) More

Posted by chris kilby on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:45

7 RE: Predictable...
L: GrizBe I'd much rather see the 30 worst / dumbest Star Wars characters. We all know Jar Jar would top that, but it'd be more fun then this. ax Rebo? Droopy McCool? More

Posted by chris kilby on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 12:44

8 30 Greatest Characters?
Loads of these were generic 'Stormtrooper', 'Scout Trooper', 'Jawa' etc, not actual characters. Also, Anakin/ Darth Vader, whether you like it or not, is the same dude! Also Ben and Obi-Wan. I've seen several top Star Wars character lists, this is the worst attempt I've seen. More

Posted by AyannaNyx on Wednesday July 2, 2014, 01:26

9 Binks' Arc Is Actually One Of The Best In The Saga
Jar Jar Binks starts off as mythic-archetype - the fool / jester the hero meets by the roadside - and becomes a commentary on the nepotism in politics; his befriending of Padmé Amidala in The Phantom Menace leads to his appointment as Gungan-representative in the senate by Attack Of The Clones. The unfit-for-purpose-but-sincere plonker inadvertently starts the Clone Wars, too, falling for the Hegelian-machinations of Palpatine hook, line and sinker. Sure, Yoda he ain't, but I like him. More

Posted by Litshttam on Tuesday July 1, 2014, 13:38

10 Predictable...
I'd much rather see the 30 worst / dumbest Star Wars characters. We all know Jar Jar would top that, but it'd be more fun then this. More

Posted by GrizBe on Tuesday July 1, 2014, 11:13

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