Interconnected and interwoven franchises are gradually becoming the norm in Hollywood, but no film series can compare to Star Wars. While comic book movies were still figuring out how to tie multiple properties together, the Star Wars universe had already learned how to weave comic books, TV shows, and movies into a single entity. One character from the films who has seen great success in the expanded media is none other than Darth Maul, and it now seems that his recent comic book appearance neatly tied into the events of The Force Awakens by having the Sith Lord face off against some ferocious Rathtars.
A recent report from Comicbook.com shed some new light onto how Darth Maul's new Marvel Comics adventures (a prequel to his fateful encounter with Obi-Wan) explicitly tie into the future of the franchise. In the last comic, the proto-Sith Lord traveled to the remote planet Twon Ketee to vent his personal aggression by hunting the vicious Rathtars. As you will likely recall, these are the same beasts that Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) release on Han Solo's (Harrison Ford) freighter during The Force Awakens when the iconic smuggler finds himself cornered by two mercenary groups that he swindled. It's a minor detail, but it helps reinforce the idea that the prequels, the original trilogy, and the new trilogy all definitely take place within the same universe -- something that the Star Wars franchise hasn't fully embraced just yet.
There's also quite a bit of obvious symbolism here as well. Anyone who has seen The Phantom Menace already knows that Darth Maul seems driven by a murderous rage and highly aggressive fighting style. The comparisons between his own animalistic Dark Side and the beastly Rathtars, and it shows just how ruthless the fan-favorite villain can truly be.
Darth Maul's ability to lay waste to the Rathtars becomes even more impressive when we look back on The Force Awakens and remember exactly how deadly and dangerous they can be when they get out of their cages.
If you ask me, this is exactly the type of connective tissue that the Star Wars franchise needs right now. Instead of big, sweeping continuity links like the ones seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we want to see more little details that subsequently make the galaxy far, far away feel far more cohesive and real. It's not unlike the AT-AT that Rey lives in during the opening scenes of The Force Awakens; it doesn't advance the main plot to see something like that, but it helps reinforce the idea that this is a world in which genuine people live their lives.
CinemaBlend will keep you posted with more Star Wars updates as new information about the saga becomes available to us. The Last Jedi will premiere later this year on December 15.