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Warning: MASSIVE spoilers ahead for Solo: A Star Wars Story! Don't read any further unless you want to know one of the film's biggest reveals! Seriously, you've been warned!
Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story is a film chock full of twists and turns, but one of the film's biggest surprises comes during its final few minutes. Darth Maul returns to the cinematic side of the Star Wars franchise as the criminal mastermind in control of Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke), leading to one of the film's most gasp-worthy moments. I recently asked Clarke if she knew what she was acting against in that scene, and she explained that Ron Howard revealed the Maul twist to her relatively late in the game. The Game of Thrones star admitted:
Very very very very very late in the day. ... Ron [Howard], at a certain point in filming said scene, went, 'You wanna know?' And I was like, 'Yeah!' and he was like, 'Okay come over here." I mean, I kind of had gone through in my head. I'm like, 'Okay so there's a number of options here,' and that was one of the options in my head, I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't the option I thought it was gonna be, but it was kind of cool. It definitely sort of made me go, 'ew,' and it was less like a [gasp] and more like a 'ooooo.' Which I think is the exact noise that happened in the [premiere] auditorium.
Technically speaking, Emilia Clarke didn't actually need to know who Qi'ra was talking to in that scene. Darth Maul showed up as a hologram, and the actress wasn't informed who the secret character was until director Ron Howard decided to tell her in the middle of production. That said, Emilia Clark did have theories about who the mysterious character might be, and Maul was one of the ideas that she considered -- though even she admitted that Maul wasn't at the top of the list.
Emilia Clarke wasn't the only person to respond to the Darth Maul reveal in that way. Paul Bettany chimed in during our interview and noted that he was similarly taken aback by the reveal. The Avengers: Infinity War star noted:
I happened to walk onto set when the reverse of that was being shot, and I went 'ooooo.'
Now we will have to wait and see how the Star Wars franchise builds upon that Darth Maul reveal. The character hasn't been seen in a Star Wars movie since the events of The Phantom Menace when Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) cut him in half. He has since gone on to a wide variety of stories in the animated Star Wars TV series, but re-introducing him to the movies opens up a whole new world.
If you want a closer look at our recent Solo: A Star Wars Story interview with Emilia Clarke and Paul Bettany, take a look at a clip from our chat, below!
Solo: A Star Wars Story is now in theaters. Take a look at CinemaBlend's full review of the latest Star Wars installment, and then make sure to catch it on the big screen for yourself! Also, now that Han's spinoff movie is officially out, mark down your calendars and start gearing up for the release of Episode IX next year on December 20, 2019!