It was just the other day while browsing a Wal-Mart toy section that a friend and I remarked upon how easy it is to find an action figure of Constable Zuvio, a character entirely cut from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Meanwhile, plastic representations of Rey, the main character of the film, are considerably harder to come by – and not because they’ve all been snatched up. They just didn’t make that many. It seems like a shocking phenomenon, but when you think about it, it’s nothing new. Star Wars marketing has always been dominated not necessarily by the most important characters, but the coolest looking ones. Case in point, The Phantom Menace baddie Darth Maul. Despite having a relatively small presence in the film outside of the big ending fight scene, you could’t throw a rock in the summer of 1999 without hitting something with Maul’s face plastered all over it. And yet the film came out and Maul turned out to have one solitary line, two fight scenes, and an ignominious death from which he never returned (not in the films anyway). The era of Maul’s ubiquity ended as quickly as it began, with Attack of the Clones shifting its focus to Jango Fett, again a character with relatively little presence in his film.
But Maul lives on, how could he not after being sold as the coolest thing ever to impressionable kids all those years ago. Even though the Star Wars films proper left Maul in the dust and never looked back, he’s continued to appear in comics, games, the Clone Wars tv series and a host of other media. Included in that host are fan films, and a new Maul-centric fan production recently hit the web. The short, titled Darth Maul: Apprentice, is an impressive piece of work as fan films go, telling a relatively simple story that sees Maul square off against a group of Jedi in what boils down to one long fight sequence. The short features some impressive fight choreography and cinematography, with some wirework, a nice overhead shot, and even a few sweeping vistas probably captured via drone. The short was in production for over two years, clearly a labor of love by writer, director, producer and editor Shawn Bu and choreographer Vi-Dan Tran.
You can check out the short below, and the hard work and passion that went into it will quickly become apparent.