Was Darth Maul a good Starwars Character
Yes
44.1% (131)
44.1% (131)
No
19.9% (59)
19.9% (59)
Meh
35% (104)
35% (104)
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Poll: Was Darth Maul a good character in a bad Starwars film? Or a mediocre character in a really bad film

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I like Darth Maul. A drunken group of friends were talking (of course) about Starwars Episode 1-3, and I mentioned that Darth Maul was an exceptional character. Then it was pointed out to me that if everything else in the story was up to par, he wouldn't be considered so great. What do you think?

I lean more towards the former than the latter. He made a very nice foil to Palpatine. Whereas Palpatine was talk and lighting, Maul was a silent dervish of physical prowess. Palpatine (at the time) looked like a kindly man, Maul looked outright demonic.

Part of the problem though, is he had horrible implementation. He had no build up, he only appeared in a handful of scenes and only did something notable in two of them, both of which were his fight scenes. The character had a nice concept behind it, but suffered because they didn't really use him. Half the issue is that by all accounts he should have been a major villain for the prequels, but barely had more screentime than the extras.

All valid points, Indeed true.

I would have liked to know more about this character. He was interesting but he only gave a few lines and nothing was told about this background/motivation. Was he some sort of alien or did he mutilate himself to look like a demon of some sort.

I left that movie feeling as though there was a book I should have read beforehand.

bluepilot:
I would have liked to know more about this character. He was interesting but he only gave a few lines and nothing was told about this background/motivation. Was he some sort of alien or did he mutilate himself to look like a demon of some sort.

I left that movie feeling as though there was a book I should have read beforehand.

He's a Zabrak, they have those horns. And his face is tattooed I believe.

OT: I really think he needed to be fleshed out more. He seems like he could have been a good villain, but as it was he was cool but kind of lacked substance as a villain.

I personally really liked Darth Maul, although I felt that he just wasn't given enough characterization in the movie itself, which I saw as one of the main failures of the movie. Having read some of the extended universe stuff, I think he is a cool character.

There really isn't much to say about Darth Maul, he had just a few lines in the entire movie and his screen presence was minimal. Sure the guy was intimidating to look at, but you just didn't ever feel like he was this huge threat, unlike with Darth Vader where you know you're fucked the moment he steps on screen.

While the lightsaber duel was pretty cool, that's the only defining point of the character, he was just a showcase of stunt choreography.

His main weakness was a lack of screen time. If he was introduced earlier, and had more scenes showing him tracking the Jedi and the Queen, he would have been that much more intimidating.

However, if you want more Maul, he's apparently still alive.... somehow. In an upcoming Clone Wars TV arc, Darth Maul's body was attached to spider robot legs, and he is going to fight against the Jedi.

He had a minimal amount of screen time but was still intimidating, I thought he was an exceptional character, a high quality character in a mediocre film

Asita:
I lean more towards the former than the latter. He made a very nice foil to Palpatine. Whereas Palpatine was talk and lighting, Maul was a silent dervish of physical prowess. Palpatine (at the time) looked like a kindly man, Maul looked outright demonic.

Part of the problem though, is he had horrible implementation. He had no build up, he only appeared in a handful of scenes and only did something notable in two of them, both of which were his fight scenes. The character had a nice concept behind it, but suffered because they didn't really use him. Half the issue is that by all accounts he should have been a major villain for the prequels, but barely had more screentime than the extras.

This. He was a huge draw for me because I figured he'd actually do something other than stand around looking menacing and off an important character. Also, the final scene with him was horribly contrived and unbelievable.

Good visual design, cool weapon. But no personality what so ever. Plus he's kind of contrived, red and black skin, horns, can he get any more evil? While it's nice to see a non-human (I think?) sith in the franchise, he's pretty ridiculous. I honestly prefer Dooku, wise and elegant older man, former jedi, arrogant enough to mistake his place with Sidious.

He was NOT a character at all. In an atrocious excuse for a movie.

Now that said, the visual design was very pretty, and with:
- Writing
- Character development
- Stylistic choice that would make choreographed fights not seem ridiculous
...he could have been a good character. As it is, he was not a character at all.

Sure he was awesome and all (yay double lightsaber) but he only had one line. We learn nothing of his background or his motivation. Are we have to interpreted his movement to learn more about him?

Did you know that it was Palpatine who gave him that red tattoo thing and it was painful? No you didn't since you only get to know that from the book/ comic.

So in my view he was nothing special who get cast aside so easily but some fan want more of him that they clone him and will appear in the upcoming animated Clone Wars episode.

Darth Maul had a character? Since when? He was in the movie for like 15 seconds and had no dialogue.

As a kid at the time of the films release, he was certainly pretty awesome at the time... But he has next to no characterisation.

But to answer your actual question he's a mediocre character (or at least a poorly implemented one that wasted potential) in a really bad film but if the film were better there's a good chance he would have been better too.

I dont think you can even call him a character. He had no personality, no development, he was just there for the fight scenes.

I think he could have been a good character if the script had allowed but in the state he was presented, no.

Darth Maul is a horrible character, with barely any screentime and characterization. I don't even know who the fuck he is, other than the fact that he's a baddy. When I see a five-minute long battle filled with drama, I'd like there to be actual depth to them with fully established characters. Compare Luke vs Vader and Obi-Wan + Liam Neeson vs Darth Maul

Nimcha:
Him not being an actual fleshed out character is kind of the point, people.

Whether it's the point or not doesn't really make it any better.

Him not being an actual fleshed out character is kind of the point, people. I know you all hate Star Wars for whatever reason, but this one's too easy.

He had some threat to him, which is more than I can say about any of the other prequel villains, but you put that face paint and those horns on anybody and the look intimidating.

Whatever quality he had as a villain was all superficial.

Scarim Coral:
Sure he was awesome and all (yay double lightsaber) but he only had one line. We learn nothing of his background or his motivation. Are we have to interpreted his movement to learn more about him?

Did you know that it was Palpatine who gave him that red tattoo thing and it was painful? No you didn't since you only get to know that from the book/ comic.

So in my view he was nothing special who get cast aside so easily but some fan want more of him that they clone him and will appear in the upcoming animated Clone Wars episode.

Actually, its the black that is the tattoo, his actual skin is red. Zabrak skin comes in many different colors, and red is one of them. Also, he has been brought back to life somewhere between the and four times in some form or another.

How is he even a fucking character? He's just a goon, the fact that anyone would regard him as a good character on any level says alot about how unimaginably badly written the prequels are.

Seeing as he doesn't do anything except a couple of fight scenes, doesn't say anything except one line about having revenge (revenge for what? No clue) and has no backstory whatsoever unless you dig up some wiki entry...There is NOTHING to like about Maul, except that he has the only "staff-saber" in the Star Wars films, which is sorta memorable but certainly doesn't warrant him being a considered a "good character". Simply put he has no character, nor does anyone in ep 1.

For my money, Darth Maul has the greatest badass/screentime-ratio of any character in all the Star Wars movies and a great redeeming factor for Episode I. Whether or not he is a good character... well, he's sort of a good anti-character, if that makes sense, which is better than an actually bad character, like Watto or he-who-shall-not-be-named.
Would Episode I be better if (a lot of) time was spent on establishing him as a character? No, I don't think so. He pretty much just embodies danger and fear and evil, a mysterious devil-figure appearing out of nowhere.

He never said anything, has no goals of his own, and no opinions on anything that transpired. He's more of an extra arm for palpatine than an extra character. Though his actions did affect the outcome, his own personality had no affect. He could have been anyone. So no, he's not a good character. Jar Jar had more character, even though this makes you hate Jar Jar. You hate him honestly for the way he thinks and the way he connects with the other characters. You can't hate Darth Maul for anything you can just hate the things he did.

He makes an awesome antagonist, but a lousy character since there isn't much (if any) characterisation within the movie - he's just a cardboard cutout villain that the good guys can have a cool lightsaber battle with. I don't really count all the expanded universe information about him as "characterisation" because most good movies can work all that into the actual movie itself rather than relying on you reading his bio on Wookieepedia.

Having said all that though, he's no worse a character than most Hollywood bad guys (or even half the good guys for that matter) including, dare I say it, Darth Vader in A New Hope. I think it was probably a good thing they killed him off at the end of Phantom Menace otherwise in another twenty years the Head-in-a-Jar of George Lucas would probably have made another trilogy of crap films about how a young, idealistic Zabrak kid becomes the galaxy's coolest badass. . .

He looks cool, and is intimidating, thats about it and I'm not saying its a bad thing.

He was a fairly good antagonist. His major flaws were the fact that up until he killed Qui-Gon, he never actually did anything. There wasn't much information about who he was, why he was doing stuff or why anyone should fear him. Of course, his epic fight scene, with accompanying epic soundtrack, more than made up for it.

He has TWO lines in the entire movie.

Haha, but maybe that's what's so good about him.

Like most of the prequel characters, he has no personality, he's more of a costume than a character. He's a good costume though.

One of Darth Maul's only lines in the film was "At last we will reveal ourselves to the jedi, at last we will have revenge." Upon seeing it, I couldn't help wondering, "Who is 'we' and what is it exactly that they want revenge for?"

The first question gets answered somewhat, but the second one never really is, even after you've watched all the prequels, you never really find out exactly what it is they want revenge for. Maybe it's something that was later clarified in one of the zillions of Star Wars novels, video games, comic books, or other media, but I never cared enough to find out.

And that's basically the extent of his characterization. A single line that seems to reference some kind of past event which is never portrayed or explained by any character, ever.

You know, if it weren't for the fact that he hangs out with Darth Sidious and has a red face and horns (might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says "Proud member of the Stereotypical Bad Guy Club"), you wouldn't even know he was a villain until the lightsaber duelling happened.

I don't understand this at all.

He said next-to-nothing, so he has no character.

The character design was pretty much a: "How can we make a guy look evil?" It wasn't good character design, it was generic. He looked like a devil. Hooray? If his lightsaber had been a trident it couldn't have been any more hamfisted. I get that most of the characters in Star Wars are stereotypes, but Han Solo didn't wear a pirate hat, and keep a spyglass by his side, and a parrot on his shoulder.

Darth Vader - that was good character design. General Grievous was at least interesting.

dobahci:
One of Darth Maul's only lines in the film was "At last we will reveal ourselves to the jedi, at last we will have revenge." Upon seeing it, I couldn't help wondering, "Who is 'we' and what is it exactly that they want revenge for?"

The first question gets answered somewhat, but the second one never really is, even after you've watched all the prequels, you never really find out exactly what it is they want revenge for. Maybe it's something that was later clarified in one of the zillions of Star Wars novels, video games, comic books, or other media, but I never cared enough to find out.

...

I had always assumed it was because the Jedi wiped out the Sith. In the same movie yoda and mace windu(or however it's spelt) talk of the Sith "returning" so they must have had more presence in the past. Since the Sith and Jedi hate one another(another assumption on my end), I always assumed it would have been the jedi who got rid of them all.

One the same train of thought as your post, they even name one of the later movies "revenge of the sith" farther referencing the unexplained and apparently unimportant event(since most of what happens seems to be about palpatine taking over the galaxy for his own ends).

The "only two sith" thing bothers me as well, as most of the spin off shows(clone wars) and games throw extra sith in all over the place. At least they manage to keep it to two at a time in the films.

I'm guessing that whoever wrote Darth Maul thought he was really clever for the clear attempt at implicit characteristion. Unbeknown to him that whatever mystery encapsulates Darth Maul is incredibly lacklustre, painfully stereotypical and just downright rubbish. I mean, poor Maul couldn't even get work after the Phantom Menace... Well, except for 'Insidious'.

Then again, there is potential there for a very dangerous threat - but the problem is exposure. Too much would be just as bad as the too little we have, and I honestly think that it's beyond the capability of whoever wrote Maul to balance it correctly. It's just a shame that it wasn't realised.

The real problem with the prequels though, is that they're entirely unnecessary - we don't need to know that Anakin Skywalker built C-3PO, or that Yoda and Chewbacca were friends or how Anakin was discovered. All we need to know to understand and get the most out of the original trilogy... Is in the original trilogy. That stuff aside, and taking the prequels on their own merit... The Phantom Menace is probably the best because there are elements in there that could have made it a better experience, had they just been handled by a skilled team of writers. Mysterious and ancient threat? Check. Shadow games and manipulation? Check. Political upheaval? General intrigue? Check. A decent cast? Check.

Anyway, I voted 'Meh'.

Edit: The implicit characterisation thing, I don't think it succeeded - but it's the only way I can justify the abortion that is Maul as he appears in the film. He is supposed to be menacing, and on that he fails. So, really, he is a bad 'character'.

Considering that there was no characterisation involved at all and that his entire purpose in the movie seemed to be to provide some lightsabre action, I wouldn't exactly call Darth Maul a "good" character.

Also what's up with that poll? It's an 'either or' question and yet the provided answers are yes and no? How does that work?

Volkov:
He was NOT a character at all. In an atrocious excuse for a movie.

Now that said, the visual design was very pretty, and with:
- Writing
- Character development
- Stylistic choice that would make choreographed fights not seem ridiculous
...he could have been a good character. As it is, he was not a character at all.

Couldn't agree more, though I think calling him a non-character gives him too much credit. He was little more than a second rate lacky for the main villain who's only claim to fame was being involved in the best lightsaber duels in all 6 movies, and having a double bladed lightsaber. Those things do not a character make. He had no build up, no backstory beyond being a thug for the big bad, no character arc to speak of. He was simply there to give the movie an excuse to have the Jedi fight someone with a lightsaber.

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