With Maul: Lockdown on sale this week, I had a chance to have author Joe Schreiber answer a few questions about his new novel. Joe was gracious enough to discuss the character of Maul and other aspects of Lockdown, including his collaboration with Jim Luceno to have it connect with Darth Plagueis. Having previously brought the living dead to Star Wars in Death Troopers and its prequel, Red Harvest, Schreiber is no stranger to the darker side of the galaxy far, far away.
The story of Darth Maul had become an important one for the series and it was only fitting that we chose him for a comic adaptation. The comics will be based on four finished scripts that were written for Season 6 . These scripts came out of one of our story conferences with George Lucas. As they moved through the production pipeline, they became finalized scripts with a great deal of the actual design work completed. The designs you will see, the plot lines, and character development in these comic books are all coming directly from the TV production. I turned over all of the art to Dark Horse so they could create an accurate representation of what we were planning for the show.
He also hints that the ending of this storyline might not necessarily mean the end of Maul.
While we’ve known that the “bonus content” being worked on for The Clone Wars wasn’t necessarily going to bring closure to the series, Lucasfilm told Newsarama that at least one of the show’s loose ends will be told in comic form this spring, giving a big finale both for Darth Maul and for Dark Horse Comics.
Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir will be a four-part comic starting in May, based on unproduced screenplays. Newsarama interviews the writer, Jeremy Barlow, on what’s in store for this tale. With a title of Son of Dathomir, one might expect a return to the planet, and revenge against Darth Sidious, but Barlow also teases some more locales and characters as well, including a new one named Brother Viscus.
Newsarama points out that while this unproduced story arc is being told first in comic form, it doesn’t mean that it will only be told in this form. I wouldn’t take this as anything more than Lucasfilm simply leaving the door open, and not as a sign that it will be actually realized in animated form.
Although Newsarama is calling this storyline the series finale, the show’s “final arc,” there’s been some clarification from Lucasfilm folks:
The Maul comic is very cool, but it *wasn’t* the series finale. It was a 4-part arc that fell beyond what was already in production.
— Pablo Hidalgo (@infinata) January 8, 2014
If there's still confusion: the new Dark Horse miniseries only deals with a Darth Maul arc from near end of the series. Not a series finale!
— Jennifer Heddle (@jenheddle) January 8, 2014
Long story short: It wraps up the Darth Maul arc, but isn’t the show’s intended finale. Pablo also says it wasn’t intended for S6.
Set before the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, this new novel is a thrilling follow-up to Star Wars: Darth Plagueis
It’s kill or be killed in the space penitentiary that houses the galaxy’s worst criminals, where convicts face off in gladiatorial combat while an underworld gambling empire reaps the profits of the illicit blood sport. But the newest contender in this savage arena, as demonic to behold as he is deadly to challenge, is fighting for more than just survival. His do-or-die mission, for the dark masters he serves, is to capture the ultimate weapon: an object capable of obliterating the Jedi and conquering the galaxy.
Sith lords Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious are determined to possess the prize. And one of the power-hungry duo has his own treacherous plans for it. But first, their fearsome apprentice must take on a bloodthirsty prison warden, a cannibal gang, cutthroat crime lord Jabba the Hutt, and an unspeakable alien horror. No one else could brave such a gauntlet of death and live. But no one else is the dreaded dark-side disciple known as Darth Maul.
Cosmic Book News is at it again! Today they’ve set on another spin-off concept, one featuring Obi-Wan during his Tatooine exile with old buddy Darth Maul and a possible appearance by a young Luke Skywalker. (via)
A similar story was published in 2005 as the lead story of Star Wars: Visionaries. But as story concepts go, we’ve heard worse, and Ewan McGregor hasn’t been shy about his willingness to return. But, as always, it’s only a rumor.
Darth Maul has assembled his army from the underworld, and his next step is to help Pre Vizsla take over Mandalore from Duchess Satine, in this week’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars – ‘Shades of Reason’. Interesting title for a storyline about the action-heavy Sith Lord. Once viewed as an instrument of rage, he’s now taken on the mantle of mastermind. In the clip above, he spells out his plan to his allies. Satine gets upstaged by Pre Vizsla when publicly addressing the crisis manufactured by Maul, in the clip below.
Of course it’s a Darth Maul novel.
Just announced over at io9: Joe Schreiber (Death Troopers) returns with Maul: Lockdown, a new novel featuring Darth Maul. They’re pegging it as a “follow-up to last year’s Darth Plagueis.” Here’s the blurb:
In a tale of retribution and survival set before the events of The Phantom Menace, Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious dispatch Sith apprentice Darth Maul on a secret mission to infiltrate a criminal empire operating from inside Cog Hive Seven-a hidden prison teeming with the galaxy’s most savage criminals. There, he must contend against the scummiest and most villainous in gladiatorial death matches while carrying out his masters’ clandestine commands. Failure is not an option; success will ignite the revenge of the Sith against the Jedi Order.
io9 says it’ll be out “at the end of 2013,” which I suspect means a post-holiday spot similar to Plagueis and Scoundrels.
James interviewed Schreiber back in 2011, after the release of his second Star Wars book, Red Harvest.
This must be our mystery novel, and while I can’t say it’s something that appeals to me, it takes all kinds. While he’s been all over The Clone Wars lately, Maul hasn’t headlined a novel for adults since Michael Reaves’ Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter back in 2001.
Counting down for the first episode of The Clone Wars season five, ‘Revival’ coming out Saturday morning on Cartoon Network (9:30 am on PT/ET, 8:30 am Central). The official site has a preview of Darth Maul exerting his alpha dog status over his brother Savage Opress. But Savage isn’t happy about being relegated to apprentice again. After last week’s fan screening of the first two episodes at Lucasfilm, a Q&A with Dave Filoni, Joel Aron, and Ashley Eckstein focused on Ahsoka’s journey and the return of Darth Maul.
The Daily.com has an exclusive preview clip for the entire season, with Dave Filoni describing how this season is a great place to jump in and get caught up with the Star Wars adventure, and how far they’ve come since they started the show.
Here’s more to get you psyched for ‘Revival’ and the kickoff of the fifth season:
- Bryan Young at Big Shiny Robot uses some preview clips to show that it’s ok for adults to enjoy the cartoon
- Eric Goldman at IGN interviews Sam Witwer on playing Darth Maul, the Sith Lord’s relationship with his brother, and being typecast as a bad-ass.
- Newsarama has a handful of video interviews with cast and crew:
Dave Filoni, on working with George Lucas, and his hat, Ashley Eckstein, on this season and James Arnold Taylor, on being Obi-Wan Kenobi in season five.
- Dave Filoni gets interviewed by TIME for Kids about the new season.
- And if you don’t know where to start in watching Clone Wars before Season five, Star Wars Report picks out the essential episodes to get you ready for this season, paring down 4 seasons of the show into just 17 that you should be familiar with. Get the background on the characters and relationships hinted in the preview trailers.
Need to catch up on Star Wars: The Clone Wars before the start of season five? Catch the last four episodes of season four in a Target-exclusive Director’s Cut DVD set, Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Darth Maul Returns coming out on Tuesday, September 11. This Director’s Cut version is currently $10 online and has been turned into a single eighty-eight minute long feature from the story arc that culminated in the return of Darth Maul: ‘Massacre’ / ‘Bounty’ / ‘Brothers’ / ‘Revenge’. The first two parts focus more on Asajj Ventress, while the last two involve Savage Opress teaming up with his long-lost half-brother, err.. all brother, half-man: Darth Maul.
Can’t settle for just the episodes of Darth Maul Returns? Don’t worry, the DVD and Blu-ray box sets for the complete season four of The Clone Wars (all 22 episodes) will be released on October 23. This isn’t the first time that The Clone Wars has given us some story arc DVDs before the complete season was released in a box set. Before season one came out on DVD, there were two 4-episode DVD products from the first season in 2009:
- A Galaxy Divided contained the first four episodes: ‘Ambush’ and the three-part ‘Malevolence’ arc
- Clone Commandos contained the clone-centric stories of ‘Rookies’ and the three-part Ryloth arc
Thanks to William at EUCantina for the video.