The Phantom Menace Day Thread is Here to Maul You

It’s a pretty big battle for a Sunday
The Jedi fight and rush in
But’s it’s that horny Darth Maul
Who swings hardest of all
And hacks apart poor Qui-Gon Jinn

Twenty years ago on this day, The Phantom Menace was released to theaters, and the world was introduced to one of the coolest Star Wars villains ever, Darth Maul.

The Phantom Menace has always been my favorite of the prequels, and one of the main reasons is that it feels the most like a traditional Star Wars film of the three, in terms of tone and its visual style. No, that’s not intended as a shot at Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith, and yes, in case you’re wondering, I even like Jar Jar Binks.

But it’s Darth Maul, of course, in a film which supposedly divided many fans (though the box office dollars suggest otherwise, as The Phantom Menace was among the top five movies ever when it was new), who stood out as the one aspect that everyone mostly loved. This was in large part thanks to the spectacular climatic lightsaber duel, possibly the best in the entire series.

Like Boba Fett in the original trilogy, Darth Maul is the strong silent type. He’s not the sort of bad guy to drop one-liners like “Welcome to the Darth Maul. Everything’s HALF off!” before dicing a clueless Jedi to pieces. And, of course, those horns, man. They like totally sell the “space devil warrior” look that Maul is clearly going for.

Have a Wizard day, everyone!