Friday, June 1, 2012

Star Wars: Darth Maul - Vintage Collection

Presenting Darth Maul from the Star Wars Phantom Menace Vintage Collection.

Darth Maul is a Dathomirian Zabrak from the planet of Iridonia - meaning that he's not a pure Zabrak but a hybrid between a Human and a Zabrak (Though the term Dathomiri is used loosely so for all I know he could be pure Zabrak. You can also call him an Iridonian as the Engineer from Knights of the Old Republic II, Bao-Dur was commonly referred to.

The interesting thing about Darth Maul is that he's technically not dead yet. Lucas hasn't decided how Maul should officially die yet.

He did not die in Phantom Menace as was commonly believed. He survived, got himself a robotic torso and went on a psychotic rampage till the Dathomiri Nightsisters restored his sanity and he went on a crusade after Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Side-by-side with his fellow Zabrak Savage Opress, Maul fought both Kenobi and Asajj Ventress till both retreated from the battle with Maul vowing revenge.

In 2005, Dark Horse Comics released Star Wars: Visionaries which included a story entitled "Old Wounds" that had Darth Maul chasing down Obi-Wan Kenobi to the Lars homestead on Tatooine. It is here that he finally meets his non-canonical end not at the hands of Obi-Wan (Who won by the way after a furious battle), but at the hands of Owen Lars who shoots him in the head. Obi-Wan then takes the body to the desert to be burned.

It's non-canonical because years later, Luke Skywalker squares off against a solid-light projection of Darth Maul powered by the resurrected brain of Darth Maul - which strikes at Maul's non-canonical ending because I doubt his brain could have been restored from the disintegrating effects of a bolt to the head. It was an interesting version of Maul though because he could strike, but could not be struck back.

A clone of Darth Maul also squares off against Darth Vader and almost wins except Vader was crazy enough to stab himself through the chest with his light-saber impaling Darth Maul as well - who was behind him - in the process. This does tell us though that sometime after his last duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Asajj Ventress, Maul dies. Lucas just hasn't decided how yet - officially - which means that there are probably plans for Darth Maul in future Clone-War stories.

What's to like about the Star Wars Vintage Collection Darth Maul?

The articulation. There aren't that many Darth Mauls in the Dungeon because I always thought that his articulation was never worthy of the cartwheeling, leap-frogging Sith Apprentice who made everyone forget what a horrible mistake Jar-Jar Binks was (Though I personally am considering building a Gungan army as I do believe it will be the only one in the world) simply by activating his lightsaber's second blade.

After that movie I was hooked. When Knight of the Old Republic came out, it was of utmost importance to have a double-bladed lightsaber. Such a simple thing with such a huge impact. And now he has the body to match - no squeeze my leg or play with the gear on my back this time. This is probably the most articulated Darth Maul in the market as you can see here:

And the Vintage Collection Darth Maul can do this! 

Eat that Spider-Man!

The Star Wars Vintage Collection Darth Maul comes with two lightsabers which can be combined or used individually, a cloak, a hood, an unlit dual-bladed lightsaber and the monocular that was used in by Maul in Tatooine while searching for Queen Amidala.

To his credit, Maul looks pretty good with them. People often think that Sith are these brooding always angry Force users who use the power of their hate and anger to control the Force. It's true at the start and most Sith apprentices show this - like Maul looking like he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed; Darth Talon;  or Anakin before his duel with Obi-Wan ranting about "his empire".

But in reality Sith - particularly the masters - can be quite calm, genteel and seemingly at peace with the world. Like the Hulk in the Avenger's movie, the truth is that they're "always angry." And we saw this in the Emperor and Darth Sidious. True enough, when Kenobi retreated from Maul, Maul was no longer the wild angry fighter. He was calm.

What's NOT to like about the Star Wars Vintage Collection Darth Maul?

I don't know if it's because he uses a monocular or because he's really angry, but Darth Maul is cross-eyed. 

Which is really a bummer!!!! And a shame considering how beautiful his facial tattoos are. 
There's also a problem with his cloak. It's simply too big for him. Darth Maul used a short cloak in the movie. The Vintage Collection Darth Maul's cloak is long enough that it drags out behind him like a train. He honestly looks like someone - something - that has been sleeping in a dark garbage filled alley. 
It simply looks horrible. He looks better without the plastic cloak portion of the outfit. But it's still pretty bad.

And lastly, it would have been nice if he came with a stand.

Still, the Vintage Collection Darth Maul looks awesome!!!! Cut apart and re-make the cloak if you want, this is a Darth Maul that you must have. The Vintage Collection Darth Maul was purchased on the black-market here in the Philippines for PhP 875 (Roughly US$ 20) and is available - surprisingly on Amazon for only US$ 7.99 (PhP 343.75 plus shipping). It's worth it. 

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