MAJOR SPOILERS FOR CLONE WARS AND SOLO AHEAD.
Clone Wars has long been the work horse of the Star Wars saga. Fixing plot holes, filling in gaps, building up flat characters and bringing beloved characters back into the fold has been a hallmark of the critical darling. Prematurely canceling Clone Wars was one of the most egregious wrongs the franchise ever committed.
With Disney+ bringing us the final season seven years after it went off their air, the series has once again taken up it’s old mantle. Clone Wars had already provided more depth to the relationships of Obiwan, Anakin, and Padme. Now it has turned it’s sights to Ahsoka Tano and Darth Maul. With the final 4 episodes taking place during the events of Revenge of the Sith, the show is wrapping some lose ends in very satisfying ways. Including filling in the blanks with the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The ending of Solo left many people scratching their heads. As Qi’ra kills Dryden Vos she takes over the Crimson Dawn crime Syndicate. In the final moments of the film Qi’ra and the audience are given one last surprise – a call from the syndicates true master….Darth Maul? Wait, why was Maul there? Didn’t he die in Episode 1? Is he a criminal now….and somehow running Crimson Dawn?
The show long ago answered the Maul question, turning what was once a glorified cameo into a rich character. While no longer a Sith, Maul still adheres to dark side principles, namely power and revenge.
In Season 7, Ahsoka learned that Maul was pulling the strings of the Pyke syndicate as part of his own evil machinations. Now, as we get a glimpse of Maul’s greater plan we see it isn’t just the Pyke’s that Maul has control over. Knowing that his old master Darth Sideous was about to take control of the galaxy, Maul calls a meeting of the members of the Shadow Collective to order them into hiding. The Shadow Collective is Star Wars’s version of the mafia, the heads of the crime syndicates coming together to have greater control over all.
The members of the Shadow Collective are shown to be Maul (obviously), Marg Krim leader of the Pyke Syndicate, Ziton Moj of Black Sun and Dryden Vos leader of Crimson Dawn (as seen in S0l0.) So, while hardened fans were able to make sense of Solo’s ending, Dave Filoni once again has firmly and satisfyingly filled in blanks left by other storytellers. Maul knew Sideous’s plans were coming to fruition and the only way to survive was to hunker down. Once the Empire was born, Maul and his crime syndicate rested in the shows amassing power.