Spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story…
Coming out of seeing Solo, I’m sure you were all thinking the same thing as me: What a surprise it was to see THAT character popping up! We’ve not seen him since The Phantom Menace! And yes, that’s certainly true, I too was surprised to see none other than
Darth Maul Dud Bolt popping up alongside Lando in that gambling scene. At least, I’m pretty sure it was him, maybe 80% sure. Okay, maybe 60. Fine, 40.
Here you can see a featurette from The Phantom Menace, showing Dud Bolt as he appears in that film:
And here, you can see how Dud Bolt, or at least the Vulptereen, appears in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Evidently the scene isn’t available yet, but there is this advertisement from American chain Denny’s that shows him at the Sabaac gambling table seen in trailers:
In the scene, we see the gent in question getting annoyed at his unlucky Sabaac (basically poker) hand, angrily shredding his cards to dust with his rather profound bill. Much like how Lando puts the Millennium Falcon on the line, Dud may very well have put his Vulptereen 327 Podracer on the table. Poor sod, he must not have exchanged his currency before heading down for the night. *Republic credits will do fine*
I don’t know why I care about this at all, but there are a few similarities and differences with this character that make me think he could be a Vulptereen. Not only does he wear goggles similar to the ones worn by Dud in that 20 minute scene in which he’s hurtling across the desert at upwards of 700mph, but he also has the long protruding snout and teeth that jut out of the sides of his mouth. Admittedly, they are a lot shorter gnashers. Perhaps Dud has earned himself enough money from Podracing to go to a fancy dentist. After all, Anakin (and probably Sebulba judging from his violent crash) is out of the equation and so it should be slightly easier for the underdog to claim the prize money.
Is this actually Dud Bolt, another member of his species, or just another alien in general that shares fleeting similarities to the non-speaking, pod-racing background character from The Phantom Menace, there only for a brief moment to provide comedic relief? To be quite honest, I’ve only seen the film once so far, and the more I think about it the less I think it actually is Dud. The mid-day Cine-world screening I watched the film on was small and quite dark. Why is Dud playing Sabaac? Is he still in cahoots with Sebulba? Has he resorted to a lifetime of gambling in order to quell possible guilt felt for cheating in the Boonta Eve Classic? I’d read the comic that resolves those unanswered questions.
I thought the Darth Maul cameo, as a fan of the prequels and Darth Maul’s character in general, was awesome. In a perfect world we get the Ewan Mcgregor Ben Kenobi we all want, and those two end up scrapping on Tatooine. Either that or settle their differences over some of Owen’s Blue Milk and bond over their now mutual hatred for the emperor.