As Solo: A Star Wars Story belts towards its general release day, things are beginning to look more and more positive for the second installment of the Star Wars spin-offs.
First, Tweets and other social media outlets were offering tantalising tidbits of excitingly positive reviews, including the promise of more heart than expected, better action than could have been hoped for, surprisingly well-received acting and an overall well-directed offer. Perhaps most enticing was the promise of more storyline surprises than should have been reasonably anticipated in a prequel story.
We all know that Han will meet Chewie, then Lando, then fly the Millennium Falcon for the first time - yet unexpected events have apparently been masterfully crafted at various points if those that saw the premiere but couldn't yet write full reviews are to be believed.
The latest rumour to emerge, apparently originating from Reddit but expanding at an exponential rate so that it cannot be ignored, is that a major, well-loved prequel character will be seen in what is described as at least a sizeable cameo. While this is currently a rumour, many are beginning to claim that it is confirmed, and others are suggesting that the role will be a far more significant one than first expected when word leaked.
None other than Darth Maul is said, once again played by fan-favourite Ray Park, to appear in this movie.
The character returned in The Clone Wars series and was defeated by Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Rebels, with Solo happening somewhere in between these two events chronologically. In the already established stories, Maul set up a crime syndicate with the aim of overthrowing his former master, Darth Sidius, and he even enrolled one Jabba the Hutt as he did so. Could Darth Maul be the driving force behind the entire heist that makes up much of Solo?
If so, Disney have surely pulled off another dose of fan service that would rival Darth Vader's tremendous cameo in Rogue One.