The Bizarre Detail Hardcore Star Wars Fans Noticed About Darth Maul

If there's one thing "Star Wars" fans can agree on — and there are few — it's their shared praise over the decision to bring back Darth Maul. After all, his face-off with Qui-Gon Jin and Obi-Wan Kenobi at the end of "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace" is not only one of the most memorable parts of the film, but also one of the saga's greatest lightsaber duels. The death of Qui-Gon is a stab in the heart; Obi-Wan chopping Maul in half a shocking retribution. His return on the small screen in "Star Wars: Rebels" even managed to build all of that into something even greater. 

But what you probably don't remember is just how many times our favorite Sith apprentice blinks throughout the entire movie.

It's hard to believe that, at one point, all that was left of Maul in that galaxy far, far away was his brief appearance in the first of George Lucas' prequels. However it happened, whether it was Dave Filoni's love of the character or the result of Lucas pining what could've been, we're grateful he's joined Boba Fett as a revived "Star Wars" character. Yet one of the more obscure and interesting details about Maul's character goes way back to before his tragically fulfilling final arc was even conceived.

Maul blinks just once in The Phantom Menace (kind of)

Despite only having three lines in "The Phantom Menace," the character of Darth Maul is an imposing presence. His Zabrak horns, red-black skin, and the low growl of his voice build the daunting aura that surrounds him whenever he's onscreen. But one aspect of the Sith apprentice's menacing appearance is his considerable lack of blinking. He doesn't even betray a blink under the double-sun heat of sand-in-your-eyes Tatooine.

No, Maul really only blinks in one scene in "The Phantom Menace" and that's during his fight with Obi-Wan — though technically it's actually three separate blinks. The first comes when an enraged Obi-Wan cuts his lightsaber in half. A not-so-subtle bit of foreshadowing since it's his last blink with legs. Then blinks two and three are given up just as the Jedi Padawan cuts him in half and cements his place as Maul's nemesis for life. Each blink punctuates another blow to the Sith's gross over-confidence and nearly fatal underestimation of Obi-Wan's will that leaves him literally half the Zabrak he used to be.

Ray Park and the really, really uncomfortable contacts

While a refusal to blink is without a doubt a quintessential detail for Maul's character, the decision to withhold any eye closing was also somewhat of a practical one. That's because the contacts actor Ray Park wore to give Maul his red and yellow eyes were extremely uncomfortable. Which meant trying to blink as little as possible. Luckily for Park, that only added to Maul's mystique. Leave it to Park to turn his own discomfort into an essential piece of his character's identity. Since his resurrection, Park has become an irreplaceable part of expanding Maul's arc into films like "Solo: A Star Wars Story" and the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars: Rebels." And with rumors of an animated series that will explore Maul's time as leader of the Crimson Dawn, we doubt our favorite Dathomirian Zabrak is going anywhere anytime soon.