Solo had a big surprise waiting near the end in the form of Darth Maul, who you may remember as the red-faced Sith who took out Qui-Gon and then got a free case of the halvsies courtesy of Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace. He got Snoked before getting Snoked was cool.
So first of all…what? How’s that guy still around, when he clearly bet it all on a lightsaber duel and only got 50-50 odds? Well, Darth Maul is, if nothing else, a slippery sucker, and fans of the animated series The Clone Wars may recall that Maul survived being cut in half and falling into a giant hole. Later, he got himself a fancy new pair of robo-legs and became a space gangster and the leader of the criminal organization called the Shadow Collective.
So how does all this fit into Solo? Well, clearly Maul is connected to the Crimson Dawn, the criminal organization Dryden Vos works for in the film — as evidenced by his appearance and the fact that Vos’ ring opened up a direct connection to the former Sith.
Whether Maul pulls all the strings for the Dawn or Vos simply reports to him is still unclear, but Vos mentions that he can’t steal the coaxium from Kessel because he has an alliance with the Pyke Syndicate, who run the mine. In Star Wars canon, the Pyke Syndicate are members of Maul’s Shadow Collective, suggesting that the Crimson Dawn is just another criminal organization working for Maul’s bigger gangster group.
Either way, Maul is clearly at the top of the pecking order, and he’s bound to be a force to be reckoned with in a future film.