Before we get going here, I just want to be clear that this post contains a pretty big spoiler for Solo: A Star Wars Story. So, if you want to go into the movie as blind as Chirrut Îmwe — STOP HERE!!!
Now, for the rest of you, let's talk about THAT cameo in Solo, because I'm sure you have QUESTIONS.
Of course, I'm talking about the appearance of Darth Maul — who, most people will recall, DIED at the end of The Phantom Menace. Or...at least SEEMED like he died, right?
Now, this jarring cameo may have made you think at first, "Wait...WHEN does this movie take place?!"
But, to be clear, Solo does NOT take place during or before the events of Phantom Menace because...
...that would make Han Solo remarkably older than Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker), who was only 9 years old in Phantom Menace. (Which he most definitely is not.)
Also, you may have noted that Darth Maul's lightsaber in Solo looked different than the one he had back in the day.
And finally, you may have missed it, but Maul was also sporting robot legs in Solo.
So, here's the deal. All these details tell us Disney has embraced the ~new~ canon which includes Darth Maul's storylines from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and also Star Wars Rebels.
There's A LOT of detail and backstory to Maul's role in both these series, but the gist is that Maul actually survives being cut in half by Obi-Wan and seeks out revenge on him.
So...there you have it. Darth Maul DIDN'T die at the end of Phantom Menace, and is now running Crimson Dawn (whatever that is, maybe just another name for the Shadow Collective from the animated series), and is actually the ~true~ baddie of Solo: A Star Wars Story.