DMEB-2: Our Official Darth Maul

An Interview with ScottMaul: To Make a Sith

In order to create a simulacrum of his or her favourite character, a fan will go to great lengths to achieve accuracy of detail. Just what sort of detail we show here, where ScottMaul shares some of the secrets of making a Sith.


DMEB2: ScottMaul, even though you have covered some of this in another interview, can we get to some of the more technical aspects of costuming for this rather enigmatic character. That is if you don’t mind telling us some of your ‘trade secrets.’ Firstly, the costume itself. What were your sources of information?

ScottMaul: The initial sourcing was done from the 3.25 inch figures and other toys that came out prior to the movie’s release. A couple of stills...“Wired” magazine had an incredible write up on George Lucas and Episode One. I’m afraid that “Playboy” did an extensive little ditty on EP1, including several quips about Maul and the saber.

DMEB2: From what I remember, Playboy magazine has a good reputation for the occasional in-depth feature and science fiction story.

ScottMaul: After the release of the movie, online sources became available. I read commentary on the construction of the costume by other fans, in addition to some other sources. Ones that used the garment constructed on the life size Maul statue, I ran across: . This was the launching pad for my final version.

DMEB2: Was much information available from “official” sources, or did you rely more on unofficial sources, for example, over the Internet? And which source was of most usefulness.

ScottMaul: “Official” can be interpreted. I went for ‘visual’ correctness. Several of the sites I went to had great breakdowns of what would be apparent elements. All of these were compiled and the more common notifications were implemented.

Darth Maul Costume Concept ArtDMEB2: How many layers are there to the costume, and what are they? And what fabrics did you employ for each garment?

ScottMaul: The pants, of course. These are just basic oversized, baggy pants. Mine are tapered to tuck nicely into the boots.

The first layer, the inner tunic is sleeveless, made from a poplin outer shell, lined with a black satin material, similar to that found in mens sports coats. It is form fitting at the ab & chest sections, split high up the sides. From what I’ve seen on the DMEB2 site, I'm off in that the movie inner tunic is not joined from the waist up to the armholes in the tunic ... a slight variation.

The combat outfit is also satin lined and is fantastic! As you can note from the sketches from the Obi-Wan’s Jedi Academy site, it is a complex assembly of split sided, arm vented, sleeves. A scarf that attaches to the back of the neck section draped down the front of the actor. Angles in comparison to the other elements of the outer combat outfit are important. Ultimately, the combat outfit is similar to the tunic in its splits, but has the ‘puffed’ upper sleeves, the scarf, rear tail section, like that of a trench coat, two ‘flap’ details attached to the front two sides just under where the belt assembly with the loin cloth, is placed around the waist. All adding to the layering of the outfit.

DMEB2: This sort of scarf is sometimes called a ‘stole’ isn’t it, and has religious connotations. It is intriguing to wonder whether Lucas intended that, as there is a school of conjecture that as with the Jedi, the Sith are a quasi-religious order. Also, the training outfit, if split as you say, would resemble a scapular. In some faiths, the stole is worn by an ordained priest, and represents entry into the service of the Order, whatever that order is, and also represents the dignity and power conferred by the priesthood itself. The scapular however, is a garment worn by monks, not priests. It is a working garment, and is also looked upon as a shield. The wearing of both would certainly fit the environment in which Lord Maul lives and works.

In addition, it would appear the whole outfit is designed to provide as much freedom of movement as possible.

ScottMaul: Yes, I believe it is called a stole. Funny, when we were putting the finishing touches on the outfit, I made a silly comment about the ‘scarf’ in that it seemed out of place for someone as fierce as Maul would need a “sssscarf!” So the religious connections to the outfit would seem logical.

The entire outfit is extremely comfortable to wear. Plenty of range and freedom of movement. Mine is slightly more tailored to my body build and wears like a fine suit. I’d wear it anywhere! With or without the make-up! *LOL*

Heavy Fabric for Darth MaulDMEB2: Where did you find the fabrics? Did you manage to find them easily and locally, or did you have to engage in a continent-wide search to get them?

ScottMaul: My seamstress, Cindy, sourced the fabrics on my request. The first version was done in flannel. @#$# hot as #@#$@ and not satin lined. We went with a more tailored poplin material. Not as ‘slubbed’ as the movie version, but very nice.

DMEB2: Flannel, yes, extremely hot. I think I read on one site that the fabric of the outer tunic was a textured stuff known as ‘Indian,’ but that is not a fabric I would know here in the UK. Is it something which can be found over there in the USA?

ScottMaul: Interesting, I’m not sure. It’s amazing how much information is available out there. I’m learning more everyday! I bet when my seamstress reads this she’s gonna cringe and expect a knock on her door any minute! :)

DMEB2: Did you create the patterns yourself, or did your seamstress help out there? How many revisions have you made of the combat uniform? What Internet sources did you use?

ScottMaul: The first attempt was done with my seamstress making the patterns from my sketches. The final utilized the research done by the OJA staff and contributors. Very helpful and in my opinion, very accurate, except for the forearm ribbing. it is suggested that the ribbing run the length of the forearm, when the movie version has the ribbing running around the arm.

DMEB2: Of course, having a combat uniform implies other uniforms, Are there others? One is reminded of The Sith Academy leisure uniform of tight black jeans, black T-shirt and soft leather duster. Although that could be said to be a combat uniform of sorts, it is definitely not canon! Is there more than one canon costume?

Training Outfit MaulScottMaul: OOoooo, don’t give that away! It’s very cool, the ‘training’ outfit! Based primarily on preproduction sketches and not to mention the little fig that came out! I just fell about when that debuted! We had just started discussion on that..ssshhhh!

DMEB2: Little fig? Tell us more and point us to a link, or is this the official picture!!

ScottMaul: Yes, the 3.25 “Power of the Jedi” figures released a Maul in the ‘training outfit/duster’ you described. It has a high collar that comes right up to the jaw line. There are three fins/spikes (more organic looking than spikes) that stick out on each side of the collar. Rather menacing look when you add Maul’s face and horns to the look. I’ll send a pic along to post.

DMEB2: Thank you. Now for the make-up. You have already mentioned that you made the horns out of paper clay, and paint them. How do you apply them, and do you make new ones for each appearance?

ScottMaul: Yes to their construction. However, they are re-used each time. Extra care is taken in their preservation. Paper Clay can be brittle in its natural ‘cured’ state. It sets with natural air, not heat. They were sculpted onto my head, laid to dry, and then painted. Each time they are used, spirit gum is applied to the base of each horn and the pre-mapped area on my head. Each are left to dry and become ‘tacky’ before they are applied.

DMEB2: The stripes and patterns on the face next. You have said that you do not use a template, and that each appearance is hand drawn anew. How on earth do you manage to get a consistent appearance, because it was notable that in TPM, the pattern did not appear to be consistent? There were quite pronounced differences from appearance to appearance resulting in the character sometimes appearing rather bestial and at other times, quite the opposite.

Had you considered using a stencil? What colours do you use?

ScottMaul: Since Ray Park was the only actor/stuntman used as Maul, I can only assume that each ‘expression,’ i.e. variation on the appearance of the tattoo would be based on its importance to the shot being filmed. There are incredible differences in the stills. Mainly the ones used for publicity. We base our version on the standard, “an initial recognition of the character” coupled with that of an intense ‘mean’ look. We usually lay the lines of the make-up out with me holding a menacing snarl, nostrils flared, bow furrowed, etc.

When I relax my face, the intenseness of the lines remains.

DMEB2: What type of make-up do you use, is it an alcohol based paint similar to that used in the movie, and how do you ensure that it doesn’t rub off? Or does it? How do you remove it as well?

ScottMaul: I'm terrified of alcohol based make-up. The ‘Reel Tattoo’ black seemed too intense for me. I’m sensitive in the eye area and I often look like I’m wearing eye liner after taking off the waterbased make-up. I use Kryolan Aquacolor make-up for the red and black. Apparently my skin type works with the foundation of this make-up. It doesn’t flake or crack. Of course the areas around the collar of the costume need to be touched up, but that went on through the production of the movie. We often touch up around the horns as the wearing of the horns goes on. Standard on any type of make-up jobs as complete as Maul.

Say Cheese! DMEB2: Do you ever do the teeth?

ScottMaul: Oh, of course! That, outside of the eyes, gets the most ‘step back’ reaction. It is simply a tooth enamel purchased at any costume shop. We use ‘black’ and ‘nicotine.’ It is the final application prior to the costume. I usually just dot and mark out with the black and then add a few dabs of nicotine, leaving some of the white showing through. Very effective.

DMEB2: OK. Now for the eyes. Along with the stripes and horns possibly the most distinctive feature of the character. The net offers the opportunity to buy quite a few variants, what did you choose and why? How do they differ from the originals used in the production of the movie, and are they comfortable to wear?

ScottMaul: I use lenses offered by: Under their SP/FX section you'll find the “Darth” lenses. They are pricey, but worth every penny! They are larger than normal contact lenses and very thick! Like putting a pie plate on your eye! They are hand tinted, theatrical quality lenses. I used the Wildeyes “FireEye” lenses, which are more reasonable in price, but a predictable pattern and looks fake. The random of the LQ lenses are superb!

DMEB2: Yes, $100 for a pair means you must be a devoted fan.

ScottMaul: Um, they are actually $100 EACH! $200 for the pair! But like I said, well worth every penny!

DMEB2: *eyes wide and recovering from swoon* The lightsabre. Seven and a half pounds is quite a weight, even if it is machined aluminium, and these are available from several sites on the web. What influenced your choice?

ScottMaul: Quality and craftsmanship! There are several great sources. I’m not at liberty to recommend one over the other, but the sources are there, along with feedback into the products!

DMEB2: There are a couple of sites that offer, or have offered, some extremely good replicas, and it is possible to purchase the beams also. Does your own sabre have beams or is it an improvement to be added?

ScottMaul: My sabre was not designed to accommodate the blades. Although it could be modified to do so, but the electronics would be difficult to incorporate since the thing is solid! It does split in to two halves. I've seen double bladed sabres, some of them are not canon, but are effective if you’re doing a skit or demonstration. I’ve played around with mine, flipping it over the back of my wrist, spinning it about. Even bonked myself on the forehead with the blasted thing! Cut a slit in my cap and put a nasty gash on my noggin’! Guess I haven’t totally mastered the Force, huh?

DMEB2: Definitely, but even a Sith has to learn! The boots are covered in detail on another page, but can you tell us your favourite links so we can look this up for ourselves?

ScottMaul: Of course, the DMEB2 (flattery will get you everywhere!), (DMEB2: Indeed it will my Master!) Obi-wan’s Jedi Academy, TFN, etc. There are SO many!

DMEB2: Thank you very much indeed ScottMaul. You do other costumes as well, and I know you have other projects in hand. Do you have any time for any other social life at all?

ScottMaul: *LOL* You would think not! But I’m pretty much low key on the social scene. Long work days fade into on-line connections with other communities. I do a lot of charity work in costume locally and travel all over Florida. That keeps me pretty busy, plus I’m working on some other costumes in my spare time and help friends with theirs.


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