According to the animated Star Wars adventures — The Clone Wars and Rebels — Darth Maul totally survived being cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace. But what if he lived on long past that point and became someone else entirely? A fan theory from an insightful nine-year-old postulates that Darth Maul assumed the identity of Boba Fett sometime between the events of Rebels and The Empire Strikes Back. Here’s how it works.

The theory was presented on September 15 by a confident young fan on YouTube who goes by the name of Jax from “Destroying Force.” Even though he’s only nine years old, his analysis carries a consistent amount of logic founded on events from in-canon Star Wars stuff. As depicted in The Clone Wars, after Obi-Wan Kenobi cuts off Darth Maul’s legs, the disgraced and defeated Sith Lord becomes mildly crazy and fashions himself some robot-spider legs to get around temporarily.

Star Wars Darth Maul spider robot legs
Darth Maul's spider legs

Throughout subsequent adventures, Darth Maul continued to get consistent upgrades of robotic limbs, eventually culminating in what would be a “regular” looking set of mechanical legs. Think about it this way: Darth Vader also has two robot legs, but you wouldn’t know that if you hadn’t seen Revenge of the Sith. Point is, Darth Maul could easily fit in Boba Fett’s suit convincingly, even with robot legs. Would his little horns fit under the helmet? Well, we’ve seen him file those down before, so why not?

Maul with more “regular” robot legs
Maul with more "regular" robot legs

But, why would Darth Maul “become” Boba Fett? Smartly, Jax’s theory doesn’t say Boba Fett has always been Darth Maul — that would be outrageous — but instead, claims Maul kills Boba Fett and assumes his identity in order to hide from Palpatine. Jax asserts that in “The Clone Wars, Darth Maul killed Pre Vizsla … who was the leader of Death Watch.” Death Watch is the Mandalorian splinter group that attempted to take over Mandalore during The Clone Wars. The most famous Mandalorian of them all is, of course, Boba Fett. Basically, the idea here is that Darth Maul has ample motivation to hide his identity, and knows a ton about Mandalorians from his brief stint as the boss of Death Watch. Maul also has equal antipathy toward the Sith and Jedi, a feeling shared by the young Boba Fett, making the assumption of Fett’s identity an easy enough personality transition.

Boba Fett and Darth Vader in Cloud City
Psst. I'm really Darth Maul

In order to buy this theory completely, we have to be okay with Darth Maul/Boba Fett’s being older than Vader, instead of younger. Still, considering how spry Maul was in his last appearance on Rebels, this doesn’t seem all that crazy.

All in all, the best part about this theory is easily the issue of Boba Fett’s voice. If we ignore the DVD “special edition” versions of the classic films in which Jason Wingreen’s voice was replaced by Temuera Morrison’s voice, then original Boba Fett sounding different than his clone-father, Jango Fett, has a new explanation. He’s actually not Jango Fett’s clone anymore, but instead, the dreaded Maul, talking through a cool Mandalorian helmet.

Well played, Jax, from “Destroying Force.” Well played.

Photos via Star Wars.com, Disney/Lucasfilm, Lucasfilm/Disney