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In Phantom Menace, we see Obi-Wan Kenobi defeating (Darth) Maul by slicing him in two halves, after that Maul is presumed dead.

However, in The Clone Wars series, he appears to have survived this blow, by clenching to the Dark Side of The Force.

Was his survival planned, or is it a retcon added in The Clone Wars? I did not find any hints to Maul's survival in the Phantom Menace official novelization by Terry Brooks.

An official statement by any Lucasfilm or Disney staff, is a perfect answer.

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No, Lucas apparently decided to resurrect Maul some time around 2011/2012, some 13 years after his unfortunate bisection.

Well, mostly. Filoni acknowledges that the order to resurrect the Sith Lord came from George Lucas himself, who became more interested in his Phantom Menace creation while developing Savage Opress for the last season of The Clone Wars. Awesome as Maul was in the movie, he barely got to do anything before the old chop-chop. When asked if Maul’s return is motivated by the feeling that he was underutilized in The Phantom Menace, Filoni says, “I think in part.”

Darth Maul Lives! 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' shows his life after vivisection

Note that this is explicitly a retcon. Other (at the time canon) sources confirmed his death in the melting pit.

He [Maul] screamed and fell into the melting pit. Obi-Wan felt the tremor in the Force as he died.

The Phantom Menace: Junior Novelisation

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  • Though we should keep in mind that they have said the novelizations are only considered canon to a certain extent... Anywhere where they diverge from the actual events seen on-screen is not necessarily canon and any details they add can be overridden at any time, should Story Group feel the need. Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 22:19
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    @ElvenPadawan - Indeed. And in this instance they seem to have done precisely that. Taken a character who's explicitly dead in the novels and revived him for the TV series. I believe the workaround is that he did sorta die, but he used the dark side of the Force to revive himself, hence why Kenobi sensed his demise
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 22:29
  • Exactly. This also seems to be the case with the novelizations for The Force Awakens, as well, as there were things mentioned or hinted at in there that seem to be overridden by things in The Last Jedi. Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 22:54
  • When asked if Maul’s return is motivated by the feeling that he was underutilized in The Phantom Menace, Filoni says, “I think in part.” - or, more accurately, in two parts :)
    – delinear
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 14:01
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    Just came to mind: the Rule of Two was not broken by Maul staying alive after RotS: there were exactly two Sith: Palpatine, half a Vader, half a Maul.
    – TimSparrow
    Commented May 7, 2018 at 14:56

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