Between Instagram, Snapchat, and about a thousand other photo-editing apps, you can alter any picture in existence. Social media and the Internet are thus full of manipulated photos. Many take the form of “glow-ups” wherein a person’s facial features are effectively airbrushed, smoothed, etc. To borrow from Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, when it comes to some of these photos, people are “so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” That is unequivocally the case when it comes to Smooth Maul.

Smooth Maul; Darth Maul
A hooded Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Yes, that’s right. Someone applied the face-smoothing software to an image of Darth Maul. As we know, The Phantom Menace first introduced us to the Star Wars character in 1999. The original photo (the cover photo of this story) was taken from the iconic Duel of the Fates scene just before Palpatine’s apprentice battles Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. If you thought the red-skinned Dathomirian was fear-inducing before, then you might not want to look at the photo below.

Smooth Maul more nightmarish than the original

Maul quickly became one of the most iconic characters in Star Wars history. Despite his short-lived time on screen in Episode 1, his full story played out over multiple seasons of both The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Well, one fan, for some inexplicable reason, decided to give the menacing Sith a makeover. The result is, well, frankly, more frightening than the original. This Smooth Maul, as he’s come to be called, is just flat-out disturbing.

Maul; Clone Wars
Even in animated form, the original Maul was terrifying. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

This isn’t the first time someone has turned to social medial to terrify us with alternate images of well-known Star Wars characters, either. Remember the hairless Ewok? That thing still haunts my dreams… As I suspect will this image of Smooth Maul. The internet truly can be a strange and unsettling place. I might have to watch The Phantom Menace again, and suffer through Jar Jar, just to get this out of my head.