Without Darth Vader ruling the galaxy yet, the Star Wars prequels needed a villain who’d have some lightsaber-wielding skills. Thus came Darth Maul, a guy who looked more like a rejected X-Men mutant than someone who’d be as intimidating as the masked heavy-breather, with a head adorned with horns and a Rorschach test-like black-and-red pattern on his face.
After being “killed” in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and then coming back in the Clone Wars animated series and a confusing cameo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Sith Lord was eventually killed by an old Obi-Wan in Star Wars Rebels. Still, the character was reportedly supposed to return in the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Hollywood Reporter spoke to several sources close to the production, who said Ray Park was supposed to reprise the role in the series.
According to one of the sources, Park “was on set for pre-production and was also involved in stunt training.” But while that source claims footage of Park as Darth Maul may have been shot, another source says it’s likely it was test footage, rather than actual scenes from the show.
It’s not said why Darth Maul was written off, but the THR story explains that The Mandalorian co-executive producer Dave Filoni was the one who “conceptually keyed in on a way for Vader to be brought back as the big bad, with the Grand Inquisitor, a character made popular by Filoni in the animated series Star Wars Rebels, also put into the story.”
But, confusingly, THR also reports that a source from Lucasfilm said Maul “was never intended to return for the series.” So, it’s unclear what actually happened to the concept of bringing back the character.
This comes nearly a year after Park, in a since-deleted Instagram post, shared a picture of Maul’s horns, with the caption “Meet me on Dathomir! SITH LIFE!” Though Park hasn’t confirmed if the production sources are right, it sure looks suspicious that he had to delete the image that seemingly confirmed he would be back.