Report: Darth Maul Was Cut From the Obi-Wan Kenobi Series
Disney+ finally unveiled the first trailer for its Obi-Wan Kenobi series last week, revealing that aside from Hayden Christensen’s returning Darth Vader, the Jedi Master will square off against the Grand Inquisitor when the show premieres this May. But it sounds like Hossein Amini had another Sith antagonist in mind when he was still the spinoff’s head writer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amini’s scripts featured the live-action return of Darth Maul, with Ray Park reprising his role from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
We already knew that Obi-Wan Kenobi underwent a “creative overhaul” during pre-production. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy recently claimed that Amini’s ideas were “too dark” and this prompted her to replace him with Joby Harold. But now, we have a better idea of how different Amini’s story was. Issues began to take root after director Deborah Chow shared Amini’s scripts with The Mandalorian executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. The pair allegedly expressed concerns that Amini’s vision for Obi-Wan was too similar to Mando’s plot, which also finds a “lone wolf” character protecting a child from evil forces. In Obi-Wan’s case, that child was a young Luke Skywalker. Maul was one of the villains tasked with hunting the future Jedi down, but Christensen’s Vader was totally absent.
Favreau and Filoni reportedly urged Chow to “go bigger,” and this advice eventually reached Kennedy, who put filming on hold. Around this time, Park was in “active prep” for the series, plotting his first return to the Star Wars franchise since his cameo in Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018. Sources give conflicting accounts of Park’s involvement. One says he was on set for stunt training and may have even shot test footage. However, another source claims that Maul was “never intended” to come back at all.
In any case, Park’s character was written out of the series once Harold came aboard. And according to another source, Filoni came up with a way for Vader to appear. The report also notes that a completely different actor was cast as young Luke before the story was re-tooled. But during the ensuing shakeup, the producers replaced him with Grant Feely.
Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere on Disney+ on May 25.
Do you think the producers should have kept Darth Maul as one of the show’s main villains? Let us know in the comment section below!
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