Every Star Wars fans’ worst nightmare just came true with Obi-Wan Kenobi and the possibility of a fan-favorite villain reappearing in this limited series.
In just two months, Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen are returning to the Star Wars universe, reprising their iconic Star Wars characters in the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series. The new Star Wars story begins ten years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).
McGregor first appeared as the titular character in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) — taking the role from icon Alec Guinness after his appearances in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) and the original trilogy.
An exclusive Obi-Wan Kenobi article from The Hollywood Reporter confirms the worst for Star Wars fans: Ray Park’s Darth Maul has been cut from the streaming series:
Sources note that Filoni and Favreau were concerned about Obi-Wan covering similar ground as Mandalorian — the Lone Wolf and Cub-like story of Kenobi coming out of hiding to protect a child-aged Luke Skywalker. Maul was one of the villains who would participate in the hunt for the pair; Vader was nowhere to be found in this faraway galaxy at this stage, according to those with knowledge of the project. Also, Filoni and Favreau pushed Chow and the show to “go bigger,” according to several sources. In any case, those concerns made their way to Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, who pressed the pause button.
… Not only was the Sith Lord initially slated to return to the live-action Disney+ series as a key villain, actor Ray Park was in active prep to reprise Maul.
As a result of The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni hitting the pause button on the initial plans to include Darth Maul as Kenobi‘s main villain (in favor of bringing back Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader), Ray Park’s return to Star Wars was scrapped entirely.
It is unclear how far along in the process things initially unraveled. A boy was chosen to play young Skywalker, but no scenes with him were shot. As far as Park’s Maul goes, the picture is more cloudy. One source says Park was on set for preproduction and was also involved in stunt training. The source says footage of Park may have been shot, although another source says it could have been test footage. Whatever the case, Park was back as Maul, or so he believed.
Ray Park reportedly went as far as getting back in makeup and filming various scenes for Kenobi, albeit test scenes.
Nonetheless, Darth Maul was finally back in live-action, but Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni felt that Hayden Christensen’s Darth Vader should be the main antagonist of Obi-Wan Kenobi:
In the overhaul, however, Maul was written out. One source says it was Filoni that 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.
A Lucasfilm source contradicted the account, saying Maul was never intended to return for the series.
Maul’s absence does open the door for a Kenobi season two, something that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently teased.
More about Obi-Wan Kenobi
The story begins ten years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his most significant defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.
“The rematch of the century” teased by Kathleen Kennedy, director Deborah Chow, and Lucasfilm will be supported by Moses Ingram (Inquisitor Reva), Joel Edgerton (Uncle Owen), Bonnie Piesse (Beru Lars), Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie.
The world of (Mark Hamill), (Carrie Fisher), (Harrison Ford), (James Earl Jones), Yoda (Frank Oz), Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), (Ray Parker), (Boba Fett (/Temura Morrison), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Jedi Knight Grogu (AKA “Baby Yoda”), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), Koska Reeves (Sasha Banks), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), and Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito)the , the Death Star, and the Clone War.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is directed by Deborah Chow and executive-produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Deborah Chow, Ewan McGregor, and Joby Harold.
Should Darth Maul have been in Obi-Wan Kenobi? Let us know in the comments below!